Realme Narzo 60 Pro Review - Solid smartphone but needs more work on UI
- Realme today launched Narzo 60 & 60 Pro
- Realme Narzo 60 Pro starts at a price of ₹23,999
- Realme Narzo 60 Pro is powered by Mediatek Dimensity 7050 SoC
AdvertisementThis is an action packed week for the mid-range smartphone segment, with back to back launches. Yesterday we reviewed the , and on Monday we saw the iQOO Neo 7 Pro. While the OnePlus Nord 3 is a more balanced device with something for everyone. The Neo 7 Pro, is focused on performance, especially for gamers. But now comes the Realme Narzo series. Narzo over time has created a reputation for itself, for delivering both performance and camera specs. The 60 series seem to take it forward and how.
I am reviewing the Realme Narzo 60 Pro, the mightier of the two. So, who should buy this? And what can you expect? I will tell you in my review.
Price & Availability
Realme Narzo 60 Pro 5G is available in 3 variants. There is a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage priced at ₹23,999. Then there is a variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage priced at ₹26,999. Finally there is a variant with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage priced at ₹29,999.
Realme Narzo 60 Pro’s design is identical to what we have seen on the Realme 11 series. Especially on the back, with a round camera module and a vegan leather back. There are certain differences though, which can be noticed. Like the Narzo misses out on the stitching on the leather back, like we see on the 11 series. Another is of course Narzo is a tad bit heavier.
I wish Realme didn’t add the Narzo branding on the back, since for me it breaks the beauty of the device. The martian color with me looks very elegant and is a darker orange color that will grow on you. There are other color options like sunrise which is white and cosmic night, which is black. If you want to play it safe you can go with the latter.
Moving on, the back also adds to the grip, since it is textured. Providing a premium in-hand feel, the smartphone has a character to it, which is favorable. The curved edges look elegant and the golden trim adds to the experience as well.
Located on the right side of the device are the power button and the volume rockers, providing a tactile experience with a satisfying clicky feedback. Although the Narzo 60 Pro exhibits a sturdy build, it lacks an official IP rating, which would have added to its reliability credentials. While I acknowledge that this omission is typical in its price segment, having such certification would have served as a valuable assurance.
Moving to the bottom of the device, you will find the SIM tray, the USB Type-C charging port, and the speaker grill. The 10 Pro+ 5G supports two micro SIMs through this port. We don’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack here, which shouldn’t be surprising.
However, there is a feature making a return in this segment which I would have liked to see here - IR blaster. Nord 3 has one and it comes in handy more often than not. I am certain we will be seeing it on more devices in the future.
The Narzo 60 Pro boasts a 6.7-inch curved OLED display with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. Before delving into the display quality, I want to acknowledge Realme's commitment to uniform bezels, which adds visual appeal to their devices. The bezels on the Narzo 60 Pro maintain this consistency, contributing to an overall cohesive design.
Now, let's discuss the in-hand feel and usability of the screen. Like most curved displays, there is a potential for accidental touches, but Realme has made efforts to address this issue. While some mistouches may still occur, they are relatively limited. Personally, I encountered some challenges while adjusting the volume, occasionally triggering unintended actions. However, with time, I familiarized myself with the device's handling, although it can be initially frustrating.
Apart from that, the touch response on the display is robust, enhanced by the haptic feedback, resulting in an interactive experience. The screen offers a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, with a standard option of 60Hz. Additionally, an auto-select feature adjusts the refresh rate based on the displayed content. Throughout my testing, I preferred the maximum 120Hz refresh rate as it provided smoother and more consistent visuals. In contrast, the auto-select mode exhibited noticeable stutters when switching between different refresh rates for various applications.
Before discussing the viewing experience, let's address the in-display sensor. The Narzo 60 Pro utilizes an optical sensor, which introduces a slight delay before the device unlocks. Moreover, I found the sensor placement inconvenient, located right above the chin at the bottom of the device. This issue has been raised by me with previous Realme devices as well. While seemingly minor, it becomes inconvenient when attempting to unlock the device while holding multiple items. A workaround for this inconvenience is setting up face unlock for a quicker unlocking process.
Regarding the viewing experience, the Narzo 60 Pro meets expectations. The panel exhibits optimal brightness and respectable color accuracy. Images appear sharp, and in some cases, the results were even better than those observed on the OnePlus Nord 3, a direct competitor to this device. I enjoyed watching content on the 60 Pro over the weekend, and I have no complaints thus far. The black levels on the screen are also satisfactory, although I did notice some minor lag in HDR content. Nevertheless, this shouldn't significantly affect your viewing experience. Additionally, the phone supports HD content on streaming applications, ensuring the best possible quality for your entertainment.
The audio setup on the Narzo 60 Pro completes its package. With a dual-speaker setup and Dolby Atmos support, the device delivers impressive volume. The speakers also feature an ultra-volume mode, which, while not recommended for continuous usage, shouldn't cause any issues with occasional bursts of loud sound.
Before concluding this section, I advise turning off the device's auto-brightness feature. Despite giving it multiple chances, I found it unreliable in adjusting to the correct brightness level. Ultimately, I resorted to manually setting the brightness according to my preferences.
Additionally, the device offers a standard always-on display, which can be customized. While useful and legible, it manages to remain unobtrusive, avoiding unnecessary distractions.
The software experience on the Narzo 60 Pro blends elements of Realme UI 3.0 and Android 13, resulting in a nearly perfect amalgamation. The device comes preloaded with a range of applications, including familiar ones like Josh, and PhonePe. Fortunately you can uninstall them.
