our opinions and impressions of the Realme flagship killer

The Realme GT, the flagship killer of the alternative brand Oppo, arrives in France. Sold at 449 euros, this smartphone has high-end equipment that gamers will appreciate and a design that does not go unnoticed. Real alternative to OnePlus 9, ZenFone 8 or Find X3 Neo, is it also qualitative? Can it replace a gaming smartphone? Answers in this comprehensive test.

What is a flagship killer ? To answer this question, you first need to know what a flagship is. Put simply, these are the best of the best smartphones developed by a brand. The ” standard bearer “. The Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Mi 11 Ultra. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. The Find X3 Pro. The OnePlus 9 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro Max. Etc. Their common points: they are very well equipped and they are very expensive. A flagship killer is a smartphone that aims to offer a similar experience, but at a lower price.

Read also – OnePlus Nord CE 5G test: the safe bet of the mid-range

The first killer smartphone was the OnePlus One, with its incredible technical sheet for a very moderate price. It was followed by many other smartphones, sometimes from OnePlus, sometimes from other brands. We are thinking in particular of Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo. This year, several smartphones claim this title. The Mi 11i. The Find X3 Neo. The OnePlus 9. The Vivo X60 Pro. The Poco F3 and the Poco X3 Pro. The ZenFone 8. Realme presented another title contender today: the Realme GT.

The Realme GT, successor to the Realme X50 Pro Player (unpublished in France), scrupulously meets the definition of a flagship killer. A powerful platform. A complete experience. A qualitative design, but not ostentatious. And a much lower price than the flagships. It is even lower than the flagship killers we mentioned previously. And it just might be the best candidate, if not one of the nicest surprises of this spring. Why ? First, because its price is really very low. Secondly, because it is not devoid of interest, as we will see in this full review.

Our video test

Pricing and availability

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The Realme GT arrives in France in two versions. The first is equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. This is the one that is the subject of this comprehensive test. The second is equipped with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. This second configuration is identical to that of some of the best high-end smartphones and even some gaming-oriented smartphones.

The price of the Realme GT is very attractive. He’s from 449 euros for version 8 + 128 GB and 599 euros for the 12 + 256 GB version. But the smartphone also benefits from reductions during the first days of marketing. One of the biggest cuts is the Realme GT 12 + 256 GB down to 499 euros. It’s such an aggressive price that the Realme GT becomes the cheapest smartphone equipped with the Snapdragon 888. Simply.

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The Realme GT has been available in France since 21st of June. It is offered, depending on the version, on the AliExpress and Amazon sites, in addition to the official Realme store. The biggest reductions only take place in the first days of marketing.

In the box of the Realme GT, you will find a flexible plastic shell, a 65 watt charger and a USB type-C to USB type-C cable. A hands-free kit should also be present in the box to comply with French law. It did not come with our test copy.

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Design

The design of the Realme GT is not geared towards gaming, but is more reminiscent of motor sports and the trendy high-tech products. You can see it from the rear in particular. When we first saw this smartphone, it reminded us of some Huawei models: the Mate 20 RS Porsche Design and the Mate 30 RS Porsche Design, especially. They too opted for an elegant mix of vegetable and mineral textures. Note that there are also two other covers whose backs are all in mineral glass. A material that slips and retains fingerprints.

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The back is made of vegetable leather which will never retain fingerprints and is rather pleasant to the touch. It’s very reminiscent of the Find X2 Pro, which also uses this material. The large black band that bars the hull is made of mineral glass. It extends the photo block located at the top left of the phone. This photo block is not too protruding, so that the smartphone remains relatively stable when placed on a table.

The outline of the smartphone is made of polycarbonate. Yes, it’s plastic. You have proof of this thanks to the absence of separation for the antennas that are usually found in telephones with metal frames. The finish is silver and shiny. On a high-end smartphone, the plastic could pass for a bad taste. On a mid-range model, it goes pretty well.

