OnePlus originally had a bunch of real “flagship killer” smartphones up its sleeves only to progressively yank up its price tag. Then came Realme, a sort of sister company that has now released its first-ever Snapdragon 888 flagship-grade smartphone that looks lit. Dubbed as Realme GT 5G, I don’t have any doubt saying that it is an impressive handset with flagship-grade chipset, display, battery and charging speed, a Dolby dual stereo speaker setup among other chops making GT 5T a must try flagship killer out there.
Why I am stressing on its flagship killer status is because of the price tag which is aggressively half than what most flagship from Apple and Samsung has on offer. I got my hands on Realme GT 5G which just made its debut in India. Here’s a hands-on detailed review of the Realme GT 5G that you should give a read.
Realme GT 5G just launched in India with aggressive pricing. Meanwhile, I had an international variant to test out. Speaking about the pricing, Realme GT 5G arrives in two storage variants. The base variant of Realme GT 5G is priced in India at Rs.37,999 while the 12GB+256GB variant comes at a price tag of Rs.41,999. which is quite aggressive for a device with a flagship chipset.
You can choose between Silver, Blue, and Gold/Black colour variants although that depends on the availability of colourways in India.
Realme GT 5G comes loaded with box contents, and you will even find something in the box which lately vanished from all-new smartphone boxes, a pair of earphones.
- realme GT 5G device
- 65W SuperDart Charger
- USB Type-C Cable
- Transparent Protect Case
- SIM Card Tool
- Screen Protect Film
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Product Information
Before we talk in detail about the Realme GT 5G let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?
- Display: 6.43″ Super AMOLED 120Hz display
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
- Storage: 8GB+128GB
- Software: realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11
- Rear cameras: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
- Front camera: 16MP
- Battery: 4500 mAh, 65W SuperDart Charge
- Weight: 186g
- Dimensions: 158.5 x 73.3 x 8.4 mm
Realme is one of the few smartphone makers out there whose phones are good-looking and I get a really good vibe holding it. Realme GT 5G is no different as it has all the aesthetics of a flagship phone without the price tag. The device has a dual-glass sandwich design with a plastic frame in the middle. Realme GT 5G is all glossed up with the super impressive and iridescent back panel that shimmers in a majestic hue of its dominant colour when light reflects on it. Pls, the back panel is curved on sides that enhances grip and one-handed usability while making the phone a lot slimmer perspectively than it is indeed. Realme dubs it as a 3D curve.
The rear panel gives you a nicely tucked triple rear camera setup inside a rectangular camera bump that protrudes a bit above the panel. There’s a Realme branding (not really fond of this) and that’s all you have on the back panel.
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Realme GT 5G uses an OLED panel and thus, is majestic in its way. More about it in the display section. Design-wise, the display is huge, the bezels on the right and left slides are decently thin while the chin is considerably thin as well. There’s a tiny punch-hole cut-out to the top-left corner housing the front sensor that won’t even obstruct the screen real estate available at your disposal. There’s an earpiece (of course) that doubles as a secondary front-firing speaker during the stereo speaker setup.
Speaking about the button and ports, there’s a USB-C port, a mic, a bottom-firing loudspeaker, and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. You do get a secondary mic on top as well. Next up, there’s a SIM tray on the left alongside a volume rocker. Finally, you get a power button on the left and that’s all.
Overall, Realme GT 5G design looks pretty eye-pleasing and makes up for any imperfection (if any)
With Realme GT 5G, you get a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED 120Hz FHD+ display with a 409 PPI density and an 85.9% STB ratio. Realme GT 5G uses a Samsung-made AMOLED panel which has its full-blown characteristics including an FHD+ resolution, 360Hz touch sampling, and 120Hz refresh rate. Apart from that, the display supports HDR10+ and has Widevine L1 DRM certification.
T0 elaborate it further, the 120Hz refresh rate which is twice what you are used to on a standard refresh rate smartphone, is extremely smooth for transitions, animations, and other functionalities. Realme GT 5G allowed me to set the refresh rate as 60Hz, 120Hz, or Auto Select where the last two have almost the same functions.
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When it comes to 120Hz mode, everything that is moving such as transitions, scrolling, tapping, animations, and other functions is excelled at 120Hz. However, just like the case with most smartphones with HRR, static images, games, and video playback are scaled back to 60Hz irrespective of which mode you select.
Moving on, the device sports HDR10+ which means HDR content on YouTube is available on the go. However, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other OTT platforms rely on its Widevine L1 DRM certification to playback content in FHD resolution.
