realme narzo 20 Review
realme is finally bringing its new smartphone line to the Philippines, the narzo, and the first model to arrive is the narzo 20. This device is targetting the “Gen-Z” audience looking for a good device for gaming and photography but at a low cost. However, it has a resemblance to the realme C15, which the company also launched in August. But with the MediaTek Helio G85 processor, is the narzo 20 worth buying? Find out in this review.
Design and Construction
The realme narzo 20’s body is comprised of a polycarbonate rear panel that features a textured finish and its new V-design. We like this kind of texture as it repels fingerprints and smudges.
It’s hefty but not uncomfortable. It feels solid and sturdy when gripped, and it rests comfortably in the palm. At the back, you can see its square rear camera module and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner that would’ve been better placed at a lower position.
It’s a tall device with a sizable screen with a mini-drop notch at the center for the front camera. Like most smartphones, it has slim bezels and a pretty thick chin.
Located on the left are the dual-nano SIM tray and the dedicated microSD card slot that can accommodate 256GB capacities.
On the right side sits the power button and volume rockers.
You can find the loudspeaker, USB Type-C port, the primary microphone, and the 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom.
The unit we have sports the Blue Blade color. There’s also a Silver Sword version available. Overall, this design is a lot similar to the realme C15 and C12. There’s nothing really new except for the V-design glare at the back.
Display and Multimedia
Moving onto its display, the narzo 20 gets a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD, with a mini-drop notch at the top. There’s no glass protection mentioned, but it has a pre-installed screen protector.
The screen is sharp and good enough for reading texts, viewing photos, watching videos, and playing games. Viewing angles are decent too. Color temperatures are the only thing that can be customized on the phone’s display, but what we like about it is that the panel does get bright enough, which should come in handy in outdoor use.
Audio-wise, the sound is enough to fill the room; however, it comes out slightly distorted and tinny. The lows are also pretty non-existent. We still highly recommend using earphones for a better listening experience.
The narzo 20 has a total of four cameras. That’s a triple-camera setup at the back consisting of a 48-megapixel f/1.8 main camera along with an 8-megapixel f/2.3 ultra-wide camera and a 4cm f/2.4 macro camera. In its tiny notch, you will find an 8MP front camera.
Checking out the rear camera sample shots, it performs well in daylight. Colors are quite well most of the time, but the detail is a bit rough, and exposures aren’t always reliable. At night, the sensor understandably struggles. Shots looked washed-out, and the contrast looks poor. However, there is a Night Mode, which makes a considerable difference. But don’t expect much from it. For portrait shots, we get some decent subject background separation.
For selfies, it gives you fair color production and clarity. Turning the AI beauty mode on, the skin looks pretty natural when it’s at the recommended setting.
For videos, you can shoot up to 1080p @ 60fps. Video stabilization isn’t present, so recordings will end up looking shaky, so better use a tripod. The details also seem to be muddy.
OS, UI, and Apps
The narzo 20 runs on Android 10 out of the box with Realme UI skinned on top. It comes with an app drawer option and offers both gestures and on-screen buttons for navigation, including an assistive ball.
realme UI features many of its own stock apps, and it has third-party pre-installed apps like Agoda, Lazada, Facebook, and Messenger. It also has new features, such as a dual-mode music share, focus mode, and personal information protection.
Storage-wise, the narzo 20 packs 64GB of storage. Expanding the storage is more than welcome as the narzo 20 has its dedicated microSD card slot. Out of the 64GB of storage, you get 50GB, which is still significant.
Performance and Benchmarks
The narzo 20 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 paired with an ARM Mali-G52 GPU and 4GB of RAM. We tried playing graphics-heavy games such as Asphalt 9 and League of Legends: Wild Rift on it. While gaming, the Helio G85, paired with realme’s gaming mode optimizations, offers a reasonably streamlined gaming experience in a low graphic setting. But take note that the phone does heat up a little.
When it comes to day-to-day tasks like browsing the web and navigating around social media, we didn’t encounter any issues, and the performance is smooth throughout. For biometrics and security, it comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and face unlock. Both work fast and are accurate.
For benchmarks, check out the scores below:
• AnTuTu – 202,580
• Geekbench – 330 (Single-core), 1,298 (Multi-core), 1,151 (OpenCL)
• 3D Mark – 1,401 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1) 1,390 (SSE – Vulkan)
• PC Mark – 5,891 (Work 2.0)
• AndroBench – 313.2 MB/s (Sequential Read), 180.16 MB/s (Sequential Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
The narzo 20 has the basic connectivity features which includes WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/a/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, a set of satnavs, and USB-C.
Battery-wise, a hefty 6,000mAh battery powers the narzo 20. It also supports 18W fast charging that will take up to 2 and a half hours to recharge from 0 – 100%. In the PCMark’s battery test, the battery life was rated 16 hours and 12 minutes, which is great.
Meanwhile, in our standard video loop test, which entails the phone to be in Airplane mode at 50% brightness, 50% volume, and with headphones plugged-in, the device gave us 30 hours and 15 minutes worth of playback.
For the price of PHP 7,490 (4GB + 64GB), the new narzo 20 packs good capabilities at a low price. Comparing it to the realme C15, the narzo 20 packs better performance thanks to the processor, which will benefit gamers. It also has a Type-C port and versatile cameras. The only disadvantage we see here is how it’s almost identical to realme’s previous offerings. However, if you’re thinking of getting a new budget smartphone in this budget, we recommend that you get this one instead.
realme narzo 20 specs:
6.5-inch HD+ Mini-drop fullscreen display
Corning Gorilla Glass
MediaTek Helio G85 2.0GHz octa-core CPU
ARM Mali G52 MC2 GPU
microSD card (dedicated slot)
• 48MP F1.8 main
• 8MP F2.3 ultra-wide
• 4cm F2.4 macro
8MP F2.0 front camera
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/a/ac
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU
Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted)
realme UI 2.0 (Android 10)
6,000mAh battery w/ 18W wired fast charging
164.5 x 75.9 x 9.8 mm
Glory Silver, Victory Blue