Here is the list of the elements that you find on the edges: main speaker, main microphone, USB type-C port and 3.5 mm jack port at the bottom; volume control and SIM card drawer on the left; secondary microphone at the top; and power button on the right. A classic configuration, apart from the appearance of the 3.5 mm jack port. We will come back to that.

At the front, you find a large touch screen, surrounded by borders that are not too thick, but not very thin either. Once again, this can be shocking in a smartphone over 700 euros. In a mobile at 449 euros, we forgive it more easily. Also note the screen protection, preinstalled. His presence is good news.

The telephone earpiece, which doubles as a secondary speaker, is placed in the thickness between the mineral glass that protects the screen and the plastic surround. A punch for a selfie sensor is present in the upper left corner. And a fingerprint reader is integrated under the screen. He quickly unlocks the phone. And its positioning is correct.

The grip of the smartphone is quite good, even if the dimensions make it a more practical model to use with two hands. Thanks to its vegetable leather texture, the Realme GT does not slip in the hands. Which is very practical on a daily basis.

Screen

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Now let’s take a closer look at the screen. The Realme GT benefits from a 6.43-inch panel. A relatively modest size compared to gaming smartphones, but in the good average of the flagship killers that we mentioned in the preamble. The nature of the panel is Super AMOLED, you can see below a photo of this panel taken with the microscope of the Find X3 Pro. You can observe the diamond arrangement of the subpixels. Of course, who says AMOLED also says very high contrast ratios. This is the case here.

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The definition of the panel is Full HD +, a reasonable choice to ensure the fluidity of the system while offering a lot of visual detail. Especially with the screen size (at 20: 9 ratio), the screen resolution remains high: 409 pixels per inch. The brightness of the screen is in the good average: by deactivating the automatic adjustment, we measured between 470 and 510 cd / m². The number varies depending on the display modes.

There are three display modes: vivid, soft and vibrant. Soft mode displays the colors of the sRGB sample. It is the most respectful of colors. The Delta E is 2.4. The average color temperature is 6515 °, an almost perfect figure. And only the blues are a little too pronounced. This mode is the darkest. The other two modes are very close. They display the DCI-P3 sample with too much emphasis on greens, blues and purples. The Delta E here is 3.4. The temperature slightly exceeds 7200 °. The brightness here exceeds 500 cd / m². Note that the gamma is on average 2.3 regardless of the mode.

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The screen refresh rate is 120 Hz. There are three possible settings: 60 Hz, 120 Hz or adaptive, depending on the content displayed on the screen. We don’t think the panel is capable of dropping below 60Hz or that the system can choose an intermediate rate, as is the case with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, for example. The sample rate is 360Hz, which is three times the refresh rate. Usually the ratio is only two. So that’s good news.

Interface

Once the screen is on, you arrive at Realme UI 2.0, an alternative to ColorOS from Oppo (much like the Poco version of MIUI). As always, there are many similarities between the custom ROMs of the two brands. Even too much. We can’t wait for Realme to find its own identity and offer its own experience. This version is based on Android 11. Note, however, that the Realme GT is already compatible with the first beta of Android 12, presented last month by Google.

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We have already introduced you to Realme UI 2.0 during the testing of Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro. Here is a little reminder of the main characteristics of this ROM. First, the default handling is quite classic: dual home screen, application drawer activated by default, navigation button for Android, notification and quick-setting panel, Google Discovery screen for the feed. news No real surprise. Little surprise either on the side of the preinstalled marketing applications. Facerbook. LinkedIn. Netflix. WPS Office. Booking.com. Agoda.

You will also find many applications also integrated into ColorOS, such as the file manager, the phone manager, So Loop or even the Games Room. For a general-purpose smartphone, this latest application offers enough options for budding gamers. On the other hand, if the Realme GT really wants to be an affordable gaming smartphone, we would have liked additional settings in Games Space.

