Realme GT Master Edition Review - Is the Master Edition Design enough?

Realme has announced its GT lineup in India which includes two new smartphones:- Realme GT Master Edition and Realme GT. With these smartphones in the shell, the brand has promised to deliver a comprehensive experience to the consumers. A month ago, we reviewed the Realme GT which bundles a lot of things, but it’s not an all-rounder delivering the flagship experience. Now, we’re back with its other sibling from this iteration and i.e, Realme GT Master Edition. Its title inferred that it’s a flagship device in this series but it’s a trimmed-down version of the Realme GT which competes under the sub-30,000 INR category. 

However, both these siblings have some smaller differences between them. The Realme GT Master Edition is the first smartphone that sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G and Moto Edge 20 is the second one to choose it. The Realme GT Master Edition bundles better front optics, a different 64 MP primary camera sensor, different colourways to choose from with a slightly smaller battery from the Realme GT. Now, the question arises:- With the perks of the latest SOC and a special design to boost this device off, will it be able to make up its place in the competition? 

After using this device as my primary device for a month, here’s our review of the Realme GT Master Edition. But, before heading towards the review, let’s take a look at the specifications of this device.

Realme GT Master Edition Specifications

General
Brand Realme
Model GT Master Edition
Price in India ₹25,999
Release date 18th August 2021
Launched in India Yes
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 159.20 x 73.50 x 8.00
Weight (g) 186.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 4300
Fast charging Proprietary
Colours Cosmos Black, Luna White, Voyager Grey
Display
Screen size (inches) 6.43
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1080×2400 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9
Hardware
Processor octa-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G
RAM 6GB
Internal storage 128GB
Camera
Rear camera 64-megapixel (f/1.8, 0.7-micron) + 8-megapixel (f/2.3, 1.12-micron) + 2-megapixel (f/2.4, 88.8-micron)
No. of Rear Cameras 3
Rear autofocus Yes
Rear flash Yes
Front camera 32-megapixel (f/0.8)
No. of Front Cameras 1
Software
Operating system Android 11
Skin Realme UI 2.0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/Yes
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes, v 5.20
NFC Yes
USB Type-C Yes
Headphones 3.5mm
Number of SIMs 2
SIM 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
5G Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
SIM 2
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
5G Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
Sensors
In-Display Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes

BOX CONTENTS

  • Realme GT Master Edition Handset
  • Realme 65W SuperDart Charger
  • Sim Ejector Pin
  • Type-C Data Cable
  • Protective Case
  • Safety and Quick Guide

DESIGN 

When I switched from the Realme GT to the Realme GT Master Edition, this device felt more identical to the Realme GT where the display, positioning of the punch hole camera, standard bottom port layout and the button layouts are almost the same and it didn’t feel like I’d switched to a different smartphone. But things took a turn as soon as we flipped the device. This device comes in a light grey suitcase design which is designed by Naoto Fukasawa with some horizontal bumps on to the rear. With this design, the designer has portrayed his love for travelling. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t like this colour, they’ve the option to go with other colourways:- Luna White and Cosmos Black. For our review period, we’re using this Voyager Grey colour. 

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The material that’s used here is Concave Vegan Leather which makes the Realme to be the industry first to kick this off. This texture holds a different and premium feel which offers an additional grip on the device while resisting fingerprint traces and smudges. The camera hump is positioned on the top-left corner and next to it is the ‘Realme’ branding and under that, it embosses the signature of the designer. However, earlier ‘Master Editions’ are the special edition of the smartphones which is not in the case with the Realme GT series which doesn’t affect the availability of this device. Weighing around 180 grams (Voyager Grey) and 174 grams (Luna White and Cosmos Black), my wrist appreciated how compact and lightweight the device feels during in-hand operations with 8.7 mm (Voyager Grey) and 8.0mm (Luna White and Cosmos Black) thickness.