Also Read: AMOLED v/s OLED, which is better and why?
The touch sampling rate at 360Hz loosely translates into snappy and responsive actions. It means it registers touch manifold faster than the standard touch sampling rate on smartphones. This could help users to do things faster such as when playing battle royale games where every fraction counts.
I feel the display has punchy colours and it looks quite vibrant. The display arrives at 443 nits on max manual and 650 nits of max auto mode which although isn’t much, but okay for viewing even in bright sunlight.
Realme GT 5G, as the name suggests, is a hardcore upper mid-range gaming phone. It brings on-board a 2021 flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G octa-core chipset built on a 5nm node and has a tri-cluster arrangement with a max frequency of 2.84GHz. The CPU is flanked with an Adreno 660 GPU, a 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage, and 8/12GB RAM variants.
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What do you expect with a 2021 flagship chipset when it comes to performance? Combined with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, the Snapdragon 888 5G zips fast anything and everything you throw at it. For comics fans, it is much like Superman in the Justice League of chipsets. Realme GT 5G uses a passive cooling system where it features a copper vapour chamber that is surrounded by stainless steel and has multi-layer graphite that covers the chip area. This helps keep the device cooler when subjected to heavy tasks.
As per the figures, Realme GT 5G scores 3555-points on multi-core and 1139-points on single-core tests on GeekBench 5 which is around the scores of both ZTE Nubia Red Magic 6R and OnePlus 9 both with Snapdragon 888 up their sleeves.
The Snapdragon 888 chipset doesn’t shy away from anything you throw at it. Be it 20-odd apps in the background, be it toggling between the apps, or playing high-graphics games such as BGMI, Call of Duty: Mobile, the Snapdragon 888 can take it all without breaking a sweat.
I ran a few tests on the device and it is powerful, to be honest. However, it has a passive cooling system that controls heat dissipation (a must-have function) at a price of throttling performance. In fact, the device allows using 67% of its max performance while the nearest competitor, a hardcore gaming-oriented machine aka Red Magic 6R uses the same chipset but with a different sort of passive cooling to provide 83% of its CPU performance during throttling.
Now, I am not saying the chipset is underperforming because that’s not true. In fact, I don’t think any major games use 100% of the CPU’s performance. However, it is expected that Realme does something about passive cooling. Also, the phone gets warm but hot thanks to the VC.
Unfortunately, there’s no high refresh rate gaming as is the case with a bunch of other Realme flagship phones which is a bit discouraging.
Realme GT 5G boots up with Realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11 out-of-the-box. This is the latest UI available with a tonne of new features including multiple AOD themes, icon packs, three styles of dark mode, floating windows, high accuracy on the under-the-display fingerprint scanner, and overall lightweight UI take heavy interfaces like MIUI to shame in many ways. Plus, the UI uses AI and ML to a great extent to improve its performance. Since GT 5G arrived with Android 11, it is also backed up for Android 12 and Android 13 at the least.
When it comes to optics, Realme GT 5G gets a similar-looking specs sheet from other flagship phones from Realme. This includes a triple rear camera setup i.e. a primary 64MP selfie shooter with 0.8micron pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, 26mm focal length; an 8MP secondary ultrawide module with a field of view of 119-degree, f/2.3 aperture; and a third 2MP macro snapper with f/2.4 aperture. You get a 16MP front camera with f/2.5 aperture and 1.0micron pixel size.
First up, you get a giant 64MP sensor that can capture 16MP binned photos by default. You can still go for full-blown 6MP shots although the default mode preserves more details overall. The camera setup won’t disappoint you especially when you know that many mid-range phones aren’t that good in the camera department.
Daytime shots on Realme GT 5G are truly better than many other mid-ranger, however, the sensor suffers from rendering high-frequency details and some shots might be too overprocessed. You can use Realme’s AI Scene Enhancement that captures HDR shots with punchy colours. You don’t get lossless zoom on GT. You have 2x and 5x of pure digital zoom so there’s no optical zoom.
You can capture portrait shots using the primary sensor and it is good. Subject separation isn’t that impeccable but overall, the shots have excellent colour, sharpness, and details are abundant. The blur applied to the background is properly laid out as well.
When it comes to low light photography, you get two modes i.e. regular mode and night mode. It goes without saying, the latter is much more refined and details are highlighted nicely on-point with the price segment. Low light shots using the primary snapper take photos with ample details, sharpness, and a pinch of noise across the board. Switch to Night Mode and it takes 2-3 seconds more to capture way better images at night. With night mode shots, noise is cleaned a bit, the scene is lit up a bit and details are enhanced a bit. Shadow areas get a bunch of artificial lighting that won’t look as if made up.
