It’s not uncommon for smartphone vendors to diversify their portfolios across different price brackets. In fact, over the course of the last year or so, we’ve seen numerous players in the affordable segment spread their wings and launch devices in the premium smartphone space as well. Be it the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (review), the iQOO 9 Pro (review), or even the Vivo X70 Pro Plus (review), Chinese smartphone vendors seem keen on pushing the envelope with the price of their phones to accommodate better specs and features.
And, following in the competition’s footsteps, Realme has finally forayed into the premium segment too. The company recently announced the Realme GT 2 Pro which is the brand’s most expensive and decked-out phone to date. Unsurprisingly, a good chunk of buyers were on the fence about splurging Rs 50K on a Realme phone. But, if my review is anything to go by, then you’ll not be disappointed with the Realme GT 2 Pro. Here’s why.
The Realme GT 2 Pro is a fantastic entrant in the premium segment. The device has a lot going for it and will not disappoint you in the slightest, provided you can look past the handset’s lack of IP rating or support for wireless charging.
Realme is no stranger to good-looking phones and the company’s latest touts a stylish and unique design too. I was sent the Paper White colourway for review which looks superbly elegant, to say the least. In fact, unlike some competing devices, the GT 2 Pro’s design feels cohesive and well-put-together. So, be it the chrome accents on the camera module, Naoto Fukasawa’s signature, or the choice of font for the company’s branding, the GT 2 Pro imparts a sense of sophistication from every which angle. I am genuinely in awe of how well the company made sense of all the design elements and positioned them beautifully on the phone’s back.
All the more remarkable, the Realme GT 2 Pro’s candy bar design stands out despite sharing the same groundwork as most, if not all Android phones in the market. Rest assured, the Realme GT 2 Pro will surpass your expectations in the design department and the device is, at least in my books, the best-looking phone from the company’s stables yet – yep, even more so than the Realme X2 Pro Brick Edition.
That’s not all, as the phone is quite comfortable to use too, which can be accredited to its bio-based polymer construction. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for glass-sandwich phones as well, however, that doesn’t take anything away from the GT 2 Pro’s build quality. To wit, the smartphone feels robust and the chassis didn’t offer any give/flex either. What’s more, the device tips the scale at just 189 grams, so you’ll rarely feel the unit’s heft ache your wrists. And, to top it all off, the smartphone’s bio-based polymer construction amounts to 35.5 percent fewer carbon emissions, making it a sound option for environmentally conscious consumers as well.
While one could make a case against the GT 2 Pro’s design, I am positive that you will echo my sentiments regarding the smartphone’s display. To wit, the device ships with a 6.7-inch, QHD+, AMOLED panel that can refresh at up to 120Hz. I say “up to”, as the phone employs LTPO 2.0 tech which can smartly variate the display’s refresh rate depending on the content on the screen. So, the refresh rate will ramp up to 120Hz if you’re playing a game that runs at 120FPS or browsing the interwebs. At the same time, the panel can drop down all the way to 10Hz for static content, which in turn helps conserve the phone’s battery life. And, if you’re the outdoorsy type, then you’ll greatly appreciate the panel’s peak brightness of 1,400 nits too.
More notably, the GT 2 Pro is among the rare breed of Android phones to ship with a flat screen. Now, as someone who has had their fair share of curved-screen phones, I cannot emphasise the practical benefits offered by a flat display enough. For one, you won’t notice any colour distortion alongside the edges of the GT 2 Pro’s screen. Furthermore, the handset isn’t as susceptible to accidental touches akin to a device with a curved screen either. Also, I personally find it easier to play games on a phone with a flat display. Now, granted, curved screen phones look a tad better, however, from where I stand, the practical benefits outweigh the aesthetic attributes easily.
That’s not all, as the smartphone comes with WideVine L1 certification and correspondingly, allows users to stream content in HD from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. That said, it’s quite disappointing to see that the phone cannot relay HDR media from OTT services. Now, I did reach out to the brand and I was assured that the company is working on a fix for the same. Correspondingly, the phone should be compliant with HDR media down the line.
Performance, Software, and Battery life
I’ve already spoken about the Realme GT 2 Pro’s performance and camera chops in my comparison article where I pit the device against the OnePlus 10 Pro (review), so do check it. But, to get you up to speed, the GT 2 Pro is among the fastest Android phones in the market and the device is backed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC which works in tandem with LPDDR5 memory and UFS 3.1 storage. Unsurprisingly, the smartphone is more than adept at gaming or multitasking between a handful of apps.