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However, the essentials are on-point despite the plastic mid-frame. This polycarbonate mid-frame feels solid, apparently not as good as aluminium frames but this helps to reduce the weight of the device. The Power Button is placed on the right and the volume rockers and SIM tray placement flanks on the left side. However, there are only two Nano Sim tray slots, no way to use a memory card to expand storage. The bottom holds up for a standard port layout:- Type C Port, microphone, a mono speaker, and a headphone jack. The speakers are loud enough but these single mono speakers can’t stand out with its rivalry devices i.e, Poco F3 GT, OnePlus Nord 2 and Mi 11x which bundles a stereo sound experience. 

The Realme GT Master Edition boasts a 6.43-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED 120hz refresh rate display with a peak brightness of up to 1000 nits. The brightness levels are great and there was absolutely no trouble viewing the display under harsh sunlight. Just like any other Realme GT series device, it offers three colour profiles:- Vivid, Gentle and Brilliant and ‘Brilliant’ will be our preferred settings for tweaking the display. This is exactly the same display as the Realme GT bundles. The In-Display Fingerprint scanner is quick and reliable and we didn’t encounter any issues with it. It holds up for the Widevine L1 certification which enables it to stream OTT content in High Definition but it lacks the support of HDR10+ certification which is not the case with Realme X7 Max 5G which is their own contender to this sub-category.

PERFORMANCE

The Realme GT Master Edition is the latest to cope with this title of the first device which comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G, which is based on a 5nm with the futureproofing of 5G networking. It tosses a clock speed of up to 2.4 GHz where the daily performance is as good as you’ll expect a phone of this price. With the likes of Mediatek Dimensity 1200, this chipset holds a lower 25% in CPU clock speed which describes a vast difference. However, sailing through multiple apps and casual gaming holds no lags and stutters where the graphical duties are handled by the Adreno 642L. It is coupled with a RAM of up to 8GB and 256GB of storage and also houses the RAM Expansion feature where the virtual memory can be increased to 5GB. So, there are no such chokepoints in the hardware. 

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As far as benchmarks are concerned, Realme GT Master Edition scored 496997 on Antutu Benchmark, 784 in Single-core and 2800 Multi-core score on Geekbench. In the CPU throttling test, the CPU throttled to 87% to its max performance. It has a read speed of 0.94GB/s and a write speed of 541MB/s. The Realme GT Master Edition delivers a good gaming experience too onboard. With several rounds of Battleground Mobile India with the max graphics out; HDR graphics with Ultra frame rate, we managed to pull out 40-50fps during our gameplay. However, we shifted the settings for ideal gameplay with Smooth graphics and Extreme frame rate, it delivers a constant 55-60 FPS during hot drops in Pochinki and Military Base in Erangel. The Realme thermal optimization works excellently and manages to keep the device cool even after prolonged gaming sessions. With the support for a 360 Hz Touch sampling rate, this ensures a smoother experience while navigating or playing games. 

CAMERA

The Realme GT Master Edition bundles a triple camera configuration on the back which holds a 64 MP Primary Camera with an 8 MP Ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP Macro sensor. 

The Primary 64 MP camera shoots excellent pictures as long as the lighting conditions hold up in the scene. The pictures taken in the daylight are bright and have adequate details while maintaining the dynamic range. It holds a little oversaturation in the picture which may look appealing to the eyes. However, the colours produced are more vibrant and different from the real-life scenario. Many people will appreciate this implementation unless you’re a photographer who’s more concerned with the accuracy of the colours. The lack of a telephoto lens leads to digital zoom which degrades the overall image quality. The device struggled to manage the refraction of sunlight and details in the slightly darker areas which were quite evident in our camera test with the Realme GT as well. In low light scenarios, the noise levels are increased with the presence of digital grain. Switching to night mode enables it to produce brighter images while losing details in it.

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The 8MP Ultrawide captures decent photos while maintaining the exposure with a little noise and distortion on the corners in the frame. This sensor lacks details due to being a low-resolution camera. However, we’ll recommend using it under good lighting or if a wider angle is your requirement. Now, the 2MP Macro Camera is pretty useless; As its, the focus is locked on 4cms, this makes it pretty hard to get close to the subject and set focus on it. If you’re going to use this Macro sensor, it’ll be better to stick to the primary sensor and crop it as per your needs. 