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Now I used the 8MP ultrawide snapper, it captures more field of view although it isn’t necessarily better. Images are soft, noise exists although it is on the lower side, and the dynamic range is wide. You can capture low-light shots using the ultrawide snapper with good colours although the shots are softer and unusable at times. However, night mode works well by adding proficiency to the shots by adding finer details, sharpness, exposure, and making the shots overall brighter.
The selfies using the front camera are quite good. It uses binned mode where it uses 4MP shots. This means the shots are overall average with decent dynamic range, colours, and contrast. You can go for portrait shots too which are ideal although daylight shots are amazing while the lowlight shots are average.
Time and again, I have been saying that the 2MP macro sensor onboard GT 5G (or practically any other smartphone) is primarily to raise the module count. Of course, if you have better macro shots using the macro sensor, it isn’t worth it since you will have to fiddle with focusing and exposure among other vertices.
Realme GT 5G uses a beefy 4,5000 mAh battery and what can you expect with a battery this size? Mind you, it uses the same battery size as Realme 8 Pro but it has a powerful chipset than ever. When tested, the battery lasts for 16 hours on an HD video loop test which is amazing. In essence, its battery is capable of providing a day’s worth of backup on a single charge on a mix of moderate to heavy usage.
Apart from that, Realme GT 5G uses a 65W SuperDart Charge capable of replenishing the battery from zero to full in just 39 minutes. This is slightly higher than the advertised 35 minutes. Plugging in the battery for 10 minutes would give you an awesome 5 to 6 hours of backup with ease. You also get a 50W SuperDart Mini charger (not in the retail box) that takes 57 minutes to charge fully.
Realme GT 5G sports two speakers backed by Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res audio. It is a hybrid setup with a primary bottom-firing loudspeaker and a secondary loudspeaker mounted on the earpiece that acts as a left channel when in landscape mode. No doubt the bottom loudspeaker is far too loud than the earpiece and adds more bass. Although the setup more or less is well-balanced, I would say the loudness and bass quotient is higher on the primary speaker as usual. The phone got -24.5 LUFS on the loudness test which puts it around the OnePlus 9 while lagging just a bit from the Realme X50 Pro 5G.
Realme GT 5G is an upper-midrange phone and thus, equipped with everything you get with high-end devices. Talking about GT 5G, the device supports dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth v5.2 with aptX HD, LE, and A2DP. There’s NFC, USB Type-C 2.0 port, dual-band GPS that includes BDS, Galileo, Glonass, and A-GPS. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.
Realme GT 5G is a 5G-supported smartphone with dual 5G SIM support. You can connect to 13 SA and NSA sub-6GHz bands on 5G which is insane, however, it isn’t available in India at the moment. Thus, I tested its LTE-A 4G network reception and it works as intended. Call drops are fewer, call quality even in the basement is up to the notch and I had no issues connecting to calls, browsing the internet, and other functionalities.
Realme GT 5G uses an under-the-display implementation of a fingerprint scanner which I don’t really like much and think by now you guys also know this. Its placement is optimum in terms of proximity and unlocks the phone in a jiffy. The 360Hz touch sampling rate further adds promptness along with the snappy Snapdragon 888 SoC. Overall, the UD FPS is snappy, secure, and reliable. On the other hand, the face unlocks mechanism is snappy as well. It works in most lighting conditions and offers a lot of credibility to it although the UD FPS is any day far reliable and secure, definitely when all of us have our masks on most of the time.
- Snapdragon 888 flagship chipset
- Dolby Atmos Dual speakers
- 120Hz Super AMOLED display
- 65W fast charging support
- Dragontrail glass protection
- 4500 mAh battery only
- No OIS feature
- Telephoto lens is absent
When it comes to competition, Realme GT 5G shares the battlefield with Xiaomi Mi 11x Pro, iQOO 7 Legend and OnePlus 9 among others.
Realme GT 5G is a true flagship killer smartphone with top-notched specs and performance. It is impressive in most of the departments be it charging or battery backup or software or display (you name it). At half the price of what other smartphone makers are quoting for their flagship phones (Apple, Samsung), Realme GT 5G is surely a must check out phone in the flagship-grade upper mid-range category. Just FYI the phone lacks a metal/aluminium frame, an official IP rating, throttles performance aggressively, and some issues related to cameras such as no OIS, telephone lens.