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Realme GT 5G review
Jul 23, 2021
Realme GT 5G is the 2021 flagship offering from Realme, which is also the first Snapdragon 888 powered smartphone from the brand. This is one of those devices which are packed with high-end features but still have a price that is hard to ignore.
The Realme GT 5G is powered by the Qualcomm’s latest flagship chip, Snapdragon 888, but that’s only one of the key features this handset has to offer. The phone has a Samsung-made 120Hz AMOLED display with 360Hz touch sampling rate. The phone has Dolby dual speakers and a large battery supported by an impressively fast 65W charging. The phone is shipped with a 65W SuperDart charger.
Realme went for the triple camera setup for the back and a single selfie shooter. The rear panel has 64MP Sony IMX682 primary shooter accompanied by 8MP ultrawide snapper and 2MP macro camera. There is a 16MP sensor for the selfie.
The phone definitely seems like a flagship killer, since you get flagship grade specs at a really aggressive price. However, flagship or not, no phone is perfect and the Realme GT 5G is no exception. Being a top-tier mid-range phone the GT 5G had to give up on ingress protection and a zoom camera. Actually, these don’t matter since we can certainly live without those, at this price.
The Realme GT 5G comes in a box that’s larger than usual, and this time it isn’t Realme yellow; it’s black. Inside the box, you find the 65W SuperDart charger, USB-C to USB-C 6.5A rated cable. There is also a transparent silicone case and some documents.
The GT 5G has a thin pre-applied screen protector. We suggest peeling it off since it’s a smudge magnet and of cheap quality.
Realme is quite experienced when it comes to making good-looking phones, and the Realme GT is a real looker. It’s an all-glossy smartphone with a traditional dual-glass build and a plastic frame in between.
The front is a flat glass, while the back is curved towards the edges - that’s what Realme calls a 3D curve, sounds fancy for something we’ve seen several times.
The back panel is a massive smudge magnet, but it's something you need to ignore when you want to make the phone look gorgeous.
The phone comes in Dashing Blue and Dashing Silver color options, both with Accelerated Track Pattern as the company calls it.
There is also a Racing Yellow color option as well, available only in top-tier memory configuration. This version has Dual-tone Vegan Leather back. Most of it is Yellow with a black strip as wide as the camera module. The company says that the leather is resistant to wear and tear and is treated to be odorless.
The front is covered by a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display which is one of the highlights, with the other one being the Snapdragon 888 chipset. The display has 1080p resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate.
There is a small punch-hole in the top left corner in the front which houses the 16MP selfie camera. It’s not one of the smallest ones around but isn't the largest either.
Above the display, within its frame, is the earpiece behind a thin grille. This earpiece also doubles as the speaker, and our first impression was good, although far from the best we’ve seen.
The fingerprint scanner is positioned underneath the display - it uses the latest optical sensor and we haven’t faced any issues with it. The sensor is fast, responsive and accurate.
The display is surrounded by bezels that aren’t thin in particular, since we’ve seen thinner ones, but for the size, features and price, they do fit perfectly well.
The rear panel has glass with fancy 3D curves, more prominent on the longer sides. The camera module also has a glass and it houses three shooters - a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro shooter, alongside a dual-LED dual-tone flash. The phone wobbles when placed on a flat surface like a table.
Unlike other flagships, the Realme GT has a plastic frame, mostly flat on the top and bottom and slightly curved on the sides. The right side of the frame is home to the dual-SIM tray and the volume buttons, whereas the left side of the frame houses the power/lock button. The top has the lone microphone for stereo audio capturing during video recording. As for the bottom, it accommodates the second speaker, mouthpiece, USB-C port and 3.5mm audio jack.
The Realme GT measures 158.5 x 73.3 x 8.4mm and weighs 186g. The Realme GT is a bit more compact than most of the flagship and mid-range smartphones out there. Despite its smaller size, the phone manages to fit a great screen, chipset and the 4,500mAh battery.
The Realme GT is equipped with Samsung manufactured 6.43-inch AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. The display has rounded corners with 2,400 x 1080px resolution and 406ppi pixel density. The phone also has premium features like the HDR10+ support, 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate.
