Offers good value for money
Last year, Realme launched the Narzo series, which provides a lot of processing power for watching videos, browsing the web, playing games and much more, in response to growing company demand for affordable phones. Realme has even made this promise as it has launched a number of phones under the series that have been impacted as a whole package despite a few compromises. Now, Realme plans to do the same with the launch of the Narzo 30 series smartphones in 2021. The series brings with it two new phones, the Narzo 30A and the Narzo 30 Pro.
Of the two, today we have the Narzo 30A. It’s more decent between the two smartphones, as it comes with its own as it is available at a slightly more affordable point. However, when you start using it, the phone manages to pack enough firepower into its frame. Highlights include the Helio G85 SoC, a 13-megapixel lens-based dual camera set-up, a larger display and a larger 6000mAh battery. But as we’ve found in our time with the Narzo 30A, there’s more to the device than just the specs mentioned above. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Realme Narzo 30A Review: Performance
The Realme 30A is amazingly good enough for most of the work you put into it and the primary reason is of course its Helio G85 chipset which comes with up to 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. This chipset is built using a 12nm process and uses Realme on the Narzo 20, which was launched last year.
The chipset has an octa-core CPU that uses two ARM Cortex-A75 performance cores at 2.0GHz for heavy lifting and six ARM Cortex-A55 performance cores running at 1.8GHz for everyday use apps. At the time of its launch, this chipset was supposed to be one for mobile gaming on a budget, and even in 2021, it managed to live up to its promise. While the CPU certainly helps in running heavy-duty games, it is the ARM Mali-G52 GPU that does most rendering graphics. The GPU can boost up to 1Ghz for maximum performance which helps to provide a responsive user-experience while playing games. But later on more about gaming, let’s first look at a few scores on how the device works on a synthetic benchmark.
This Helio G85 SoC powered device scored a decent 201637 on AnTuTu and scored an impressive 350 in the single-core test of Geekbench 5 and 1283 in the benchmark multicore test when compared to its segment competition. This is exactly what happened when we tested graphics performance using our GPU test batteries. The phone scored 746 on the GFX bench (Aztec Ruins, high tier) and 701 on the 3D Mark Wild Life. But GameBench gave us the most insight into how the device handled popular titles like Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends, with good results for both the Narzo 30A.
For alumni, GameBench has revealed that the Narzo 30A running in medium graphics settings offers a mid-clock of 58 fps with 87 percent stability. As Asphalt 9 Legends, the average at 99 percent stability was 30 FPS. Considering we’re testing a budget segment device, these numbers look pretty impressive.
These results are consistent with our general experience of using the device in everyday life as the Realme Narzo 30A seemed chic and responsive for the most part. Apps and games were quickly launched, the device rarely felt lazy or unresponsive.
As we learned during our review, the chipset can handle games like Call of Duty well in the most available medium graphics settings, and there are a few more toggles for visuals. Although the game initially recommends a lower graphics preset for the device, we’ve seen it work seamlessly in higher graphics settings. The experience was similar to the Asphalt 9 Legends, which run in high graphics settings without showing any signs of hardware stress.
Realme Narzo 30A Review: Software and Features
The Realme Narzo 30A runs the Realme UI which is based on Android 10 and provides a relatively clean Android experience. The custom skin is built using Android 10, however, Realme has already promised to upgrade to the more compact Realme UI 2.0 which the company claims will come soon on the Narzo 30A.
While the update is definitely something to look forward to, in its current form, the Realme UI also carries with it a lot of favorites as it is powered by the company’s latest Quantum Animation engine which enhances the smoothness of the screen. Realme UI also brings 11 new wallpapers inspired by natural elements.
Furthermore, it brings support for features like dual mode music sharing that enables audio output through two different devices at the same time. For this, the user can attach a pair of wireless earbuds and wired earphones to share the audio with a friend. Also, this Android 10-based copy of the Realme UI brings support for features like Focus mode and Dark mode. Overall, all of these components are essentially a budget segment device that combines to provide a better experience.
Realme Narzo 30A Review: Design and Display
Realme 30A offers a laborious design. However, the use of a sporty diagonal stripe pattern on the back panel helps to make the device look a little more sporty. This will be appreciated by gamers. The rear panel also uses a pixel-like dual finish scheme, with this striped design covering about 70 percent of the back and the upper end of the phone using a finer solid black to re-finish the matter. This section includes the phone’s square camera setup and round fingerprint scanner. Both look well-designed, coming out very little from the previous panel.