We also get hot apps and hot apps suggestions on the UI, which again I am not a big fan of. I tried to be rational and find something suitable there, but its definitely not for me.
Setting aside these preinstalled apps, Realme UI runs smoothly on the Narzo 60 Pro, offering enjoyable user interactions with its intriguing animation style for actions like uninstallation and switching between tabs. It's worth noting that this review is based on a brand new unit, and performance may vary over time.
Having previously used the Realme C55 5G, I found the execution of the UI on the Narzo 60 Pro to be significantly improved, despite the similarities between the two devices.
I am also surprised that we don’t have the mini-capsule here, which is a feature Realme is providing on the C55. It’s a software play on pill shaped notifications. I would have liked to see it here, as well.
Realme provides ample customization options, taking advantage of Android 13 features and their own custom skin. In addition to the standard choices like Dark mode, users can delve into extensive customization. You have the freedom to select a design that suits your taste and explore various theme colors to personalize your device to your liking.
Realme Narzo 60 Pro is equipped with the Mediatek Dimensity 7050 5G SOC, which delivered satisfactory performance across various tasks during my testing. While it doesn't offer anything extraordinary, it provides enough power to ensure a wholesome experience, making it a worthwhile investment.
Let's start by discussing the gaming experience on the Narzo 60 Pro. As a fan of COD: Mobile, I played the game for up to an hour every night. The smartphone ran the game smoothly on high graphics and max frame rate settings. However, there were some compromises, with noticeable frame drops when pushed to the maximum. Switching to medium graphics resulted in a respectable performance consistently.
A similar situation occurred with Genshin Impact, where the smartphone struggled with rendering the open-world environment, causing noticeable lag. However, by adjusting the graphic settings to low, the issue was resolved.
This performance level was expected from the Narzo 60 Pro, but what impressed me was its thermal management. Even during intense gaming sessions, the device didn't experience any unusual heating scenarios. While the back did get slightly warm after 45 minutes of gaming, it never became uncomfortable to hold.
AdvertisementThe 60 Pro performs well in heavy tasks, but it truly shines when handling everyday tasks such as emails, web scrolling, and social media. These activities also allowed me to appreciate the display further, as it provided a delightful scrolling experience.
In terms of benchmark scores, I ran a Geekbench test on the smartphone, yielding respectable results with a single-core score of 930 and a multi-core score of 2295.
The variant I reviewed came with 12GB of RAM, with an option to expand it by another 12GB. However, I have yet to find a practical use for this feature. The 12GB of RAM efficiently handled lighter apps like Chrome web pages, Instagram, and Spotify running in the background simultaneously.
The storage on my review unit is an impressive 1TB, which means that users like me won't need to worry about filling it for at least two years. If you are someone who doesn't mind spending a little extra for peace of mind, I would recommend opting for this option.
The battery performance on the device met my expectations. On average, I achieved a screen-on-time (SoT) of up to 5 hours. The SoT dropped to 5 hours on weekends when I engaged in longer gaming sessions and watched content. However, on lighter usage days, the SoT could extend to 7 hours thanks to the 5000mAh battery.
The phone also supports 67W SUPERVOOC charging, which is enabled with the included adapter. The charging speeds are favorable, and with data turned on and apps running in the background, you can expect a 0-100% charge in approximately 50 minutes.
The camera performance of the Narzo 60 Pro leaves much to be desired. It has its strengths in certain areas but lacks luster in others. Let's start with the specifications.
The smartphone is equipped with a 100 MP primary camera and a 2 MP portrait sensor.
Starting with the positives, the primary 100 MP camera on the Narzo 60 Pro is surprisingly impressive. It captures sharp images with a significant amount of detail. In natural lighting conditions, you can expect great pictures with accurate color reproduction. The camera also does a good job of capturing skin tones.
The camera features AI scene enhancement, which proves useful when taking indoor pictures. However, I noticed visible burnouts in outdoor images when this feature is enabled. AI enhancement also tends to produce oversaturated images at times, so keep that in mind.
Low-light performance on the smartphone's camera can be underwhelming. While the low-light mode improves the scene, the images often lack detail.
Despite the slight dip in low-light performance, the primary camera excels in video recording. It can capture 4K videos at 60fps with accurate colors and quick focus shifts. If you're a content creator, you'll be impressed by the video output, and the in-built microphone records crisp audio.
Moving on to the 2 MP portrait sensor, it does a decent job of detecting edges and applying bokeh effects. However, I believe adding an ultra-wide sensor would have added more value compared to the one provided. An ultra-wide sensor would have helped in capturing better frames, considering that bokeh effects can be achieved digitally.
The selfie camera is a 16 MP shooter, but it exhibits a noticeable lag when capturing action in the frame. This might be negligible for the average user who may not notice it.
For its main task, photography, the selfie camera does a decent job. However, the skin tones appear off, which can be a drawback. The AI portrait selfie feature is available as well, allowing you to tweak various aspects of your face. It's not a feature I'm personally a fan of, but if you enjoy fine-tuning your appearance, you can have fun with it.
Video performance from the selfie camera suffers from similar issues, including color tone correction and subpar autofocus speed. If you plan to shoot videos, I recommend sticking to the primary camera. You won't be disappointed.
Realme Narzo 60 Pro provides performance and aesthetics in a single package, something the buyers should resonate to. However, if you can’t compromise on software and camera you can check out OnePlus Nord 3.
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