The Realme GT has 120Hz refresh rate, the phone allows you to choose between 60Hz, 120Hz and Auto Select. The Auto Select and 120Hz options hardly have any difference, since they run all compatible apps (games excluded) in 120Hz and drop back to 60Hz when showing static images and video playback/streaming.
As for the brightness it caps at 443 nits when adjusted manually, but when using the Auto function the brightness can go as high as 650 nits. On the other hand, the minimum brightness offered is 2.0 nits, we can surely say that it’s an excellent one.
Battery Life & Charging Speed:
The Realme GT 5G has a 4,500mAh battery under the hood. The phone has the same battery and display as the Realme 8 Pro, but has a more powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset and 120Hz refresh rate.
The phone can easily last for over a full day in 3G calls; you can browse the internet for roughly 14 hours or watch videos for over 16 hours. For a smartphone with Snapdragon 888 SoC the battery life is amazing.
The Realme GT 5G supports 65W SuperDart Charge, and the phone is bundled with a 65W power adapter. The company is marketing the 65W SuperDart Charge to replenish the battery to 100% in 35 minutes.
Sadly, there is no wireless charging or reverse charging support on the Realme GT.
In just 30 minutes the battery percentage reached 87% mark and a full charge took around 39 minutes and it took an additional 2 minutes to show Charged.
The Realme GT has two speakers - one at the bottom and the other one is the earpiece. Both speakers support Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res audio.
The speaker on the bottom is probably larger as it offers more bass compared to the top one, and it’s arguably louder as well. However, when working in a sync they are rather tuned well and overall loudness seems balanced enough.
The audio isn’t tuned great, since the mid-tones seem a bit lacking, the bass isn’t as punchy, but the high notes sound really amazing.
The Realme GT is the first smartphone from the brand to be powered by the Snapdragon 888. The chip is built using the 5nm manufacturing process.
The chipset has an octa-core in a familiar configuration of 1+3+4 - 1x 2.84GHz Kryo 680 Prime (Cortex-X1 derivative) & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 680 Gold (Cortex-A78 derivative) & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 680 Silver (Cortex-A55 derivative).
The graphics intensive task is handled by the Adreno 660 GPU which makes the Realme GT 5G one of the best phones in the market.
This powerful chipset is supported by 8GB or 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 12GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage. As for the connectivity - the phone has dual 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and dual-band GPS.
Realme GT has a multi-layered cooling system, it’s an attempt made by the company to make the “coolest Snapdragon 888 smartphone”. The cooling system has a copper chamber surrounded by stainless steel. Then there are multiple layers of graphite covering the entire chip area.
In the Geekbench 5 test the Realme GT managed to score 3,555 and 1,139 points in multi-core and single-core tests, respectively. In the AnTuTu 8 the phone scored 703,986 points and in the AnTuTu 9 test the handset got a score of 810,433 points.
The main camera by default saves 16MP photos, and those are quite good. The shots have plenty of detail, incredibly low noise and amazing contrast along with great dynamic range. The white balance is perfect and colors are consistently accurate.
For a mid-ranger the 16MP photos from the main camera are way better. However, they seem a bit over-processed and at times look artificial. They are not at all bad, but not among the best either for the reasons we’ve mentioned.
Realme has provided an AI Scene Enhancement toggle within the camera app. This feature just makes an HDR photo with eye-popping colors, depending on the scene. The algorithm makes the colors saturated, if you like the saturated colors then you should keep the AI toggle on.
The Realme GT, unlike Realme 8 Pro, doesn’t have lossless zoom. No matter 2x or 5x, it is purely digital zoom done by cropping and upscaling. The photos might look okay on the phone, but it’s not the same in case when you view them in full resolution.
There is also a dedicated 64MP mode, and the camera gives some good high-res photos, but the size of the file is around 20MB to 30MB, that’s big for a photo. They lack the over processing we saw in the regular photos - the sharpening, then smoothing and noise reduction.
Hence, the 64MP photos won’t look as sharp and will look noisier. If downsized to 16MP there won’t be much detail to be seen. If you like the natural look then go right ahead and try shooting in 64MP.
