realme narzo 30A review: Marathon gaming hero

realme narzo 30A review: Marathon gaming hero

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After launching its first smart TV, realme is back with its first phone of the year, the realme narzo 30A. Spelled with a lower case “n”, the narzo series is a relatively new series from the company and was announced around March of last year. If you watched our unboxing, you’ll have seen that from the box alone, the narzo series is already visibly different.

With that quick background out of the way, let’s start talking about the narzo 30A. Positioned as a “limitless gaming monster”, the narzo 30A is equipped with specs and features that are meant to entice mobile gamers like a gaming-focused processor and large battery to name a few.

As a casual mobile gamer myself, it makes me wonder how or if the narzo 30A will perform as a gaming phone and as an all-around device as well. I’m sure you are, too! Let’s get into the review and find out.

Design

We’ve had a lot of interesting designs from realme but the narzo 30A plays a little bit more on the subtle side. It sports a matte plastic back that shows off an interesting new look. Instead of just having a single design, the narzo 30A combines a smooth surface with a visually ridged texture. The diagonal patterns also exhibit a subtle illusion when hit by light and add a little bit of a grip as well.

I found this a nice touch to add a little ‘twist’ to an otherwise plain design especially with this Laser Black color that we have. Personally, I would have gone with the Laser Blue which suits my personality a bit more but the Laser Black is a great pick for those who favor subtlety.

On the back, you’ll find the fingerprint sensor, the rounded square camera module, and a tiny narzo branding just under it. The volume rocker and power button are on the right side and are easy to reach. On the left is the dual-SIM and microSD card tray while the bottom houses the speakers, its USB-C port, and 3.5mm headphone jack.

While I did find the overall design quite pleasing, the phone itself is pretty thick. This is mostly due to the large battery that it’s housing. Luckily, though, the phone itself is not heavy and is easy to hold even during long hours of gaming or watching.

Display and multimedia

Housing a 6.5-inch IPS display, there’s a lot of room to move around the phone. Bezels are still quite visible especially on its chin but it doesn’t hinder performance so it’s easily forgivable. On the top of the display, you’ll find the mini-drop notch where you can find the selfie camera.

The narzo 30A offers a 1600 x 720 resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio. Not the highest screen resolution out there but it’s decent enough for streaming videos online and even while gaming. Images were bright and had good saturation across different apps. Response times are also snappy with taps and presses registering with no delays.

Speakers aren’t the best but they are loud. More importantly, you do get a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can easily remedy this with a good set of headphones. And if you ever plan on streaming your gaming sessions with this phone, you can easily attach an external mic to get better audio.

Cameras

Obviously, the phone is geared more towards gaming and power usage so it’s understandable that it has a pretty basic dual-camera setup. It houses a 13-megapixel AI camera paired with a black and white portrait lens to try and achieve professional-looking shots. There isn’t anything exceptional about the cameras on this phone but performance is more than decent and acceptable in different situations. Check out these sample shots.

I found the cameras perform their best in situations where there’s plenty of light available. Details are present and sharp enough and colors aren’t overly saturated. It does struggle in low-light but realme’s Super Nightscape does make it a little bit better.

Around the front is an 8-megapixel camera which performs as well as the device’s other cameras. You get pretty good cutouts for bokeh and have access to AI beautification features as well.


You’re not getting flagship-level camera performance with this phone but you’re still given capable cameras that are good enough for daily use.

Performance/Gaming

Now onto the part you’ve been waiting for — its performance. The narzo 30A runs on a MediaTek Helio G85 processor and this is one of MediaTek’s gaming-centric chips for mobile devices. This is then partnered with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and runs on realme UI 1.0 based on Android 10.

Now, the company promises that by the third quarter of the year, all narzo 30A units should already be running realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11. So that’s something to look forward to.

With these working hand-in-hand, the narzo 30A was able to handle everyday tasks without breaking a sweat. Browsing social media sites and switching from one app to the other are effortless tasks for the phone.

When it comes to gaming, we ran today’s famous titles like Mobile Legends and League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Asphalt 9. These games ran with no problems on the narzo 30A and everything was smooth apart from some dropped frames once in a while. For some games like Call of Duty, we were able to even set the frame rate to High. As mentioned earlier, its loudspeaker, although just on one side, can provide good volume which is enough for personal consumption.

Another game that many gamers are playing today is Genshin Impact. Though it’s more resource-intensive than other games, you’d be glad to know that it can smoothly run on the narzo 30A — but you’d have to let go of some detail. During my test, the phone is able to run the game in Medium settings although it’s not that enjoyable. Switching to Low settings, however, can provide long periods of game time with only little lags.
Apart from gaming, the processor is also powerful enough to run multiple apps for, say, livestreaming while playing games online. The phone is able to maintain stable connection via WiFi and use its cameras at the same time.

Battery

The realme narzo 30A is equipped with a 6000mAh battery which is responsible for it being chunky.
No worries, though, as chonk isn’t always a bad thing!

And according to realme, it’s not only big in capacity but also long-lasting. With optimization features such as App Quick Freeze and Screen Battery Optimization, the narzo 30A can supposedly last up to 46 days on standby, 27 hours watching YouTube, and up to 10 hours of gaming.

To test its battery I let the phone stream a high-quality video over Wi-Fi with brightness at 50 percent and no audio. The phone was able to last an impressive 19 hours before it finally turned off. On an everyday scenario, it took me about 3 days to fully drain the battery. This involved daily tasks such as social media browsing, replying to emails, and of course, a little bit of gaming here and there.

As for charging, it took us a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes to fully charge the device with the included 18W fast charger. The narzo 30A also features an OTG reverse charge feature so you can use its big battery to power other devices as well.

Creature Feature

As always, in our reviews, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in devices that would make them worth having. Something that would make a certain product stand out from its competition. For the realme narzo 30A, it would have to be its Helio G85 processor paired with a long-lasting battery and an affordable price tag.

With this combination, the phone makes for a decent mobile gaming device without needing to spend a lot. This is a big thing since this way, realme is enabling more Filipinos to get access to capable hardware and reliable software at an affordable price.

Final thoughts and pricing

Although not a gaming phone in the sense that it offers flagship specs to run mobile games, realme is still able to equip the narzo 30A with a processor capable of gaming while keeping its price within reach. And with its long battery life, you can enjoy long gaming sessions without having to worry about needing to plug into a wall socket.

The narzo 30A in 4GB + 64GB storage variant is priced at PhP 6,490. realme will have an initial selling of the narzo 30A today, March 25, after its official livestream launch with PhP 500 off and free shipping exclusively on Lazada until supplies last.

It will also be available during the Lazada Birthday Sale on March 27 at 12 midnight.