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Realme GT 2 Pro Review- Most Affordable Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Smartphone?
Realme offers one of the most diverse smartphone portfolios in India. The brand has a handset in every price bracket offering a wide range of features and good performance. Having sold budget and mid-range smartphones for four years, Realme has now upped the ante with its most premium offering for Indian consumers. The GT2 Pro is the brand's latest handset with top-of-the-line hardware and some unique features to take on the competition.
- Unique & Premium Design
- Gorgeous QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED Display
- Smooth Performance
- Decent Battery Life
- No Official IP Rating
- No Telephoto Camera
- No Wireless Charging
- Poor Portrait Camera Performance
Starting at Rs. 49,999 (8GB + 128GB), the GT2 Pro is one of the most affordable Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone in India. It is touted as the first handset to flaunt a bio-based polymer design and a 2K AMOLED flat display. There's a big 5,000mAh battery cell, a unique camera system featuring a 150-degree wide-angle camera, and a 40x microscopic camera.
There's quite a lot to like about the GT2 Pro's specifications on paper, but how much does it translate to real-life performance? Let's find it out.
Realme GT 2 Pro Design- Bio-Based Polymer Stays Smudge Free And Is Environmental Friendly
Realme is known for experimenting with the look and feel of its handsets. Since its inception in 2018, Realme has created some of the most distinctively designed mobile devices, including onion and garlic editions, vibrant neon colors, and brick finish devices. The new handset is no different. It is by far the most beautiful smartphone to come out of the Realme house due to the choice of materials and craftsmanship.
We are testing the Paper White color variant that gives limited edition vibes with the unique bio-based polymer back panel. The paper-touch material looks good, ensures a better in-hand grip than devices flaunting frosted glass backs or metal finishes, and is also less prone to fingerprints. Most importantly, this bio-based polymer design might be helping the environment too.
As per Realme, the process to make the new paper material design is comparatively environmental friendly. It cuts down carbon emissions to 35% as compared to the regular manufacturing process involving traditional smartphone materials such as plastic and glass. Realme also offers a green color variant with the same material. The third variant- uses the regular metal-glass finish.
Good In-Hand Feel But Feels Slightly Less Premium
And while the polymer-based material has environmental benefits and aces daily usability, it not necessarily feels as premium as the competition. There's a certain plastic feel to this paper-textured back that fails to match the premium feels of top-end flagship handsets from OnePlus, Oppo & Vivo. Nevertheless, the benefits overshadow the feel-good design utility that can be a tad subjective.
Realme GT 2 Pro Ergonomics & Durability
The Realme GT 2 Pro is a big phone but it doesn't come across as a bulky device. Thanks to a curved back panel and a flat display with almost zero bezels, the phone comfortably rests in the palm. The Realme GT 2 Pro is 8.2mm thick and weighs 189 grams. These are good numbers for a handset that flaunts a 6.67" screen and houses a massive 5,000mAh battery.
Unfortunately, there's no official IP rating on a smartphone that's billed as the brand's current flagship. It's just disappointing. Realme could have at least offered a bare minimum official IP-rated design if not the best in business- IP68. If putting a bio-based polymer back takes away the ingress protection, it isn't adding much value to the handset.
That said, if you accidentally drop this phone in a pool, the authorized service centers will not offer any assistance.
No Wireless Charging, No 3.5mm Audio Jack But Stereo Speakers
You should also know that the Realme GT 2 Pro comes sans wireless charging and also lacks a 3.5mm audio jack. The stereo speakers compensate to some extent as they punch out loud and clear audio. Moreover, the smartphone comes equipped with modern Bluetooth codecs such as aptX HD and LDAC support for immersive wireless streaming. The handset also comes equipped with a snappy and reliable in-screen fingerprint scanner.
Realme GT 2 Pro Display- 6.67-inch QHD+ AMOLED Screen
This premium Realme phone also brings a class-leading display. It's a 6.67-inch QHD+ (2K) AMOLED screen (525ppi) with almost zero bezels resulting in an immersive viewing experience. There's no pixelation at all and graphics/videos look extremely vivid and lively.
The display's color accuracy is good (Natural profile), thanks to 100% P3 color gamut support. Scrolling and UI navigation is also buttery smooth with a 120Hz refresh rate. Moreover, the screen touches up to 1000Hz touch sampling rate to ensure a smooth gaming experience.
LTPO 2.0 Technology Saves Some Battery Life?
Similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro, the 2K AMOLED screen on the GT 2 Pro also features LTPO 2.0 technology, which works just like the variable refresh rate tech. It intelligently changes the refresh rate depending upon the on-screen content.
For instance, the screen's refresh rate goes all the way up to 120Hz while playing games with high refresh rate support and while scrolling the Twitter/Instagram timeline. It goes down to 1-10Hz during a normal video playback saving you some battery life.
Moving on, the 10-bit OLED display ensures good outdoor visibility, thanks to a class-leading 1400 nits peak brightness. You can comfortably use the device outdoors on a sunny day. The screen protection is handled by a layer of the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. Moving on, you can stream content in HD as the display is WideVine certified; however, the GT 2 Pro couldn't stream HDR content. A software update might resolve the issue.
Realme GT 2 Pro Camera Hardware
The Realme GT 2 Pro has a rather interesting camera setup. There's a 50MP primary camera with OIS + EIS, supported by a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1 sensor wide-angle lens offering a crazy 150-degree field-of-view along with a dedicated fish-eye mode. There's no portrait or telephoto sensor on this premium handset, and the replacement comes in the form of a very unique 3MP, f/3.0 camera 40x micro-lens.
While it allows you to capture some interesting pictures, it still can't replace a dedicated telephoto sensor that brings along several benefits for smartphone photography. For selfies, the Realme GT 2 Pro boasts a 32MP f/2.4 front-facing camera.