Three little exuberances to find in Realme UI. First, Realme Link, the application that is used to pair a Realme accessory with the smartphone. We told you about it during the Realme Watch S Pro review. Unlike Oppo, there is no integration of accessory settings within the interface. It is therefore necessary to go through this application.

Second curiosity: the theme store, with free products, but also paid. Oppo has removed the Store from ColorOS. He remains active here. This store is not really aimed at European audiences. As proof, the prices are in Taiwanese dollars. As with Realme Link, a Realme account is required to add content to the smartphone. Note that our test version of the Realme GT is Taiwanese. This may therefore explain the presence of this store.

Last curiosity: HeyFun. Like the Theme Store, this is a specialized game app store. You will find many games that are often free, with a built-in messaging system. These are instant games, with no installation. And few are the ones that actually perform well. We cannot advise you enough not to pay attention to HeyFun and enjoy the games from the play store.

Performance

The operating system is very fluid. This is of course thanks to Realme UI (and ColorOS). This is thanks to the 120 Hz display (with 360 Hz sampling). But it’s also thanks to the platform. We spoke about it in the preamble, the Realme GT is equipped with a Snapdragon 888 with 8 or 12 GB of RAM depending on the configuration. We now know this SoC relatively well, both its qualities and its faults.

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Remember that our test version of the Realme GT is equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Or the configuration of the ZenFone 8 Flip, recently tested in our columns, of the Xperia 5 III and the Mi 11i. Definitely more expensive competition. We expect that our Realme GT will enjoy performance similar to that of the ZenFone 8. It all depends of course on the settings and safety chosen by Realme in terms of temperature.

As of this writing, we have not been allowed to perform the usual benchmarks with the Realme GT. However, we’ll update this test soon as soon as we can. In the meantime, we obviously have some interesting remarks.

In use, the experience offered by the Realme GT is good, even with very demanding applications (especially games like Genshin Impact). We have noticed, however, that when the Snapdragon 888 is in high demand, there are some slowdowns that will be unpleasant for gamers. This is particularly the case with Genshin Impact when the graphics quality is at its highest. We therefore believe that the stability of the platform (the ability of the SoC to offer consistent performance over a long period) is limited.

Another remark, linked to the first, we note a slight increase in heat power. It focuses on materials that conduct heat, in particular mineral glass on the facade. The feeling of heating is not noticeable in the hands, thanks to the plastic and vegetable leather. We don’t know if this is good news or if we should be concerned about heat trapping inside the smartphone.

Using the AIDA64 application, we notice that the heat involved only very rarely exceeds 50 ° at the heart of the SoC. And that’s rather good news. Also, as soon as the Snapdragon is no longer used, the temperature drops quite quickly. For this, Realme installed a stainless steel steam chamber to keep the heat away from the SoC. Two other metal plates also serve to direct excess heat outward.

Autonomy and recharging

Even if you experience some slowdowns, you can still play with this phone. With the default graphics quality, the experience is very satisfactory. However, with such power, we might fear that the autonomy is not good. Especially since the Realme GT is not particularly thick (8.4 mm for the glass versions, 9.1 mm for the vegetable leather version). Fortunately, the battery capacity is quite good: 4500 mAh. This is of course less than gaming smartphones, such as Legion Duel or ROG Phone. But that’s just as much as most flagships of the same size.

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This large battery offers a full day and a half of battery life for typical uses, such as surfing the Internet, messaging, social networks, video or audio streaming, phone calls, etc. Attention, we took advantage of this autonomy with the automatic adjustment of the brightness, the automatic standby at 30 seconds, the soft color display mode and the refresh rate at 60 Hz. If you switch to 120 Hz, you will go under the bar for the day and a half (but you will stay above the day).

For players, we also have other measures. We did two 15-minute Genshin Impact sessions. The first with the default graphics. The second with the graphics at their maximum. We lost 6% of battery during the first session. And we lost 8% battery in the second. That is to say an average autonomy of 4 hours 10 in the first case, which is correct, but nothing more, and an autonomy of 3 hours in the second case, which is good. This confirms our impression that there are security features on the SoC that decrease performance.

