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    Realme Narzo 30 Pro Review – A Competent Budget 5G Smartphone

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    By Akhil Kapoor - 
    10th Apr 2021
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    Realme Narzo 30 Pro
    Review Summary

    Apparently, 5G support, 120Hz display, battery life, and overall good performance are some of the positive traits whereas low-light cameras, a slightly underpowered processor compared to its rival Xiaomi Mi 10i’s Snapdragon 750G, and a few things here and there. Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is not a gaming beast so don’t expect it to withstand the extreme work a gaming phone would do. But it is better as a daily driver giving you the best (with a few compromises) at the best price but with rivals to check out as well. 

    PROS
    • Large 6.5-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate
    • 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage
    • 5G connectivity at minimum price
    • MediaTek Dimensity 800U chipset
    • 48MP AI triple-rear camera
    • 5000 mAh battery with 30W fast charging
    CONS
    • No Gorilla Glass protection
    • No dust and water resistance
    • Hybrid SIM slot
    • No NFC
    Key Specs
    Battery Capacity
    Battery Capacity
    5000 mAh
    Operating System
    Operating System
    Android v10 (Q)
    Screen Size
    Screen Size
    6.5 inches
    Highlights:
    • Yes
    • Gorilla Glass 3
    • 5000 mAh
    • Android v10 (Q)
    Introduction

    The latest entrant in the Narzo series and undoubtedly one of the most inexpensive 5G smartphones in India, Narzo 30 Pro 5G is here with a bunch of upgrades over its predecessors. The device falls in a sweet spot of pricing at under Rs 20,000/- even for its higher brass variant and has next-gen 5G network support ready so you don’t have to change your phone when your city/region is 5G-ready. You get one of the powerful mid-range chipsets along with improved battery life, a high refresh rate, and more with Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G.

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    Here’s a detailed review of the device that I have concluded after using the phone for a while now.

    Prices in India, Variants, Availability

    Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is one of the most affordable 5G smartphones at a price tag of Rs 16,999/- for its 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage while the higher 8GB RAM plus 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage has a price tag of Rs 19,999/-. Both the variants are available on Realme India and Flipkart India obviously with a tonne of features to get your hands on. Flipkart is offering an exchange value of up to Rs 15,650, a 10 per cent discount up to 1,000/- on SBI Credit Card, and of course, there is a tonne of No-Cost EMI and other offers available. 

    Specs at a glance

    Let me talk about the on-paper specifications of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro first:

    • Display: 16.51 cm (6.5 inch) Full HD+ Display, 120Hz Ultra Smooth display
    • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 800U
    • RAM & ROM: 6GB/8GB, 64GB/128GB
    • Software: Realme UI v1.0 (Based on Android 10)
    • Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
    • Selfie camera: 16MP
    • Battery: 5000 mAh, 30W Dart Charge
    • Weight: 196g
    • Dimensions: 162.20 x 75.10 x 9.10

    With key specs discussed, let’s talk more about one of the most affordable 5G phones in India. 

    Design and Build

    With 194 grams of weight, the phone might seem hefty but fortunately, it isn’t. It comes with a matte finish that looks dope although I would have suggested getting a gradient texture at the back panel since it now looks a bit bland. Anyways, the front is glass and there’s a punch-hole cut-out on the top-left corner which I guess you will have to compromise with because it is pretty huge. The bezels are pretty heavy and the chin pokes you as well although that isn’t a concern given the fact that the phone has a Rs 16,999/- price tag.

    Moving ahead, the back panel is polycarbonate although with a matte finish which although isn’t glass but looks impressive for sure. You also get a Narzo branding at the bottom in case you forgot which lineup your phone belongs to. There’s a tiny quad-camera bump that protrudes just a little bit above the back panel and I must say it is a welcome touch, unlike other phones that opt for giant camera bumps. 

    Talking about the ports and hardware buttons, there’s a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the right side that doubles as a power button too. On the right, you get a volume rocker placed within the proximity and there’s a SIM card slot on the top as well. The best thing is that all the buttons around the edges have good tactile feedback to them. Rest everything including a primary microphone, a bottom-firing loudspeaker, and a USB Type-C 2.0 port is at the bottom as usual. 

    Display

    Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is a mid-range smartphone packing in a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a 1080×2400 pixels resolution. The display has a whopping 120Hz refresh rate and has 480 nits of typical and 600 nits of peak brightness. It has a pixel density of 405 PPI and an aspect ratio of 20:9. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top of it that provides extreme protection against several falls and drops.

    The display mounted on Narzo 30 Pro 5G is not that impressive although it is something you get at this price tag. It doesn’t have display modes although it uses filtering white balances to create warm, cool, and other hues. It is a Widevine L1 supported display that allows HD content streamed by OTT platforms to play without a glitch although there’s no way to outrun it and run HDR content. 

    Further, the display has a 120Hz refresh rate which is quite awesome since it was only Poco X3 with such capabilities. The higher refresh rate means the phone can transition from one frame to another quicker and in a smooth manner although some frame drops are common with Narzo 30 Pro 5G. Still, you might not even notice it. Users can change colour profiles as they please. Setting up display modes to warm makes colour reproduction accurate than the cold display mode so you will have to change the default settings as well. 

    The display is bright enough to be viewed even in broad sunlight thanks to its 480 nits of typical and 600 nits of peak brightness as mentioned above. The peak brightness makes it easier to view the display under sunlight while the higher refresh rate makes for buttery smooth transitions and animations. 

    I felt the bezels on the sides are quite thick so you will have to make concessions for it although, at this price tag, you cannot expect a 1mm wide bezel. The punch-hole sensor is huge so I hope it won’t be a problem as well. 

