With smartphone manufacturers looking to woo buyers with 5G-enabled devices, we're seeing this feature used as a differentiator at lower and lower price points. However, the easiest way to add 5G support without raising prices is to cut a few corners, and this appears to be the path that Realme has chosen with its latest smartphone, the Narzo 30 5G.
The Narzo 30 5G is the second smartphone in Realme's Narzo series to offer 5G. It is also the most affordable 5G smartphone from Realme to date with a price tag of Rs. 15,999. Unlike the Narzo 20 series, which consisted of two models (Narzo 20 and Narzo 20 Pro), the Narzo 30 series now spans across the entry-level Narzo 30A (Review), the budget Narzo 30 (the 4G model), the Narzo 30 5G which we have with us today, and the Narzo 30 Pro 5G (Review).
Realme's Narzo 30 5G is based on MediaTek's Dimensity 700 processor, which has two high-performance 2.2GHz Cortex-A76 cores and six power-efficient 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 cores, while the graphics are handled by an integrated Mali-G57 GPU. The Narzo 30 5G is available in a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which is priced at Rs. 15,999. The phone offers expandable storage by up to 1TB using the dedicated microSD card slot. As for 5G, the Narzo 30 5G supports several bands (NSA: n77/78/41 + SA: n1/n28A/n41/n78) and also offers dual 5G standby on both SIMs.
At 185g, the Narzo 30 5G feels light for a smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery. It's also comfortable to hold with a proper grip thanks to the defined edges around the frame.
The Narzo 30 5G's frame might look like it's made out of metal, but it's made of plastic. The shiny plastic back panel attracts dust and also picks up fingerprints. It also flexes when pressed down on. This smartphone is available in two colour options: Racing Silver and Racing Blue. The rear finish looks quite dynamic with a reflective off-centre stripe passing through the camera module.
The display offers the biggest upgrade over the Narzo 20. The 6.5-inch screen on this new model sports an fHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate along with a 180Hz touch sampling rate, which should help when playing games. There is a single speaker that sits at the bottom, alongside the primary mic, the Type-C USB port, and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Unlike the Narzo 20, which has a 6,000mAh battery and 18W charging, the Narzo 30 5G gets a 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W charging. This is a bit odd, but understandable.
The triple-camera setup on the Narzo 30 5G includes a 48-megapixel f/1.8 aperture primary camera, a 2-megapixel B/W portrait camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera from the Narzo 20 gets booted out, but the front-facing camera gets upgraded from an 8-megapixel sensor to a 16-megapixel one.
The Realme Narzo 30 5G will compete with the recently launched Poco M3 Pro 5G (Review), which offers similar specifications and the same Dimensity 700 processor, but is priced at Rs. 13,999 for the base 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant. Another very similar smartphone is the Realme 8 5G. It offers nearly identical hardware but there are different combinations of RAM and storage. We will have to test the cameras and the performance of the Narzo 30 5G to get to an accurate conclusion about whether it makes better sense than the Poco M3 Pro 5G or the Realme 8 5G, so stay tuned for our full review, which should be out soon.