Today, the realme GT was now also introduced in Europe. It has already been available in parts of Asia since the beginning of March and enjoys great popularity there, which is why the global launch now represents the next step for realme.
realme originally entered the smartphone business with phones for the small budget. The realme GT is now the first attempt of the sister company of Oppo and OnePlus to launch a worthy flagship killer, i.e. a high-end smartphone with small cutbacks, at a mid-range price.
I have been allowed to test the realme GT for a few days now and would like to give you an insight into my experience with the phone.
Workmanship and design
With a screen diagonal of 6.43 inches, the realme GT fits well in the hand and offers enough screen space so that everything can still be seen well from an arm’s length away. The size is in the range that I would still call comfortable and where one-handed operation is possible. The weight of 186 grams is comfortable to hold and does not tire the arm. It’s also not so light that it would feel “cheap”, which is also a point of view I find important to consider.
The design of the realme GT is very reminiscent of other flagship smartphones, but it has a few unique selling points. The back differs in material in terms of the color chosen. In the “Racing Yellow” variant, the back is made of yellow-colored, vegan artificial leather. Under the camera module on the upper left, the leather is dyed black and forms a stripe that stretches across the device’s back. The back of the “Speed Blue” and “Sonic Silver” variants is made of glass and has a holographic effect. I was sent a device in the “Speed Blue” colorway by realme. The holographic effect appears as a blue line that runs through the dark blue background depending on the incidence of light. This holographic effect is one of the most appealing designs I’ve seen on the back of a smartphone so far. Especially since it looks like you’re practically looking through the smartphone – similar to a 3D effect.
The camera module is similar to the module from the Samsung Galaxy S20 in terms of design. It sits on the top left of the phone’s back and has a slightly rounded square shape, in which the cameras’ 3 lenses are embedded in a line.
The frame of the realme GT is made of plastic with a metallic paint finish. In fact, I had a hard time distinguishing this plastic frame from a frame made of metal. However, it is recognizable upon closer inspection and a trained eye, and scratches will also be easier to form here than on a frame made of stainless steel, for example.
Last but not least: The front. Here you’ll find an up to 1000 nits bright, FHD+, 120 Hz, Super AMOLED display. Underneath this display is also the fingerprint scanner, which unlocks the phone almost instantly. Meanwhile, this technology is also very mature. Compared to screens of many other Android smartphones, the display is flat on the sides and not rounded. Meanwhile, I prefer this design, even though a rounded display brings a more “seamless” feeling. But it’s significantly more complicated to find a decent screen protector/glass for a rounded display, and the scratches in the glass aren’t worth it to me after all.
Hardware and Specsheet
I find the chipset installed in the realme GT very impressive. There was no skimping here, as realme has installed the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. The Snapdragon 888 is currently Qualcomm’s best smartphone chipset, which is actually intended for high-end smartphones. Thus, the performance of the realme GT is on the same level as that of a OnePlus 9 Pro or Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, which use the same SoC. Besides the very good performance of the Snapdragon 888, it is also equipped with the latest network standards like 5G.
To cool the hardware, realme has incorporated a novel Vapour Chamber system into the realme GT. Unlike other systems of this kind, the Vapour Chamber is not only made of copper, but also parts of stainless steel, which is supposed to give the smartphone increased stability, as well as improved cooling performance due to better contact support.
There are two different versions of the realme GT. The cheaper variant of the realme GT is equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. The slightly more expensive variant is available with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. The internal memory complies with the UFS 3.1 standard and the RAM with the LPDDR5 standard, which is the mobile equivalent of the well-known DDR5 standard.
|Chipset||SOC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G|
|Memory||RAM||8 GB, 12 GB LPDDR5|
|ROM||128 GB, 256 GB UFS 3.1|
|Resolution||2400 x 1080 pixels|
|Frame rate||120 Hz|
|Touch sampling rate||360 Hz|
|Maximum brightness||1000 nits|
|Battery & charging||Charging speed||65 watts|
|Camera||Main camera||64 MP, F1.6, Sony IMX682 sensor|
|Ultra-wide-angle camera||8 MP, F2.3, 119° FOV|
|Macro camera||2 MP, F2.4|
|Front camera||Punchhole, 16 MP, F2.5|
|Case||Material||Glass, Vegan Leather|
|UI||realme UI 2.0|
|Scope of delivery||Other||65 W SuperDart charger, USB-C cable, protective case, SIM tool, protective film, user manual|
The realme GT ships with realme UI 2.0, which is based on Android 11. In my opinion, the realme UI interface is most comparable to MIUI, as both have a slightly more playful look – compared to OnePlus’ Oxygen OS, for example, which is more oriented towards stock Android.
Which kind of design you prefer is a matter of taste, but I find that realme UI 2.0 makes a coherent impression that I like. Even though I’m otherwise personally more of a fan of a minimalist look like stock Android. But that will also change in the coming months with Android 12.
The responsive animations of realme UI 2.0 give a nimble feel and are not too drawn out. This is especially important when using gesture-based controls without a navigation bar, which I can only recommend to everyone in general.
Unfortunately, what bothered me a bit about the software of the realme GT is the amount (9) of preinstalled apps that the smartphone comes with. Fortunately, these can be uninstalled. However, it still leaves me with a bland aftertaste.
The performance of the realme GT definitely lives up to the sports car allusion in its name. Thanks to the top-of-the-line processor and fast memory, you feel like you’re flying through the phone’s menus. I have not encountered a single stutter since I was able to test the smartphone.
Fortunately, realme did not skimp on the display and gave the realme GT a 120 Hz refresh rate with 360 Hz touch sampling rate so that the device’s performance is not held back by a slow display.
