Realme GT 2: analysis

Realme GT 2: analysis

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Epblogs verdict

Realme’s GT 2 offers the best for mid-range buyers, with a powerful processor, a great main camera, and a surprisingly mature design. It’s a shame the secondary cameras aren’t as impressive.

The Realme GT 2 is one of the best Android phones yet for people who want the feel of a high-end phone for about half the price.

Our assessment is mainly based on three features, and each of them is really impressive. First of all, the Realme GT 2 has a brilliant 120Hz OLED screen.

Its 50MP main camera is also impressive. This main camera uses the large Sony IMX766 sensor, also seen in the OnePlus 9 Pro and Oppo Find X5 Pro, and offers excellent image quality, both day and night. And although retention in high light falls short of that of the best phones, its performance is still great considering the mid-range price of the GT 2. 

The Realme GT 2 also has a high-end processor. It is true that it is Qualcomm’s flagship of 2021, but it continues to perform very well in 2022, and will certainly continue to do so for years to come. 

This phone is emblematic of the appeal of Realme phones. They often offer better hardware than the competition, which often makes up for a lack of finesse in supporting software. 

Battery life is the main possible reason to give us pause. While the Realme GT 2’s 5,000mAh battery capacity is precisely what we’d expect in a phone like this, its stamina in 120Hz display mode is less than some of the low-power phones we’ve recently tested. , like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11. 

The Realme GT 2 is a phone that you will probably need to charge every day. You may even have to give it a recharge before a night out, as has happened to us on occasion. However, we are talking about a similar endurance to some of last year’s phones with this chip, such as the OnePlus 9.

Realme GT 2: price and availability

  • From €549.99
  • Now on sale in Spain
  • Not available in the US

The Realme GT 2 launched in China in January 2022, but didn’t hit Western markets until March. It is part of a duo, made up of the Realme GT 2 and the Realme GT 2 Pro. 

The GT 2 starts at €549.99, which is €200 less than the Realme GT 2 Pro. It has a lower resolution screen, a previous generation processor and an ultra-wide camera that is also somewhat dated. 

The Realme GT 2 has 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. There is a higher version with 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM for €599.99.

The Realme GT 2 is already on sale in Spain, and the rest of Europe, but it will not be sold in the United States.

Design

  • Paper-like” biopolymer backplate.
  • Glass is also an option on the lower-spec Realme GT 2
  • In-display fingerprint scanner

Many of the Realme phones have quirky designs meant to grab instant attention. The gigantic slogans printed on the back of some of their phones look like handheld advertisements for the company. Instead, the Realme GT 2 is more discreet. Though it remains, in traditional Realme fashion, anything but ordinary.

A smooth rectangle at the top of the phone bears the signature of the back panel designer, Naoto Fukasawa. Even if you decide to use the oddly pretty, soft-touch case that’s included, you won’t miss the signature, which appears there too, in glossy print. 

It is another element that attracts attention, but we are satisfied with the good taste of the Realme GT 2 as a whole.

The back of the Realme GT 2 is made of plastic, as are its sides, but it is not normal plastic. Realme describes it as “derived from renewable resources like paper pulp,” calling it a “biopolymer.”

The company clearly avoids the term plastic, but Realme’s description suggests that it is a bioplastic with a cellulose component. According to the company, the use of this bioplastic reduces carbon emissions in the manufacture of the rear plate by “35.5%”. It should be noted that Realme does not explicitly indicate which reference was used to arrive at that figure.

The back plate has an embossed texture that looks and feels nice, and the shade of green on our test phone is gorgeous. In this color option, the designer’s signature detail doesn’t seem so out of place. This is one of the best looking phones Realme has ever made.

Not your style? There’s a steel black GT 2 that appears to have a glass back, and this is the only finish available with the lower spec of 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. It’s also without the signature plate, in case that’s an inconvenience.

All versions of the Realme GT 2 have an in-display fingerprint scanner. The obvious thing would be for Realme to use a cheaper one on the side, but here they have stretched.

This scanner is fast, and it worked every time during testing, but there’s a catch here. The Realme GT 2 does not “search” for your finger in standby mode, or when you touch the screen. You have to press the power button and then the unlock area within the screen. As reliable as this fingerprint scanner is, one built into the side power button would be faster. 

If you go into the settings menu, you can activate the “raise to wake” and “double tap to wake” modes, which improve things, since they eliminate the need to press the power button. In our opinion, one of them should be enabled by default.

The phone has good stereo speakers, with one at the bottom and one above the screen. The 6.6-inch screen is a good size for an amateur Android, such as this mobile.

There’s not much to complain about in terms of the Realme GT 2’s exterior hardware, but we do miss having a headphone jack.

