The Realme GT 2 was launched at a rather unfortunate time. Within a week of its unveiling, Realme also announced the GT Neo 3, which almost immediately made the GT 2 obsolete – at least on paper. It came ‘outta nowhere’ (a WWE fan would get this). This was unusual, as Realme generally has a good record of hyping device launches, especially their GT series. Nevertheless, I have been using the Realme GT 2 for almost a week, and my experience with it has been mostly positive. So has it been subdued by the Realme GT Neo 3? Let’s find out in this review.
Realme GT 2 Review: Not your average design
Realme had taken a major leap in terms of design with the Realme GT 2 Pro, and the same cosmetic treatment has been followed in the GT 2, except for a few cost-saving changes. The GT 2 comes with a plastic frame instead of metal and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 instead of Victus.
The Realme GT 2 features the same ‘Paper Tech Master’ design on the back too, which the company says is made from a biopolymer. I have to say, it does feel like paper, and it also aids in gripping it properly. Although Realme says they have designed the Realme GT 2, keeping the environment in mind, they didn’t remove the charger from the box. Thanks to this material, the rear of the phone resists fingerprints and smudge marks. By the way, you can also draw on the back with a pencil and erase it with an eraser, take a look at the picture below.
If you aren’t a fan of the Paper White variant, you also have the Paper Green variant, and if you don’t want anything to do with paper, you can go for the somewhat stealthy Steel Black variant with a shiny rear.
The Realme GT 2-series is designed by Naoto Fukaswa, whose signature has been added to the phone’s back. I like how Realme has embedded its logo and the signature in a separate rectangular block at the rear, as it doesn’t ruin the phone’s aesthetics. You get to see a 50MP triple camera setup housed in a vertical module with a single LED flash on the top left. The design suggests that there are two LED flashes in the module. However, only the top one works.
Realme figured out how they could look different in the crowd, and this is what they came up with. I would say, nice job, Realme.
In terms of buttons and ports, you get two separate volume rockers on the left, whereas, on the right, you have the power button. The bottom of the frame houses a hybrid dual SIM card slot, a USB-C port, and a speaker grille. The bezels are thicker compared to the GT 2 Pro, and the punch hole camera is placed on the top left.
Weight-wise, the GT 2 is on the heavier side, tipping the scale at 194 grams for the paper variant and about 5 grams more for the glass. The device lacks an IP rating which means that you will have to protect it from water and dust.
Realme GT 2 Review: Crisp display and sound
The Realme GT 2 has a 6.62-inch AMOLED display that comes with an FHD+ screen resolution of 2400 x 1800 pixels. The screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate, but you also can opt for 60Hz in the settings. Since it doesn’t have the LTPO 2.0 technology like the GT 2 Pro, the auto-refresh doesn’t go down to crazy low frequencies.
Because it’s an AMOLED display, you can see vibrant colours and good contrast. It’s sharp, smooth, responsive, and clear. Moreover, it offers 1300 nits of brightness, which is a big number to claim. Even though we didn’t take a Lux meter to verify the claim, the content on the screen was easily visible under the harsh sun of Delhi.
The Realme GT 2 comes with HDR10+ support and Widevine L1 certification, which means you can watch Full HD content on popular streaming apps. However, I noticed that the device does not support HDR videos on the Netflix app. I checked with Realme, but they haven’t responded yet. We will, however, update our review once we hear from them.
The Realme GT 2 features a 01 Ultra Vision Engine microchip which is also present on the Oppo Find X5 Pro. Realme claims that it helps in sharpening the image quality, enhances the video, and makes them smoother. However, I didn’t notice any major changes after turning the feature on.
The Realme GT 2 has dual stereo speakers with the primary on the bottom and the secondary on the top. While the sound quality is good, the speakers don’t get too loud. There is very less distortion on high volume, but it feels that the high frequencies tend to take over the vocals.
It supports an in-display fingerprint sensor which is placed aptly on the bottom of the screen. It is responsive and stays active all the time. Just holding down your thumb on the sensor unlocks the phone.
Realme GT 2 Review: Reliable performance
The processor is the major difference between the Realme GT 2 and GT 2 Pro. While the Realme GT 2 Pro packs a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen-1 SoC, the Realme GT 2 gets the Snapdragon 888 SoC from 2021. It is aided by up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. There is support for 7GB virtual RAM as well. Even if the chipset is from the previous generation, the Realme GT 2 is capable of doing most of the things smoothly. Realme has included a 4,129mm square stainless steel cooling chamber to keep the processor cool.
