Realme’s latest phone, the Narzo 30 Pro is one of the most affordable 5G offerings that one can buy in the Indian market at the moment. While actual 5G connectivity might still be sometime away in India, brands like Realme continue to launch products which are ready for the next generation of mobile connectivity. And with the Realme Narzo 30 Pro, the company is not only offering support for 5G, but also an all-rounder phone at a reasonable price.
Priced at Rs 16,999 in India, Realme Narzo 30 Pro runs the MediaTek Helio 800U 5G processor, which is also powering the more expensive Realme X7 from the brand. But, how does the Realme Narzo 30 Pro perform in real-life? Here’s our review.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro review: What is good, what’s not so good?
The new Realme Narzo series phone has a matte plastic finish design at the back, which you might mistake for metal at first glance. I got the Silver Sword colour variant, which is a very subdued colour and a bit boring. Realme does bundle a case in the box, which you can use to hide the back panel design. There is a Black Sword colour option too, which looks more attractive and is not flashy.
The overall design of the phone is quite similar to the Realme Naro 20 Pro. But this time you get triple rear cameras and a different gradient paint job. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner continues, which is a better placement for unlocking the phone. The volume button is located on the other side of the device and is easily reachable.
This is the first Realme budget phone which has a display with a higher refresh rate of 120Hz. The device automatically selects the refresh rate based on your usage. You do get the option to set it manually. It features a standard 6.5-inch display, which is currently one of the best screen sizes for those who prefer a phone with a big enough display. It is also comfortable for one-hand usage. The FHD+ display renders punchy colours and has good enough sunlight legibility.
The general performance of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro was satisfying and there was no noticeable lag or stutter while navigating the user interface (UI) or browsing content online. The multitasking experience was also good. I got the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model for review.
The gaming on the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G was smooth enough when playing heavy titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and Genshin Impact. Though, there was occasional stutter and lag even at the lowest settings in Genshin Impact. The latter is playable and the graphics settings were set to Low by default, so don’t expect great visual quality. Asphalt 9 ran at Medium settings and the experience was surprisingly pleasing.
Realme has added a single speaker on the bottom, which can offer good enough sound quality. Though you will have to use earphones for bass-heavy tracks and a great stereo sound experience.
The budget phone ships with Android 10, just like the Realme X7 series. While Google is expected to release the first beta version of Android 12 in May, Realme is selling phones with Android 10 OS, which is disappointing. While the company hasn’t revealed the exact release date of Android 11 update, it has at least confirmed that the latest Android OS update for the Realme Narzo 30 series will be released soon.
I was happy to see that one can uninstall most of the unnecessary apps offered by Realme. These include the Realme Community app, Realme Studio, Realme PaySa, Game Space, Soloop app, HeyFun app, and ORoaming app, among others. There are three browser apps on the phone, which you can’t remove.
People who have a lot of photos or videos on the phone will likely be annoyed as you don’t get a bloatware-free phone. I didn’t witness any ads on this phone. But, in case you see any ads, you can change that in the settings.
The Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G offers a typical 5,000mAh battery, which delivered more than a day’s battery life with light usage. This includes social networking and messaging. If you also do heavy gaming for hours, the device will die soon. Realme bundles a 30W charger in the box, instead of a 65W charger that you get with Realme Narzo 20 Pro. The company said that it had to offer a 30W charger to bring down the price of the phone. The provided charger took around 50-55 minutes to top up the battery from zero to 100 percent.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro review: Camera performance
The camera performance of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro is good enough for the price. It features a 48MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.3 aperture and a 2MP macro f/2.4 camera. This time around, Realme hasn’t offered a quad rear camera, which has been one of the key selling points of its phones. Here, you get a triple rear camera setup and a single 16MP selfie camera. You can check out the camera samples in the below album.
The shots taken with the primary camera were detailed, colourful and sharp enough in daylight. Though, some of the 48MP mode photos were too sharp and overexposed. In some scenarios, I had to click a few photos of one scene to get a proper photo with good enough dynamic range. The wide-angle shots are average with washed-out colours. The camera delivered the image with minimal details and sharpness.
The 2MP macro camera is just for show and one shouldn’t expect good results from this. Though, the close-up shots with the primary camera (regular photo mode) were quite impressive with plenty of details and accurate colours. The exposure and sharpness were on point. When you zoom in, you can see each strand and design of the cloth very clearly.
You will mostly be satisfied with portrait shots. When you are clicking a portrait shot, it might seem like the device is adding bokeh effect in the wrong place, but it delivers a surprisingly well-produced shot with proper edge detection and bokeh effect once the image is processed.
The human shots had a decent bokeh effect and I got a nice blurry background with objects as well. The colour reproduction was also on point. One can adjust the blur intensity before taking a shot.
When the sun goes down, you will get decent street shop images, given there is enough light. Additionally, I got slightly brighter results with night mode, but noise was still present, which is somewhat expected from budget phones.
By default, Realme Narzo 30 Pro clicks images in beauty mode and it is better to keep it off, if you don’t want an artificial photo with a white skin tone and cherry red lips. The same was also the case with portrait selfies. You will get good enough shots with effective background blurring in the daytime when the beautification mode is disabled.
Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G: Should you buy?
There are plenty of options available in the Rs 20,000 smartphone segment; however, those are 4G devices and you don’t get 5G support. The Realme Narzo 30 Pro is an all-rounder 5G phone and is a good buy for those budget-conscious users who won’t be able to spend more money on Mi 10i or Realme X7 Pro.
The Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is priced at Rs 16,999 in India. The price might seem a little high in terms of specifications, but you will have to bear the extra cost as the mid-range phone packs a new 5G chipset. As far as real-world usage is concerned, the Realme Narzo 30 Pro is capable of delivering good overall performance and battery life.
If you don’t care about 5G yet, then you can consider buying Realme Narzo 20 Pro or Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, though the Note 10 is also coming soon. There is also Poco X3, which is a mid-range device with great specs. These 4G phones are currently available on Flipkart for less than Rs 15,000 and are some of the best 2020 devices.