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Are you checking out phones under 5k in the Philippines in 2020? If so, your shortlist needs to have both the Realme C11 and the Redmi 9a on it. These are two great phones from two of the top smartphone manufacturers nowadays—two that excel at crafting and selling well-priced devices that are also impressive (or at least decent) performers.

But which of these two would give you more bang for your buck? Let’s try to find out in our quick review right here!

We start with a Realme C11 vs Red 9a specs comparison. Neither of these devices would have been out of place in a midrange smartphone shootout just a few years ago. The C11 has a 6.5-inch, 1600×720 HD+ “mini-drop” screen with a little cutout for it’s front-facing camera, whereas the 9a’s own screen is ever so slightly larger at 6.53 inches (and it’s also an HD+ affair, so little to choose from between these two).

In terms of size, these two are practically identical. The C11 measures 164.4 x 75.9 x 9.1 mm whereas the 9a comes in at 164.9 x 77.1 x 9.0 mm.

Processor-wise, the C11 claws back a victory thanks to its 2.3 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio G35 processor, which is slightly more powerful than the 2GHz Helio G25 processor the 9a runs. Both phones run 2GB RAM and come with 32GB of onboard expandable storage.

How about these phones’ batteries? Both are equally well provided for, boasting 5000mAh batteries that can be topped up quickly thanks to a 10W rapid-charge feature.

Up next are these phones’ cameras. There isn’t all that much to choose from between these two, at least not in terms of raw specs. Their main snappers are both 13-megapixel affairs, and their selfie cameras are both 5-megapixel lenses. In this department, however, the C11 comes out on top thanks to the fact that it includes a 2-megapixel depth sensor—the 9a doesn’t have this feature. The C11’s camera set also does come with Chroma Boost to improve color saturation, while the 9a’s showcases an AI scene detection feature.

And in terms of design? This category is always so subjective, but we’re happy to report that neither is a dull black rectangle as might have been suspected given where they reside on the smartphone food chain. The C11 boasts a matte vertical stripe that proceeds from below its three-lens main camera area all the way to the bottom of the phone; the 9a’s also features a matte stripe (albeit a thinner one) in the same area. Small features that help make these phones look and seem a little bit more interesting.

You might also be interested to know that at least some of the colors these phones come in are interesting as well. The C11 comes in a rather basic Pepper Grey and a relatively nicer-on-the-eyes Mint Green; by contrast, the 9a also comes in (Carbon) grey and (Ocean) green but can also be had in a Sky Blue shade which looks rather fetching to us.

Last but not the least both phones run Android 10 overlaid with Realme UI and MIUI 12.

So there you have it—the Realme C11 and Redmi 9a are two of the most capable budget phones available for no more than PhP 5k. Since neither may have a clear advantage over the other, it seems safe to say that whichever of the two you get, you’re bound to be pretty happy with it. Is Realme or Redmi better? In this instance, we’d say they’re both pretty good and leave it at that.



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