Realme Narzo 50 Pro review: a compelling mid-range choice

The Realme Narzo 50 Pro retails for Rs 21,999 and packs in stellar specs. But is it the best choice in the mid-range market? Check out our full review

Review Summary

Expert Rating4/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Good design
  • Decent performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great display

Cons

  • Ships with bloatware
  • No microSD card slot

Realme has just launched two new smartphones called the Narzo 50 Pro 5G and Narzo 50 5G under its rapidly expanding Narzo lineup. Both phones are part of the former OPPO sub-brand’s push to crowd the budget and mid-range segments. Over the years, the lines between Narzo devices and Realme’s signature number series have become quite blurred. The same can be said for Realme Narzo 50 Pro, which is what I have for review today. Retailing for a starting price of Rs 21,999, the device shares a few specs with the more expensive Realme 9 Pro+ but also cuts down on a few. Time to find out if the Narzo 50 Pro 5G is the choice to make under Rs 25,000 in this detailed review.

Verdict

The Realme Narzo 50 Pro is a phone that has a lot going for it in terms of its design, processing prowess, battery life, and image-taking capabilities. It is let down only slightly by the lack of a higher refresh rate display and microSD card slot, plus the presence of bloatware.

The lowdown

  • The Narzo 50 Pro shares a lot of its design attributes with previous Realme devices. Everything from its matte-finish polycarbonate back to its camera array to the curves on the back is reminiscent of phones launched this year by the Chinese smartphone giant. I have with me the Hyper Blue colour variant which looks nice,  although my personal preference would be the Hyper Black colour scheme. There really isn’t too much to decipher in the Narzo 50 Pro’s design language that hasn’t already been said in previous Realme reviews.
  • I do appreciate the phone’s slim 8mm profile, especially given the 5,000mAh battery being housed inside. Apart from that, the buttons are responsive enough for my liking, and the placement of the USB C, speaker grille, and 3.5mm headphone jack is in its usual position at the bottom while the authentication duties are carried out by an in-display fingerprint sensor. 
  • On the display side of things, the phone packs in a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with a punch-hole on the top-left for the selfie camera. The screen refreshes at 90Hz and has FHD+ resolution. Realme has been providing a good viewing experience on its mid-range offerings and the Narzo 50 Pro 5G builds on the same. The crisp visuals on an OLED screen accentuated by deeper blacks and vibrant colours give the user a better representation of the content being consumed on the screen.
  • I also didn’t see the 90Hz refresh rate miss a beat while navigating through the UI or scrolling my social media feed. For added protection, Realme has also installed Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to prevent accidental scratches on the display. The device’s 1,000nits of peak brightness makes it easier to use in outdoor sunny conditions. Lastly, the screen does have HDR10+ capability along with the standard WideVine L1 certification for HD content on OTT platforms. However, Netflix and Amazon Prime, as of now, cannot display HDR content on the Narzo 50 Pro’s screen.
  • In terms of optics, the phone has a 48MP primary shooter supported by an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro sensor. I have already done a full camera comparison between the Narzo 50 Pro and the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ (review). Basically, the Narzo does not have the best colour science when dealing with daylight landscape shots whether the images are pixel-binned or full-resolution 48MP. Detailing and dynamic range are acceptable while the focusing and shutter speeds are also good.
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  • Where the Narzo 50 Pro takes a definite lead is in its ultra-wide images that have better sharpness across the frame while maintaining decent colour accuracy and minimal edge warping. The phone’s depth mapping for portrait shots is also quite good with excellent edge detection although the image can look a bit undersaturated. As for the macro shooter, the phone manages to focus efficiently on close-up objects but the low resolution acts as a bane while viewing the images on a bigger screen. 
  • Low light images have improved quite a bit on recent Realme phones and the Narzo 50 Pro continues to follow the trend. Images at night have better detail than what the Note 11 Pro+ has to offer. Exposure levels are metered and noise reduction doesn’t lead to unnecessary overprocessing. The dedicated Night mode also helps in getting better colours and more details in the shadows than photos that don’t use the feature. Lastly, selfies from the 16MP front camera turn out to be more than decent with facial detailing visible and skin tones not too off from reality.
  • The MediaTek Dimensity 920 is handling processing capabilities on the device. We have seen several phones that are powered by the chipset and I have been impressed by all. For some reason, the trusted Antutu benchmark is not working on the Narzo 50 Pro but from the Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 2,332, I can gather that the device is not one to slow down on you. The chipset also performs quite well under sustained load with the CPU Throttle benchmark showing only 13 percent throttling from peak performance. Any regular smartphone usage tasks like app switching or operating multiple Chrome tabs can be accomplished seamlessly.
  • I also tried my hand at some graphically intensive gaming titles like BGMI and was able to achieve the Extreme (60fps) frame rate option when graphics were set at Smooth. After nearly an hour of gameplay, I did not see any major throttling or frame drops. In terms of RAM and storage, the phone has up to 8GB of LPDDR4X memory and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. There is no option to expand using a microSD card slot.
  • As for audio, the Realme Narzo 50 Pro has Dolby Atmos and Hi-res support on its stereo speaker setup and its headphone jack. The in-display fingerprint sensor works quite well as does the facial authentication when the lighting is right. 5G is a work in progress for the Indian telecom infrastructure but there should be some level of operability by the end of this year. Till then the phone’s 4G LTE services are good enough for my liking.
  • On the software front, Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12 is running on the device. I have been quite impressed with how well Realme has improved its skin over time to have the perfect combination of minimalism and customisability. However, problems pertaining to excessive bloatware still persist on the device. You can read about Realme UI 3.0’s experience in my Realme GT 2 review.
  • Battery-wise, Realme has packed in a 5,000mAh cell that is able to keep the phone running for little more than a day on moderate usage. I ran PCMark’s Battery test and the device outputted a score of nearly 19 hours which I consider quite good for the given battery capacity. The 33W charger provided inside the box can juice up the device in under 100 minutes via the USB C port on the bottom. 

Final verdict

The Narzo 50 Pro checks almost every aspect of a mid-range smartphone experience. The design is immaculate, the cameras are good enough, the performance is decent and the battery life is long. However, if you are looking for a higher refresh rate display or expandable storage, you can take a look at devices from Redmi’s stable. 

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5 

Pros:

  • Good design
  • Decent performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great display

Cons: 

  • Ships with bloatware
  • No microSD card slot

Key Specs

Realme Narzo 50 Pro 5G
RAM6 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 920 MT6877T
Rear Camera48 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.4 inches
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Realme Narzo 50 Pro 5G Price
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Rs. 21,999.00
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