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Realme GT Master Edition Review: More Than Just A Pretty Design
The Master Edition products are usually costlier than their regular versions. But Realme's approach breaks the stereotype. The brand has been making special edition versions of its popular smartphones for a while with no major differences in the price-point. In fact, the latest Master Edition handset in Realme's GT line-up is a mid-range smartphone that is priced significantly lower than the regular Realme GT handset.
- Unique Vegan Leather Design
- Snappy Performance
- Vibrant 120Hz Refresh rate OLED Display
- 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 65W Fast-Charging (Recharges In 35 Min)
- Interesting Camera Modes
- Camera lacks Tuning
- Street Photography Mode Not Available For Videos
- Battery Life Could Have Been Better
- Average Audio Setup
The price difference is mostly due to the underlying chipset. The regular variant gets the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, whereas the Realme GT ME (Master Edition) is powered by Qualcomm's latest 7th gen. Snapdragon 778G processor.
You must be wondering, what makes a mid-range 5G smartphone a special edition variant and not the one that gets the most powerful chipset. Besides, we will be answering all your questions related to the various performance aspect of the Realme GT Master Edition in the following review. So, let's get started.
What Makes The Realme GT Master Edition A Special Edition Phone?
Two things make this particular variant of Realme GT a ‘Master Edition' product; unique design and an exclusive camera feature- Kodak inspired Street Photography mode, which we will discuss later in the review with some samples.
The source of inspiration for this master edition phone is a suitcase. The designer has replicated the horizontal grid of the suitcase on the back panel of the Realme GT ME. The material used is environment-friendly ‘Vegan Leather', which has a soft matte texture and feels good to hold. The polymer material also offers a good grip and is resistant to fingerprints and smudges.
The device itself is easier to hold and use with one hand, thanks to a lightweight body (180g) and good ergonomics. As for the ports and buttons, the Realme GT ME has a Type-C charging port, dual SIM card tray, a snappy in-screen fingerprint scanner, blazing-fast face unlock, and a 3.5mm audio jack, which is a rare sight these days. The three clickable buttons- the power button and volume rockers offer good tactile feedback.
But Why A Suitcase?
This interesting idea of creating a suitcase-inspired phone is the imagination of Japanese industrial designer- Naoto Fukasawa, who previously worked on creating the unique-looking Concrete and Red Brick-themed Realme X2 Pro and the Garlic-Onion Edition Realme X handset.
But why a suitcase? In the words of Naoto Fukasawa, "I wanted to design the phone for all people. Especially for positive, active and lively people." Realme further mentions that the unique suitcase-inspired design allows users to naturally think of travel. Now, this might not be the best time to think about travel but it surely makes for an interesting looking handset that's very practical to use.
Realme GT ME Display & Audio
The Realme GT ME flaunts a good display for its price. The phone has a 6.43-inch 120Hz Samsung AMOLED screen that works well for video streaming, gameplay, web browsing, and all other day-to-day tasks. The OLED supports 100% DCI-P3 colors, has good viewing angles and excellent peak brightness, which allows for stress-free outdoor visibility. You can watch media content in HD on Netflix as the panel is WideVine L1 certified; however, the HDR streaming isn't available, which is slightly disappointing.
Vibrant Visuals & Smooth Flow
The UI navigation and scrolling feel buttery smooth, thanks to the flagship-class 120Hz refresh rate. You can set the display to run at 120Hz/60Hz or just let the phone decide the best refresh rate according to the content and apps being pushed on the OLED panel. Moving on, the screen also serves well for intense gameplay sessions, thanks to the 360Hz touch sampling rate.
Average Sound Delivery
I wish Realme had offered a better speaker setup on this special edition mid-range device. The mono speaker position at the bottom doesn't allow for an immersive audio experience. Thankfully, the 3.5mm audio jack comes to the rescue and lets you enjoy music with your favorite wired headphones.
Poco F3 GT Vs Realme GT ME Display
There's another mid-range handset that steals the limelight from the Realme GT ME. Priced at Rs. 27,999, the Poco F3 GT is a game-centric device with a better overall display and audio performance. In fact, it offers the absolute best display experience in the sub-30K price.
The F3 GT's 6.67-inch 10-bit 1080p OLED offers punchier colors, better peak brightness, and a higher- 480Hz touch sampling rate that enhances your gaming experience. The Poco F3 GT's haptic feedback is also better than the Realme GT ME and the OLED can also stream HDR videos in OTT apps.
Realme GT Camera Specifications
- 64MP Main Camera, f/1.8 aperture, 1/2-inch size, 4K 30/60fps, 1080/720p 30fps/60fps video recording, EIS, UIS and UIS Max, No OIS
- 8MP 119°Ultra-wide Lens, 5P Lens, f/2.3 aperture
- 2MP macro Sensor (4cm distance), f/2.4 aperture
- 32MP (Sony IMX615 sensor, 6P Lens), Selfie Camera- 1080/720p 30fps Video Recording
- The daylight pictures show vibrant colors but look slightly over contrasty. Notice the greens and the blue hues in the sample shots. The shadow areas appear darker. This creates a very dramatic-looking picture, which looks appealing but deviates from scene accuracy. The colors aren't represented in their natural state.
- The camera does capture a good dynamic range. Even the wide-angle shots show the same good dynamic range and vibrant colors with no difference in the white balance. However, the details take a significant hit.
