Realme GT 2 Review: A gamer’s best friend
Based on its specifications alone, the Realme GT 2 is a package that can give a tough competition to most gaming devices out there. But does its real world performance prove its caliber? Find out in our review.
Just less than a month ago, Realme grabbed attention with its Realme GT 2 Pro. And why not? The smartphone was not only the most ambitious effort of the company, it also did multiple world's “firsts” with the device. The smartphone was the pinnacle of Realme's feature-heavy offerings combined together with its price aggressiveness. Yet somehow, I found myself more excited for its less feature-rich and cheaper counterpart – the Realme GT 2.
There were reasons why I felt this smartphone could offer a better value for a buyer. First, Realme was under pressure to deliver a great smartphone as it ventured into the premium territory for the first time. Second, it experimented with features and components it was not entirely accustomed with. On the other hand, the price of the Realme GT 2 is not only a comfortable space for the company to build a great smartphone, the lack of experimental features could also give it a reliable and more optimized performance.
At least that's what I thought based on the specifications and initial news around both the smartphones. But after Realme GT 2 Pro did well in our review, my expectations with its non-Pro siblings increased. But real-world experiences are always different and the experiences can be surprising. After using the smartphone for a week, know what our findings were in this review.
Realme GT 2 Design
Smartphone designs are often underrated. And that has led to countless smartphones coming out with similar design aesthetics with the only thing different is the camera panel and choice between a matte and a glossy finish. Thankfully, the Realme GT 2 is a breath of fresh air that breaks the monotony.
The smartphone features a biopolymer rear panel which was designed in collaboration with renowned Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. The company claims the material is environment-friendly and while we cannot prove that claim, the quality of the design is something we can vouch for. The textured pattern and the biopolymer design gives a premium feel to it.
The variant I used was Paper White. On the back panel, one side was taken up by the slightly raised camera panel and the other was taken by a minimalist Realme branding along with the signature of the designer. Designs are a personal preference, but I found it quite unique and delightful.
The front of the smartphone has a punch hole cutout selfie camera, similar to what we saw on the Realme 9 5G, however, the camera hole is slightly smaller which makes the display a little better. The smartphone has thin bezels on the sides and top and a slightly thicker chin. At 194 grams and a display size of 6.62-inch, it fit snugly into my hand.
Realme GT 2 Display
The smartphone features a 6.62-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, which is marginally smaller than Realme GT 2 Pro (6.7-inch). Another difference from its pro counterpart is the lack of variable adaptive refresh rate and it is available at either high 120Hz or standard 60 Hz.
But using the smartphone in the real world, you would be hard pressed to find the difference between the two smartphones unless you had a keen eye for displays. Why we bring this point up is because when you use the smartphone for general purpose, it is capable of doing everything that Realme GT 2 Pro can (apart from the LTPO display quality). From watching videos to playing games and even general social media scrolling was fun on this device given its color accuracy and detailing. You can always play around with display quality with features like image sharpener, video color enhancer HDR video mode and more. The viewing angles were also wide enough to never really be a concern.
With a peak brightness of 1300 nits, the smartphone was also a breeze to use in the heavy sunlight of April noon and I never had the need to run to the shade in order to read a notification. My experience with the display was quite satisfactory and I believe the smartphone gives a good value on its price.
There was one concern I faced, and while it is largely an OS issue, it is worth mentioning that when you have the dark mode on, some text in the notification drop-down menu still comes in black, making it illegible. So, if you're a fan of dark mode, be prepared to face these mild hiccups, although it is likely that this will be addressed in upcoming OS updates.
Realme GT 2 Performance
The Realme GT 2 is equipped with the Snapdragon 888 5G processor along with up to 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. And with these specifications, performance was never under question. From simple tasks, multitasking between different apps, playing graphic intensive games for long duration to operating apps in the background while attending a video call – absolutely nothing was able to slow it down or even cause a small hiccup to its performance.
However, gripe where it is due, the smartphone comes with Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12 and pre-installed apps are again persistent in the device. While they can be easily removed, if you are lazy like me, you will have to wake up to 20 notifications from these apps which can be annoying.