To give you a better picture, the handset could run demanding games like BGMI at the highest graphics and FPS preset (HDR + Extreme, or UHD + Ultra). That’s not all, as the phone doesn’t heat up all that much either, which can be accredited to the unit’s stainless steel vapour cooling chamber which per the brand, has the largest cooling surface in any smartphone.
Sure enough, the device netted better results in the CPU throttling test compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro, which is backed by similar specs. What’s more, you can squeeze even more performance out of the phone by enabling the “GT Mode”, which can be found under the device’s battery settings. With the feature enabled, I noticed that the smartphone churned out higher numbers in synthetic testing apps like GeekBench, albeit got noticeably warmer and even dropped the system stability to 70 percent in the CPU throttling test. Be that as it may, buyers eyeing the Realme GT 2 Pro will find little to complain about in the performance department.
The same goes for the smartphone’s battery backup too and with the display set to FHD+ resolution, I was able to get a day’s worth of battery life from the Realme GT 2 Pro. That said, at QHD+ resolution and some gaming, the battery dipped to single digits by the evening. Thankfully, the device ships with a speedy 65W charger in the box that allowed me to top up the phone in a little over 40 minutes, which is great.
The handset’s software, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. For one, the device ships with a ton of bloatware – in fact, I counted over 10 third-party apps on the phone and that’s beside the duplicate apps that come bundled with the set. Thankfully, the custom interface does have a few things going for it too. For one, the launcher offers a ton of customisation options and the device even lets you download and apply third-party icon packs from the Google Play store.
What’s more, the interface is replete with useful utilities, including a private vault to secure your personal files and photos, as well as a smart sidebar that can be toggled by swiping inwards from either edge to access your most-used apps and other system shortcuts. And, the company is ensuring buyers opting for the GT 2 Pro will get three years of OS upgrades and four years of security patches as well. All said and done, the Realme GT 2 Pro’s software interface while good, could do with some more tweaks and refinements.
The Realme GT 2 Pro ships with a capable camera stack too. Spec-wise, the device gets a 50MP Sony sensor that works alongside a 50MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide snapper, and a 40x micro-lens. For selfies, the smartphone utilises a 32MP Sony IMX615 camera.
As prefaced previously, you can refer to an in-depth camera comparison between the Realme GT 2 Pro and the OnePlus 10 Pro to get better insights into the handset’s photography chops. However, at the expense of sounding like a broken record, the Realme GT 2 Pro clicks superb photos during the day and snaps from the phone’s main sensor offer bountiful details. The device reciprocates colours in the frame quite well too, albeit has a tendency to slightly amplify shades of blue and green. The dynamic range in the photos was to my liking as well and the device doesn’t crush the shadows in a snap either. If anything, I would’ve liked to see better corner sharpness in the images as subjects around the periphery of the frame appear a bit soft.
You’d be equally appreciative of the phone’s lowlight capabilities. Now, the handset does brighten the scene a bit, thereby making the sky look – for the lack of a better word – photoshopped. Other than that, you’ll find good detailing in the snaps, along with minimal noise too. The ultrawide angle sensor is quite capable as well, although the unit is susceptible to lens flares, as I pointed out when I tested the device against the OnePlus 10 Pro. Furthermore, I would’ve liked to see sharper, more well-defined textures along the edges of the frame as well.
Now, I didn’t find much use for the unit’s 40x micro-lens. While you can get some creative photos with the sensor, I would’ve much preferred the device to ship with a telephoto lens instead. On the bright side, the smartphone offers OIS and correspondingly, you should be able to get some smooth clips via the handset’s main sensor. Much to my dismay, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the phone’s 32MP selfie camera, which clicked beautified images despite disabling all skin-softening features. The colours in the snaps seemed a bit off too. I do hope the company can better the GT 2 Pro’s cameras with software updates down the line.
The Realme GT 2 Pro starts at Rs 49,999 which at first, might sound a bit steep. That said, having spent some time with the phone, I feel that it is well worth the price. For one, the smartphone is the most affordable Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 backed phone in the market, right alongside the Moto Edge 30 Pro. Furthermore, the device ships with a fantastic, pixel-dense display that will undoubtedly enhance your media consumption and gaming experience. That’s not all, as the phone’s cameras are quite capable too, meaning you will be able to click serene photos come night or day.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Gorgeous design
- Stunning display
- Excellent performer
- Capable main camera
- Cannot relay HDR media from Netflix yet
- No wireless charging
- No IP rating