All the buttons used are on the right side of the device, the volume and power buttons work as expected and feel sensitive and responsive. The speaker grille of the phone is placed at the bottom which can be waived while playing the game. When switched to the display, the front of the phone uses a 6.5-inch panel with support for HD + resolution (720×1600 pixels). The display promises a decent pixel density of 269ppi and a high peak brightness of 570 nits, although when we measured it, the display topped 419 nits. In the real world, this panel is bright enough to be used even under direct sunlight, however, due to its low resolution it lacks clarity.
The Realme Narzo 30A shows an average screen-to-body ratio of 88.7 percent, with some bezels visible on the display’s chin. At the top, and the directions are rarely in the way of bezels to take you away from the experience, however, we do have a small water-drop notch that holds the camera in front of the phone.
Despite weighing 207 grams, the Narzo 30A doesn’t feel too heavy in the hand and the weight seems to be evenly balanced across the device. The phone also feels quite compact in the hand, especially if you are away from a big smartphone. Overall, it’s a well-built device that looks good on the hands and works well enough to look attractive to the eye.
Realme Narzo 30A Review: Battery
One of the most impressive things about the Realme Narzo 30A is its battery life. The phone is backed by a huge 6000mAh battery pack which provides very good battery life. On average, the phone can easily last up to a day and a half with moderate use only by quickly draining the battery of the gaming device. During our review, we found that the phone lost about 7 percent of its charge after a 30-minute session of Call of Duty Mobile when the phone was set to full brightness and the audio played through the device’s speakers. We found similar battery results for the Asphalt 9 Legends.
But when the charge runs out, the phone’s battery takes some time to charge because the device only supports 18W for fast charging. At this speed, the Narzo 30A takes more than 3 hours to fully charge. Also, the Narzo 30A comes with support for reverse charging to help fuel other smartphones.
Realme Narzo 30A Review: Camera
With the decision to equip the Narzo 30A with a rather basic dual-lens set-up, not much is happening here with Realme’s camera. It has an initial 13MP lens with f / 2.2 aperture in the center. It sits next to a secondary B&W portrait lens to add extra information to the shots. This lens has an aperture of f / 2.4. In terms of features, the camera can click pictures in Super Nightscape mode, Night Filter, Chroma Boost, Beauty, Filter, HDR, Panoramic View, Portrait, Time-Lapse, Slow-Mo and Expert mode.
Here all the heavy lifting is done by the primary lens which clicks good enough shots in well illuminated conditions. Outcome images come out with a decent amount of detail and shots are usually sharp with a sufficiently dynamic range. The lens does a decent job of locking in focus, however, the shutter response between images is bad, the camera app takes at least 2-3 seconds to process a shot and then clicks on the next one. While this may not be a deal-breaker, it is certainly frustrating if you try to click a few shots quickly because the user can easily lose the intended shot as a result of this delay in the shot.
The Narzo 30A also clicks decent portrait shots, however, edge detection remains a problem. The phone works well even in low light, Nightscape mode certainly improves image quality when not given enough light to work with the f / 2.2 aperture lens. There are also very few ways to use this lens to destroy clicked shots in low light.
The phone also has an 8MP in-display selfie lens with f / 2.0 aperture. This lens can capture a lot of detail and accurate skin tone in daylight. However, its low light performance may be somewhat desirable. The selfie lens also supports features like AI Beauty, HDR, Panoramic View, Time-Lapse and comes with various filters. The front camera can also click on portrait shots, however, these are slightly reduced by identifying the average edge of the camera.
Realme Narzo 30A Review: Conclusion
The Narzo 30A is by no means a stand-out phone that modifies the game in terms of its hardware or aesthetics. A quick look at the spec sheet will tell you that the device was heavily inspired by last year’s Narzo 20 because it not only shares some hardware but it is similar to previous generation Narzo devices when it comes to display and somewhat less design, yet the Narzo 30A is a bad phone. Does not Indeed, in isolation, the device manages to influence both its overall performance and design. Its cameras leave little to be desired, but it is something that is a fair trade-off for the low-priced points that Realme Narzo 30A has launched.