Realme Narzo 20 review

When Realme launched its Narzo series earlier this year, the company said it was addressing consumer demand for powerful processors at affordable prices, even if it meant compromising on other areas like camera quality. The Narzo series was introduced for a different group rather than a specific price segment. However, Narzo 10 and 10A turn out to be Realme 6i and Realme C3 with a different name and some minor differences. Now, we have the new Narzo 20, 20A and 20 Pro, but will the same old story repeat itself?

The new Narzo 20 series is similar to Realme C12 and Realme C15 in terms of design and features, and we are struggling to fit them into the right segment when it comes to specifications. It costs Rs 500 less than the Realme C15 and comes with a better processor, but there are some compromises when it comes to cameras.

It is getting difficult even for us to understand what Realme wants to do here. So the only question that arises is whether Realme is making things difficult for buyers. Who should buy these new models and who will buy other smartphones? We are going to try to answer these questions in this Realme Narzo 20 review.

Realme Narzo 20 price and specifications

The biggest thing that sets the Realme Narzo 20 apart from the C1x series of smartphones is its more powerful MediaTek Helio G85 processor. We saw slightly slow performance on the Realme C12 and C15 due to the Helio G35 chipset. So this is a big improvement. The phone has launched with 4GB of RAM and there are 64GB and 128GB storage variants to choose from, priced at Rs 10,499 and Rs 11,499 respectively.

The other big difference is in the camera setup. The Narzo 20 has a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. It’s surprising that the company didn’t flaunt the “quad camera” badge by using yet another low-resolution sensor in the phone, which is the biggest marketing weapon these days, but we don’t see that as a compromise. There’s a lot you can do even with three cameras.

All other specifications remain the same across all three models. The 6000mAh battery is undoubtedly a big selling point and you also get 18W fast charging. Interestingly, the Narzo 20 has a USB Type-C port, while its smaller brother requires a Micro-USB cable and a charger to charge. All three models in the new Narzo 20 series have similar dimensions and feel quite chunky at 9.8mm thick, though the Narzo 20 is lighter than the other two phones at 208 grams.

All three phones share the same display specifications, but it is not known which panel Realme has used. You get a 6.5-inch HD+ panel (720×1600 pixels) with a waterdrop notch. It has a tray slot that supports two nano-SIMs and a microSD card. It also includes support for dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.

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Realme Narzo 20 design and usability

We’re not surprised that the Narzo 20 looks quite similar to the C-series models. It even comes in silver and blue colors just like the C-series. Our Narzo 20 unit is Victory Blue. The rectangular camera module houses three lenses and a flash and also houses a fingerprint sensor on the back, which might seem a bit tall for users with smaller hands. Considering it’s a relatively thick phone, it’s not too difficult to hold, but you’ll definitely feel the weight if you’re used to long conversations.

On the front it has rounded edges and thick bezels around the phone and the chin is relatively thick as well. Realme says that Gorilla Glass has been used on it, but it is not known which version. Our unit came pre-installed with a slim screen protector, but the plastic case is not available in the retail box. The power and volume buttons are located on the right side, which is easy to reach.

Realme has done a good job with the overall design. This phone doesn’t necessarily feel very premium, but the build quality is solid. It is not very difficult to use with one hand due to the comfortable and non-slip size.

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Realme Narzo 20 software and performance

Our review unit included Android 10 and the August 2020 security patch. The Realme UI skin is smooth and not much different from stock Android, while offering many useful features such as split-screen mode, optimizer games, app cloning, kids mode, private storage, smart sidebar, and gestures.

Of course, there’s some bloatware preloaded, including various apps from realme, Amazon, Facebook, and WPS Office. Apart from this, along with browser, music and video apps, apps like Theme Store are also available on the phone, which cannot be deleted. The theme store and browser send frequent notifications to the phone, but we didn’t have any problems with everything else.

The screen wasn’t bright enough in sunlight to fully enjoy content, and we noticed that the auto-adjustment sometimes didn’t work on its own when it should have. The screen resolution is a bit low and colors aren’t as vivid, but everything looked sharp enough and the content experience was decent. The speaker can also be called good, but not the best. He’s fine for game effects, but not for music lovers. Widevine DRM certification is L3 only, so HD video streaming is not possible.

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Gaming is known to be the main strength of MediaTek’s Helio G series processors, so we tested some popular games. Asphalt 9: Legends was smooth in most places, but during gameplay, there was a frame freeze issue during spins and crashes in some cutscenes. Dead Trigger 2 ran smoothly. The back of the Narzo 20 got a bit warm while playing heavy games.

The 6000 mAh battery was certainly good for its capacity. We were able to use the Narzo 20 for almost two days on a single charge. During this time we streamed an entire movie, took a lot of photos and videos, streamed a lot of media, and even played a few games. The phone lasted 29 hours and 6 minutes in our HD video loop test. If we look at the battery capacity, charging was also relatively fast.

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realme narzo 20 cameras

As we mentioned, the new Narzo 20 phone hasn’t added an extra weak sensor just to follow the trend like the Realme C1x model, which is a good thing. Competitors may offer four cameras, but trust me, you won’t feel the need for a lower resolution sensor. The lack of a depth sensor is surprising though, as it’s a very low-cost feature that’s available even on entry-level smartphones these days.

The main camera is 48-megapixel, which does its job well and offers decent photo quality. Colors are decent most of the time, but details are a bit dull and exposure isn’t always perfect. There’s an option to take pictures at the full 48-megapixel resolution, so you can get pretty decent shots, but cropping out a part of the photo is pointless to hope for better detail.


However, the depth of field works well and the Narzo 20 locks on to focus quickly. There’s a portrait mode, which detects the edge of the subject instantly, but you can’t set the blur effect before or after you take the photo. As we expected, the quality of the photos taken with the ultra-wide camera was very poor and a lot of distortion was visible in them as well.


At night the Narzo 20 works well. There’s a lack of noise (grain) and detail in the images, and at the same time, the colors in the shots are quite washed out. There is a night mode, which really makes a difference. Bright areas aren’t overexposed and colors are decent, but that doesn’t mean shots come out clear all the time. You commit to the details.


The low-res macro camera might amuse you, but we can’t say enough about the shots. There is likely to be a wash out of colors along with a lack of detail and sharpness.


The 8-megapixel front-facing camera does a pretty decent job during the day, but isn’t very effective at night. Beautification is on by default. There’s also a portrait mode, which correctly detected my face but added artificial blur to the background. Video shot at 1080p, whether day or night, is shaky, and the details cannot be called spectacular. You can use the wide-angle camera, but you can’t switch between the two while recording video.


Realme has further complicated its product lineup with the launch of the Narzo 20. This phone easily beats the Realme C15. Although the C15 has a lower starting price, the Narzo 20 is actually less expensive when you look at its specs. The Narzo 20 has a better processor and overall performance is clearly better. It also has a Type-C port and possibly more useful cameras.

According to Realme, the Narzo series prioritizes performance and gaming, while the C-series models offer bigger screens and bigger batteries, and the numbered series focuses on premium features along with style, cameras, and quality. It makes sense on paper, but there’s really nothing about the C1x-series models that the Narzo 20 can’t do. The company could have made any of the series thinner and lighter with a smaller battery, but it doesn’t.

Therefore, the Narzo 20 is a better and safer option to recommend compared to its other siblings. It is a very strong offering in its segment. It’s a good phone for just over Rs 10,000, which also offers great battery life and a decent gaming experience.

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