Realme Narzo 30 arrived in mid-May this year and about a week before its 5G compatible variant arrived in the market. Narzo 30 is truly a better upgrade over Narzo 20 released last year and offers much more on the table. It brings everything you need on a phone in a budget category without the gimmicky 5G which for the fact, is priced at Rs 3,000/- more than the 4G variant.
In any case, I have been using Realme Narzo 30 for a while now, and here’s a detailed hands-on review on Realme Narzo 30 that you must read before proceeding further.
Realme Narzo 30 is available in two storage trims. The base is the 4GB+64GB available at Rs 12,499/- on Flipkart India with up to Rs 11,950/- off on using its exchange program. The higher 6GB+128GB variant fetches a price tag of Rs 14,499/- and has an exchange offer on Flipkart offering up to Rs 13,950/- off on eligible devices. There’s 10 percent off on using BOB Mastercard DC on its first-time transaction. Check out Realme’s website and Flipkart for more details.
When you hold both Realme Narzo 30 and Realme Narzo 30 5G side-by-side, there’s absolutely no change in terms of appearance although the dimensions have changed a bit. The Narzo 30 4G gets a polycarbonate back and frame along with front glass and that’s what the build material used in the manufacturing doesn’t feel too premium but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. I have seen a similar pattern on many Realme phones so yeah, good luck with the same design if you are hailing from previous Realme smartphones using the same design
Anyways, talking about the back panel, it has a shiny and matte-looking design with an off-centred strip that passes through the rectangular camera bump all the way down. The strip shows arrows that when put against light, show an illusion of travelling at an incredible speed which looks fun, to be honest.
The camera bump has triple camera sensors arranged vertically and protrudes a bit above the back panel. Talking about the front, you get a decent fullscreen view with a punch-hole to the top-left corner that houses its front camera. The bezels are decently sized and there’s no surprise of it because it’s a budget-friendly smartphone and it comes with some trade-offs.
The frame is curved on the left and right sides while the top and bottom sides are flattened. This makes sure you have a good grip on the phone which is a plus point given the fact that the device has a massive 6.5-inch display.
When it comes to buttons and I/O ports, you get a power button on the right that doubles as a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. On the left, you get a tactile volume rocker. At the bottom, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a primary mic, a USB-C port, and a bottom-firing loudspeaker. There’s a secondary mic on top as well.
Realme Narzo 30 4G sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a 90Hz refresh rate. The display boasts a 1080×2400 pixels resolution with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a 405 PPI density.
Talking about the bezels around the edges, those are considerably large and the punch-hole front sensor has huge bezels around it too. The display is huge, to be honest with an FHD+ resolution which is a major plus from Realme Narzo 20’s HD+ panel. Realme has stuck to an IPS LCD panel instead of upgrading it to an AMOLED panel. Although I wouldn’t say LCD is any bad, AMOLED is far better so having that would’ve impressed the masses but there’s only so much you can get for a sub-15K INR smartphone.
The display has a Widevine L1 certification allowing it for HD streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix which is a relief. Unless there’s an L1 certification, you would have to rely on 720p on these OTT platforms.
Moving on, the display has a 90Hz refresh rate which is simply amazing. Scroll on Instagram or wherever it works and you get a refined buttery-smooth interface. As usual, 60Hz mode doesn’t work on video apps and a few apps here and there.
The display gets sufficiently bright so viewing the screen in broad daylight won’t be an issue. Note that it is an LCD panel whereas AMOLED can go brighter. However, I found out that the sensor that automatically slides the brightness on the device is not that efficient. This means you will end up waiting some time to get the brightness levelled or you can simply use the manual method to do it.
Under the hood, you get a powerful MediaTek Helio G95 SoC made on a 12nm fabrication node. It is equipped with eight cores which include two 2.05GHz high-performance Cortex-A76 cores and six 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 power-efficient cores. There’s a Mali-G76 MC4 GPU on-board along with 64/128GB storage and 4/6GB RAM.
First up, the Helio G95 is a gaming-oriented chipset which is top of the line before Helio G96 arrived just a week ago. The chipset has been used in many budget-grade gaming smartphones and Narzo 20 Pro is one of them. Now that the Narzo 30 has it too, we tested the benchmarks on the result. It returned 3,56,846 points on AnTuTu while the GeekBench gave away 532 and 1,700 points on single-core and multi-test respectively.
I played a few games on Narzo 30 just to test its performance. Turns out you can play PUBG Mobile (now BGMI) on Balanced graphics and Ultra FPS without any issue. You can yank up the graphics to High but that would eventually heat up the phone resulting in dropped frame rates and stutter. Overall, you can yank up the graphics to High if you want. It goes without saying, different games have different upper limits of graphics and frame rates you can play.
Rest everything related to opening multiple apps at once or multiple tabs on Google Chrome is a piece of cake. The chipset can handle day-to-day tasks on Realme Narzo 30 well so that’s not a problem.