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The Realme GT Master Edition bundles a 32MP Sony IMX615 shooter on the front for capturing selfies. It does an impressive job in balancing the dynamic range and colours with keeping the details in the picture. The edge detection is on point and it manages to keep the skin tones good with a minimal smoothening on it.  For video capabilities, Realme GT Master Edition can shoot up to 4K resolution which is capped at 30fps. However, there is no support for 4K 60fps but this can shoot in 1080p resolution with 30fps and 60fps respectively. Since there’s no optical stabilization present in this, it offers Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which is set by default, which works fine and we didn’t encounter any jitters or lags with that.

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BATTERY AND SOFTWARE

Coupled with a 4300 mAh battery, this device can hardly last up to 5 hours with maxed out brightness and refresh rate set to 120hz. However, if you’re going to use it on 60hz, this device can last up to 6 hours or so which is average at this price bracket. With the sub-standard battery backup, Realme bundles a 65 Watt Fast Charger in the box which is one of the fastest charging in this segment and can charge from 0%-100% in 33 minutes. However, this smartphone doesn’t have wireless charging. If the battery is not the best in the segment but fast charging covers it back from being pulled backwards. 

The Realme GT Master Edition comes with Realme UI which is running on Android 11 which is pretty much the same user experience since we’ve come across with Realme devices. It’s not stock Android but the interface is well optimised and it bundles various customization features like changing fonts, colour accent, themes etc., which can be customised as per desirable taste. There is only one problem with this software and that is the bloatware that plagues the whole user experience. There are some pre-loaded apps i.e, Booking.com, Amazon Music, Amazon Shopping, DailyHunt, HeyFun, Hot Apps, Moj and Josh. Due to these apps, it also spams the notification shade with shady clickbait titles. However, these apps can be uninstalled easily. 

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Realme GT Master Edition – The Unbiased Verdict

The Realme GT Mater Edition 5G is available in three storage configurations:- 6GB+128GB which is priced at INR 25,999, the 8GB+128GB variant is priced at INR 27,999 and the 8GB+256GB comes at a price of INR 29,999. It’ll be available in three colours:- Voyager Grey, Luna White and Cosmos Black.

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If you’re someone who is looking for a smartphone that bundles a good display panel with a unique Voyager Suitcase design which is quite rare in this price segment, which holds a 65 Watt fast charging which can juice your smartphone in 30 minutes, or a powerful Snapdragon-based smartphone if you’re not willing to pick Realme X7 Max which is based on Mediatek Dimensity 1200 then this smartphone is for you.

If you’re looking for great cameras, the rest of the two camera sensors are very average, or whether you’re looking for a stereo sound experience or a long-lasting battery life. The Realme GT Master Edition did not stand well in these features. Its strong competitors are OnePlus Nord 2, Moto Edge 20, Poco F3 GT, and Realme X7 Max. Realme is combatting against its own family member that is the Realme X7 Max which offers a better chipset i.e, Mediatek Dimensity 1200, and also bundles a stereo setup with a similar set of cameras and display at a slightly lower price. If Realme X7 Max feels outdated to you and you’re looking for a unique and fresh design with the benefits of Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G. Look nowhere else than Realme GT Master Edition. If better cameras are on priority, there are devices available like OnePlus Nord 2 and Xiaomi Mi11x which boasts a better camera setup. Both of these devices even bundles stereo speakers.

Disclaimer: We tested the Realme GT Master Edition (8GB+256GB) for over a month before writing this review. All our reviews are unbiased and are published without the brand getting to read it before you guys. We don’t change our reviews on pressure from brands and that’s the reason we are not sent review units from companies like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and a few more.

By Anmol Bhatia

20 | Capture Eye Candy Shots while writing about gadgets | Keen interest in TECH since childhood.

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