Realme Narzo Pro 5G Review: This is the most affordable 5G smartphone in India, but it has lots to offer.
Even though 5G is not yet available in India, budget 5G smartphones are very popular. Yet, we see brands launching 5G products by the dozen. Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G launched on February 24th. It was a trickle at first, but it will grow steadily in 2021.
We already have a few really good smartphones below Rs. There are 30,000 ready to go for the next-generation, high-speed network.
Manufacturers are competing to offer the most affordable 5G smartphone. For now, Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is the clear winner.
The starting price is Rs. It is currently the most affordable 5G phone in India at Rs. 16,999. This smartphone is packed with features, including a high-resolution display, fast charging, and a powerful SoC.
We are now going to determine if this is a worthwhile upgrade over the Narzo 20 Pro (Review), and how much it offers in value.
Realme Narzo Pro 5G Prices and Variants
You get for Rs. 16,999, you get 6GB RAM and 64GB storage in the base Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G. The more expensive variant is priced at Rs. You get 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for Rs. 19,999. This is the variant I will be reviewing. Both versions offer LPDDR4X RAM, and UFS2.1 type storage.
Realme Narzo Pro 5G Design
I’ve already talked about the design in my initial impressions piece. My opinion hasn’t changed much even after using it for a week. It weighs in at 194g, but the all-plastic body has been very durable. The ergonomics are excellent and it doesn’t feel heavy. It looks great in the Blade Silver color I have. However, it hides fingerprints well.
The fingerprint sensor mounted on the side works well. To unlock your phone, all you need is one quick tap. Facial recognition is also quick. You can feel the tactile feedback and all the buttons are within reach.
The display is also very attractive to me. It’s large and bright. It is a full-HD+ LCD panel measuring 6.5 inches with excellent colour saturation and brightness. Although I would prefer an AMOLED panel on a Pro model, I believe the 120Hz refresh rate more than makes up for it.
Realme claims that the default setting of ‘Auto’ is set at 90Hz. The display actually runs at 120Hz. To get the best effect, you will need to manually adjust the refresh rate to 120Hz. This is okay since the refresh rate will automatically adapt to the screen and switch between 120Hz and 90Hz.
Realme Narzo Pro 5G Specifications, Software
Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G runs the MediaTek Dimensity800U SoC. It has a built in 5G modem and is very powerful. Realme’s own X7 smartphone (Review), also has this feature. It is priced exactly the same price as the Narzo 30 Pro 5G variant that I am testing. Later, we’ll discuss the value prospects of both phones.
The hybrid SIM slot allows you to expand the internal storage on the Narzo 30 Pro 5G, but it means that you have to give up the option of using a second SIM card. Dual-band Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 5.1 and the standard suite sensors are available.
There is also support for multiple satellite navigation systems. Realme claims it can withstand light splashes of liquid, but there is no NFC or official IP rating.
The software on the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G’s software is somewhat disappointing. It is still Android 10 and not 11 as many other phones offer. This is not a major issue as it will soon be among the first to receive the Realme UI 2.0 update, which is based upon Android 11. It’s still very functional, and I have no complaints.
You have many options, gestures, and shortcuts to personalize your phone’s experience. You can disable some pre-loaded apps from cluttering your notification area with alerts or uninstall the majority of them.
Realme Narzo Pro 5G Performance & Battery Life
The Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G’s performance has been very solid in my short testing. The Dimensity 800U SoC is powerful and can handle multitasking and demanding tasks like gaming very well.
Except for gaming, which can cause the phone to get a little warm, I didn’t notice any heating issues. High refresh rates make the interface feel snappy and it is easy to scroll through any system menu or app. It is easy to read content under direct sunlight thanks to its excellent legibility.
The speaker at the bottom of the speaker is very loud. Dolby Atmos is permanently activated for this loud speaker. The sound quality is excellent, but don’t expect surround sound from this speaker. It’s a great device for watching TV and movies thanks to the vivid colors. Call of Duty: Mobile, among others, ran smoothly with very manageable framerates.
The Narzo 30 Pro 5G is a reliable smartphone that can be used every day. The experience is very familiar. Although 5G is a new feature for phones this price, Indian 5G networks aren’t yet commercially available in India. I was unable to test it.
We now come to the battery life. This is also a solid feature. Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G has a 5,000mAh battery that can easily last for more than one day of heavy to moderate usage.
This phone supports fast charging with 30W Dart Charge (30W) which is a significant improvement over the 65W charging of the Nazro 20, Pro. However, it does the job. The battery takes about an hour to fully charge, but it is still quite quick. Our battery loop test showed that the phone lasted just shy 17 hours, which is a positive sign.
Realme Narzo Pro 5G Cameras
Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G cameras are standard equipment. There is a 48-megapixel primary camera, an ultra-wide 8-megapixel camera and a macro 2-megapixel camera. The front has a 16-megapixel self-icam.
The rear cameras are the best, so you will most likely use the primary camera for most of your shots. It’s the most capable. Although the ultra-wide camera is useful, it should be left alone in low-light situations.
The main camera captures landscape images with good detail and colours during the day. The AI scene enhancer can boost colours when it detects foliage or the sky. If you prefer natural colour tones, leave it off.
Close-ups are very detailed and have a smooth background bokeh effect. While still images can only be zoomed in at 10x, you can crop your subject using a native 48-megapixel image. This will generally produce slightly better results.
All of the standard shooting modes we have seen on previous Realme phones, including Pano, Expert, Slomo, Pano and Portrait are available. The macro camera isn’t great, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless absolutely necessary.
Low-light performance was a little lacking for landscape shots. Even without magnifying, the lack of detail is evident in the photos. Close-ups perform slightly better, provided that there is sufficient light. While night mode can improve the exposure, it doesn’t help with details.
If you are shooting outdoors in bright sunlight, the selfie camera will work well. The camera handles details and exposure well, and the skin smoothening default setting isn’t too harsh. If you use the screen flash and shoot in low light, skin tones can be a bit confusing. This could have been a lot better.
The autofocus system of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is very good for video. As long as there is enough light around the subject, it works well. The daytime video quality is acceptable, but not exceptional.
The stabilization works at 4K or 1080p 30fps, but there is visible jitter in footage. The ultra-wide camera doesn’t provide any stabilization. Unfortunately, low-light video quality can be quite poor. The quality of the footage is usually grainy, and the details are not as good as average.
The Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G from Realme is a competent all-rounder and a slight upgrade to the Narzo 20 Pro. Its weak low-light performance is its greatest problem, along with other minor niggles. However, it has quite a few redeeming aspects. You should definitely consider the base model at Rs. This is a very affordable price.
It is not as expensive as the top-end variant, but it can compete with other 5G smartphones that are in the Rs. The price range is between 20,000 and 30,000. Realme’s X7 is priced at the same as the Narzo 30 Pro 5G, and features the same MediaTek 5G SoC.
The Realme X7 (Review), while it lacks a high-resolution display and a comparable battery capacity, makes up for it by having an AMOLED screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor and 50W fast charging.
It also has a slimmer, lighter design. The Xiaomi Mi 10i (Review) offers better features than the Narzo 30 Pro 5G, but costs a little more. Bottom line: I recommend the base version if you are considering the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G.
Also read: Realme Narzo 20 Review