"It looks like an iPhone 14 Pro!" That was my first impression when I first glimpsed the Realme Narzo N53. It left me stunned and even friends and family were amazed by it. Yes, it is an eye-ball grabber and the first impression was always of amazement for almost everyone I showed it to. While the design was more than interesting, the fact that it is a budget smartphone made me question its performance and capabilities initially. After all, cost-cutting is a must in budget phones and that always comes at a cost - it affects performance. Still, on paper, at Rs. 8999, Realme Narzo N53 seemed interesting as it also packed a 5000mAh battery, 33W charging, 50MP camera, and some other gimmicky to enhance user experience.
Does it manage to emerge as an all-rounder under Rs. 10000? To find out, I've put it to the test for a few weeks.
With a camera module that undoubtedly evokes an iPhone-like feel, the Narzo N53 goes beyond its design with its sleek body (7.49mm) size and lightweight build at 182g. The Feather Gold colour option is flamboyant in nature, featuring a shimmering design that combines shades of blue and gold. This may not be the first choice for those seeking a minimalist design! However, there is also a Feather Black variant available to choose from, which is quite subtle. Despite its plastic build, the back panel looks quite attractive and has a fingerprint-resistant coating.
When it comes to the display, the Realme Narzo N53 boasts a 6.74-inch LCD panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, delivering a satisfactory performance in indoor lighting conditions. However, when exposed to harsh sunlight, you may encounter difficulties in viewing content, and the images may also appear less sharp. The bezels surrounding the display are relatively thin, while the chin at the bottom is slightly thicker.
A fascinating feature of the Narzo N53 is the inclusion of the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island-like feature, which Realme has dubbed the "Mini Capsule." However, I found this feature to be gimmicky, as its functionality is limited to providing information such as charging status, data consumption, and steps taken. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see how Realme is making an effort to bring excitement into budget phones through these gimmick add-ons.
The Realme Narzo N53 is powered by the entry-level Unisoc T612 chip, which handles daily tasks such as web browsing, music listening, video streaming, and calling without any major signs of stuttering. However, when it comes to running demanding games, the chip's limitations become apparent. In games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends, frequent stutters on standard graphic settings were experienced during gameplay. Well, at this price, if you expected an intense gaming experience, then you were definitely expecting too much! Nevertheless, the device provides satisfactory performance for casual games like Candy Crush, Temple Run, and others.
When it comes to software, the Realme Narzo N53 runs on Android 13 based on the company's own Realme UI T Edition. It comes bundled with several pre-installed apps, consuming a considerable amount of storage space. Thankfully, the phone allows you to uninstall these apps as per your requirement.
To provide enhanced security, the Realme Narzo N53 is equipped with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that swiftly unlocks your smartphone. Moreover, another praiseworthy addition is the 3.5mm audio jack, which is becoming increasingly scarce in smartphones these days. Furthermore, it is important to mention that the audio performance of the Realme Narzo N53's speakers is not particularly satisfactory, especially when the volume is set to its maximum. In addition to this, when using the speaker mode during audio or video calls, the phone may encounter slight hiccups in capturing audio from a distance.
That iPhone 14 Pro-like triple camera setup design may elicit spectacular reactions, but actually, Narzo N53 features a dual camera setup at the back! It boasts a 50MP primary camera coupled with a 5P lens at the rear along with the third camera-like cutout which is actually the flash. In bright daylight, the camera of the Realme Narzo N53 excels in capturing vibrant shots with pleasing colours, albeit with a slightly saturated tone, particularly noticeable in images of trees and flowers. However, in low-light conditions, it struggles to capture stable images, leading to overexposure and a loss of fine detail.
Surprisingly, the 8MP front camera performs very well in well-lit situations, capturing detailed shots for those who want picture-perfect social media images. However, it does face challenges in low-light situations. When it comes to portrait mode, there are occasional issues in detecting the edges. Overall, the camera performance of the Realme Narzo N53 is decent, especially when taking into account its price point.
The Realme Narzo N53's 5000mAh battery lasts for over a day if you restrict yourself to mundane tasks like messaging, music, and calling. Even with intensive use, such as gaming, photography, and movie watching, the battery can comfortably last for a full day. For charging, the phone gets a 33W charger that restores the battery from null to full capacity in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
There are only a handful of inexpensive smartphones that genuinely deliver a fulfilling and seamless user experience. The Realme Narzo N53 is one of them! It provides satisfactory performance for your day-to-day tasks, long battery life, good cameras at this price, and a bold design to cap it all off. Yes, for me, Realme Narzo N53 successfully checks almost all the boxes you would seek in a budget smartphone.
Undoubtedly, there is some room for improvement especially in terms of display, better user experience with no or limited bloatware, and cameras in low light conditions. For clean software and UI, Motorola smartphones are better. And for overall experience, Samsung can be a good choice especially Galaxy F04 or Galaxy M13, which also come under Rs. 10000.
However, given its budget-friendly price of only Rs. 8999 and the features it brings to the table, the Realme Narzo N53 is easy to recommend.
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