Screen

  • Doesn’t have the ultra-high resolution panel of the GT 2 Pro
  • Good color but may alter photos
  • Vibrant OLED display

The display of the Realme GT 2 shows the first key difference between this phone and the more expensive Realme GT 2 Pro. It is a 120Hz AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The Pro version has a higher resolution 1440p panel. 

There is a visible difference, of course, but the Realme GT 2’s screen is still sharp. It is also colorful, and you can choose exactly the degree of coloration. 

The default “Vivid” mode adheres to the DCI P3 wide color gamut standard. “Natural” mode offers something closer to sRGB, and “Pro” mode allows you to switch between DCI P3 and the OLED panel’s native gamut for even wilder color saturation. It also offers color temperature controls. 

As always, choose the one that seems best to you. After a few days with Vivo, we switched to Natural. The only problem is that the Photos app doesn’t override this color calibration, so if you maximize your screen color, all your Realme GT 2 photos will appear oversaturated until you view them on a different screen.

This is a 120Hz screen that can be reduced to a 60Hz power saving mode, and there’s an automatic setting that changes the refresh rate. However, it doesn’t appear to be particularly dynamic, as it can’t drop the refresh rate below 60Hz, according to Android’s own monitoring features. 

The Realme GT 2 supports HDR video, and it looks great when playing it. There’s even a button in the display settings menu that lets you maximize brightness with HDR so your content and screen look really good. 

The screen has a maximum brightness of 1300 nits, similar to that of the most expensive phones in the world. Realme does not use this power in direct sunlight, as it would overheat the phone and kill the battery in a very short time. We were perfectly happy with outdoor visibility, though, and like the best OLEDs, an automatic “sunlight” mode adjusts color and contrast to maximize visibility in direct sunlight. 

Specifications and performance

  • Android 12 with Realme UI
  • Good performance
  • There are some bugs to fix

The Realme GT 2 runs Android 12 and has a Realme UI 3.0 layer. Contrary to what you might expect from an emerging Chinese brand like Realme, the software is largely harmless. 

It’s clean, there are no pre-installed Realme apps, just a handful of basic tools like the photo viewer and media player. It comes with Amazon, LinkedIn, and booking.com pre-installed, no doubt to get a little sponsorship from these companies, but you can remove them in about 25 seconds. Overall performance is very good and smooth, aided by well-tuned navigation animations with some inertia. 

It’s still a third-party UI, though, and as always, that means there’s a ton of customization that sits just below the surface. Unusual things that are easily accessible include the ability to change the speed of transition animations and make the keyboard appear when you enter the app drawer. This is for those with a large library of apps.

There are only a couple of minor problems. You can choose between Dark and Light interface modes, which make the default background color of the interface white or black. In Dark mode, some notification dropdown texts are not clear enough. On a couple of occasions, the notification dropdown has gotten stuck in place, staying on top of apps until you pull it out of the way.

And the software’s always-on display mode doesn’t seem to work, at least on our Realme GT 2. It never showed up, regardless of what settings we used. There’s nothing a software update or two can’t fix here, but the phone, in fact, needs more than a few. 

The Realme GT 2 is a very powerful mobile. It features the Snapdragon 888 processor, Qualcomm’s flagship chip of early-mid 2021. We love to see mid-range phones use top-tier, latest-gen CPUs, because they’re almost always superior to the latest mid-range models. 

The Realme GT 2 has a Geekbench 5 score of 3519, 1133 per core, a result comparable to last-gen flagship phones like the OnePlus 9 Pro. There’s also a GT mode that aims to maximize the phone’s performance at the expense of life. of the battery. In a Geekbench run using this mode, the phone actually scored lower in GT mode, showing that it’s more about turning off any power-saving features you may have turned on.

We ran a 3D Mark Wild Life stress test to see if GT mode altered acceleration behavior over time. Peak power dropped to 75% in GT mode, and 71% in standard mode: this disparity may be due to performance mode, but it’s not important.

In any case, with a Snapdragon 888, an increase in peak performance is not necessary. Games run flawlessly on the Realme GT 2. They launch quickly, and the heavier ones run at a noticeably higher frame rate than most cheaper phones retailing around $300. Fortnite allows you to set the maximum frame rate to 60fps, and while it doesn’t always hit that with all graphics settings maxed out, it spends a lot of time at 60fps. 

If you want similar performance but can’t get to the price of the GT 2, consider the Realme GT Neo 2. It has a Snapdragon 870 processor, which is also great.

Camera

  • Large main camera
  • bad macro camera
  • mediocre ultra wide angle

It’s not raw power that makes the Realme GT 2 stand out to techies. It’s high-end CPU paired with high-end camera hardware, even if only one of the three rear cameras is of that quality. 

The Realme GT 2 has a 50-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 2MP macro, which, like all 2MP macros, sucks. Its ultra-wide isn’t that great either, but the 50-megapixel wide camera is excellent. 