Realme GT 2 Pro Camera Performance
- As it goes with most mid-range and premium devices today, the Realme GT 2 Pro's camera delivers impressive results in daylight. Pictures look crisp and sharp and have excellent dynamic range. Color tones seem mostly accurate, provided that you haven't disabled the AI toggle as it boosts up the color tones and contrast levels.
- The 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor (1/1.56") lets in a good amount of light and delivers noise-free images, thanks to a fairly wide f/1.8 aperture and OIS support. You can also capture 50MP high-resolution pictures but images show some unwanted noise.
- Since there's no telephoto sensor, the 2x zoom shots are essentially cropped standard pictures that aren't as impressive as dedicated telephoto pictures. You can still use them for social media posts though.
Impressive Wide-Angle Camera Performance
- The Realme GT 2 Pro is an excellent smartphone for landscape and street photography.
- Both standard landscape and 150-degree wide-angle shots come out impressive. The barrel distortion cannot be avoided when the sensor is capturing such a wide field of view, and honestly, the effect gives a very unique perspective to landscape shots.
- There's no visible color shift in pictures shot from the main sensor and the wide-angle sensor and the loss in sharpness isn't drastic.
Dedicated Fish-Eye Mode, Poor Portrait Camera Performance
- There's a dedicated fish-eye mode to let you make the most out of such a wide-angle lens.
- The Realme GT2 Pro's portrait camera performance is a big letdown. The lack of a dedicated portrait sensor is evident in the results.
- The edge detection is mostly off and the software-induced bokeh looks very immature. Some mid-range phones offer better portrait results than the Realme GT2 Pro.
- Realme should have at least offered a 2MP depth sensor to add value to the camera system.
Unique Microscope Camera
- Realme tries to compensate for the lack of a portrait sensor by giving a 3MP microscopic camera that offers 20x native zoom and 40x digital zoom. The microscopic sensor is accompanied by a pair of LED flashlights to evenly expose the tiny subjects.
- The 3MP camera impresses with microphotography and is a cool party trick. You can capture some mind-blowing pictures with interesting subjects handy.
- The Realme GT2 Pro delivers well-exposed low-light shots with plenty of details and vivid colors. If you have a light source in the frame, images turn out pretty good.
- Lastly, the Realme GT2 Pro can also prove to be a decent video recording device. It can shoot 8K 30fps, 4K 30/60fps, 1080p 30/60fps videos. Even the wide-angle camera can record 4K 30fps videos. Videos look crisp and show a good dynamic range. The stabilization also works well.
Realme GT 2 Hardware- Powerful Performance & Impressive Thermals
This sub-50,000 smartphone is powered by the same chipset- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 gen 1, which you will find in the most premium Android flagships of 2022 such as the OnePlus 10 Pro, Galaxy S22+, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and the iQOO 9 Pro.
Based on the 4nm fabrication technology, the latest SoC ensures smooth performance all-day long. In fact, the Realme GT 2 Pro is the first SD 8 Gen 1 powered handset that runs comparatively cooler than the aforementioned flagships.
The paper-textured bio-based material or the touted largest heat dissipation system planted in the handset could be the reasons for such better thermal performance. That said, you can play the most demanding games on the handset at maximum settings without any performance hiccups. The smartphone maintains the peak performance without giving you any major reasons to complain.
Realme GT 2 Software
The smartphone runs on realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12. It is one of the most responsive Android UI packing a fair share of utilities to enhance your day-to-day experience. The smart sidebar is our favorite one as it offers quick access to the most used/favorite apps. You also get quick launch features, smooth gesture controls, Kids' space, and flexible windows to boost the multitasking experience. The user interface in general is extremely smooth and free of jitters.
Sadly, the Realme UI has a fair share of bloatware too. The phone boots up with 20+ pre-installed apps including Josh, Sharechat, etc. Thankfully, you can uninstall most of these pre-loaded applications. As far as the software update cycle is concerned, the Realme GT 2 Pro comes with a promise of three years of software updates and four years of security patches. This is good but some manufacturers such as Samsung offer longer software upgrade cycles.
Battery & Connectivity
The Realme GT 2 Pro is powered by a 5,000mAh battery cell and is supported by 65W fast charging. This isn't the best fast-charging tech in the market but still offers satisfactory results. The bundled charger can refuel the battery from flat to 100% in less than 45 minutes. As far as the battery life is concerned the handset can last for a day and even more if you set the screen to run at 1080p resolution and keep the refresh rate to auto.
Bumping up the resolution to QHD+ takes a toll on the battery life if you stream videos on a loop and play long game sessions. For connectivity, the Realme GT 2 Pro has a dual nano-SIM card slot (5G+5G Dual mode), Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 (2.4/5GHz), and NFC support. We didn't come across any connectivity-related issues on the handset with Airtel 4G and Airtel XTreme Fibre broadband in the Delhi/NCR region.
The GT 2 Pro justifies Realme's most premium handset title; however, it isn't free of compromises. The phone brings a unique environmental friendly design, a gorgeous 120hz QHD+ AMOLED display and packs the latest hardware that delivers a smooth and power-packed performance. The main and wide-angle camera performance also justifies the price point. The addition of a unique microscopic camera is appreciable but not at the cost of a good telephoto sensor.
Besides, the lack of official IP rating and wireless charging at this price point are just dealbreakers. These are some notable omissions that cannot be ignored if you are paying a premium price. If that is the case, then what are your options?
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is worth considering if you are looking for an all-rounder handset within the same price-bracket. While it lacks the latest chipset, the performance on a daily basis is top-notch, and there are very few compromises. You can also check out the OnePlus 9RT, iQOO 9 or can wait for Xiaomi to unveil the much-awaited flagship- Xiaomi 12.