Realme Narzo 20 Summary

More Realme phones are popping up in the market with each passing day. To bridge the ever-growing divide between the budget and mid-range smartphone segment, Realme had unveiled the Narzo series earlier this year. The first phones under this new lineup were the Nazro 10 (review) series which were placed squarely between the signature Realme 6 (review) and the affordable Realme C3 (review). Now the company has revealed three new devices under the Narzo 20 series in the form of the Narzo 20, 20 Pro, and 20A. 

Realme Narzo 20: Design

It almost looked like I was seeing the Realme C15 when I first laid eyes on the Narzo 20. The latter had the same plastic finish with a bit of a weathered, rough feel rather than the glossy look that post most phones go for these days. In my hand the Narzo felt thick and had a lot of weight to it due to the big battery inside, similar to the C15. On the front, there was the waterdrop notch along with big bezels on all sides and I could see that the physical fingerprint sensor was present at the same spot near the top half of the back in both phones.

Realme Narzo 20: Display

As for the display, the Narzo 20 packs in the same 6.5-inch HD+ (720 x 1,600) IPS LCD panel that is also present on the Realme C15. The aspect ratio is 20:9 and Realme has said that the display is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for durability. For more screen real estate the Narzo 20, like the Realme C15, employs a waterdrop notch. However, there are chunky bezels on all sides and especially at the bottom which does make viewing content slightly less appealing. There’s no high screen refresh rate at this price point, although I expect this to be resolved by next year.

Of course, I would’ve liked FHD+ resolution which some phones from Xiaomi do provide at a lower price such as the Redmi 9 Prime (review). As a whole, the colour accuracy and viewing angles are slightly off on account of the panel being an LCD but brightness levels are quite sufficient. Colour temperatures are on the only thing that can be customised on the phone’s display along with the usual Dark Mode and Blue Light filter toggle. 

Realme Narzo 20: Performance

Realme is continuing its partnership with MediaTek on almost all of its budget phones. On the Narzo 20, you will be getting the MediaTek Helio G85 which is much better than the G35 seen on the Realme C15. The G85 uses two high-performance Cortex A75 cores along with six Cortex A55 cores while the G35 uses eight Cortex A53 cores clocked at 2.3GHz. There is a significant jump in performance with the Narzo 20 giving you an edge in multi-tasking or even general browsing when compared to the Realme C15. While benchmarks will not paint the whole picture, it certainly is showing a big gap in processing prowess between both phones. On Antutu and Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests the Narzo 20 dropped scores of 204,495; 353 and 1,282 respectively. The same scores for the Realme C15 are 112,822, 168 and 977. It is fair to say that if it is the ability to do daily tasks fast and effectively, then between the two phones, the Narzo 20 is a no brainer.

While it won’t be a good idea to try out high-end 3D games such as Call of Duty Mobile on a budget phone, the Narzo 20 actually does a pretty good job of it. The game will not allow you to run at maximum graphics and frame rate settings, but you can achieve the Very High frame rate option keeping graphic quality at low. The phone does heat up a little, but on the whole, it can keep a constant frame rate for a long time. 

In short, gaming will not be a burden on the device as long as the graphics are set moderately low, which is quite a big deal in budget-oriented phones. You also get more RAM than the C15 at 4GB along with 64GB of internal storage that can go up to 256GB using a microSD card. Authentication on the phone is done via the fingerprint sensor which is capacitive and opens the phone up instantly. Face unlock method should be avoided not just because it is not safe but face detection is quite poor. Call, microphone and speaker quality matched my expectations.

Realme Narzo 20: Camera

The Realme Narzo 20 makes use of a 48MP primary sensor which is part of a triple-camera setup. Other sensors on the device include an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. I’m happy that Realme has not included a few other sensors such as a depth lens or a B&W lens for the sake of portraying a quad-camera setup like the Realme C15. Also, the Narzo 20 does take fairly nice shots for its price.

Also since the phone uses pixel binning to get you high-res 12MP shots, you can opt for the UHD 48MP mode to get in even more detail. Again this detail will not be readily apparent on a mobile screen. At night the sensor understandably struggles. While a few of the misgivings are more-or-less rectified by the dedicated Night mode, you are bound to get substantial noise in your shots. Night photography still remains a weak point on many budget and mid-range smartphones, but it is quite impressive how improved it is now compared to just a couple of years back. 

The ultra-wide lens is standard and has a 119-degree field of view which makes sense when capturing a wide landscape or if you want to fit more in the frame. There will be the usual distortions at the edges of the frame and detailing is going to be off owing to the low resolution of the sensor. As for the macro sensor, it serves as an accessory to the camera system with passable shots only in bright lighting. On the front is a single 8MP selfie shooter which will click decent shots and has features such as AI beauty, portrait mode, HDR, and more. As with the case on the rear shooters, the front camera functions well in light but quality tanks in low-lighting conditions although it is nice to see the night mode be a part of the front camera as well.

Realme Narzo 20: Battery

For most users of budget phones, the most important factor in determining a good phone is to see how long it can last before you have to juice it up. The Narzo 20 packs in a big 6,000mAh power cell, something that quite a few phones in adjacent price range are implementing. With such a big cell and not a lot of processing nor a high screen refresh rate to contend with, you are easily looking at a more than a one-day battery life with normal usage and two days on slightly restricted usage. This does not include heavy gaming which will reduce the battery life considerably. Like with the Realme C15, the Narzo 20 also has 18W fast charging that will take up to 2 hours and 30 minutes to completely recharge from 0 – 100 percent. Overall, the device is a wholesome battery powerhouse which should fulfil your basic smartphone needs for the better part of two days.

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Realme Narzo 20 Full Specifications

  • Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • 3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
  • 4G bands 1, 3, 5, 8, 38, 40, 41
  • Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A
  • Announced 2020, September 21
  • Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2020, September 28
  • Dimensions 164.5 x 75.9 x 9.8 mm (6.48 x 2.99 x 0.39 in)
  • Weight 208 g (7.34 oz)
  • SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 6.5 inches, 102.0 cm2 (~81.7% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~270 ppi density)
  • OS Android 10, Realme UI
  • Chipset MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm)
  • CPU Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU Mali-G52 MC2
  • Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • Internal 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
  • eMMC 5.1
main camera
  • Modules 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF 8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0", 1.12µm 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video 1080p@30/60fps
selfie camera
  • Modules 8 MP
  • Features HDR
  • Video 1080p@30fps
  • Loudspeaker Yes
  • 3.5mm jack Yes
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
  • GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Radio FM radio
  • USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
  • Li-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable
  • Charging Fast charging 18W Reverse charging
  • Colors Glory Silver, Victory Blue