    Performance

    The drivetrain under the hood on Narzo 30 Pro 5G is a MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G chipset manufactured on a 7nm node. It is an octa-core SoC with 2 high-performance cores clocked at 2.4GHz while six battery-efficient cores are clocked at 2.0GHz. The chipset arrives with Mali-G57 MC3 that takes care of the graphics processing. There’s a 64GB  and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage variant along with 6GB and 8GB of RAM storage that you can choose whilst buying the device.

    Hopefully, Narzo 30 Pro 5G doesn’t have Helio G-series chipsets from MediaTek but rather a new Dimensity 800U 5G chipset. It is efficient since it is manufactured on a 7nm node while providing high-quality graphics capabilities is another of its traits. We didn’t see any major issues using the device even at 120Hz except the fact that it produced slight jarring motion at times. Multitasking on the device is not a hassle as well. 

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    The device managed to score 583 and 1793 points on single-core and multi-core tests respectively while the AnTuTu showed 333,670 scores approximately. Moving ahead, we subjected the GPU by playing graphics-intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile and the phone was able to produce 60fps while keeping the stability high. The Dolby Atmos that we mentioned in the Audio section adds to the overall quality of the speakers enabling users to get higher quality sound when playing games or watching videos. 

    There’s a 5G support which although India isn’t ready as there are just a few test sites but 5G is still months or even years away. With that being said, the 5G does add a lot of credibilities.

    Software

    The device runs on Realme UI 2.0 which is based on Android 11 that brings a string of features from both Google and Realme. It includes but is not limited to Game Boost, a high level of customizability including shortcuts, gestures, and more. There are a few bloatware to check out although I disabled some of them but you cannot uninstall them without rooting the device. 

    Cameras

    Even though camera technology has come miles ahead, Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G doesn’t have the best camera in this price range. The primary sensor is able to snag photos and shots at a higher quality retaining most of the details in the daytime. It uses pixel-binning technology to capture 12MP shots while there’s a 48MP mode that captures more details yet with poor exposure. You get a tonne of modes to dabble with including Pro mode. The images come out saturated, well-exposed so that’s a relief.

    Certainly a quality camera setup at daytime, nighttime photography bores a different story altogether. At night, you need light to capture the subject/object without which, you will have grainy and noisy images for sure. Using a street lamp as a source of light lets you capture usable images otherwise you will need night mode engaged to make the best out of the sensors. Note that the portrait shot using the front camera at night with low light is something you should avoid in many cases. 

    The ultra-wide-angle camera onboard Narzo 30 Pro 5G takes a wider area into the frame so that’s great. Not to forget that the distortion on the edges is still there which is something ultra-wide-angle cameras are plagued with. This isn’t any different from the primary sensor as daytime shots are bliss while nighttime shots are on the poorer side. 

    Again, you get a 2MP macro sensor capable of snagging photos as close as 4cm of macro objects, and yet, be still and you will get usable results. The fourth is the depth sensor which is used for depth information that is fed for portrait shots. 

    The front camera snags quality images in the daytime too without oversharpening facial features which is something the masses don’t like. The portrait shots are usable although you might see noise and grains in nighttime photography in low light. 

    Battery

    The device sports a huge 5,000 mAh battery under the hood and has a 30W Dart Charge as well capable of charging the phone in just 65 minutes advertised. It has a Power Delivery 15W support as well. The story can be different when the phone is subjected to practical use so here’s more about it.

    Undoubtedly one of the most crucial aspects one would look out for while buying a smartphone, the battery is an important ingredient. Luckily, Narzo 30 Pro 5G has a colossal battery pack that lasts more than a day on a mix of heavy and medium usage. If you use it lightly or in short bursts while employing the various power-saving modes, you are looking towards a two days battery like I got although it is based on extremely favourable situations. Charging the phone will keep it running for months to come. You also get a 30W fast charging support which takes less than 70 minutes so just take a nap and your phone will be full and ready to use for the day.

    Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

    The earpiece is used during calls while Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G has a single bottom-firing speaker. It is loud so that’s a USP. Plus, it has Dolby Atmos support that adds more weight to its loudness, bass, and other factors for an overall good hearing experience. 

    When it comes to the various connectivity features, the device is equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band support and has Bluetooth v5.1 support with LE and A2DP. It has A-GPS, Galileo, BDS, and Glonass support as well. There’s no NFC or radio here. You get a 3.5mm headphone jack with it and a USB Type-C 2.0 for charging and data transfer. 

    The side-mounted fingerprint scanners are pretty quick since it’s placement is appropriate to how we usually hold the phone. Although it is a side-mounted one which means it is small sensor size and thus, a reduced accuracy. However, Narzo 30 Pro 5G won’t disappoint you. Even the facial recognition on the device is super quick. Then, of course, you get PIN and Pattern lock as usuals. 

    Pros & Cons

    Pros

    • Large 6.5-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate
    • 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage
    • 5G connectivity at minimum price
    • MediaTek Dimensity 800U chipset
    • 48MP AI triple-rear camera
    • 5000 mAh battery with 30W fast charging

    Cons

    • No Gorilla Glass protection
    • No dust and water resistance
    • Hybrid SIM slot
    • No NFC
    Verdict
    We are now at the end of the review where we usually combine the pros and cons to give out a conclusion that in turn helps you decide whether to buy the phone or not. Apparently, 5G support, 120Hz display, battery life, and overall good performance are some of the positive traits whereas low-light cameras, a slightly underpowered processor compared to its rival Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G’ Snapdragon 750G, and a few things here and there. It is not a gaming beast so don’t expect it to withstand the extreme work a gaming phone would do. But it is better as a daily driver giving you the best (with a few compromises) at the best price but with rivals to check out as well.


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    First Impressions

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