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Gaming

realme narzo 20 review: Unlikely power from affordable sources

A real good gaming device for those on a budget

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One untapped segment of most smartphones today is the budget gaming smartphone. At first, you wouldn’t think something like this is possible, all things considered. But it’s 2020 after all, a time when pretty much anything is possible now. Just ask realme themselves, especially with their latest offering.

Introducing the realme narzo 20, the company’s take on a budget gaming smartphone. It comes with gaming-ready hardware, plus a big battery to keep you gaming for long. All of this within an affordable price, what else could you want, right?

Well, for starters, here’s what you are getting with the realme narzo 20:

It has a 6.5-inch Mini-drop display

realme narzo 20

It comes with a 48MP Triple AI Camera at the back

The back cover of the device is in realme’s signature V Design

realme narzo 20

It comes in two colors: Silver Sword or Blue Blade

realme narzo 20

As far as regular performance goes, it’s pretty good

The realme narzo 20 comes with a gaming-focused Helio G85 mobile processor and 4GB of RAM. By most budget smartphone standards, this is pretty decent hardware to have. Applications load smoothly and rather quickly, with realme UI optimizing the whole experience.

For most tasks, the device holds up pretty well even while multitasking. I didn’t experience any jitters while shifting through different apps, although adding games affected it slightly. Still, as a budget smartphone, I don’t recommend opening way too many apps with this device.

Although, don’t expect FHD videos to play when using this device. Due to the limitations due in part to its budget makeup, YouTube videos up to 720p are most viable. It’s not exactly great that there is such a limitation, but it may slip your mind if you’re using this device to game full time.

Gaming performance was astonishingly great

What makes this device ultimately stand out is in its gaming capabilities. Based on my initial run through of most games, I can confidently say that this device holds up quite well. While frame drops were expected — mostly because of the internet connection, gameplay was smooth on this device.

League of Legends: Wild Rift on 60 FPS showed almost no signs of lag throughout my playthrough. I’m surprised this device could handle all the textures and effects, especially during intense moments in the match. Unfortunately, it won’t play any higher than High settings, but that’s not such a bad thing.

Other games like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and even some sports games like NBA Live Mobile play well on this device. I know that for the most part, some FPS games do require using most of the RAM. Even so, these games didn’t slow down during prolonged gameplay.

realme narzo 20

This battery is big, lasts long, and charges up fast

This phone comes with a whopping 6,000mAh battery inside, which realme claims is a first within budget smartphones. Using the device normally got me to more than a full day’s worth, with about 20 to 25 percent left. When playing full time across a variety of games, I was able to get about 12-13 hours.

Looking at these numbers, I think this is a huge deal for a budget smartphone. Even when you’re doing so many things with your phone, you wouldn’t need to reach for your charger as much. Also, this even helps you with the fear of overcharging your phone overnight since now, you don’t have to do that.

Another reason why is because the phone also comes with Quick Charge support. The 18W USB-C charger charges the phone in about two and a half hours, which plays around most fast-charging devices. This just reinforces that you don’t have to keep charging your phone overnight anymore.

It’s not a perfect smartphone, but don’t expect it to be

It’s pretty obvious at this point that most budget smartphones come with compromises. The realme narzo 20 is no exception to this, and the most obvious trade-off was in camera quality. Yes, it comes with a triple lens, AI-powered rear camera but it leaves much to be desired.

Nature shot

 

Up close using the Triple AI Camera

 

Selfie with beautification turned off

Image quality on this camera isn’t too bad, but the sacrifice on detail is obvious. Sometimes, images turn up a little oversaturated or lacking in detail when zooming in. It doesn’t have to be Leica-levels of quality, I get it; it’s just something you already expect.

Also, it would have been interesting to see a 6GB RAM variant for this smartphone. In some cases, 4GB isn’t enough to keep running games past 30 FPS. I get that this may be impossible for budget smartphones, but it’s something worth exploring.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 7,990, the realme narzo 20 gives you the most viable option for a gaming smartphone. It crams in decent mobile gaming hardware to provide a great overall gaming experience. Plus, with a big battery inside, it will keep you gaming all day, or all night long. All of this stored in a package with a unique design to boot.

You can use it like any other smartphone for social media, watching live streams and Netflix shows. However, due to its budget category, some things had to be sacrificed like the cameras and higher RAM options.

For what it’s worth, the realme narzo 20 is a definite pick-up for those on a tight budget. It shows off some incredible power without burning your wallet.

Computers

Lenovo unveils five new value-for-money gaming monitors

Complete with game-ready features suitable for any budget range

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Whether you’re working from home or playing games online, you need a good monitor to supplement. With the right set of features in your monitor, you can take your gameplay to the next level. However, a ton of these monitors designed for competitive play are pretty expensive. Fortunately, Lenovo Legion has a new lineup of monitors that address that.