The Realme GT 2 gets the job done, whether it’s general usage or multitasking. I do feel that switching between apps could have been slightly smoother, but it’s not something that big to worry about. While general usage is a walk in the park for the GT 2, things do get hot when you start using it intensively or outdoors. For example, I tried navigating with the phone in Delhi’s nearly 50 degrees heat, and after 20 minutes, it became so hot that it was difficult to hold it in my hand.
The Realme GT 2 is a beast when it comes to gaming. You can play regular games smoothly, while heavy games such as Battlegrounds Mobile India, Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9, etc., can also be played at 60fps. The Battlegrounds Mobile India can be played at a maximum HDR+Extreme graphic setting, while the Call of Duty: Mobile can also be played at Very high and Max graphics. While playing BGMI, the frame rates fluctuated between 55 fps and 60 fps. After an intense gaming session of about 40-50 minutes, the phone also got hot.
To get a better gauge of performance, I also performed some benchmarks. The Realme GT 2 scored 806332 on AnTuTu, which makes it rank among the top 20 powerful smartphones. On the Geekbench 5, it scored 827 on single-core and 2224 on multi-core, which is quite impressive and comparable to the last-gen flagships such as the OnePlus 9 Pro. There is also a GT mode that boosts the device’s performance. After turning on the GT mode, it improved the scores to 919 on single-core and 2205 on multi-core. Furthermore, 3DMark’s WildLife Extreme Stress Test achieved the best loop score of 1,112 and the lowest loop score of 847, respectively.
That said, the Realme GT 2 is also good in maintaining a sustainable performance. The device was able to keep the performance at above 90% during the 15 minutes of stress test. In addition, the graph was stable most of the time. These are promising results and imply how well optimised the Realme GT 2 is.
Realme GT 2 Review: Excellent customisation, disappointing bloat
The Realme GT 2 runs on the latest Realme UI 3.0 that is based on Android 12. Unlike other Realme smartphones, the Realme GT 2 series will be getting three years of software updates. It’s good to see that Realme has finally upgraded its software support for premium devices.
The software gives you a near-stock Android experience and feels lightweight. However, there is a load of bloatware when you boot the device for the first time. Thankfully, you can uninstall most of ̉it, taking around two minutes. I’m also not a fan of the Glance ads that you get to see when you swipe right on the lock screen. Having ads and bloatware on a flagship killer device like this is disheartening.
That said, the Realme UI 3.0 is a neat software with helpful features. The skin features various personalisation options, such as choosing icon packs, Always-on display, themes, etc., through which you can customise your Realme GT 2. In addition, it features Android 12’s Material You in the form of ‘Wallpaper colour picking’, which picks a system colour theme complimenting your wallpaper. If you don’t prefer it, you can also choose a custom colour tone. The customisation option is also available for quick settings, fingerprint animation, fonts, etc.
Other than customisation options, the Realme UI 3.0 also features a system cloner, floating window, smart sidebar, etc. You can also make your Omoji, your animated avatar, similar to Apple Animoji. Not to miss, the company has also upgraded privacy features on its latest software skin.
The Realme UI 3.0 is a feature-rich software and the three years of software updates make the deal sweeter. However, Glance ads could have been removed, at least on a premium device.
Realme GT 2 Review: Primary camera is the MVP
The Realme GT 2 houses a triple camera setup with a primary 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor. Alongside it, you get an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro sensor. You get a 16MP selfie camera with a Sony IMX471 sensor on the front.
The camera app is similar to what we get to see on other ColorOS and OxygenOS devices. It has different modes such as Night, Portrait, Street, 50MP, etc. There’s also a More option that lets you select Pro, Pani, Ultra macro, Film, Text scanner, and Starry modes.
The primary camera of the Realme GT 2 performed well in both daylight and night. Take a look at some of the camera samples below, these have been captured in daylight. The handset has been great in capturing the details and reproducing natural colours. Photos have a wide dynamic range, and I like how it doesn’t blow the colour of the sky.
But here’s the caveat: the 50MP mode tries to capture better details and ends up oversharpening the image, and the colour also comes out to be slightly faded. I won’t say it’s terrible, but not better than the standard photo mode.
The primary sensor is good at capturing low light shots too. Even without the night mode, the Realme GT 2 can capture good details and good colours in low light conditions. After applying the night mode, the Indian flag and sky look better in the samples below.