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Once the battery is completely discharged, it must be recharged. As previously reported, the Realme GT comes with a 65 watt charger. Our test version is an Asian power supply. So we had to use an adapter to use it. We were concerned that this would affect the charging performance. We therefore performed another charge cycle with an Oppo Super VOOC 2.0 (65 watts) charger, which is compatible with Realme smartphones.

Either way, the 65-watt fast charge is very impressive. We were already there with the Find X2 Pro, then the Find X3 Pro. Using the Realme GT’s charger and its associated USB cable, or the Find X3 Pro charger and cable, we charged the smartphone in less than 35 minutes from 0 to 100%, from the screen off. The accurate reading with the Oppo charger is 32 minutes and 23 seconds. And if you only have a quarter of an hour to charge the phone, either of the two 65-watt chargers will charge the Realme GT’s battery to 50% in 12 minutes. These are very good numbers.

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On the battery maintenance side, we note the lack of tools to increase the life of this essential component. At Asus, we love settings such as limited charge (80% or 90%), slow charge (at 15 watts) or scheduled charge, to specify a time to end charging after a night’s sleep. Like Oppo, Realme offers here an optimized night charge that will analyze the user’s charging habits to avoid the phenomenon of overcharging that occurs when the smartphone remains connected to the adapter for several hours while the battery is 100% charged. .

Audio

On the audio side, we have several comments. The first is obviously the presence of the 3.5 mm jack port. This port is often offered with mid-range or entry-level smartphones. But manufacturers are skipping the high end, encouraged by Apple. Recently, we have to admit that we have seen the 3.5mm jack port return, especially at Asus. It is also offered here. And that’s good news. Especially since the latency of a wired connection is much lower than that of Bluetooth headphones, especially TWS. The players will be delighted.

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The positioning of the port is classic, on the lower edge, in the left corner. If you turn the phone horizontally to play, we recommend that you place this edge at the height of your left hand, so that the jack connector of your headset rests on your index finger (instead of being stuck between two fingers, which is unpleasant for a long time). Of course, the ideal for gamers would be to deport this port on a slice (using a USB type-C adapter), like on the Legion Duel 2 or the ROG Phone 5. But let’s not ask for it. too much here …

Audiophiles will be delighted to learn that the port comes with a Dolby Audio compatible 24-bit hi-fi DAC. The codec makes it possible to adapt listening to certain uses: music, games, films. If you have high-end headphones, the experience is really good.

Second note on the audio aspect of the Realme GT: the double unbalanced speaker. We talked about this in the design part of this test: the big speaker is located on the bottom edge and the small speaker is hidden in the earpiece. It’s better than a mono setup, let’s be honest. But this is a wobbly setup. One of the speakers is loud, but the sound comes from the side. And the other is small and produces a frequency limited sound. We greatly prefer a symmetrical front-end setup, like the Xperia 5 III (to name just one). Otherwise, we will connect our wired headphones …

Last audio note: the microphones. The Realme GT is satisfied here with the minimum union with two microphones. The first at the bottom to capture sound in all circumstances (call and video capture). The second at the top for active noise reduction. The experience offered here is very good, especially during calls. But more and more high-end smartphones are equipped with three microphones, the third being used for video capture. Too often, the sound of videos is muffled by your fingers when shooting while holding the mobile horizontally.

Photo

Let’s finish this test with photography. The Realme GT offers here a “semi-complete” experience. By this mean that the experience offered is qualitative, but it could have been more so because it lacks certain components that could have improved the results and possibilities of the device. But let’s not be harsh: compared to other phones that sell for the same price, the Realme GT does better. But we decided to compare it to more expensive terminals, the status of flagship killer obliges!