Gaming was a really fun experience with the smartphone. I was able to play games like Call of Duty Mobile at very high graphics quality and max frame rate for over an hour and did not feel any issues with the device. Further, the GT Mode 3.0 made gaming a better experience as it allows you to experience a higher image quality, better touch control and smoothness while playing games. I could even feel slightly better haptic feedback (the little vibrations you feel while pressing a button on the display) in this mode. Obviously, the GT mode does consume more battery than normal. It also has tools like screen recording, touch optimization, system status that even shows the FPS rate.
What also made not only gaming but watching videos more fun on the smartphone were its stereo speakers. The audio quality and loudness were both quite decent and I never felt the need to reach out to my earphones. If you want a similar performance from your smartphone but at a lower price, you can look at Realme GT Neo 2 which comes with Snapdragon 870 and is capable of similar performance.
Realme GT 2 Cameras
The smartphone sports a triple rear camera setup with a 50MP primary lens with optical image stabilization (OIS), an 8MP ultrawide lens and a 2MP macro lens. On the front, it comes with a 16MP selfie camera. In my experience, while the primary camera's performance was very satisfactory, the same was not true for the ultrawide or the macro lenses.
With the Sony IMX766 sensor and OIS, the primary camera took great shots in just about any situation. The dynamic range was excellent and while the color production was slightly on the saturated side, I personally like images that pop out, so it worked nicely for me. Also, to its credit, images taken in 2X zoom (which is a digital zoom), the clarity of the pictures were quite amazing. The images barely felt processed.
However, my issues with the camera lie in the 8MP ultrawide lens and the 2MP macro lens. Due to its vivid AMOLED screen, the images look good at first, but taking it to a larger screen or closely inspecting the images clearly shows blurry details and over-processing outside of the centre of the shot. The macro lens also gave out average results and you never really get the kind of images you expect out of a macro lens. (For full disclosure, I have seen better macro images in the Redmi Note 8 Pro).
If you want a smartphone that is capable of taking amazing photos, we'd recommend you take a look at the Realme 9 Pro Plus or the iQOO 9 SE 5G
Check out our sample shots to see and judge the camera performance yourself.
Realme GT 2 Battery
The Realme GT 2 comes with a 5,000 mAh battery which is normally enough for most smartphones to last an entire day. However, the Snapdragon 888 is a very demanding processor and the phone has some optimization issues which led to some disappointing experiences. On the occasions I extensively used the smartphone, the battery would last me 10-12 hours on a good day before I had to reach out for the charger. I was able to make the smartphone last an entire day with some workarounds (using standard 60Hz refresh rate, strictly no gaming, no always-on display, lowering the screen color mode and turning off the visual enhancements), but for a performance focussed gaming device, it is a let down.
As a silver lining, however, the smartphone comes with a 65W fast charger which was able to take the phone from 0-80% in 30 minutes flat. But to fully charge the phone, it takes about 45-50 minutes.
Realme GT 2 Verdict
The Realme GT 2 is a performance oriented gaming smartphone, which has its clear USP. It can run most apps with ease, gaming is really smooth and taking photos from the primary camera is also fun. However, there are certain things it is not good at. It is not a camera phone despite its good image processing software and the Sony IMX766 primary camera. From night photography to ultrawide shots and macro photos, all feel average and if your focus was on taking pictures, you'd benefit from something like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
Similarly, Realme GT 2 is not your battery-centric smartphone that will last you the entire day while giving you a fair amount of usage. This is a strictly performance heavy smartphone which could be benefitted from better optimization. If you are looking for a more rounded device, go for iQOO 9 SE, it has better battery backup and offers similar camera and performance experience.
So, who should be buying this smartphone? If you are a gamer, you will love this device for its GT Mode. If you are someone who uses multiple large applications simultaneously, this phone will not let you down (granted you spend the majority of the day indoors and have a power source next to you). And if you are someone who cares a great deal about how their smartphone looks, I believe you will find that Realme GT 2 offers something unique. But if that proposition is worth setting yourself back by Rs. 34,999, is a decision you have to make.
- Refreshing Design
- Gaming performance
- Primary camera performance
- Pre-installed apps
- Ultrawide camera
- Battery backup
Display6.62-inch AMOLED display 120Hz
Rear Camera50MP + 8 MP + 2MP
OSAndroid 12, Realme UI 3.0
Battery5,000 mAh with 65W fast charging
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