Review realme C21Y (RMX3261)

Table of Contents

Delivery set

  • Smartphone
  • Charger 10 W
  • MicroUSB cable
  • SIM card tray eject tool
  • Protective film (glued on)
  • User manual, warranty card


Dimensions and weight164.5 x 76 x 9.1 mm, 200 grams
Body materialsPlastic (frame and back)
Display6.5 inches, 1600х720 pixels (HD +), IPS, 20: 9 ratio, pixel density 270 ppi, protective glass
Operating systemGoogle Android 11, proprietary shell realme R Edition
PlatformUnisoc T610, 2 ARM Cortex-A75 cores up to 1.8 GHz, 6 ARM Cortex-A55 cores up to 1.8 GHz, 12 nm process technology, Mali-G52 graphics
Memory3/4 GB LPDDR4X, 32/64 GB eMMC 5.1 internal storage, microSD support up to 256 GB
Wireless interfacesWi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac 2,4 ГГц, Bluetooth 5, NFC
Network2G: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
3G: bands 1, 5, 8
4G: bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41
Dual Nano-SIM-cards + memory card (separate slot)
Sensors and connectorsFingerprint scanner (rear), accelerometer, light sensor, proximity, compass, MicroUSB, 3.5 mm jack
Main camera13 MP, wide-angle lens, f / 2.2 aperture, PDAF
2 MP, macro-module, diaphragm f / 2.4
2 MP, depth sensor, f / 2.4 aperture
Video recording 720P @ 30/60 fps, 1080P @ 30/60 fps
Front-camera5 MP, wide-angle lens, f / 2.2 aperture, 720P @ 30 fps video recording, 480P @ 30 fps, CIF
BatteryLi-ion 5000mAh, 10W charging, support reverse wired charging
ColourBlack, blue
Price10 490 rubles at the start of sales, subsequently – 11 490 rubles


Slowly but surely, the consequences of a shortage of chips and, to a lesser extent, rising prices for mobile processors are reaching the global market. The first problem is not so vividly present in our market at the moment, but the first “swallows” are already here. Some vendors are already releasing models that are close in characteristics to their counterparts from previous generations, changing only those processors.

Apparently, realme C21Y fits into the same concept. I am not going to decipher the index in the title, but judging by the characteristics, we are talking about a simplified version of its predecessor, realme C21. The site has already been visited by a review of this device.

Yet I did not take my initial guess for the real state of affairs. Therefore, I decided to test the smartphone in standard mode and tell about the results in a review format, even if my hypothesis was eventually confirmed. It is clear that many aspects will overlap with those in the realme C21, but nevertheless.

Design, dimensions, controls

A dark gray version of the smartphone was tested, and a brighter light blue color will also be available for sale. The test device is made in the design already familiar from the realme C21: a teardrop-shaped cutout in the screen, a textured plastic back with a visual X-shaped division into 4 panels. The fingerprint scanner remains at the back, it can also be used to control the notification curtain. The camera module is thin, you can safely enter text on your smartphone without lifting it from the table, when you click on the upper left and lower right corners of the display, realme C21Y sways a little, which does not interfere with the input.

On the right edge there is a power button and a double volume control key, on the left there is a slot for a tray for 2 NanoSIM cards, there is a separate slot for a microSD memory card with a capacity of up to 256 gigabytes. At the bottom are an almost vintage microUSB for charging, a headphone jack and a microphone slot.

The absence of a complete cover clearly hints that the manufacturer is confident in the durability of the model. The smartphone is actually very tightly assembled, the plastic case does not creak or play, except that there is a very small movement of the rear panel in the area of ​​the speaker slot. The device is not the most slender and lightweight, the texture of the back contributes to a secure grip, does not slip in the hand.


For the realme C21Y screen, the brightness is declared up to 420 nits, the matrix is ​​made using IPS technology. The resolution remained at the HD + level, and this can be seen as one of the hints at the budget segment. For a more worthy rivalry with the competition, FHD + would be a more adequate choice.

The display is covered by a protective glass not indicated by the manufacturer; a simple film is glued to it from the factory, which, however, can last a fair amount of time with careful use. The cutout is also in place, in budget smartphones it will not be abandoned for a long time.

The screen itself does not cause a storm of emotions of any spectrum, it is quite ordinary and reliable, the fonts do not “loosen up”, the brightness margin is average, but it will be enough for most scenarios. The settings are meager, only the most necessary: ​​shutdown time, brightness, colors and contrast, you can turn on the dark mode and blue spectrum filtering, including automatic, on a schedule. The increased screen frequency was not delivered, in general it is standard practice.


In terms of autonomy, realme C21Y proves itself traditionally excellent. I think you already figured out this point by looking at the combination of resolution, refresh rate and battery capacity. With such indicators, with an average brightness and use outside games and heavy applications, the smartphone will definitely pull out two days with 4-5 hours of screen for each. If there is a need to extend the battery life, then you can resort to power saving modes. So it’s another great candidate for the same navigator – the screen is bearable and lasts a long time.

