Realme Narzo 30 Pro Review: Satisfactorily Average
We’re not even in the third month of 2021, and Realme has already launched a number of devices. The fourth smartphone to join the ranks this year is the Narzo 30 Pro, which is coming in the same way as the Realme 7X Pro (Review), Realme 7X and Narzo 30A. Narzo offers a relatively more powerful device at a price point that is usually lower than a relatively specific device. The Narzo 30 Pro may sound like a realme X7 rebase, but let us make it clear that it is not. The Narzo 30 Pro offers more at a lower price on paper, but let’s find out how effective it is among those promises.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro Performance
The Realme Narzo 30 Pro MediaTek Dimension 800U processor is powered by an octa-core chip. This MediaTek chip comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage. We’ve already tested this chip on Realme X7, so we have a fair idea of what to expect. However, the Narzo 30 Pro has its own device, so it went through the motions without any guesswork. First, we have synthetic benchmarks. The Realme Narzo 30 Pro posted decent numbers across the board with an AnTuTu score of 340508 and reached GeekBench 5 at 584 and 1776 at the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. Multiple tests consisting of the GFXBench benchmark also post decent numbers for the Realme Narzo 30 Pro. However, we need to take all these numbers with a large grain of salt. This is because the MediaTek chipset is increasing the CPU and GPU clocks to their maximum, ignoring the thermal limits and, more importantly, ignoring the load placed on them. When we profile the CPU using GameBench while running the car chase benchmark of AnTuTu and GFXBench, we see that all the cores of MediaTek Dimensity 800U are clocked up to maximum. MediaTek is known to use this strategy to give their chipsets a higher place on the benchmark, and when companies say that what they are doing is “good in a recognized practice,” we strongly believe that it is not. Benchmark tools allow our devices to be on a level playing field, and MediaTek’s practice is, of course, unfair. While running our CPU throttle test, the Dimension dropped to 85 percent of its performance at the end of the 800U run, which is not a bad thing at all. However, a closer look at the graph shows that the chipset is not able to maintain peak clock speeds for a decent amount of time with its corresponding cooling solution. The chip often comes down to the 80’s and we’re not too happy about that.
For real-world use, let’s start with the actual gaming performance measured using the gamebench. CoD Mobile can only go up to medium graphics presets and offers a median 56 fps with 84 percent stability. Asphalt 9 manages to hit its 30 fps mark, but the game gets some junk every moment. Operations such as photo editing in the lightroom were also slow, with some gaps, but did not make the experience unbearable. In terms of performance, the Realme Narzo 30 Pro did not impress us. It’s not so much about the price, but also about the fact that having the name “Pro” is definitely confusing in terms of functionality.
As an everyday driver, the Narzo 30 Pro can perform decently with just a few minor hiccups while gaming. If you are not a strong gamer, then the phone will provide adequate performance for basic things including your social media insanity.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro display
One of the things that sets Narzo 30 Pro apart is its IPS-LCD display, which shakes the 120Hz refresh rate. As an IPS LCD panel, one would automatically expect it to be a fairly accurate color panel, but in reality it is not.
We ran the Narzo 30 Pro’s display through a full-color profile analysis and came up with some very interesting results. The phone does not offer any display mode, instead only provides the ability to adjust the white balance between warm, cold and default. In the default setting, the white balance of the display sits at 7231K, resulting in a strong blue-bias. The average deltaE2000 value is 4.9 and the average gamma is 2.232 A closer look at the gamma curve however reveals that the display is not capable of maintaining smooth gradation at different light points. By switching the display to the “warm” white balance setting, we see that the RGB balance has gotten better, the color temperature has dropped to a more nominal 6529.
Color, on the other hand, is another area of reproduction problem. In both white balance presets we see the deltaE2000 error of 4.15 and 4.33 for warm and default settings, respectively. Interestingly, the panel of the Narzo 30 Pro shows that despite the wrong color representation, it handles the various shades of brown color related to skin tone rather well. It jumps with red and blues, saturating both extra and showing luma error in blues. Fortunately, the change in color is not only noticeable, but those of you with discerning eyes will be able to understand that some shades of red and blue are not what they should be.