- The indoor shots come out soft, especially the skin textures.
- The zoom shots only look good in ample lighting and that too with 2x range. The 5x shots come out very noisy even with good lighting scenarios. This isn't a device to capture zoom shots.
- Noise is quite evident in low-light and but you get two dedicated night modes, one standard, and one Starry mode to capture bright stars in the night sky. Interestingly, you also get a Pro night mode that allows you to play around with focus, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. Night shots with the dedicated night mode show more details but don't expect color accuracy here too.
- The close-up shots look excellent. And some portraits also turn out good, provided that you have maintained the right distance from the camera. Otherwise, you will be presented with a very unnatural bokeh.
Good Video Camera
- The Realme GT ME impressed us with its video recording capabilities. The 64MP sensor captures crisp 4k and 1080p videos with good color science and better contrast levels.
- The AI mode comes in handy to shoot videos in complex lighting. The mode can even brighten up videos shot against the light and ensures good HDR performance.
- There's plenty to explore in the video camera modes. You can apply real-time filters, enable beautification, shoot portrait videos, and can even control the amount of depth you need in a given scene.
- Overall, the Realme GT ME has a better video camera than a stills shooter.
Does Street Photography Features Work?
Yes, they do if you don't limit your creativity. Realme has offered a variety of tools to capture the essence of street photography but it comes down to you and your skills to utilize those features. I liked how the street filter captured the essence of street photography and helps you tell a story. Enable the street mode and select the street filter to capture some nice-looking color-graded shots.
You can quickly shuffle between four different focal lengths to capture different scenes and subjects. The 16mm zoom range works best for street photography. Try shooting with the full-screen aspect ratio to avoid some distortion around the corners. An edge-to-edge shot in the 16mm focal length with the right street filter can do magic. Enable ‘Level' from the settings to ace the composition and select ‘Raw' mode if you like to fiddle around with colors in the post-processing.
Overall, the Realme GT ME has a good camera for street photography enthusiasts. I only wish these features would have been enabled for the video camera as well. A camera shouldn't restrict a good street photographer with just still photography.
Realme GT ME Hardware & Software Performance
- 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC
- 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM
- 256GB UFS 2.2 Memory
- RealmeUI 2.0 (Android 11)
I switched from a flagship OnePlus phone to the mid-range Realme GT ME with thoughts that I would face some compromises in the performance department. Guess what, I was wrong. The Realme GT ME is surprisingly fast and snappy.
I did not face any slowdowns, app crashes, or any major heating issues on the handset. Even the most demanding game titles like BGMI and COD Mobile (High with Ultra Frame rate) run at higher settings with no such frame drops or throttling issues.
Smooth & Lag-Free User-Experience
Apps load up instantly and the phone doesn't disappoint with multiple apps running in the background. The good overall performance is the combined effect of a speedy 6nm octa-core chipset, ample built-in RAM with up to 5GB virtual RAM, fast 120Hz display, and well-optimized software. The UI is very prompt, offers tons of customization features and utilities that are spread across the UI ranging from navigation, security, privacy, connectivity, device setup, etc.
Realme's UI is also devoid of any unwanted ads and notifications but not of bloatware. There's plenty of preloaded apps, some useful and some not but most of these can be uninstalled.
Realme GT ME- Qualcomm SD778G Benchmark Scores
Let's talk benchmarks. The smooth performance of the handset is further explained by the good benchmark scores. Powered by the new 6nm SoC SD778G, the handset scored 12559 in the PC mark Work 3.0 test, which is higher than the Poco X3 Pro's score fuelled by the SD860 chipset. In the Geekbench test, the Realme GT ME logged 776 in the single-core and 2714 in the multi-core test, again beating the Poco X3 Pro's numbers but with a slight margin.
The Realme GT ME scored 4763 in the 3D Mark's Sling Shot Extreme test and touched a high score of 5,33,345 in Antutu. These are some impressive numbers and put things in perspective for the snappy performance of the handset.
Realme GT Battery Life
That compact form factor and lightweight design have their shortcomings. The Realme GT ME gets a modest 4,300mAh battery life, which hardly survived a day's usage. Now, this might not happen in your case as a lot depends upon usage type.
If you are a moderate user, the Realme GT ME can last you a day but not more than that. Video streaming and gameplay take a toll on the phone's battery life. Thankfully, the 65W fast-charger comes extremely handy and replenishes the battery from flat to 100% in less than 35 minutes. It's that fast.
Connectivity & Ports
As for connectivity, the smartphone has a dual nano-SIM card tray (no microSD card support), NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi (2.4/5.0GHz), GPS and multiple 5G bands support for future proof connectivity. The handset supports n1/n3/n5/n8/n28a/n77/n41/n78 5G bands.
The Realme GT ME is one of the best smartphones in the sub-30K category. It might not offer the best of hardware, but the real-life performance will not disappoint you. Throw anything on the GT ME and the handset will take it with ease. Importantly, the ‘Master Edition' tag and the design give a feel-good factor that's hard to find in this price segment.
If you want a sub-30k phone with a good overall performance, the Realme GT ME is a good option. Gaming enthusiasts can settle down with the Poco F3 GT. The Reno 6 5G is also worth considering for its premium Apple iPhone 12-inspired design and slightly better camera performance.