Realme GT Neo 3 150W Review: A THRILLING proposition!
The Realme GT Neo 3 150W is all about speed and doesn’t let go of the user experience too. Quite possibly the best gaming phone in its segment, but should you buy it?
150W charging? Why would you need to charge your phone that fast? Why can't you wait for an hour or two to let your phone rest, while you explore the world outside, or just talk to someone? For those who ask such questions, the Realme GT Neo 3 won't appeal. They will see it as a gaudy looking phone with unnecessary upgrades. Bleh! Honestly, be content with your slower charging Samsung or Apple devices. There is a class of people who want that innovation, a class that cares for speed and excitement.
The GT Neo 3 is a phone for these kinds of people – people who love to see exciting innovation and do mundane tasks faster. Whether I am glued to my phone all day or just use it for an hour or two in a day, I want my phone to get done with the charging bit as soon as possible. It is a smartphone after all – it needs to stay on with me. And, it needs to run fast as well as cool, take nice photos, offer a nice web-show experience, and some gaming.
But, does the Realme GT Neo 3 150W fit the bill, especially at a price Rs. 42,999? To find out, I have been using the GT Neo 3 in its 150W trim for a few days and I have a lot to say.
Realme GT Neo 3 Battery and Charging
The GT Neo 3's advertisement banners have been all about its “50 percent charge in 5 minutes”; so let's talk about it first. Does it do that 0-50 percent charge in 5 minutes? Nope. Realme cleverly claims that a 50 percent charge is possible in 5 minutes and that seems valid for a 20-70 percent charge. When charging from zero, the battery has to deal with trickle charging and that is slow by all means.
Let me uncomplicate this better – I have been charging the phone from less than 10 percent to full, and I had to mostly wait around 20 minutes, more, depending on room temperature. If you enable the Rapid Charging features, the 5-100 percent charging takes over 15 minutes. If the phone gets hot (which it does), the speed goes down a bit. But most importantly, the 150W charging serves its purpose – quickly filling up vast chunks of battery in the matter of minutes. This is a convenience you crave for when going back to using an iPhone, or any other slower charging phone. Hah, it becomes tough to test slower charging phones after this!
The 4500mAh battery itself is large enough to easily offer a whole day's battery life, even when you throw in an hour of gaming, social media browsing, video calls, and the likes – all of this in 120Hz refresh rate mode.
Realme GT Neo 3 Design
Realme usually keeps its design simpler and synonymous with those from Oppo and OnePlus devices. The GT Neo 2 from last year in the simpler single tone colours wasn't particularly an exciting looking phone. Not much has changed with the GT Neo 3 as well, keeping the same design in essence, and a mildly rearranged camera hump. If you get this phone in the black variant, you might be getting bored within hours of unboxing.
However, in those Sprint White and Nitro Blue colour variants that wear the racing stripes, the Realme GT Neo 3 ends up as the most exciting looking phone. The paintjob scheme is impressive, at least on the Sprint White variant – the white matte glass rear with the black stripes, and the blacked out plastic frame makes it look hot. It feels well built too and at 188 grams, it is fairly convenient to hold as well.
There's interesting stuff at the front too. Although it may look like any other phone from 2022, the GT Neo 3's display is surrounded by much slimmer bezels and the camera is centrally positioned. This is one nice looking phone by all means (just avoid the boring black variant).
Realme GT Neo 3 Display
Realme has always offered some of the best displays and the GT Neo 3 gets one of the best ones. This is a 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, and holding an optical in-display fingerprint scanner. It lacks the flagship niceties such as variable refresh rate and an ultrasonic scanner, but that is fine considering its price.
Unless you compare it with a Galaxy S22 Ultra, this is a very lively, vivid and bright display that does its job well. The 120Hz refresh rate keeps animations and transitions smooth. Moreover, in the GT Mode, the display increases the touch sampling rate, making it more responsive. Realme is also using a Display Processor to enhance frame rates in select games to boost the frame rate to 120fps. Realme says that this is available for BGMI in India and you will need to enable the GT mode to see the higher frame rates. Sadly, I don't play BGMI and hence, I was unable to test out this feature.
Realme GT Neo 3 Performance
The GT Neo 3 for this year ditches the Snapdragon family and goes for the new MediaTek Dimensity 8100 chip. On benchmarks, the Dimensity 8100 offers almost the same levels of performance as the Snapdragon 888. Hence, in layman's English, you have a lot of raw performance to play with. And in the real world, it shows.