Calman SRGB Color Checker puts the data error at 4.33, with some shades of red having significant problems.
The Narzo Realme 30 Pro’s display has the best color reproduction with a warm white balance setting when tested using Calman ColorChecker.
Otherwise the display is rather bright, tapping the scales at 419nits brightness, making it easily clear outside in bright light. The pre-applied screen protector produces some reflections but turning it off completely solves the problem.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro camera
The Narzo 30 Pro’s camera stack is one of the most standard configurations available in this segment: a triple camera setup with a 48MP primary camera with f / 1.8 aperture. The secondary camera is an 8MP ultraviolet lens and the third lens is a 2MP macro camera.
The initial 48MP camera is a reliable shooter thanks to the pixel exchange that allows the camera to output images with acceptable quality. Anyone who thinks or hopes that the Narzo 30 Pro will bring ground breaking innovations or improvements to the camera stack, is not exactly that. What you will find instead is a camera whose output is very similar to other smartphones that offer a 48MP camera below the 15K segment. As long as you’re shooting in the default bind mode, you’ll get beautiful, well-exposed, generously saturated images. Color Fuchsia has some minor problems with reproduction, but it is a common problem on most smartphones these days. In fact, this particular color gives the Narzo 30 Pro an otherwise reliable AF system a tough time.
Shooting in low light situations is where we see the weakness of the camera. Night mode bundled in the Camera app creates nice, bright images that will be fully worthy of social media. However, try zooming in or cropping them and you’ll quickly notice a complete lack of detail. Ultravide angle cameras offer decent day shots. The corners are a bit softer, but not too much as this is normal behavior. Note that the ultraviolet angle camera has a relatively small aperture of f / 2.4 and therefore, the low light performance is on the bad side. Then there’s the 2MP macro camera, which, quite frankly, is just as good as not being considered current. You will have to struggle a lot to get a decent usable image from the macro camera, and after all, it will not be worth it.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro Battery Life
The 5000mAh battery that powers the Narzo 30 Pro can last for just over a day. The supplied charger can top up the battery from zero to 50 percent in 30 minutes and 100 percent in less than 70 minutes. When it comes to patience, you want to keep the display at 60Hz refresh rate. When using the phone at 120Hz, be sure to recharge the battery every night. But thanks to the 30W fast charging, you won’t find yourself in the pinch of power unless you remember to charge your phone every night.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro build and design
Realme Narzo 30 Pro uses a tested and reliable design with a few standout features. The first is a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that sits on the right side of the frame. Unlike other phones with the same features as the Realme X7 Pro, the volume rockers are placed on the left side of the frame. We like this design in part because it makes all the relevant buttons easily accessible. The back of the body uses polycarbonate and a silver finish that looks beautiful to our touch. The matte finish is nice to the touch, though you’ll probably never feel it as the phone will probably stay in the supplied TPU case. In addition, the phone is surprisingly well made, adding a good build quality perception. For the price, there is nothing to complain about and users should expect a decent quality device.
The Realme Narzo 30 Pro is a decent special smartphone if you consider the price point. The choice of MediaTek Dimension 800U processor is definitely going to be a controversial one as you can get a Qualcomm Snapdragon powered smartphone (like Mi10i). The gaming performance of the smartphone is decent and normal, light use such as email, photo taking, listening to music and simple multi-tasking works very smoothly. While cameras feel almost average, low light performance is particularly disappointing. The battery life of the phone is certainly commendable, as long as the display is left at 60Hz, although the availability of 30W fast charging will not discourage you from using 120Hz mode. Overall, the Narzo 30 Pro doesn’t seem like a very inspiring device and instead looks like one that has adopted a “safe” approach.