It uses the Sony IMX766 sensor and has OIS, optical image stabilization. The same material is used in far more expensive phones like the Oppo Find X5 Pro, the Xiaomi 12, and the Honor Magic 4 Pro. It’s a big 1/1.56-inch sensor that’s much better than Samsung’s 50MP camera. we’ve seen it on several cheaper phones recently, like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11. They may look similar on paper, but they’re not. 

The Realme GT 2 takes wonderful photos in almost any situation with its main camera, thanks to its combination of a great sensor, great ISP, and good software processing. 

Daylight photos look clean down to the pixel level. This is quite an achievement for a moderately affordable phone that uses pixel binning, where a slightly synthetic or painterly look is often a side effect of the processing involved.

This excellent image integrity means that even the 2x zoom mode, purely a digital zoom, produces fully believable images. These, unlike 1x images, often have a closely processed look. But we’ve seen worse from 2x zoom cameras over the years.

Realme’s Auto HDR enhancement is, for the most part, great, able to balance the priorities of bright skies and darker foregrounds like a pro. You’ll lose a bit of highlight detail in extreme conditions, like in a sunset scene, but judging by how well exposed the foreground usually is, we’d say this kind of contrast was probably intentional. Still, if we had the power to make the changes we wanted, we’d like the Realme GT 2 to put as much effort into preserving details in high light as it does in bringing out details in shadows.

Having reviewed a stack of Realme phones over the last couple of years, we expected the Realme GT 2 to exalt color too much. It will look that way if you use one of the more daring display modes. But after viewing the photos on a monitor with color calibration, you realize how it affects the display mode, making the grass look too green in some images.

The images mentioned above were the result of shooting in the standard mode. Color fidelity isn’t the goal with AI mode, and images taken in this mode are quite shareable as they really pop off the phone’s screen.

Night image quality is excellent for a phone in the price of the Realme GT 2. There’s a dedicated night mode that takes around two seconds to capture an image, but even the standard and 50MP modes can deliver great results. This is a demonstration of how much OIS and a good quality sensor can do.

Sometimes these images without Night Mode can look better as night skies appear black, instead Computational Night Mode always tries to bring out the tonal gradations and color of the sky when possible. 

Photos taken indoors in low light also look good. The Realme GT 2 retains a good amount of detail with an acceptable level of noise at ISO 2000, a fairly high sensitivity setting. 

This phone makes taking good photos child’s play. Our hit rate was unusually high with the Realme GT 2. And the problems?

Aside from Auto HDR’s tendency to favor shadow detail over highlight retention, the lens routinely causes one or two small green discs to appear in photos when shot directly into the sun. During the first few days of testing we had some major focusing issues with the 2x zoom mode, but these issues seem to have largely resolved themselves, even without any software updates. 

The ultra-wide camera is also not a patch on the 50MP main camera. Although it benefits from the phone’s image processing, making your photos look good from a distance, off-center frame flaws can be seen on closer inspection.

The ultra-wide lens uses an 8MP Omnivision camera, also seen on the cheaper Realme 9 Pro Plus. The 9 Pro Plus is a phone worth considering if you don’t need the high-end performance of the Realme GT 2, as the former appears to have the same set of rear cameras.

The video features are also decent. The Realme GT 2 can record stabilized video at up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. The recording is clean, the movement is smooth and the image is detailed. You can even record video in low light, at 1080p resolution.

While you’re not going to make a masterpiece out of this footage, it does have significantly better dynamic range than 4K footage, suggesting it can utilize the sensor’s DOL-HDR capability. Easily beats what a GoPro Hero 10 Black would give you in very poor lighting. 

The Realme GT 2 also has a very solid selfie camera, powered by a Sony IMX471 sensor. Selfies have plenty of detail in good lighting, and the pixel binning hardware allows them to maintain a basic level of detail well in poor light. 

There is extensive use of HDR in selfies when backlit. And Portrait mode blurs the background for a DSLR-style/creative look.

battery life

  • Unremarkable battery life in its 120hz display mode
  • Best duration at 60Hz
  • 65W fast charge

The Realme GT 2 has a 5,000mAh battery with 65W fast charging. According to our tests, it goes from empty to full in 43 minutes, and reaches 89% in 30 minutes. 

You may have to rely on this fast charge because battery life isn’t that great, especially in 120Hz or Auto display modes. While the Realme GT 2 can last a day of moderate use, we didn’t find it had much of a charge left when plugged in. And if we had to take it on a night out, we would compulsorily charge it before leaving home. 

The good news, of course, is that a 10-minute charge will get you by. 

Endurance seems to improve if you switch to the Realme GT 2’s 60Hz display mode, allowing you to see 30% charge remaining at bedtime. Scrolling isn’t as smooth at 60Hz, but strategic use of this mode is sensible if you won’t always have access to a charging point. 

It doesn’t have wireless charging, but that’s hardly a surprise in a phone where the budget has clearly been very carefully allocated.

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