Realme GT 5G Review: The flagship killer has been redefined
The Realme GT has recently launched in India and is the most affordable phone in India powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip. It’s still the company’s most ambitious phone.
The reason it is important is that this phone is the most expensive phone launched by Realme in India since 2019 after the Realme X2 Pro, which was a tough phone for the price at that time. But it’s not 2021 and Realme is no longer the new kid on the block.
Funny facts: Recently, Realme has become the fastest brand to ship more than 100 million smartphones worldwide in just 37 months, which is a testament to its popularity, especially in India.
With the Realme GT, the brand has now entered the Rs 40,000 price bracket aimed at bringing down the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus.
The Realme GT even has a dual-tone vegan leather design that stands out in this world of phones with shiny backs. But are these enough to qualify as Realme GT’s flagship experience? What have we found here?
The Realme GT starts at Rs 37,999 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and is available in two colors: Dashing Blue and Silver. Then there is the Racing Yellow variant with leather finish priced at Rs 41,999 with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.
One of the highlights of the Realme GT is its design, especially the racing yellow version that we have. Behind it is a layer of vegan leather that feels great to hold in the hand. It is soft to the touch and gives you a grip that also helps you use the phone with one hand.
Although the color yellow may seem too much to some of us, it is the color of the brand’s signature and peppy look.
It has a glass strip that runs backwards and looks like an extension of the camera module, giving it an attractive dual-tone look that will definitely capture some eyeballs. If you look closely, this glass strip has V-shaped patterns which is a great addition.
Since it has leather on the back, it is both fingerprint and smoke resistant. The same, however, cannot be said of glass strips that easily attract fingerprints and stains. It is not covered with any kind of protective glass to withstand scratches.
The Racing Yellow variant is 9.1 mm slim and weighs 186 grams whereas the glass versions are thinner than the 8.4 mm measurements. So, if you are looking for a slimmer and lighter phone, the Realme GT is in your lane.
In addition, we get a SIM card slot, volume rockers, a power button with a yellow accent, a Type-C port and a 3.5mm earphone port that is quickly missing from most phones as we move beyond budget. It has a dual speaker and microphone unit.
The build quality of the Realme GT is very good and the design of the Racing Yellow version is unique because it uses real leather that holds up to everyday use. One of my annoyances here is that Realme took a plastic frame and I would have preferred to see a metal chassis instead.
The Realme GT has a 6.43-inch Full HD + Super AMOLED display and supports up to 120Hz refresh rate. In the upper-left corner, you’ll find a punch-hole notch cutout with a selfie camera. It’s not as small as the notch in the Mi 11X Pro, but it’s not confusing and doesn’t break the experience of watching any movie, video or TV show.
The display settings let you choose between 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rates, and there’s an auto-selection option that automatically selects a refresh rate for a specific app. Needless to say, if you set the refresh rate to 120Hz throughout the day, you’ll see a reduction in battery life, but the whole experience of opening and changing apps, transitions, and using the phone in general is much smoother.
It also supports a 360Hz touch sampling rate which means the display is quick to register touch input while gaming on this phone.
The display supports HDR, HLG and HDR10 + and since it is a high-resolution screen, it shows crisp and detailed images and videos. That said, for some reason, the Netflix app didn’t run HDR content but Prime Video didn’t have the same problem. Although this is not something that can be fixed with a software patch and we hope Realme will fix it soon.
The brightness level of this phone is good and the phone looks bright in a good viewing angle. The screen offers a peak brightness level of about 552 nits and it can go down to 5 nits. However, it’s not as bright as you might expect from a flagship phone.
There are three color modes: vibrant, soft and bright so you can choose the one that pleases your eyes the most. Another tweak you can do is activate the Ultra Vision engine which enhances video resolution and color. There is also an option called Bright HDR Video Mode which enhances the screen brightness while playing HDR video.
Overall, the colors on this display with a lot of sharpness look really good and vibrant and high refresh rate support means everything looks and feels fluid to the touch. And if you’re wondering if the screen has a layer of gorilla glass, it came as a surprise to me that Realme didn’t choose an extra layer of protection on the display.
The Realme GT is powered by a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 chip which means it can power through anything and you throw it. No matter what app or game in the Play Store, this phone can run them without breaking a sweat.
In my use, I have not encountered any lag, stuttering, frame drop or anything else that would interfere with the otherwise smooth experience of using this phone.
When it comes to benchmarks, the Realme GT has passed almost all the tests. In the AnTuTu benchmark test, it only got one of the best scores by iQOO 7 Legend.
Similarly, in Geekbench, Mobile XPRT, PCMark, 3DMark, GFXBench and many more, Realme GT holds its own, proving that it can provide flagship-level performance when needed.