The shots from the 8MP ultrawide shooter are pretty likable. They have enough detail, the noise is low and the dynamic range is wide.
Just as was the case with Realme 8 Pro’s ultrawide cam, this one also has that noticeable reddish tint. That’s not the worst but the color difference between the primary camera and ultrawide snapper is noticeable easily.
Photo quality - low-light
The pictures captured with the main camera are balanced 16MP shots. The exposure seems balanced, sharpness is good and has abundant detail. The noise reduction is gentle as it doesn’t mess with fine detail, but of course leaves a lot of noise.
There are a number of clipped highlights, that’s to be expected since there are no enhancements for the default photo mode.
The AI goes for the Night Mode in low light and it may or may not over saturate the colors. There is also a dedicated switch for the Night Mode. It takes 2-3 seconds to capture the scene in a photo and takes another 2s to save the photo.
The photos shot with Night Mode are much brighter and expose even more detail. The noise seems to be low and overall the photos seem wonderful.
The images clicked with the 8MP ultrawide aren’t what you call good. Although the colors look good the image is soft and dark, making them mostly unusable.
The ultrawide camera also has the Night Mode, and it surely does a great job when it comes to capturing some amazing photos with the ultrawide shooter at night. The noise seems really low and there is plenty of detail, sharpness and exposure. All the photos are brighter.
We strongly suggest that you use Night Mode when shooting with the ultrawide camera at night or in low-light.
The 2MP macro shooter comes with a focus fixed at 4cm. Capturing a sharp image would take several attempts, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it and also learn to recognize when your subject is in focus.
The images captured with macro snapper are good- they are detailed, colorful and sharp with high contrast. However, once again the pictures look a bit over-processed, but we highly doubt that they would be useless entirely and would ruin your social media profile.
The Realme GT is capable of capturing Portraits with its main camera even though there is no dedicated depth shooter. The subject separation isn’t spectacular, but the photos are amazing - detailed, sharp, good colors and contrast. The blur is likable as well.
The Realme GT has the same selfie camera as the Realme 8 Pro - it uses Quad-Bayer sensor with fixed focus.
The photo quality of the selfie is average and it saves 16MP photos instead of the native 4MP. The level of detail is average, but everything else is impressive - contrast, colors and dynamic range.
The Portrait mode is also available on the selfie camera. The quality is the same as the regular selfies. However, the subject separation is not good, but it’s still acceptable and the blur looks great.
The Realme GT captures videos with its main camera and ultrawide shooter. The main camera is able to shoot videos up to 4K at 60fps and there’s also 1080p at both 30fps and 60 fps. The ultrawide camera tops at 1080p at 30fps.
There is an option between the h.264 and h.265 codecs.
Electronic stabilization is available - it’s always-on and applied on all shooters, on all resolutions and frame rates.
The 4K videos shot with the main camera are amazing - the detail is plenty, the noise is low, colors are accurate and dynamic range is above average. The audio sounds quite good.
The 4K at 60fps uses a small crop from the center of the sensor. However the picture is equally great as the 4K30 in terms of colors, contrast and dynamic range. However, the same can’t be said for detail since it’s not as good. The video seems digitally zoomed or upscaled from lower resolution.
The Realme GT comes with an AI Highlight video mode. What this feature does is highlight the light source giving them a bit better look and color saturation.
The 1080p videos shot with the ultrawide camera are rather okay. The detail is average, the dynamic range is low and there is a red tint which is easily visible.
The Realme GT is a great phone which is a flagship killer smartphone, since it has a top tier chipset and display. Apart from the 120Hz AMOLED panel and the Snapdragon 888, there are also stereo speakers and a good camera combination.
The Realme GT boots Android 11 based Realme UI 2.0 which is as smooth and responsive as the OnePlus’ OxygenOS.
The Realme GT is definitely not the perfect phone - there is no ingress protection, all games are limited to 60fps, the ultrawide and selfie shooter seem outdated.
We’d definitely recommend the Realme GT, but make sure you research other options if a gaming phone is your top priority.
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