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Let’s go into detail by first listing the characteristics of the four sensors offered here. First, the main sensor (located in the middle): a Sony 64-megapixel model (16-megapixel capture by default), with lens opening at f / 1.8 and phase detection autofocus. Each of its pixels is 0.8 microns (or 1.6 microns when combined). It films in 4K at 60 frames per second, but does not go up to 8K, certainly for a question of performance and heating.

The second sensor, located at the bottom, is an 8 megapixel model. It is associated with an ultra wide-angle lens (119 ° angle of view) opening at f / 2.3. The third sensor, located at the top, is a 2 megapixel model. It is dedicated to the macro. Its lens opens at f / 2.4. The last sensor, on the front, is a 16 megapixel model with lens opening at f / 2.5. It films in Full HD at 30 frames per second. As you can see, there is neither optical zoom (but only digital, up to 10x) nor optical stabilizer here.

Let’s look at the results starting with the main sensor. This one takes beautiful shots with contrast, balance, detail in the shadows and beautiful colors. The photo is in 16 megapixels by default: you therefore lose in sharpness, but you gain in brightness. It is obviously possible to take pictures in 64 megapixels: you gain in sharpness, but you also lose in contrast and brightness. You also lose detail in the darker areas.

If you switch to night mode, the results are also good, with beautiful colors, balance and contrast. And many details are revealed in the shadows. Beware of colored light sources which completely distort the pictures: the sensor is not able to handle them. There is manual access to night mode, but, if you turn on intelligent scene recognition, night mode turns on automatically. So beware of unsightly blurs.

The main sensor is responsible for the digital zoom. The ratio goes up to 10x. By day, the 2x report offers good results. Noise appears slightly with the 5x ratio. And even more with the 10x report which becomes difficult to use. With night mode, you cannot exceed the 5x ratio. And that’s good news: a 10x digital ratio would deliver disappointing results anyway. However, you can bypass this limit with automatic mode.

Portrait mode obviously uses the main sensor. It offers very good quality results, with beautiful outlines of the subjects, a nice blur of the background, day and night. The photos are a little darker than in automatic mode. By default the bokeh is at 60% and the face filters are activated.

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The sensor with ultra-wide-angle lens takes good quality photos by day and very average at night. Indeed, this sensor is not compatible with night mode. And it’s much less bright than the 64-megapixel sensor. During the day, the shots are balanced, colorful and contrasting. Some details are smoothed out and there are distortions in the corners. But that makes sense for such a sensor.

The macro sensor is almost anecdotal. Scene recognition does not activate it on its own (unlike ColorOS which switches to macro mode quite easily). And the macro mode is hidden in a menu. We took a good photo in the middle of the day, with colors and contrast. But the definition is clearly too weak.

Let’s finish with the selfie sensor. He takes beautiful photos, very bright and contrasting. But it only excels when portrait mode is on. Precise clipping. Beautiful bokehs. Please note that the beautification filters are also activated by default here. Do not hesitate to deactivate them for more naturalness and, above all, in detail.

Conclusion

The Realme GT is a true “flagship killer”. We have no doubts about this. The experience offered by this phone is complete. The performances are high. The screen is suitable for recreational use (and all others). The battery life is good and the fast charging is mind-blowing. The design of the yellow version is very nice (the others are a little more versatile). And the price is really hot, even compared to the direct competition.

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Although we are very enthusiastic about this product, we obviously have a few small regrets. The first of these is the stability of the platform for the players. The second is the astonishing array of pre-boarded applications: some are unnecessary, others are not aimed at a European audience. And the last is the not always qualitative photo experience. We also note the fine efforts on the audio part (jack port, double speaker), but balanced speakers on the front would not have been too much.

But all this is quickly forgiven in the face of the incredible price of the smartphone. 449 euros for the 8/128 GB version. 599 euros for the 12/256 GB version. And the reductions offered during the first days of marketing are very attractive. This Realme GT is therefore a very nice surprise. A real flagship killer in the tradition of the OnePlus One and the Mi 9T Pro (aka Redmi K20 Pro). Well done !

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