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Realme Narzo 30 Pro Review: Is the most affordable 5G device also the best smartphone under Rs 20,000 in India?

Does the Realme Narzo 30 Pro have the firepower to be the best smartphone under Rs 20,000? Here is our Realme Narzo 30 Pro review

March 03, 2021 / 06:05 PM IST
Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G price in India is set between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000. This particular price segment is heavily-crowded with the likes of the Poco X3, Redmi Note 10 Pro, Samsung Galaxy M31s, and Realme’s own Realme X7 5G, and Realme 7 Pro. Each smartphone in this price segment is fighting for the title of the best smartphone under Rs 20,000 in India. The USP of Realme Narzo 30 Pro is the title of the most affordable 5G smartphone in India. However, 5G is months, if not years away from its official rollout in India. Does the Realme Narzo 30 Pro have the firepower to be the best smartphone under Rs 20,000? Let's find out in our Realme Narzo 30 Pro review

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G Review

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G takes the crown away from the company’s recently-launched Realme X7 5G. The price difference between the two phones of Rs 3,000 also means that some corners have been cut. For example, the Narzo 30 Pro comes with a 120Hz IPS LCD instead of an AMOLED. There is also lesser internal storage and a lower resolution primary camera. To start with, let’s dive into the design and display of the Narzo 30 Pro 5G.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G Review: Design and Display

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

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To get the title of the most affordable 5G smartphone in India, Realme launched the Narzo 30 Pro 5G with a polycarbonate back. And that is not a bad thing if you ask me. The use of plastic back has helped limit the weight to 194 grams. It has a frosted finish on the back with the shine of the Blade Silver colour while keeping fingerprints away. The back is slightly slippery though and I would recommend using a phone case for better grip. Otherwise, the phone’s 20:9 aspect ratio and curved back do help in adding to the overall grip. 

The rear panel also sports a triple-camera setup with a 48MP primary camera inside the rectangular module. We will get to the camera performance in the latter part of our Narzo 30 Pro review.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

At the front is a 6.5-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD. Despite being an LCD, the Narzo 30 Pro 5G’s FHD+ display offers punchy colours and viewing angles. It is plenty bright at 600 nits and we did not experience any issue even in outdoor conditions. The ambient sensor, however, lowered the brightness level to its lowest at times and I had to adjust it through the control centre. 

There is also a 120Hz refresh rate support. You can choose to set the display at 60Hz or Auto-select where the phone switches between refresh rates depending on the content. We set the display at 120Hz all the time and did not notice any lag or stutter. More on the performance bit later in this review.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

The screen has narrow bezels, except the reasonably-thick chin. The power button doubles as a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It is among the fastest to unlock the device. You also get face to unlock as an alternative. On the left are the volume keys.

The bottom edge houses the USB Type-C port sandwiched between the 3.5mm headphone jack and the single speaker grille. The speaker, although loud, crackled at full volume. You are likely to get the best audio output at around 70 percent volume.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G Review: Performance and Software

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde) Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

The Narzo 30 Pro 5G packs some solid hardware for the price. It has a MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC that comes with 5G network support. Unfortunately, there is no way to test the connectivity as 5G is yet to officially roll out in India. Keeping that aside, it is safe to say that the phone performs well when you perform day to day tasks. Our use case included playing Call of Duty Mobile, watching YouTube videos, attending Zoom video calls, scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, etc. RAM management is quite good on our 8GB RAM variant as none of the apps froze or restarted when we went back.

When it comes to gaming, Call of Duty ran on a Medium frame rate and graphics at best. We did not notice any lag or stuttering while playing the game during our Realme Narzo 30 Pro review. However, there were frame drops while playing Genshin Impact. The smartphone did not heat up as much and felt warm to the touch after playing the graphics-heavy games for nearly 45 mins.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

What is a bummer here though is the software version. Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G boots Android 10-based Realme UI out of the box. Android 12 rollout is a few months away and Realme could have updated the Narzo 30 Pro with Android 11 out of the box. The device is confirmed to get the Realme UI 2.0 update very soon. As of the current software version, there is minimum bloatware and the software overall feels very clean. There are a bunch of Realme apps, some of which you can uninstall upon setup.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

Realme UI comes with a few handy customisation options like Smart Sidebar which you can summon to launch tools or apps quickly. You can also edit the sidebar and include apps of your choice.

Battery life on the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is also excellent. The 5000 mAh battery often gave an SoT of nearly 7-8 hours. It comes with 30W fast charging to charge the phone within an hour.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G Review: Camera

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

The Narzo 30 Pro 5G comes with a triple-camera setup on the back. It has a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. The main camera clicks details shots in daylight. The colours are overall close to real and the dynamic range is decent for the price. For some odd reason, the software often boosted the reds in the samples while maintaining the saturation of the greens and blues. There is night mode for better lowlight performance. It, however, fails to remove the noise while bumping up the exposure. The highlights in some samples were overblown while shadows lacked details.

The 8MP ultrawide lens still good quality images. The colour temperature is the same as the main camera. However, do not expect the same amount of detail. There is also distortion around the edges, which is common for most ultrawide lenses.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde) Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

For selfies, there is a 16MP front camera inside the punch-hole cutout. The main camera clicks good quality selfies. The skin tone, however, does not match and there is a slight amount of smoothening. This is despite disabling beauty mode. Portrait mode is excellent at edge detection but bumps up the overall exposure. Check the camera samples shot during the Realme Narzo 30 Pro review in the Flickr slideshow below.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G photos

Verdict

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G’s USP is that it is the most affordable 5G smartphone currently in India. However, it should not be the primary reason for you to buy the device as India is month’s away from the official 5G rollout.

Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Image: Pranav Hegde)

You should buy the Realme Narzo 30 Pro if you are looking for a budget smartphone that offers excellent performance while playing games. The phone’s 120Hz LCD is among the best in the price range. In case you are looking for an AMOLED screen, there are quite a few options at a slightly higher price. One of them is the Realme X7 5G. You can also check the upcoming Redmi Note 10 Pro, which will come with a Super AMOLED panel. The device also offers great battery life. It would have been a cherry on top if they provided support for a 65W fast charger that was found on the Realme Narzo 20 Pro (Review) and the Realme 7 Pro (Review).

My only complaint about the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is its average, inconsistent camera performance and software version. The company should have rolled out the device on Android 11 out of the box, instead of making users wait for months to get the Android 11 update when Android 12 is around the corner.

If these complaints do not bother you, the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G is among the best 5G smartphones under Rs 20,000 in India.
Pranav Hegde
first published: Mar 3, 2021 06:05 pm

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