realme narzo 50i Review
realme has been bolstering its mid-tier models sporting specs that can handle gaming and even very good mobile photography. But now for their narzo series, the brand is adding a basic smartphone called realme narzo 50i running Realme UI Go Edition and a large 5000mAh battery with support for reverse charging. Before you buy this phone, you might want to hear us out first. Keep on reading to know more.
Design and Construction
With some resemblance to the narzo 30A, the realme narzo 50i features a polycarbonate back with a cool diagonal stripe textured pattern design. It’s not much of a smudge or dirt magnet, but it can attract some if you have oily or sweaty hands—so we still suggest placing a case on.
It’s slim at 8.9mm, making it pretty comfortable to grip and easy to slip into pockets. The unit we have is in the Carbon Black color, but it’s also available in Mint Green.
Its camera module looks seamless with a not-so-protruding bump that packs its single main rear camera, LED flash, and some realme narzo branding. There’s no fingerprint scanner here (or even on the side), but looking closely at the bottom, it’s where the main loudspeaker is located. I don’t have many complaints about it since it refrains me from covering the speaker when playing games.
Upfront, we get 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with sizeable bezels and a slightly thicker chin part. The notch part tho is quite outdated with a mini drop notch in the upper middle, that’s right below the earpiece. Unfortunately, if this notch bothers you, there’s no option to hide with a black bar in the settings. Meanwhile, for protection, there’s already a screen protector pre-installed.
Located on the right are the power trigger and the volume rocker.
Then alone on the left is its triple card slot for two nano-SIM cards and a dedicated microSD card for up to 256GB.
There’s nothing on top, but at the bottom, there’s the headphone port, two microphones, and, yes, an outdated MicroUSB port.
Display and Multimedia
When it comes to the display, the narzo 50i features a 6.5-inch IPS LCD screen with a 1600 x 720px resolution and a pixel density of 270ppi. The display is quite big for a low-cost smartphone which is good.
Its outdoor visibility isn’t that great, but it is good enough for indoor use with still producing boosted colors and decent sharpness.
In the display settings, there are a few things you can tweak around such as switching to a system-wide dark theme, increasing the contrast, and personalizing your preferred colors.
Audio-wise sounds mainly come out from its rear loudspeaker and the quality is respectable enough for day-to-day use, however, like most phones in its range, don’t expect any bass present. We still highly recommend using earphones for a better listening experience.
For the cameras, we get a single 8MP shooter at the back and a 5MP front camera on its notch.
Photos that were taken with the rear cameras often look sharp and clear, yet can have some tendencies to look washed at times, so we suggest taking multiple shots. The dynamic range can also be a hit or miss and it can have some tendencies to make greens look unnatural.
It doesn’t perform very well under low light conditions as we get washed or noisy shots.
As for selfies, we get decent outputs with vibrant colors and good details. There’s some slight skin smoothening going on even when you’re not using beauty mode, but it’s fine. I do suggest taking more than one shot as well since some selfies can look pale.
When it comes to videos, you can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps and the quality is pretty good under well-lit scenarios. It doesn’t have some stabilization though.
OS, UI, and Apps
Talk about software, the device runs on Android 11 skinned with realme UI Go Edition. Unlike a highly customizable realme UI 2.0, this Go Edition resembles a Stock Android interface more, so it can be easier for new users to navigate and adapt to the UI.
There’s not much bloatware and pre-installed apps included right out of the box, except of course for Google apps, Facebook, Messenger, and Agoda. As for navigation, you can use the casual home screen buttons or through the more modern gestures. However, when it comes to the home screen drawer, there’s no option to opt for a simpler version. Well, this interface already looks clean anyway.
Out of the 64GB of storage, we get a usable 54GB, which is still significant. Plus, expanding the storage is more than welcome with its dedicated microSD card slot.
Performance and Benchmarks
Moving on to performance, the narzo 50i packs a decent Unisoc SC9830A processor that’s paired with an IMG 8322 GPU and 4GB of RAM. With this chipset, multitasking and playing heavy graphic games will be challenging. Do expect some delay when switching through apps or sometimes when scrolling through social media so it would be best to keep the device optimized. Nonetheless, it should be super fine for watching videos.
If you are interested in numbers, here are the benchmark scores that we got:
- AnTuTu v9.2.1 – 87,279
- AnTuTu v9.1.7 Storage Test – 6,722 (263 MB/s Seq. Read, 70.9 MB/s Seq. Write)
- Geekbench 5 – 126 (Single-Core), 469 (Multi-Core)
- PCMark – 4,453 (Work 3.0)
- 3D Mark – 447 (SSE OpenGL 3.1)
- AndroBench – 268.42 MB/s Seq. Read, 193.1 MB/s Seq. Write
Quickly on security, with the absence of a physical fingerprint scanner, you can only unlock the phone via the standard input pin or through facial recognition, which isn’t the fastest but still nice to have.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Connectivity-wise, it comes with the usual features such as Dual-SIM, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, and screencast.
So one of the highlight features of this phone is its whopping 5,000mAh battery with support for reverse charging. I’m not really sure if you’ll use the reverse charging tech much but it’s there just in case.
When we ran it through the PCMark’s Work 3.0 battery test we got a result of 7 hours and 10 minutes. On the other hand, in our Standard Video Loop Test, it yielded a complete 8 hours and 45 minutes, that’s honestly lower than what we expected, but we can assure you that this phone can last you up to two days if you’re not a heavy user. If you want to extend the battery even further, then you can turn on the ultra-saving mode in the settings, and it will switch the narzo 50i to a complete feature phone.
As far as charging is concerned, it can take some time as there’s no fast charging support here. Expect 2 to 2 and a half hours from 0 to 100%.
Finally, let’s talk about the price. The realme narzo 50i has an SRP of PHP6,290, and locally we can only get the 4GB+64GB variant.
You might think that this is a good enough device for those who don’t really need a powerful smartphone, yet something that can last you more than a day. And the realme narzo 50i is “pwede na” for that matter. However, if you’re willing to shed a little extra cash, realme offers better options like the realme narzo 50A or the realme 8i. But mostly, if you’re into that Stock Android experience, then that’s what sets this narzo 50i from other smartphones in its range.
realme narzo 50i specs:
6.5-inch HD+ (1600 x 720) display
Unisoc SC9830A SoC w/ 1.6GHz octa-core CPU
IMG 8322 GPU
4GB LPDDR4x RAM
microSD card slot (dedicated)
8MP F2.0 rear camera
5MP F2.2 front camera
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
3.5mm headphone jack
Fingerprint scanner (rear)
realme UI Go Edition (Android 11)
5,000mAh batttery w/ reverse charging
165.2 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm
Mint Green, Carbon Black
With inputs from AJ Viray