With the lighter-on-resources and well-optimised Realme UI 3, the GT Neo 3 runs swiftly. Be it scrolling around its menus or checking out the photo gallery, or simply scrolling social media, the GT Neo 3 is always at home handling quick inputs with ease. I threw some games at it and even then, the phone did not sweat. With Shadow Fight 4: Legends in Ultra graphics, the GT Neo 3 was fluctuating the FPS counter between 30 fps and 60 fps. It was a more stable experience with Call of Duty: Mobile, with the frame counter sitting at a stable 60 fps in Very High graphics and Very High frame rates.
The phone's rear does get warm after almost 30 minutes of gameplay but I did not see the effect on the frame rates. Complementing the gameplay is a nicely tuned set of stereo speakers, which are very loud and sound decent.
Realme UI 3 in itself is an interesting software experience. It resembles ColorOS 12 in many ways and even carries on the same set of junk apps and adware. Some of the third-party apps can be deleted but the rest can only be disabled, or hidden. The Browser app spams all day with its notifications and you can only stop it by disabling it. Realme currently promises up to two years of OS updates and three years of security support, which seems not enough for a phone of this class.
Network connectivity has been strong on Jio's 4G LTE network so far, with the phone being able to hold on to data connectivity in troubled areas. The call reception has been strong as well. There's support for 5G networks as well and in the absence of technology in India, we will have to wait and see how it functions over the early networks.
Realme GT Neo 3 Cameras
Realme has been improving its camera game lately and the same is visible on the GT Neo 3. The 50MP Sony IMX766 camera is borrowed from the Realme GT 2 Pro but its tuning and the different ISP make it slightly less capable. In daylight, the GT Neo 3 is a capable shooter, maintaining a good dynamic range, decent sharpness and detailing, but higher than natural exposure.
With low light, the details get squashed slightly and at night, the camera performance is comparable to a mid range Android phone. Compared to a Realme GT 2 Pro, the detailing levels are what you give up with the Neo 3. The OIS works though, keeping handheld shots fairly stable and sharp. While the main camera boosts saturation, the 8MP ultra-wide camera does dull colours and much lower exposures, making the photos even in daylight look uninspiring. The 2MP macro camera is average under daylight but useless otherwise. The main camera can also do video recording up to 4K at 60 fps, and the quality is decent.
Check out some sample images here
The 16MP front camera on the GT Neo 3 works nicely for selfies, especially with skin tones, details, and the portrait effects.
The sub- ₹50,000 space has been full of performance oriented “flagship killer” in 2022, with almost all of them relying on last year's Snapdragon 888 chip. The Realme GT Neo 3 with its Dimensity 8100 5G chip brings a much-needed variety, and Realme has done enough on its part to make this an easy recommendation. It won't be wrong for me to say that the GT Neo 3 is easily the most exciting smartphone you can buy today for less than Rs. 45,000, save for the iQOO 9 5G.
The Realme GT Neo 3 150W looks striking with its racing inspired design and its 150W charging solution offers a convenience that only a few phones at this price can match. Coupled with the power efficient and capable Dimensity 8100 chip, a nice 120Hz AMOLED display, and a decent main camera, the GT Neo 3 150W seems tempting. However, look at the competition and the GT Neo 3 isn't the best value for money package.
The iQOO 9 5G for almost the same price offers the more superior Snapdragon 888+ chip, a much better camera system, and an equally fast 120W charging solution. In fact, the 150W charging solution is no faster than the 120W charging solution from iQOO and Xiaomi in the real world. Realme's own GT 2 with the Snapdragon 888 and the same set of cameras is also there for a much lower Rs. 34,999. Moreover, when you are spending Rs. 43,000 on a Dimensity 8100 phone, knowing that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones are only a stone's throw away makes it hard to satisfy the VFM-obsessed mind. With the bank offers combined, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro costs almost the same and you get a much faster chip and 144Hz display.
However, some phones are meant to appeal to the heart more than the brain, and the Realme GT Neo 3 is one of them. It appeals to the inner 10-year-old with its race-inspired design, the blistering fast charging, and full focus on gaming – all this makes it a thrilling proposition. Moreover, if you can't spend over Rs. 40,000 for the 150W version, the GT Neo 3 with 80W charging is available at a much more reasonable price of Rs. 36,999, offering the same basic performance but with slower charging speeds. Not a bad deal, eh?
- Looks exciting
- Blistering fast charging
- Average Cameras
Display6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED 120Hz
ChipsetMediaTek Dimensity 8100
Rear Cameras50MP + 8MP + 2MP
Battery & Charging4500mAh, 150W wired
OSRealme UI 3 on Android 12
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