Realme's new cheap phone has a surprisingly impressive camera

Realme C35
(Image credit: Realme)

If you find yourself longingly looking at our list of the best camera phones, but think they're too far out of your budget, then Realme might have an option for you. It's just launched two new smartphones, and one of them looks like the cheap phone to beat for photography.

This new handset is the Realme C35 - well, we say 'new', but it's been unveiled for a while, just never released in the UK until now. It's joined by a Realme C31 that's even cheaper but with lesser specs.

The flagship feature here is the phone's main camera - it's a 50MP snapper using the same Sony IMX766 sensor that we saw in the Realme 9 Pro Plus and GT 2 Pro. It's a fantastic sensor for low-light photography, taking night-time snaps that'd you'd think were captured on an iPhone, and it really elevates the art of budget camera phone photography.

Presumably, then, the Realme C35 is just as good for night photography, though we'll need to test out the device to be sure.

The phone also has a 6.6-inch FHD screen, a 5,000mAh battery, a Unisoc T616 chipset and two auxiliary cameras (a monochrome and macro duo). All in all it sounds like your average budget phone - the main camera is what really elevates it. 

It's certainly a budget phone though, costing £149 for 64GB of storage or £169 for 128GB of storage. We'd recommend going for the latter if you're considering going for the phone - only £20 more will get you double the space for all those night photos.

The Realme C31 is less exciting. It too has a 5,000mAh battery, and it also has a 6.5-inch LCD screen, Unisoc T612 chip, 13MP main camera and 5MP selfie camera - those specs aren't anything to write home about, though its £129 price explains that.

We'll be sure to test out these phones in the near future to see if they're worth your money or not, but you can check out our Realme 9 Pro Plus review camera sample section to see how the main sensor works in action.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.