Realme Narzo 10 and Narzo 10A are part of a new series that aims to offer powerful specifications and youthful designs to the Gen-Z crowd. We have already reviewed the Narzo 10, so today we’re taking an in-depth look at the more affordable Narzo 10A. The smartphone is available in India, priced at Rs 8,499. In our Narzo 10A review, we try to find out whether this is the best phone you can buy under Rs 10,000.
As a budget phone, the Narzo 10A touts some powerful specifications. The device is powered by the MediaTek Helio G70 chipset and houses a large 5,000mAh battery. It is also one of the most affordable phones to come with a triple camera setup that includes a macro lens.
The Realme Narzo 10A is essentially the Realme C3 with a fresh new paint job, a fingerprint sensor and an extra macro camera. These minor upgrades may not seem like much on paper, but may offer an experience that is worth the extra Rs 500.
Design and display
When it comes to design, the Narzo 10A is one of the flashier smartphones from Realme. It has been designed to capture the attention of people passing by and it does that. The smooth, matt-textured rear panel has the word ‘Realme’ etched across. It’s a loud design for sure, but it doesn’t look cheap. The text is of a slightly different shade compared to the rest of the panel. The phone comes in ‘So Blue’ and ‘So White’ colour options and we received the latter for review. Blue looks youthful, while the white option looks classy, at least from the images that we have seen.
Thanks to the smooth matte texture on the back, you won’t get any smudges on the panel easily. The texture also makes the panel highly resistant to scratches. The phone is not as slippery to hold as the Narzo 10 was, and that’s because the textured ‘Realme’ text offers a nice grip while holding the device. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is easy to reach and the buttons on the sides are well placed as well.
Much like the Realme C3, the Narzo 10A is a fairy large phone to hold. It’s 195 grams weight also makes it slightly heavy to hold in one hand for a long period of time. The phone comes with a single speaker on the bottom next to a micro-USB port. We would have liked to see a Type-C port, but it seems it may take a little longer for sub-Rs 10,000 phone segment to make that transition completely. The Narzo 10A also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a triple card slot that can hold two nano SIM cards and a microSD card.
The Narzo 10A sports a 6.5-inch Minidrop display with an 89.8 percent screen-to-body ratio. You get an HD+ (1600×720) resolution, which is expected from a phone under Rs 10,000. The quality of the display is decent and there’s not much that we can complain about in this price segment. It offers good colour reproduction and brightness levels are adequate, both indoors and outdoors. Since there is no Widevine L1 support on the Narzo 10A, you won’t be able to stream content on Netflix and Prime Video in HD resolution.
While the Realme C3 offers a dual camera setup, the Narzo 10A comes with triple rear cameras. The camera setup includes a 12MP f/1.8 main sensor with PDAF, a 2MP portrait lens, and a 2MP macro lens. We believe a macro lens is a better choice than a wide-angle lens on a budget phone,and we’re happy to see it on the Realme Narzo 10A. On the front, the Narzo 10A gets a 5MP f/2.4 selfie camera housed in the waterdrop notch.
The main camera will get you some decently attractive photos in daylight. Colour reproduction is good and you have the Chroma Boost feature to boost saturation if you want your photos to look social media-ready. The quality of photos take a hit as the sun sets and if you’re indoors. Photos in average to below average light will be grainy and lack detail, and the camera will also struggle to focus on the subject. Suffice it to say that the Narzo 10A is not great when it comes to night photography. The phone does not come with a dedicated night mode, which means low-light photos will look dark, noisy and more or less unusable.
The inclusion of the macro camera makes the phone stand out in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, but don’t expect the lens to offer exceptional macro photos. This camera works best when there is plenty of sunlight. You can get some good-looking macro photos of flowers and small objects if you’re creative enough, but they will seriously lack in detail. The macro camera may not be the most used lens in the setup, but we prefer this option over a low resolution wide-angle lens.
The third camera is a depth sensor that’s supposed to help you capture decent portrait photos. In our usage, bokeh shots looked average as the subject separation was not always clean. The 5MP front camera will also get you some decent selfies with plenty of light around although we did notice some over-sharpening. As for videos, the cameras lack any sort of stabilisation so videos will come out shaky.
Performance and software
Much like the Realme C3, the Narzo 10A also gets the MediaTek Helio G70 processor. This is a new budget chipset from MediaTek that aims to help low-cost phones deliver reasonably good gaming experience. The chipset is paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage on the Narzo 10A. In the Geekbench tests, the Narzo 10A scored 386 in single-core and 1316 in multi-core, which are slightly better than the Realme C3.
Is Realme Narzo 10A good for gaming? The short answer is yes. The MediaTek Helio G70 is one of the better gaming processors you will find under Rs 10,000. The phone can run games like PUBG at high graphics, although for a consistently smooth experience, you should lower the graphics settings. Asphalt 9 also ran relatively smoothly, but we did notice some occasional stutters. Overall, the phone delivers an above average gaming performance and is one of the better options for mobile gaming in this segment.
As for daily usage, the Narzo 10A is a decent performer. You won’t always get a smooth user experience and you will sometimes notice some lags and stutters while switching between apps, but these little annoyances are to be expected from a phone in this segment. The phone is still one of the better performers out there at this price point.
The Realme Narzo 10A runs Android 10 with Realme UI on top. Our unit received the May Android security patch, and Realme has more or less been consistent in delivering regular software updates to its phones. Realme UI is supposed to offer a clean look, but the phone comes with several preloaded apps like DailyHunt, Helo, UC Browser and Realme’s own browser, which tend to clutter up the UI. These third-party apps also push a lot of spammy notifications as well, but you can disable this in Settings.
Coming to the bottom-firing speakers, the sound quality is strictly average. It can get loud in max volume setting, but anything below that may not be ideal if you’re in a noisy environment. We also had no troubles with call quality over the earpiece and network reception was good as well.
The Narzo 10A houses a respectable 5,000mAh battery, which will easily take you through a day and a half on a single charge with moderate usage. On days with intensive usage that includes a few hours of gaming, video streaming and social media browsing, the phone should survive till the end of the day. In our HD video loop test, the Narzo 10A lasted around 27-28 hours on a single charge, which was impressive.
Does Realme Narzo 10A support fast charging? Unfortunately no. You get a standard 10W micro-USB charger with the box, which takes roughly three hours to charge the phone fully from one percent.
It’s easy to recommend the Realme Narzo 10A over the Realme C3. The new model packs the same performance, but offer a slightly unique look, an extra camera sensor and a fingerprint sensor, which budget consumers will appreciate. The Narzo 10A is one of the best performers in this segment thanks to a powerful MediaTek Helio G70 Soc. So, if you play a lot of games, the Narzo 10A should be a good phone to bet on under Rs 10,000.
The Narzo 10A also offers a solid battery life as well, but if you’re looking for a phone with fast charging support under Rs 10,000 then we would suggest the Redmi 8. You’ll be spending Rs 1,000 more on the Redmi 8, but you do get an 18W fast charger. In the other hand, if you can live without a fingerprint sensor and macro camera, you could save some money and stick to the Realme C3 instead.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Long-lasting battery
- Good gaming performance
- Fingerprint sensor
- Average cameras
- Slow charging
- Spammy notifications