The Realme Narzo 50A was introduced as one of the many offerings the brand has in the entry-level segment.
With a price of Php7,990, this device will go head-to-head with a lot of competing devices in a market where consumers want the best smartphones they can get for the money. Does it have what it takes to survive? We find out in our Realme Narzo 50A review.
Realme Narzo 50A Specs
- Android 11, Realme UI 2.0
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.5-inch HD+ IPS display, 1600 x 720 pixel resolution, 269ppi
- 570-nits peak brightness (Sunlight Mode)
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor
- 4GB LPDDR4x RAM
- Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
- 64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 50-megapixel (f/1.8, PDAF) + 2-megapixel (macro, f/2.4) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 164.5 x 75.9 x 8.9mm
- Weight: 207g
- Colors: Oxygen Blue, Oxygen Green
- 6,000mAh non-removable battery, 18W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
Like all of its releases, Realme managed to come up with a unique design for the Narzo 50A. It has a unique textured look on the back, which is almost military-like and gives that robust look to it. However, the device oddly feels the same as other budget Realme phones.
Despite its different look — especially that large glass on the top back that also houses the fingerprint scanner — the Narzo 50A inherits the design queues of its cousin. It’s thick, large, and bulky. The plastic-yet-sturdy build also feels very familiar.
Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on you. Personally, every budget phone from Realme feels the same.
In addition, while we do like the aesthetic appeal of the fingerprint scanner’s placement, it’s positioned way up high, which could be harder to reach for people with smaller hands.
The layout on the back is nothing too different. We have the good ol’ waterdrop notch on top of the standard 6.5-inch display. The bezels are not the thinnest, but respectable.
All the buttons and ports are in their usual location. The tray that can house two nano SIMs and a microSD card is on the top left side, while on the right are the physical buttons that feel a little stiff but do provide a tactile feel and clicky sound when pressed.
The top is clean while at the bottom we have the 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone, USB Type-C port, and bottom-firing speakers.
Overall, despite its plastic build and familiar feel, the Realme Narzo 50A is a well-built and sturdy device. Realme also threw in a pre-applied screen protector and a free clear case for extra peace of mind.
Display and Sound
The Realme Narzo 50A uses the same screen that a lot of budget phones already have. It’s a standard IPS panel that’s 6.5-inches in size and has an HD+ resolution of 1600 x 720 pixels. No high refresh rate or HDR.
That said, display quality is just fine. Not bad, not the best, just fine. It’s usable enough for reading texts, watching movies, or playing games.
To make it more usable, the screen has a Sunlight Mode that’s said can max out its brightness to 570-nits. We don’t have the tool to test it, but the device is indeed usable even in sunny outdoors.
Like the display, the sound department also lacks pazazz. No stereo speakers, so we’re only getting a single bottom-firing speaker that has acceptable volume and clarity. It’s fine for solo listening, but ambient noise can easily drown out the sound.
If you want to up the experience, you can plug in a pair of earphones via the 3.5mm jack. Although, you have to buy your own pair as it doesn’t come with one.
Hardware and Performance
The Realme Narzo 50A is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU.
Realme Narzo 50A benchmark scores
Like everything else about this device, performance was just okay. It feels slow at first and could definitely use some extra RAM, but after some time, you oddly can get used to it.
Apps tend to start slow, but once it’s up and running, it’s should feel fairly smooth. However, don’t expect you can multitask heavily on this one.
As for gaming, the Narzo 50A was able to handle Call of Duty Mobile at Medium graphics quality and High frame rates relatively fine. Not the smoothest experience, but capable enough to make the game playable without hassle.
Software and User Interface
Like its cousins, the Realme Narzo 50A runs on Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0 software.
The interface looks pretty clean, but far from being minimalistic. Swiping up reveals the app drawer, with a search tab so you can easily find what you’re looking for. A couple of preinstalled apps are present like Agoda and Booking, but they can be removed easily.
Thankfully, you’re not getting redundant apps. So you’re only getting one browser, image gallery, etc.
Being an Android device, the Realme UI has a deep level of customization. You can change the app layout, fonts, and even the colors and icon styles.
You can also control the contrast of the dark mode right in the display settings.
A couple of convenience tools are also present. There’s the Smart Sidebar that lets you access select apps and settings. Assistive Ball is also here for quick controls if you hate tapping for things. Of course, we also have gestures and a split-screen mode that can be accessed by swiping three fingers.
HeyTap Cloud, OPPO, and Realme’s take on the Apple iCloud, is also here for cloud backup of your photos, contacts, and more — things that Google can already do natively.
If you plan on buying this phone for a child, then you can set up parental controls in the settings. It allows you to limit access to certain apps and the amount of time the device can be used.
The Realme Narzo 50A uses Google Keyboard out of the box. The pre-enabled auto-correct feature can be disabled in the settings menu, easily accessible from the keyboard itself.
We also have a camera app that’s familiar and convenient to use. No issues there.
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As you already know, one of the main highlights of the Realme Narzo 50A is its ultra-sharp 50-megapixel main camera. Albeit, its accomplices are a little boring. It’s joined by the obligatory 2-megapixel depth sensor, 2-megapixel macro lens, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
Unsurprisingly, the 50-megapixel camera takes really sharp and detailed photos. Albeit, the difference from the typical 16-megapixel sensor is not that far off. Also, despite the pixel-binning technology, low-light performances aren’t as good as they make them out to be.
Still, it’s obviously better than the cameras that previous entry-level phones have.
As for the 8-megapixel front-facing camera, the Realme Narzo 50A takes clean and passable selfies with tons of face beauty settings to play with. It’s also more than enough for video calls for online learning or meetings.
Possibly the best feature of the Realme Narzo 50A is its enormous 6,000mAh battery. This may have made the device a little chunky, but it lets you use the device for two to three days under light tasks.
It was able to get a screen-on time of 20 hours and 34 minutes in PCMark’s battery loop test with the WiFi and Bluetooth off and screen brightness and volume set to 50%. In real-world use, this translates to an entire day of heavy gaming or video streaming. But for casual users who only use their phones for social media browsing, calling, and texting may get two to three days of battery out of this.
Sadly, like a lot of budget phones, it only comes with an 18W charger. It’s fast enough for the price, but for a battery this large, a full charge may take about two hours.
From what you’ve seen, the Realme Narzo 50A is a well-equipped device. It has a unique-looking design, a serviceable performance, capable main camera, and a battery life that lasts for days.
It’s definitely not the best option for the price, but it sure has all the right components to be a decent daily-driver device.
Realme Narzo 50A pricing and availability in the Philippines
The new Realme Narzo 50A is now available in the Philippines for a price of Php7,990.
- Unique design
- Capable main camera
- Long battery life
- Extra RAM could improve performance
- No ultra-wide, low-light performance could be better
- Slow charging times