Realme Narzo 10 Quick Review: Premium Design, Swift Performance But Underwhelming Display

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Realme Narzo is the new budget smartphone series from the brand for price-conscious consumers in India. The new series introduces two handsets- Narzo 10 and the Narzo 10A with a clear focus on delivering premium design, long-lasting battery life and smooth day-to-day performance. Priced at 11,999 for the lone 4GB + 128GB variant, the Narzo 10 is the first budget smartphone in the Indian market to be powered by the all-new MediaTek Helio G80 gaming focused chipset.

Realme Narzo 10 Quick Review

 

Going by the specifications, the Narzo 10 sits between the Realme 6 and the Realme 5. The premium looking budget smartphone runs on Android 10-based RealmeUI out-of-the-box and flaunts a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display. It is powered by a massive 5,000 mAh battery cell with 18W fast-charging support. We tested the Realme Narzo 10 to see if the new series brings something new or is just an overhyped refresh.

Premium Finish In Sub-15K Price Point

Premium Finish In Sub-15K Price Point

Realme is well-known for doing interesting design experiments to its products and so far the brand has succeeded in its attempts. The same can be said for the new Realme Narzo 10, which is a blend of the Realme 6 and the garlic edition Realme X handset. This intelligent mix of dated design and premium finish transforms the Narzo 10 into a trendy looking budget smartphone. The credit goes to the ‘Garlic Edition' Realme X inspired vertical striped pattern at the back panel, which is pretty capable of drawing attention. The phone's built quality is also pretty solid and more than justifies its price point.

Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot, Type-C Port, 3.5mm Headphone Jack
 

Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot, Type-C Port, 3.5mm Headphone Jack

The dedicated microSD card slot has become synonym to Realme's budget and mid-range smartphones. It might seem like a small feature but adds a big value to the overall user experience in the longer run, especially for users that store gigabytes of multimedia data on their devices. The Narzo 10 offers 128GB onboard storage, which itself is more than sufficient but you always have the option to expand it to 256GB. You can also use two SIM cards at the same time without compromising on storage over connectivity. The Realme Narzo 10 features a Type-C port and a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.

Slightly Disappointing 720p Resolution Display

Slightly Disappointing 720p Resolution Display

The Realme Narzo 10 fails to make an impression in the display department. The smartphone flaunts a 6.5-inches (1600 x 720 pixels) HD+ 20:9 mini-drop screen with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The display has adequate brightness level but the lower resolution and underwhelming pixel density affect the video playback and gameplay performance. Moreover, the panel's touch response is also quite underwhelming. We would recommend spending Rs. 2,000 extra on the Realme 6 for a much better (1080p 90Hz refresh rate) display user experience.

Swift Performance

Swift Performance

The Realme Narzo 10 is the first smartphone in the Indian market to be powered by the new MediaTek Helio G80 chipset. The octa-core SoC incorporates a pair of high-performance Cortex-A75 cores operating up to 2.0GHz and a cluster of six Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz to manage non-demanding tasks. The SoC features Arm Mali-G52 MC2 GPU with max GPU frequency of 950Hz. Realme has paired the CPU with 4GB RAM and 128GB ROM.

On the software side, the Narzo 10 runs on RealmeUI. Based on Android 10, the proprietary user interface offers plenty of customization options and useful software features like Dark mode, App cloner, Split screen, Screen recording, Smart sidebar, etc. There are several pre-installed apps on the device but you have the option to uninstall them anytime.

So far we haven't faced any performance issues on the Narzo 10. The smartphone is powerful enough to smoothly run the most used apps such as Google Chrome, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Popular games like PUBG run at low settings by default but the gameplay offers stable frame rates. The audio performance is rater underwhelming. The Narzo 10 scored 1343 in Sling Shot Extreme- OpenGL and recoded 1330 in Vulkan in 3D Mark test.

Feature-Packed Quad-Lens Camera Setup

Feature-Packed Quad-Lens Camera Setup

The Narzo 10 features a quad-lens rear camera setup. The 48MP primary sensor is paired with an 8MP 119° ultra-wide-angle, a 2MP (4cm) macro lens and a 2MP B&W depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. The camera can record 1080p 30fps videos, slow-motion and time-lapse videos. The easy-to-use camera app offers various filters, Chroma boost mode, and even a dedicated 48MP mode to capture high-resolution images. In a nutshell, the feature-packed quad-camera on this budget smartphone offers a lot to explore if you have a knack for photography.

How’s The Image Quality?

How’s The Image Quality?

Honestly, I don't expect much from budget smartphones when it comes to image and video quality; however, the high-resolution sensors, 48MP in case of the Realme Narzo 10, naturally raise the expectations. That said, the Narzo 10 can capture crisp images and videos when the phone's cameras are subjected to good lighting.

The images and videos show realistic colors and good dynamic range. The noise only kicks in when camera sensors don't have much light to process the shots. The 2MP portrait sensor mostly creates inconsistent bokeh. The 2MP macro lens (4cm) adds little value to the package. The indoor macro shots are full of noise and mostly unusable. You need to feed very good light to the camera sensors for decent macros.

Camera Hardware Could Have Been Implemented Better

Camera Hardware Could Have Been Implemented Better

The highly competitive budget price segment forces smartphone manufacturers to throw in as much as features are possible in the least price point. The quad-lens rear camera setup is a good marketing tag line to appeal masses but it is the real-life performance that matters the most. Instead of the 2MP macro lens that delivers barely usable pictures, the company could have offered a higher-resolution depth sensor for better portraits. A powerful triple-lens camera is any day better than an inconsistent quad-lens rear camera setup.

Big 5,000mAh Battery That Can Last More Than A Day

Big 5,000mAh Battery That Can Last More Than A Day

The Realme Narzo 10 can easily last for a full day even with heavy usage, thanks to the massive 5,000 mAh battery cell and low-resolution display. The big battery is also supported by 18W quick charging and the company ships the 18W fast charger in the box. The charging adaptor can refuel the battery cell from 10 % to 32% in about 30 minutes which is good but not outstanding.

Should You Buy The Realme Narzo 10?

Should You Buy The Realme Narzo 10?

We liked the premium design and robust built quality of the Realme Narzo 10. The smartphone also delivers a long-lasting battery life and swift performance; thanks to the new MediaTek G80 chipset and lag free RealmeUI. However, if display and camera performance are your top priority, the Narzo 10 is not our top pick in the sub-15k price segment.

Selling at Rs. 12,999, the Realme 6 with 1080p 90Hz refresh rate panel, 64MP quad-lens camera and reasonably powerful MediaTek HelioG90T SoC comes across as a far better handset. You can also consider the Poco X2, Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Vivo Z1 if you have a budget of Rs. 15,000.

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