Realme Narzo 60 5G review: a capable, affordable contender

Review Summary

Expert Rating
7.0/10

Design
★  
8.0
/10
Display
★  
8.0
/10
Software
★  
7.5
/10
Camera
★  
7.0
/10
Performance
★  
7.0
/10
Battery
★  
7.0
/10

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Respectable battery life
  • Decent AMOLED display

Cons

  • Could use an ultra-wide shooter
  • Low light performance could be better
  • Charging speeds are slow

The Realme Narzo series is the company’s more affordable lineup of devices which is slowly but surely climbing out of its budget roots. I have with me the Narzo 60, a device priced starting at Rs 17,999 and packing in specs and a design style that can raise a few eyebrows in its direction. The competition in the sub-20,000 segment is pretty intense and in this review let’s find out if the Realme Narzo 60 stands up to the heat.

Verdict

The Realme Narzo 60 impresses with its AMOLED display and 90Hz refresh rate. The MediaTek Dimensity 6020 SoC also delivers decent performance. While camera capabilities and charging speeds are not exceptional, the phone is a reliable choice for budget users and daily activities.

Design and display

In terms of its overall appearance, the phone has a flat design on the front and back, a departure from the curved looks sported by the Pro model in this series. What is still the same is the aesthetics of the back panel. Everything from the vegan leather material to a large circular camera housing is a mirror image of the Narzo 60 Pro. The branding at the bottom is in a new font and I think it looks quite trendy. As for the frame, it uses polished plastic with light gold accents that go well with the brightly-coloured Mars Orange variant that I have received. The phone’s dimensions are nothing out of the ordinary with nearly 8mm thickness and a weight of 182g. The USB Type-C port, a speaker grille, and 3.5mm headphone jack are all at the bottom.

As for the viewing experience on offer, the Narzo 60 has an AMOLED panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, 90Hz refresh rate, and FHD+ resolution. The bezels around the display are a bit thick for my liking but the overall visual quality is to my liking. With similar devices in play, the Narzo 60 certainly does kick things up a notch with punchy colours and deep blacks thanks to its screen’s OLED tech. However, if you are looking for HD capabilities, then you will have to look elsewhere as the phone only packs in WideVine L3 certification for HD viewing. Finally, the brightness levels are decent enough for usage in overcast outdoor conditions but can take a slight hit if it’s too sunny outside.

Cameras

The primary sensor on the device is a 64MP shooter while the secondary is a 2MP portrait lens. I would’ve really liked an ultra-wide sensor to make the image-taking experience more utilitarian. Even so, the primary camera does a decent job of capturing details and prefers a more vibrant colour output. Close-up shots automatically blur out the background and I am happy to report that the lens nails the focus around the subject. Exposure-wise, the image gets some fine-tuning after the post-processing work is done and I also like how reliable the manual slider is. Of course, the images snapped are pixel-binned to 16MP and as usual, you have the option to snap full-resolution 64MP images. A secondary benefit of this is that the phone can basically take lossless 2X zoom shots with a single tap by cropping into the main sensor’s resolution.

Apart from that there are no other sensors of note. The 2MP portrait lens is fine for bokeh images although I have seen computational-based tricks for the same which deliver, if not better, the same results. The low light performance left me wanting a bit more, mainly with the sensor’s lack of focus in night conditions. Even after multiple taps on the viewfinder to adjust it, the final image generally came out soft. This is even true when using the dedicated Night mode. Only with a AEF lock can the desired results come close to acceptable and I find that to be a bit cumbersome. Selfies are fine with the exception of lighting behind my face which, at times, can be overblown. Overall, daylight photography on the device is worthy of a second look but low-light imagery needs some work.

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Performance and software 

The Realme Narzo 60 packs in the Dimensity 6020 SoC by MediaTek, which works silently beneath its sleek exterior. While the device’s main selling point isn’t its performance, it pleasantly surprises by effortlessly handling day-to-day tasks. Although benchmark numbers may not accurately reflect the Narzo 60’s true processing prowess, it flawlessly manages my usual social media browsing, WhatsApp messaging, and YouTube streaming workflow. With up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of internal storage, the Narzo 60 offers ample space, and through virtual swap, it dedicates up to 8GB to RAM, resulting in a total of 16GB. In summary, the Narzo 60 may not tower over its competitors, but its speed leaves no room for doubts about performance. The same can be said for its gaming capabilities, as it handles popular titles like BGMI smoothly, maintaining a respectable 45fps with High graphics settings.

Authentication on the phone is done via an in-display fingerprint sensor, slightly uncommon at its price point. It works well enough and the registry process is also not a hassle. The chipset is 5G capable and the device can connect with all popular NSA and SA 5G bands on offer in the country. There’s just a single speaker setup at the bottom of the device which is not that great. Thankfully a 3.5mm headphone jack beside it allows for wired audio setup, absent on most phones these days.

Software-wise the phone has Realme UI 4.0, which is based on Android 13. While not too different from its previous iteration and also intuitive and customisable, the skin can be perceived as cluttered due to the abundance of Realme apps on the home screen and app drawer. Furthermore, the presence of a persistent window that pops up with every app download, suggesting similar or trending apps, can be intrusive. Nevertheless, the overall user-friendliness of RealmeUI 4.0 prevails and despite its few niggles, is relatively easy to navigate through.

Battery

As for the battery life on offer, the Narzo 60 has a standard 5,000mAh cell housed inside and it supports 33W fast charging. A typical day of usage will drain about 60-70 percent of the battery making the handset an easy one-day device. On the flip side, compared to some other offerings in the same price bracket, the Narzo 60 takes a substantial time to juice up. A full charge, starting from 0 percent, can easily take upwards of 2.5 hours. 

Final verdict

The Realme Narzo 60 offers a host of impressive specs for its price, and the most noteworthy amongst them is the AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate. Design-wise the phone stands out easily while the MediaTek Dimensity 6020 SoC ensures smooth performance. Other features include an in-display fingerprint sensor, 5G support, and Android 13 out of the box. The phone’s optical capabilities can leave you wanting as will the charging speeds. However, for most users on a budget, the Narzo 60 will serve as a useful tool for daily activities.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Reasons to buy:

  • With its leather back and lightweight design, the Realme Narzo 60 is easily the best-looking phone in its segment
  • A 5,000mAh cell makes the device long-lasting
  • The 90Hz AMOLED panel is very vibrant and rich in colours

Reasons not to buy:

  • An ultra-wide camera is lacking
  • The phone is not the best performer in terms of low-light images
  • 30W charging speeds take a lot of time to juice up the battery

Key Specs

realme Narzo 60 5G
RAM8 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 6020 MT6833
Rear Camera64 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.43 inches (16.33 cm)
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realme Narzo 60 5G Price
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Rs. 17,999.00
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