realme narzo 20 Review: Best Gaming Phone Under Php 8K

by John Nieves  November 5, 2020

Verdict: The realme narzo 20 is a great device for people who want to play mobile games without breaking the bank. At just a hair under Php 8K, it delivers the goods in gaming and has the legs to sustain that performance all day.

Unfortunately, the narzo 20’s weird spot in the company’s lineup means that no one should buy the slightly cheaper realme C15 over this one, since you’re getting so much more for just a Php 1K difference in price. 

The realme narzo 20 is priced at Php 7,990.

Pros

  • Powerful processor for the price
  • Very long battery life
  • Very good pricing

Cons

  • Display is mediocre
  • It’s a little thick

realme has officially made its new narzo series of smartphones available to customers in the Philippines. The lineup is spearheaded by the narzo 20, which promises to deliver excellent performance and features at a really aggressive price point that’s hard to ignore.

Design

There’s plenty of overlap when it comes to the design language of realme’s narzo and C series of phones at first glance. That square camera module, for one, feels right at home in the realme C15, as is the fingerprint scanner right beside it.

The narzo 20 does get a whole new textured design for its plastic back, with the ridges forming a “V” when viewed at the right angle. Despite that, the phone looks and feels a lot like the realme C15 – both phones even have the same overall thickness, at 9.8mm.

There are a lot of differences compared to the C series though, with the biggest and most impactful here is the change from a micro USB port to a Type-C port, which allows the phone to use fast charging tech to fill up its big battery (more on this later).

The charging port on the bottom is joined by a 3.5mm jack and a speaker grille. The left side of the phone holds the SIM/microSD card tray.

The phone is thick, but you can still comfortably hold it in your hands and manipulate it one-handed without much issue. The plastic back feels relatively sturdy and should resist normal wear and tear even without a silicon case (which realme doesn’t provide for the phone).

Display

The narzo 20 has a 6.5-inch HD display, much like the realme C15 and its brothers. There’s an 8-megapixel camera embedded in the waterdrop notch at the top, with an f/2.0 aperture.

As for display quality, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. Sunlight legibility is a little iffy as the automatic brightness doesn’t always catch up to the light levels around you.

Colors were middle of the road – not bad, but not that great either, and WideVine DRM certification tops out at L3, which means you’re not getting HD video from sources like Netflix.

That’s really not a big deal for a device like this especially at this price point but it’s something to be aware of going in.

Cameras

The narzo 20 has a better set of cameras compared to the realme C15. You’re getting a higher-resolution 48-megapixel main camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens, a far more useful 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 2-megapixel macro lens.

Obviously, you’re short 1 camera here, but honestly, I’m more than willing to trade a black-and-white sensor for a higher resolution camera here.

Click here to add to cart and check out midnight of November 11.

The bump to a 48-megapixel rear camera is much appreciated, as it delivers better-looking photos compared to the realme C15. They’re not perfect of course – you’re still getting odd exposures in your shots once in a while, and the dynamic range could be better, but they are a big jump in quality VS the realme C15.

There is a Night Mode for the camera, but details suffer depending on how much light there is. Still, it’s useful for getting slightly better photos at night, as long as you take note of its limitations.

Performance and battery

The biggest difference between the narzo 20 VS the C15 is definitely the processor. The phone gets a MediaTek Helio G85 which is a big jump from the MediaTek Helio G35 on the C15. RAM and storage options are pegged at 4GB/64GB respectively, which is the only configuration of the phone you’re getting in the Philippines.

The jump to an Helio G85 processor from the G35 on the C15 is a good move for realme, as it gives the narzo 20 a bit more oomph in everyday use as well as in gaming applications.

Boosting the narzo 20’s gaming chops is the large, 6000mAh battery, as well as its 18W fast charging capabilities, brought about by its USB Type-C connector. While realme’s C series of phones have relatively bigger batteries than what the competition offered, filling them up via the slow, micro-USB port was a pain in the butt. That’s not a problem with the narzo 20. The phone itself has long legs, as far as battery life is concerned, recording a 16 hours and 7 minutes score from 100% to 35% during our punishing battery drain test.

realme’s also put in work trying to get their UI more in line with the traditional Android experience, adding useful features like split-screen game mode, app cloning, kid’s mode, etc. while still trying to look like stock Android. Unfortunately, there’s still quite a fair amount of bloatware that comes pre-installed, taking up precious space in a phone that’s already hurting for storage. To be fair, you can uninstall these apps and remove them to free up space.

Verdict and wrap-up

The narzo 20 is a great addition to realme’s lineup of bang-for-the-buck budget phones, offering great performance and battery life while keeping the price low. It’s just a little perplexing that the brand is introducing a slew of new phones that are priced so incredibly close to one another, which makes it very difficult for a potential customer to choose a phone to suit their needs.

In any case, the narzo 20 is priced at Php 7,990 when it goes on sale on 11/11, though realme is cutting the price of the phone down further to Php 7,490. Click here to add to cart and check out midnight of November 11.

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    If you want to game and have a smaller budget, you can get the lenovo s5 pro 6/64 at only 5,999 thru lazada. It may be from 2018, but as long as you can do what you do on it, it’s good. Qualcomm SD 636, full hd screen, usb with fast charging. Heck, go to versus and compare this narzo to it and it gets beat.