The phone’s performance is also evident in benchmarks. For example, I was able to achieve an AnTuTu score of 781753 with the realme GT. This puts it in 11th place in the ranking – just ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra. In fact, the 12/256 GB variant of the realme GT is in first place in the AnTuTu ranking at the time of writing (06/14/2021). For comparison, my daily driver, the OnePlus 8 Pro from last year, was able to achieve an AnTuTu score of 652610 and thus theoretically has about 83% of the performance of the realme GT.
Also, realme has informed me that an OTA update will be rolled out for the launch of the realme GT, which should improve the performance a bit more. Even though I find that the performance so far leaves nothing to be desired.
Thanks to the astreine performance, the realme GT is also super suitable for games. Fortnite or even PUBG Mobile run smoothly on the realme GT at the highest settings. The high touch sampling rate and frame rate thus form a nicely coordinated synergy. Like many other smartphones in the meantime, the realme GT has a so-called “Game Space”. This mode can additionally boost the phone’s performance a bit at the expense of battery life, and is meant to round out the gaming experience as a whole.
The camera is the only aspect of the realme GT that doesn’t quite come close to a flagship. In total, the realme GT has four cameras. A 16 megapixel front camera, on the back a 2 megapixel macro camera, 8 megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and the 64 megapixel main camera.
With a resolution of 2 megapixels, the macro camera is unfortunately just a gimmick that doesn’t bring any real benefits. First, the resolution is clearly too low to do anything with the photos, and second, I find that the macro camera can’t focus the object close enough to take a “real” macro picture. That’s where the macro mode on my OnePlus 8 Pro is much better, even though the 8 Pro doesn’t have a dedicated macro camera at all.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is ok. The resolution of 8 megapixels is sufficient for Instagram and co, but is still rather on the lower end. You can reasonably capture larger scenes with the viewing angle of 119°. Particularly useful for sights in the city or wide landscapes in nature.
The main camera, on the other hand, is really solid. With 64 megapixels, it can produce very sharp pictures in good light. Zooming is possible up to 5x almost without loss. Due to the Sony IMX 682’s sensor size of 9.2 mm diagonally, the main camera’s photos have a natural bokeh effect. It is worth mentioning that close objects remain sharp in their full size despite the large sensor. On my OnePlus 8 Pro, it occasionally happens that close objects at the edge of the picture get out of focus. Fortunately, that problem does not seem to exist on the realme GT.
The night mode lacks a bit of brightness in my opinion. Brighter objects are easy to see, but people in particular looked way too dark and undetailed in my pictures. Here I would wish that realme would give the night mode a helping hand with a future update.
With 16 megapixels, the front camera takes detailed selfies. Otherwise, the selfie camera is not further special, but perfectly sufficient for my requirements. The realme GT also offers a “beauty mode”, like the majority of Android smartphones by now. I personally do not find any use for this mode, but I can imagine that some users like to use it. What I do find a shame, however, is that “beauty mode” is turned on by default, which is why a few of my pictures were unintentionally edited before I could notice.
Realme has opted for a more vivid color profile in their software. This makes it a bit more difficult to edit the images taken with the realme GT to your own taste after the fact than with a more natural color profile. However, many users like a bright, vibrant color profile, which saves further editing and is also ideal for social media.
The main and ultra-wide-angle cameras allow video in 4K at up to 60 fps. The video is only stabilized with EIS, i.e. software-based image stabilization, which cannot really keep up with the stabilization of a flagship like the Samsung Galaxy S21. The selfie camera unfortunately only supports 1080p video at 30 fps and does not have any form of image stabilization, which should unfortunately put a crimp in videobloggers’ plans.
Under the hood of the realme GT is a 4500 mAh battery that provides long battery life thanks to the efficiency of the Snapdragon 888. Getting over a day with the realme GT is no problem at all – even during intensive use. On average, I came to a screen-on time of around and at 6 hours per charge cycle. An absolutely solid result.
Even when the realme GT runs out of juice, however, it is quickly recharged with the 65-watt charger. I was able to charge the realme GT to 100% within less than three quarters of an hour. Good fast charging has become an increasingly important feature for me. I don’t like to charge my phone overnight, but I still want to take a charged smartphone out of the house with me. Therefore, I rely on fast charging.
Wireless charging would have been the icing on the cake here, but is not supported by the realme GT.
Value for money
The value for money is the feature that makes the realme GT a flagship killer. Realme has told me that the realme GT will be available in the 8/128 GB variant at an early bird price of €369 on AliExpress and for €399 on realme itself. The 12/256 GB variant will be available for Prime Day for €499 on Amazon.
With these fighting prices, the realme GT is in an extremely favorable market position. As far as I know, it is the cheapest smartphone with a Snapdragon 888 available in Germany. For a smartphone that costs under €400, the features offered are phenomenal. The performance is first class, the battery life is outstanding, especially in combination with fast charging. In addition, there is the fast and bright 120 Hz AMOLED display, as well as the high-quality build. Only the camera is not quite on flagship level, but it offers a good overall package for the given price.
Finally, a smartphone manufacturer has managed to bring a true flagship killer to the market. In recent years, this niche of the market has become somewhat empty, while manufacturers like OnePlus have changed their philosophy and target audience. That’s why I’m all the more pleased to see new companies like realme entering the stage to fill this gap.
For me, the realme GT is currently the best choice for anyone looking for a smartphone in the price range around and at €400. Due to the high-end hardware, I can also recommend the realme GT to those who are looking in higher price segments, but do not put too much emphasis on the camera. This way, you can still save a few hundred Euros without making any big sacrifices.