In CPU throttling testing, the Realme GT throttled about 86% of its maximum performance, meaning it was unable to run above its full potential for a sustainable period.
This brings us to the thermal of our phone which is decent while playing more than 2-3 rounds of Call of Duty Mobile and BGMI. There’s also a stainless steel cooling system to control the heat and let you play these games without compromising on performance.
Although the phone will eventually warm up to the touch if it is constantly under heavy use. This was even more noticeable when we conducted AnTuTu and throttling tests where the core CPU temperature increased from 55 to 60 degrees according to AnTuTu’s own temperature monitor.
We also measured the gaming performance of the Realme GT using the gamebench metrics where its score did not match the hype.
COD Mobile runs at a very high graphic quality with the highest frame rate and even then Gamebench recorded 60FPS with 87% stability.
Everyone’s favorite Battle Royale game BGMI runs on this phone at Ultra Frame Rate Ultra HD Graphics where Gamebench recorded 40 FPS at 95% stability. But here’s where things get interesting.
If you bring down the quality to smooth graphics, you can enable a toggle to run the game at 90FPS but Gamebench tops out at 60FPS. Even then, it recorded 60FPS consistent with 99% frame rate stability which is quite great.
Now, these scores don’t always translate into real-world performance, and in the case of the Realme GT, I didn’t experience any lag or visible frame drop while playing COD Mobile or BGMI. The experience was smooth and chic which is important at the end of the day.
Overall, Realme GT offers flagship-level performance and anyone who buys this phone will have no problem with multitasking or gaming. But if you run intensive work on this phone, which is not the case with most of us, then the thermals are bound to catch on and stand in the way of sustainable performance.
The Realme GT comes with a 4,500mAh battery and supports 65W fast charging which tops up the battery faster if needed. With my regular use of gaming, checking social media feeds, watching a few videos on YouTube, and more, the phone lasted about a day, which is decent in terms of its capabilities. I have the 120Hz refresh rate active all the time which significantly affects the battery life.
However, if you’re not a power user, you’ll be able to easily get more out of the Realme GT, especially if you choose a 60Hz refresh rate or let the phone automatically select it for you based on which app is being used.
In our video loop test, the phone lasts more than 14 hours, which is one of the highest scores we’ve seen on a phone in this price range.
When it comes to charging, the Realme GT takes just 37 minutes to fully charge which is really great because even if your battery runs out, you can be sure that it won’t take hours to top it up.
For a flagship phone, the Realme GT has a rather decent set of cameras. It has a triple camera on the back with a 64MP camera that uses a Sony IMX682 sensor. Then there’s the 8MP ultra-wide camera that offers 119-degree FOV and a 2MP macro camera.
Of the three rear cameras, only the main camera has some significance. It produces 16MP pixel-free images that are vivid, sharp and Instagram-friendly without the need for a big touchup.
Pictures look more natural with enough detail, although the phone often bumps up the saturation levels in the various scenes you see on your screen images.
The main camera images are also able to capture the texture of the object in focus which is a struggle for many phones. It quickly locks to the focus point but when I switch to 64MP high resolution mode, it refuses to take a detailed picture.
The camera also offers 2x and 5x digital zoom where it manages to take some decent and natural-looking pictures without compromising too much detail.
At night, the pictures on the main camera had lots of noise and were thrown into the mix sharply to toss the artefacts. Once I switched to night mode, the noise was greatly reduced and the images were more detailed and usable.
The ultra-wide camera does not produce the best and sharpest images on average because it has an 8MP sensor. The center of the frame is sharp but the angles are such that it is unable to maintain focus with minimal barrel distortion.
The 2MP macro camera takes decent close-up shots if it gets enough light but here again, the details are not so prominent and focusing on an object is a hit and miss matter. A slightly better macro camera worked wonders here, as did the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro with a 5MP macro camera.
See pictures taken from Realme GT here
Realme wants to redefine affordable flagships with the Realme GT. As such, it has become a de facto choice for those looking for a powerful phone under budget in 2021.
But the Realme GT has more than the sheer power that comes with the flagship-grade chip. It has a great Super AMOLED display that supports Super Speedy 65W charging with a refresh rate up to 120Hz and a great primary camera, which is packed in a light profile.
There is no doubt that the Realme GT offers a flagship-level experience and stands by its demands. While cameras do require some attention, this is not something Realme can do with a software update.
If you are looking for a powerful and reliable flagship phone, the Realme GT is not an intelligent and easy to pocket but if you are very interested in using different photography styles then you should look at other options like Mi 11X Pro, iQOO 7 Legend or even OnePlus 9R somewhat.