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realme narzo 30A Review: Deja Vu

by Duey Guison  March 25, 2021

Review Verdict: In all honesty, there’s not much difference with the realme narzo 30A when compared to last year’s narzo 20. Practically everything is the same save for a different back panel design and the cameras, with the only difference being a more conventional (and cheaper to produce) dual-camera setup to make it a little bit more affordable than the narzo 20. 

If you missed out on the narzo 20 and prioritize gaming performance on a tight budget, the narzo 30A serves as a good alternative.

realme narzo 30A Specs:

  • Helio G85 processor
  • 4GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 6.5-inch HD+ IPS display
  • 13-megapixel f/2.2 main camera with PDAF, 2-megapixel f/2.4 mono camera
  • 8-megapixel f/2.0 selfie camera
  • 4G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 6000mAh battery
  • 18w fast charging
  • Android 11, realme UI 2.0

Pros

  • Great processor choice for gaming
  • Large battery with fast charging speeds

Cons

  • Basic cameras
  • All too familiar display

As a middle child between realme’s entry-level C series and mainstream numbered series, the narzo line aims to offer the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, anyone who missed out on the earlier narzo 20 never had another chance to buy realme’s new budget wunderkind, which partially explains why the narzo 30A exists.

It’s essentially the same as the narzo 20 save for the cameras, and more importantly, the lower price tag. Should you buy the narzo 30A if you missed out on the narzo 20?

Design

The narzo 30A combines the design language of both the narzo 20 and 6i: you get the same square camera bump (though this time you only get two cameras), fingerprint scanner location, and frosted finish on the upper part of the narzo 30A’s back, and a variation of the realme 6i‘s Rimowa-like pattern for the bottom part of the back panel.

The port and button layout are the same with the narzo 20: USB-C, 3.5mm jack, and loudspeaker at the bottom, power and volume control buttons on the right side, and SIM tray on the left side. Because you have a huge 6000mAh battery inside, the narzo 30A is a little thick. Despite being hefty, it is nonetheless comfortable to use with one hand. One advantage to the narzo 30A’s thickness is that you get a negligible camera bump – a plus if you prefer using the phone without a case.

Display

Like the narzo 20, you also get a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS panel on the narzo 30A. It is also the same one used on the realme C15 and its related siblings. Aside from the display panel used, you also get the same dewdrop notch that houses an 8-megapixel f/2.0 selfie snapper.

Like what we mentioned in our review of the narzo 20 and the C15, the display itself is neither good nor bad. Colors are average at best, and sunlight legibility can be inconsistent since its automatic brightness does not catch up with the light levels around you consistently.

Since you are only getting an HD+ display and WideVine L3, watching Netflix shows is limited to HD, so that’s something that you might need to consider with this budget phone.

Camera

The narzo 30A keeps things simple in the camera department as you only get two snappers: a 13-megapixel f/2.2 main camera and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 mono camera.

While photos shot in daylight are generally acceptable for social media posting, the narzo 30A struggles when it comes to low light. Aside from the low-resolution sensor, having a narrower aperture also contributes to the narzo 30A’s struggle when it comes to low-light shooting. Those who plan to get the narzo 30A should manage their expectations when it comes to camera performance, especially since its main focus is on gaming.

Since it has the same 8-megapixel selfie snapper found on the narzo 20 and C15: it can shoot decent selfies in general, as long as you don’t deal with mixed lighting conditions.

Performance, Software, Battery

The narzo 30A borrows the same set of internals found on the narzo 20: Helio G85 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage. When it comes to performance, the Helio G85 delivers the goods: it has enough oomph to go against a phone with a Snapdragon 662 or Snapdragon 460 processor in Geekbench 5 single-core and multi-core tests.

Without a doubt, the narzo 30A is an ace in the gaming department. Based on the results we obtained from GameBench, it manages to deliver the highest FPS possible in most popular games while attaining at least 85% overall stability using the recommended settings.

It is possible to push some games with higher graphics settings, though you should be aware of a compromise in FPS stability.

That being said, the narzo 30A can handle heavy games like Genshin Impact with the recommended settings. Be aware, however, that some games can eat a lot of storage space–Genshin for one needs around 10GB. There’s no official workaround yet to install apps through a MicroSD card, so you might need to plan out which games you intend to install on the narzo 30A’s 64GB internal storage.

Like the narzo 20, the narzo 30A boasts of a beefy 6000mAh battery that has support for 18w USB-C charging. The large battery ensures you good battery endurance especially with those long gaming sessions, and the fast charging speeds let you top up that huge cell as fast as possible.

With our battery test, the narzo 30A lasted close to 20 hours, which translates to around two days’ of battery life with moderate use.

Wrap-up and conclusions

With the strong positive feedback on the narzo 20 last year that led it to be sold out in Lazada quickly, our review of the realme narzo 30A shows that the brand is giving a second chance to those who missed on their budget wonder last year. While the cameras are not as stellar, the narzo 30A sticks to its budget gaming phone reputation by having the same set of internals found on the narzo 20–from the processing package, RAM/storage combo, down to the huge 6000mAh battery with a decent 18w wired charging solution.

realme narzo 30A Full Review Price Philippines

The narzo 30A is priced at Php 6,490 for the lone 4GB/64GB variant. It will be available at Php 500 less for Php 5,990 on March 25 after the live stream launch and on March 27 exclusively at Lazada.

Comments (3)

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    Realme always providing mediocre displays. Stuck at HD/HD+. Why would you buy this when there are tons of options out there with better displays and camera.

    I just bought the Redmi Note 9 4/128gb during the Mi Fan Festival. It has been more than 6 months since the RN9 has been released, but it still beats this newly launched Narzo 30A. RN9 = Splash proof, has better cameras, gorilla glass, better fhd display. The only advantage Narzo has is the 6000mah lol.

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