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Realme Narzo 30 5G review: 5G support in a familiar package

Realme is focused on bringing 5G phones to more affordable price points. We’ve already seen multiple Realme and Narzo phones under Rs 20,000 that offer 5G support. And now we have yet another Realme phone, the Narzo 30 5G, offering you 5G at an affordable price of Rs 15,999.

Also read: Realme Narzo 30 4G, Narzo 30 5G launched in India: first sale date on Flipkart, launch offers

The Narzo 30 5G uses the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, which has been the popular choice for 5G phones in this price range. Apart from this, the chipset is also known for its reliable performance and power management expertise. So, does the Realme Narzo 30 5G give us enough reasons to recommend this to buyers, or is it just another budget 5G option added to the crowd? I tested the phone for over a week to find out.

Design and display

  • 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.5mm, 185g
  • 6.5-inch LCD FHD+, 90Hz refresh rate, 600 nits brightness

With the Narzo 30 5G, it feels like a repeat of everything we have said about the affordable Realme 8 5G. The design includes a glossy plastic back panel but with racing stripes to for differentiation, along with a square-shaped camera module. The repetitive dose of this package needs to end, and we’re hoping this is the last of it from the brand.

Realme Narzo 30 5G gets a plastic back panel

The screen gets a punch hole cut-out at the top-left and you have main connectivity ports at the bottom. Both the volume rocker and power button sit on the right side, where the latter plays the role of a fingerprint sensor as well.

The fingerprint sensor is built into the power button on the side

Just like the Realme 8 5G, the Narzo 30 5G weighs around 185 grams with thickness of 8.5mm. It appears that the company has used the same materials for both the phones. Talking about the display, you have a 6.5-inch Full HD+ panel with support for a 90Hz refresh rate and 600 nits brightness.

The 90Hz refresh rate is fast and smooth

Realme has again gone with an LCD panel for the screen which offers punchy colours. The overall performance is quite smooth and fast thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate.

Camera

  • Rear: 48-megapixel primary sensor, 2-megapixel macro sensor and 2-megapixel depth sensor
  • Front: 16-megapixel sensor

Apart from the display, the Narzo 30 5G also borrows its camera chops from the Realme 8 5G. As we’ve said before, the phone has a macro and depth sensors, paired along with the primary 48-megapixel shooter. In the front, it has a 16-megapixel selfie camera that supports video recording and video calls.

Talking about the quality of the images, the primary sensor does a good job of capturing the right amount of detail in daylight conditions. The colour output looks balanced but the performance is average, especially for this price range these days. The same goes for the low-light capability of the triple rear camera. The images lack detail, and as long as the sensor gets enough ambient lighting, you get decent snaps. Without it, the images are dull and filled with noise.

As for the selfie camera, the 16-megapixel sensor should ideally deliver better results than what we saw. The images have this pastel-like finish, which tends to override the texture and facial features. Even having light in the background does not come to its rescue. Hopefully, a quick software update can fix the flaws here.

Performance, software and battery

  • Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0
  • MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC
  • 6GB + 128GB
  • 5,000mAh battery, 18W charging

The Narzo 30 5G comes powered by octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset. This SoC you’ve already seen with the Realme 8 5G and the POCO M3 Pro 5G. You get 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage that is further expandable. This chipset offers fitting performance for a mid-range phone, and its ability to handle multi-tasking and daily usage should suffice for most users.

Having 6GB RAM means the phone can function smoothly with multiple apps running in the background. For gaming, you have to contend with average performance settings to get the best from the device and its hardware. The Narzo 30 5G comes with Realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11, and as we have mentioned before, the software still has bloatware. Some of these apps can be uninstalled but a few of the Realme apps stay there even if you don’t like them.

Narzo 30 5G offers reliable performance for daily use

The built-in 5,000mAh battery offers long backup that will easily last you well through a day’s use and more. Having said that, the unit only supports 18W charging, which is a big downgrade from the 30W speeds you get with other devices in the segment these days. Because of this, the large-sized battery takes over two hours to fully charge, which is not ideal.

Bottomline

You have often heard of the phrase ‘old wine in a new bottle.’ But in this case, it feels like Realme is offering the same wine in the same bottle. The company was supposed to use the Narzo series to compete with other brands, but with devices like these, it’s hard to see how that is going to happen. The Narzo 30 5G gets the same display and hardware specs as the Realme 8 5G and POCO M3 Pro 5G, but is available only in a single 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant.

Should you buy the Narzo 30 5G over other phones in this price range?

As a whole, this is a phone that will serve basic users quite well. It’s future-ready too, but you might want to upgrade by the time 5G actually comes to India. The cameras are good in bright conditions but prove average when it comes to low-light photography. Having said that, Realme Narzo 30 5G features a 5,000mAh battery that should easily last you for a day, or even more. The 18W fast charging is a bummer though.

If you need a reliable phone, Realme Narzo 30 5G fits into your budget. But if it comes to getting the best value product, we’d pick the POCO M3 Pro 5G (review) for its unique design. If you can spend another Rs 1,000 then I would suggest considering the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G (review) which offers a more powerful chipset, faster 30W charging and a 120Hz display, among other upgrades.

What works:

  • Smooth, fluid display
  • Reliable performance
  • Long-lasting battery
  • 5G on a budget

What doesn’t:

  • Boring design
  • Average cameras
  • 18W charging speeds are slow for the price range
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