This new lineup of gaming monitors from Lenovo bring game-ready features suited for all kinds of players. In particular, these monitors bring high refresh rates along with display technologies for smoother gameplay. From 144Hz to 240Hz, with either NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD’s FreeSync support, these will surely bring the immersive gaming experience for everyone.

These monitors are now available in Lenovo Legion concept stores and authorized resellers nationwide. Below are the SRPs for these new gaming monitors:

Monitor Model Features SRP
Lenovo Gaming G25-10 24.5” FHD, 144Hz, G-SYNC Compatible PhP 9,995
Lenovo Gaming G27-20 27” FHD, 144Hz, G-SYNC Compatible PhP 11,995
Lenovo Gaming G27q-20 27” QHD, 165Hz, G-SYNC Compatible PhP 15,995
Lenovo Gaming G34w-10 34” WQHD, 144Hz, FreeSync Premium PhP 23,995
Lenovo Legion Y25-25 24.5” FHD, 240Hz, G-SYNC & FreeSync Premium PhP 15,995

 

SEE ALSO: Which Lenovo monitor best suits the typical gamer?

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Gaming

Nintendo developing a larger Switch with Samsung OLED screens

Coming this year

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Recently, the Nintendo Switch celebrated four years since its release back in 2017. Since then, the console has withstood various assaults from rivaling brands and outed a thriving ecosystem of games. Now that the console is a massive hit, we have to ask: When is the next Nintendo console coming out? Apparently, it might not take long. According to a new report, Nintendo is working on a larger Switch with a Samsung OLED display.

Reported by Bloomberg, the company is planning to unveil the upcoming 7-inch console sometime this year. Samsung will reportedly start producing the larger, 720p displays this June. Assemblers will then start processing the consoles in July. Additionally, when plugged into a TV, the display can supposedly put out images at 4K resolution.

If true, the upgraded console will definitely step up against the current console lineup. The regular Switch houses a 6.2-inch screen and the Switch Lite carries a 5.5-inch screen. Further, the regular Switch only puts out 720p resolution, whether it’s plugged into a TV or standing alone as a portable.

According to the source, Nintendo’s OLED plans will inch it closer to current smartphone technology. Smartphones already use OLED screens as a standard. In contrast, the Nintendo Switch is still stuck in LCD technology.

Unfortunately, though the rumored screen is impressive, the source has not revealed what type of processing power is in the console. For months, rumors have swirled around a supposed Switch Pro, a beefier beast with a more powerful processor. Sadly, no one knows if it exists yet.

If Nintendo does put out a more powerful console, the company can finally butt heads with the new generation of gaming launched last year.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo launches Mario-themed Switch version

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Gaming

I’ve lost hope in getting a next-gen console for the foreseeable future

On shortages, scalpers, and struggles from all over the place

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next-gen

If you already have any of the next-generation consoles, you may read this if you wish. But for most of us, myself included, we all shared a collective struggle to snag one of the two highly-anticipated consoles late last year. Unfortunately, such struggle continued even into the new year, even when Sony and Microsoft were pretty optimistic about it to start.

Don’t get me wrong: the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are part of the future of console gaming. We’re talking technologies and hardware that supposedly rivals that of any gaming PC build for more than half the price. Even with a limited game library, game developers are adopting the next-gen consoles moving forward.

However, at launch, almost all units sold out in an instant — and the reasons are quite obvious. Months prior to launch, these companies stated numerous reasons for shortages on launch day. People like me were hopeful that restocking inventory would come soon enough, and would be enough for everyone all over the world.

But why are we still struggling to find a next-gen console?

Believe it or not, this struggle to simply purchase a next-generation console isn’t entirely on the industry itself. Sure, they’re running low on production staff, worldwide deliveries are a little messy right now — but that’s not 100 percent on them anyway. In case most people forgot, there’s still a COVID-19 pandemic happening in most parts of the world.

The pandemic put the video game industry on hold for a bit, as production for the next-gen consoles took a heavy hit. Because of remote working conditions and factories shutting down, Sony and Microsoft went out and said that launch day units will be scarce. I thought that they would just simply delay the launch, but nope — they still wanted to launch in November, on the exact day.

And yet, the next-gen consoles ended up being well-received by everyone — especially the ones that were either sent a unit, or successfully bought one. Both consoles sold out on launch day, mostly due to online pre-orders on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and other retailers. Even here in the Philippines, eight retailers held online pre-orders and immediately sold out within the 5-minute window.