The smartphone can also charge other gadgets with wired reversible charging, even if this is not the fastest protocol, but it is suitable for headphones and other wearable electronics. The included 10 W power supply fully charges the smartphone in 5 hours with a penny, there is no question of any fast charging. I think I will express a popular opinion: I would very much like to see even in such inexpensive Type-C smartphones, even from the position of one cable for recharging many devices. Subjectively, microUSB is perceived archaic on my desktop.

Memory, chipset, performance

The use of Unisoc chips fits right into the situation with a shortage of processors described in the introduction. The manufacturer may be known for keeping an eye on the industry by its former name, Spreadtrum Communications, Inc., which it received its current name a few years ago. It is to him that manufacturers have turned to in the current situation, the chips, apparently, are not very expensive, but generally reliable.

Unisoc T610 is not the newest, but an eight-core chip for low-cost devices. The layout of the cores as a whole fits into the average picture for the segment, as does the process technology. The processor is helped by 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 permanent memory, another attribute of a budget device. And even if the amount of built-in memory can be expanded, it will not add speed to it, of course.

The performance situation is as follows. AnTuTu Lite shows 193,000 points, throttling tests run confidently and without any failures, but not the first time they even get to the 15-minute mark and crash. Maybe such a sample, but, most likely, the system does not like such heavy applications. At least, other synthetic tests behave in a similar way at the first launch, some even refuse to work.

The test in PUBG at high settings (!) Showed surprisingly adequate results. I would not say that I have a phone for 10,000 rubles in my hands, the performance of the game is definitely good. The interface worked flawlessly, there were no noticeable lags and slowdowns. Again, we are making a discount on the budget segment, you should not expect top results here. In the normal operation of the system, there are also no problems, during the testing there was not a single crash or stop of applications. Good optimization has been carried out, and the processor has been on the market for several years, so you can safely count on reliable operation in not the most demanding applications. According to subjective impressions, the system works even more stable than in realme C21.

Communication capabilities

It seems that NFC should not have been expected, but for Russia realme C21Y comes with this module on board, and it’s good, no matter how you look. The speaker is quite loud, wheezing a little at the maximum level. Well, he is puffed out in the smartphone alone, the second speaker would definitely not interfere. The wired headphone jack allows you to listen to music and play the game with a more pleasant experience.

There were no complaints about the sound during conversations, I tested it with Yota, the usual quality of speech transmission without any unusual artifacts.


The set of lenses remained unchanged, as well as the shooting results. During the day and in good lighting, the shots are successful, the bokeh is trying to work with might and main, and in most cases it succeeds. In night-time conditions, the “Night Pro” mode helps, brightening the frame a little and making it less noisy. But the overall quality of night photography is, frankly, average.

It is clear that to demand the wonders of mobile photography from a budget Android smartphone with its 13 MP, but in general, you can click with dignity and even upload it to your favorite social networks. There will be enough detail for this, color transfer too, but if you open a photo on a large monitor, the boundaries of objects will “float” a little. That is, for everyday use, the realme C21Y cameras are enough, this is true for both the main and the front lens.


Understanding and adequately assessing the nature of the filling in realme C21Y, the vendor decided not to additionally load it with a full-fledged shell. The smartphone has a simplified version of the interface called realme R Edition. Visually, it is somewhat reminiscent of Android Go, it works smartly, the settings are not the most extensive. Personalization of the appearance and behavior of the system is available, not at the same level as in the realme UI, but visually everything is very similar.

Competitors, impressions

In Russia, realme C21Y is sold at a starting price of 10,490 rubles for a 4/64 GB configuration, there is no information about the younger version yet. There are enough competitors: Redmi 9 in a similar memory configuration, with a screen with FHD + resolution and a Type-C connector can be found for 10,990 rubles. Oppo A15s costs a thousand more, it has a more vigorous processor, but a smaller battery. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy A12 for 10,990 rubles has a 48 MP main camera and faster Type-C charging, that’s just a 3 + 32 GB configuration.

What is so special about realme C21Y? First of all, excellent autonomy, many devices of the manufacturer in this segment work for a very, very long time. With the familiar ergonomics, the new model repeats many aspects of its predecessor, while retaining the NFC and headphone jack. The main difference lies in the hardware platform.

The processor proved to be confident in all test scenarios, except for synthetic tests, which slightly smears the final impressions. According to my impressions, it will be quite enough for all scenarios assigned to it, except that it does not favor throttling tests, it could be noted as a minus, but it is relevant only for writing a review. The performance gain compared to the realme C21 can be explained by a less demanding shell, but it only plays into the hands of users. So that the shelf of reliable budget accounts has arrived, you can pay attention.

Source: — Все о мобильной технике и технологиях by

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