realme C55 Hands On: A Value Buy With A Gimmick

realme c55 mini capsule

realme launched a new entry-level smartphone, the C55, in Malaysia, and it comes with some respectable hardware when you consider its starting price. I had my hands on it for a while and, of course, I had to try out the much-hyped Mini Capsule, realme’s own take on Apple’s Dynamic Island.

The C55’s claim to fame is that realme is the first Android OEM to officially introduce such a feature. Unfortunately, the Mini Capsule feels more like a gimmick, at least for now.

realme c55 mini capsule

Oddly enough, the brand seemed to have downplayed the feature at the event, with it only being briefly mentioned on stage. In fact, there wasn’t even an official demonstration with a charger to show off the one thing that the Mini Capsule is currently capable of doing.

At launch, the feature can only do one thing: show the charging status of the phone. It is disabled by default so it needs to be turned on in the settings; a long black pill will momentarily pop out from the selfie camera when you plug in a charger with an outline that glows blue for charging and green for fully charged, alongside red for low battery notifications.

realme says that they will add more functionalities to the Mini Capsule in a coming update; it’s currently confirmed that the update will include a step counter, as well as your usage data. That being said, there’s no concrete date for when the update will come or if it will ever add any features that allow you to interact with it like Dynamic Island.

Moving into the basics, the realme C55 has a very solid design and is incredibly thin and lightweight. It is powered by a large 5,000mAh battery and even has 33W charging that can charge the phone to 50% in half an hour. This is significantly faster than the charging speed supported by its predecessors, including the C33 and C35.

When it comes to the chipset, it also got a significant upgrade from previous devices in the C series with the MediaTek Helio G88 chipset, paired up to 8GB RAM and a 256GB storage capacity, with an additional microSD card slot for up to 1TB of storage expansion.

realme c55 mini capsule

Camera-wise, of course, it’s nothing to write home about but it is still quite impressive to see a 64MP main camera in this price segment. It also has a 2MP depth sensor and up front, an 8MP selfie shooter.

Starting at RM699 for the base model, the realme C55 packs a lot of near-midrange features into a very affordable package. It’s a shame that the Mini Capsule has extremely limited capabilities for now, but it will be interesting to see what the brand adds in the future.

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