It’s pretty clear to me that there is a high demand for the next-gen consoles wherever you decide to buy one. However, the companies simply cannot provide regular stock as soon as possible due to a lot of factors — hardware shortage, mostly. Yet, Sony and Microsoft do their best to try and release more stock whenever possible so everyone gets an opportunity to buy one.

next-gen

What do you mean, everyone gets an opportunity?

I remember when Datablitz PH held its first online pre-order for the PlayStation 5 back in November, two weeks before the official release. On the day of the pre-order, I received the email with the link to the pre-order form and instructions on how the process goes. However, I was busy around that time, so I asked my sister to check the link for me.

Then, she texted me saying that every pre-order slot was full, even for the Digital Version. Slots went out so fast, it’s like the 5-minute window was way too long. At the moment, I had no complaints because I expected this to happen. This wasn’t the case for the rest of the internet as they took  their complaints to social media on the online pre-order system.

Another pre-order wave started, so more opportunities, right?

A second wave of pre-orders came in just last January, and I didn’t even bother with it anymore. Instead, I decided to lurk around Datablitz’s Facebook page and see the comments on their restocks and, well nothing changed. The claims were the same as the first time: bots from other buyers, while others are able to log in at an earlier time. There were even some conspiring that retailers had internal agreements with other people about it, which I don’t think is the case.

In essence, not everyone gets a “fair” opportunity at grabbing a next-gen console. It sucks that this has been a regular occurrence with premium items like this, and yet no concrete actions have been taken. But, I was thinking that maybe we’re looking at the wrong culprits here.

It isn’t the pre-order system’s fault entirely, and it’s mostly because this was an initiative by Sony and Microsoft given the pandemic situation. We’re trying to contain the virus here, and staying indoors for the most part is the best way moving forward. Still, I think they could have improved the process with every new run.

Wait, how come they have an abundance of stock of the next-gen console?

Instead, allow me to direct your attention to the scalpers themselves; you know, people selling you things for an insanely higher price. You’ve seen these people on a Facebook Marketplace or on Shopee, promoting that they have a next-gen console ready for you. Some of them even go out of their way to offer you a complete bundle to save you the hassle!

It’s not just these people that are participating in the grand sweepstakes for a next-gen console. In addition, there are also these (let’s just call them) unauthorized resellers who also somehow have stock of these consoles. While some of them do sell the console at either a fair or much lower price, there are those that don’t tell you that you have to pay extra fees for them.

PlayStation 5

In essence, these people manage to give you what you want: a next-gen console. The catch, however, is that you have to satisfy these two conditions to get it: be a sure buyer, and be ready to spend tons of money getting it. 

But, I thought that next-gen consoles were in shortage?

That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I kept seeing some of these “sellers” on social media. The fact that they have nearly tens to hundreds of units every other week just makes it hard to believe. Even when both Sony and Microsoft declared a shortage for the next couple of months, the grind continues for these “businesses.”

I say that they’re a business because these sellers claim to be such entities. They’re somehow able to capture a need present in their market, and provide the product or service to address it. As with most businesses, they determine the price such products or services are offered through extensive research and planning. For scalpers and unauthorized sellers, however, price setting is the easy part.

These entities will seek to supply everyone with as many units as possible, and they’ll find ways to procure them in bulk. You know how people were complaining that bots are taking their stock for online pre-orders? Well, some online retailers and news agencies are aware of such technologies being abused that way.

In my own experience asking one of these unauthorized sellers, they told me that they’re supposedly closely linked to the manufacturers. Also in some cases, they are not giving me a full rundown of any additional fees nor any proof of such. Yet, they expect me to simply abide by the payments since I got it for cheaper. In essence, they achieve the same thing as scalpers do by paying more than official retailers.

So, what now? Should we just wait for regular stock?

Admittedly, I’m already thinking that regular stocks of the next-gen console won’t be here for another 7-8 months or so. It’s not just because of the already announced shortages in hardware. Rather, it’s the fact that there is a higher chance that scalpers will get a hold of them first.

I feel like these companies were pretty clear on how they want the next-gen consoles to be received. In my opinion, they truly want to give everyone access to the future of gaming; that maybe you don’t need to spend insane amounts of money for crisp, clean gameplay. You know, something that you can do on a gaming PC but on a much cheaper yet strategic price tag.

PlayStation 5

Yet, these scalpers and unauthorized resellers simply want to make a profit off a need like this. Cry about it all we want, but these people exist and some people partake in their businesses. They’ve practically turned the next-gen console into a true luxury, something that the industry and some governments are trying to go against. 

I’ve lost hope in trying to get the next-gen console for this year, or possibly while the shortages are still in effect. At this point, I’d rather spend that money somewhere else, or invest it in the stock market. We could wait for regular stock all we want, but if scalpers keep getting these from us, there’s just no hope.

SEE ALSO: A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

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