Realme Narzo 30 4G runs on the latest Android 11-powered Realme UI 2.0 out-of-the-box. This skin brings a lot of customizations on board along with a handful of bloatware. It does have a clean aesthetic to it and since it arrived with Android 11 out-of-the-box, expect Android 12 to be dropping soon although I am not saying it will arrive tomorrow so be patient.
The rear camera mounted on Realme Narzo 30 4G is a triple camera setup. This includes a 48MP snapper with f/1.8 aperture and PDAF along with a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. There’s a 16MP front selfie shooter along with an f/2.1 aperture.
Okay, if you read the specs above, you will know where I am going next. There’s no ultrawide snapper and Realme has simply used two decorative sensors that I think are simply for show off. A depth sensor calculates depth data and feeds into the primary snapper for portrait shots but you can still snap a portrait shot without it.
Anyways, talking about the primary 48MP snapper, the snaps I took had good dynamic range and the details were on-point. In fact, some details around darker areas were highlighted which means the camera is good. You can go for 2x zoom with decent photo quality and minimal loss in details. However, as you go any point further, the shots may become anything from cropped out to oil paintings so take care of it.
Portrait shots using the rear camera are good with a decent amount of details. However, the snapper has average edge detection which means portrait shots may not always be accurate. But I would say photos in the daytime are versatile and far better than those snapped at night.
Low-light photography on Narzo 30 is a straight miss as the camera takes ages to take quality shots. Even if you go for long exposure, you need extremely steady hands to grab photos or live with blurry photos forever. Night mode does improve the quality of the shots, improving detail retention and brightens up the scene. However, it is based on the lighting conditions that you capture the shot at for the snaps to be regarded as usable or useless.
The selfie shooter is a decent 16MP snapper and it does have the consistency of quality images at daytime. It bores satisfactory result every time you click photos although smoothens the facial details a bit. Edge detection on portrait mode is okay but you will see grainy output during low-light photography.
You can record videos up to 1080p although it looks over-sharpened and detail detection was decent. Max it up with 4K@30fps and you get better details albeit keep your hands steady since there’s no EIS or OIS.
Narzo 30 sports a beefy 5,000 mAh battery. Technically, it is among the more than average category of smartphones in terms of its battery capacity. The battery easily lasts for more than a day although gaming on the phone can bring the backup to a day or less. You can easily get 7-8 hours (or even more) of screen-on-time which is phenomenal, to be honest.
The phone arrives with a faster 30W charging tech which is way faster than the one available with the 5G variant of the device. It takes about 70 to 75 minutes to charge the battery to its capacity which is not that slow, to be honest. You can still use multiple Power Saving Modes to bring the SOT higher albeit with restricted usage.
Realme Narzo 30 4G sports a single bottom-firing loudspeaker and that’s all. It is loud although don’t expect it to have a flagship-level finesse because that won’t happen. It is loud enough for you to play games and watch movies or listen to music and enjoy with the decent loudness on-board.
Realme Narzo 30 4G packs in a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C 2.0 port. You will get access to dual-band WiFi 802.11ac along with Bluetooth v5.0 which includes LE and A2DP. You get GPS including BDS, Glonass, and A-GPS. There’s NFC on-board as well along with other sensors including compass, proximity, gyro, accelerometer, among others.
As it goes with the 5G variant, the Realme Narzo 30 too has a Dual SIM card slot which is a norm now. You can use two 4G SIM cards to get access to the fast internet and more. There’s no 5G since it is a 4G phone and you will have to shell out Rs. 3,000/- more to get a 5G variant. Luckily, I had no issues when on calls with regards to the cellular connectivity and the sound quality.
Talking about security, the phone is equipped with PIN and Pattern mechanisms as usual. You can go for 2D Face Unlock which is snappy although it is software-based and will act strange when you try to unlock the phone in poor lighting conditions. On the other hand, the side-mounted fingerprint scanner is the way to go as it is both snappy and reliable. It takes just a fraction of a second to unlock the phone using the FPS and it is quite convenient given the location is on the power button in close proximity.
- 90Hz refresh rate screen
- 5000 mAh battery
- 30W fast charging
- Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
- Dedicated MicroSD card slot
- No dust and water resistance
- No wide-angle camera
- No 5G connectivity
At Rs 12,499/- (base variant), the Realme Narzo 30 offers a promising specs sheet on-board from a performance-based standpoint. The phone has definitely made some cutbacks to bring the price to a minimum. I would justify paying Rs 3,000/- more for 5G since the next-gen network is still years away at least in India. Talking about the 4G enabled smartphone, it brings some good specs with some compromises such as low-light capability is a miss, the phone’s design has been used several times and the phone gets no ultrawide snapper. At the end of the day, you are paying for a budget phone and it is bound to have some shortcomings.