The street style mode comes with a set of colourful filters, similar to what you get on Instagram or Snapchat. I found the mode to be suitable, but there’s no general use of it in real life. Below are the camera samples from the street style mode on the Realme GT 2.
The Realme GT 2 can zoom up to 20x but I won’t recommend you to do that as it completely messes up the picture quality.
It also does an excellent job of capturing human subjects. I found the skin tones to be natural, and the details nicely captured. And, it doesn’t miss the background details. The portrait mode does a good job too. If you zoom in closely between the hand and the belly of the subject in the photos below, you will find the edge detection to be perfect. It has kept a soft tone for the skin, which looks reasonable.
The 8MP ultrawide camera, however, is nothing to write home about. It clicks photos with poor details and is uninspiring for the most part.
The 2MP macro feels like a gimmick for such a flagship device, and, if you ask me, the microscopic mode on the Realme GT 2 Pro feels to be a better alternative than the macro lens. While the name of the mode is Ultra macro, there’s nothing ‘Ultra’ about it.
There is a text scanner mode, but it doesn’t work properly. Google Lens would have been a better alternative to this.
The front camera, just like the primary rear camera, performs well in both daylight and low-light conditions. The skin tone seems to be slightly off, but the details have been visible clearly. Apart from the face, the background details are also preserved well. With the portrait mode enabled, the skin tone looks better and natural. The edge detection and blur strength are accurate. Even in the group pictures, it detected both the subjects very well, and the AI seemed to be doing its job perfectly.
The Realme GT 2 rear camera can shoot videos up to 4K @60fps, whereas the front camera maxes out at 1080p @30fps. Both the videos output come out to be fine. The skin tone is maintained well, and the details are nicely captured. The background details are nicely preserved. The primary camera is also optically stabilised, which reduces shakes and jerks in videos. However, there is a scope for improvement in audio quality. The mic captures muffled audio that isn’t very clear.
There is a Dual-view video mode in more sections which can shoot front and rear videos simultaneously. The mode is helpful, but the CPU couldn’t handle heavy camera configurations. While the video quality is good, the video stutters heavily.
Realme GT 2 Review: Good battery life but…
The Realme GT 2 packs a beefy 5,000mAh battery unit which lasts a day on moderate usage. During my usage, I was getting a screen time of six to seven hours which is fair but not consistent. I got these results after turning on auto-brightness mode, high refresh rate, all-day social media scrolling, an hour of playing Youtube videos, and half an hour of gaming and browsing on the internet. Of course, you might squeeze out an extra hour if you keep the refresh rate on Auto or low mode.
The Realme GT 2 has a 65W charger out of the box, which Realme claims to charge the device in 33 minutes from 0 to 100%. My unit had some charging issues because of which the device was charging slowly. However, Realme asked me to drain the battery, after which my device took 43 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%. The device overheated during charge, making it tough for me to use it instantly. However, it isn’t something that’s uncommon in a smartphone these days. We hope Realme can take care of this with a future OTA update.
Realme GT 2 Review: Verdict
At Rs 34,999, the Realme GT 2 offers excellent value compared to the smartphones in its segment. It packs a powerful processor, good primary camera, fast charging support, and that paperback design back is a cherry on the top. However, it has a few caveats, such as battery life and heating issues during charging. While the primary camera is strong, the other two feel gimmicky. Compared to other flagship phones with Snapdragon 888, the Realme GT 2 has been optimised well for high-end performance.
One thing to note is that the Realme GT 2 has been getting attractive offers ever since it went up on sale, which makes it an absolute steal.
If we had to look at the alternatives, we have the Iqoo 9 SE and even the Realme GT Neo 3 (first impressions). The latter falls in the same price bracket but is meant for those looking for a stable and fast charging device. Nevertheless, I’d still strongly recommend the Realme GT 2 for those looking for reliable performance and good looks at a relatively affordable price tag.
Do you want us to compare it with any similar device in the segment? Let us know in the comments section.
Realme GT 2Rs 34,999
Design and Build9.0/10
Value for Money8.5/10
What Is Good?
- Well-optimised performance
- Good primary camera
- Fast charging
- Paper Tech Master design is impressive
- Smooth and vibrant display
What Is Bad?
- Overheat while charging
- Ultrawide and macro camera performance is average at best
- Inconsistent battery
- Lots of bloatware
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