The flagship killer category that was once ruled by OnePlus has been taken over by others and Realme has been the biggest gainer with its GT lineup. Realme introduced two devices in its GT series in August this year, the Realme GT(review) and GT Master Edition(review). Both these smartphones acquired the affordable flagship killer category that promised to deliver a sheer performance to the consumers. Within a month, the company launched the Realme GT Neo 2 in India. A successor to the Realme X7 Max which launched in India as a rebranded Realme GT Neo that was announced earlier in China. 

With the Realme X7 Max, Realme had targeted those consumers who are continuously looking up to the power-packed performance from their device and with Realme GT Neo 2 continues its legacy of giving enough grunt to the power consumer. But, the question is, how does the Realme GT Neo 2 compete with its competition? After spending two weeks with it as our daily driver, here’s our unbiased review of Realme GT Neo 2. But before heading towards the review, let’s have a recap of the specifications:

Realme GT Neo 2 Full Specifications

General
Brand Realme
Model GT Neo 2
Price in India ₹31,999
Release date 22nd September 2021
Launched in India Yes
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 162.90 x 75.80 x 8.60
Weight (g) 200.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 5000
Fast charging Proprietary
Colours Neo Black, Neo Blue, Neo Green
Display
Refresh Rate 120 Hz
Screen size (inches) 6.62
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1080×2400 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9
Pixels per inch (PPI) 397
Hardware
Processor octa-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 870
RAM 8GB
Internal storage 128GB
Camera
Rear camera 64-megapixel (f/1.8) + 8-megapixel (f/2.3) + 2-megapixel
No. of Rear Cameras 3
Rear autofocus Yes
Rear flash Yes
Front camera 16-megapixel (f/2.5)
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
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
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
Sensors
In-Display Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Compass/ Magnetometer Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes

IN THE BOX:-

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  • Realme GT Neo 2
  • 65W SuperDart Charging Brick
  • Type C Data Cable
  • SIM Ejector Pin
  • Quick Guide and Warranty Card
  • Smartphone Case

DESIGN & DISPLAY

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Realme has always been experimental with its design whether it’s a combination of vegan leather along with a strip of glass or a brief-case like design. The Realme GT Neo 2 introduced a new colourway i.e, Neo Green, which again counts in as the first smartphone with a neon colour which I’ve ever seen and also slaps a ‘DARE TO LEAP’ branding on a thinner strip placed vertically on its back along with a black opaque strip to its right. This design approach can be subjective from person to person and if you like flashy colours and are comfortable in flanking that tacky strip of branding, then this could be the choice for you. If not then, fortunately, it comes with two more reasonable colours; Neo Black and Neo Blue for a more subtle approach. We received its Neo Black colourway for conducting this review.

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 It holds a frosted satin glass on its back which keeps the fingerprint traces and smudges away. This curved glass gives an exceptional grip for better in-hand operations with its polycarbonate plastic mid-frame. At 200g, Realme GT Neo 2 is a comfortable device while keeping the ergonomics on-point. The camera hump slightly protrudes outside from the chassis which makes it wobble when the device is kept on a flat surface. The right side is occupied with a Power Button and volume rockers on its left. The thumb sits perfectly near to the power button and so Index and Middle Finger to the volume rockers making for its easy reach over. On the bottom, it flanks a USB-C Port, a secondary microphone to its left and a speaker grille to its right. To its top, it flanks a microphone on its right. There are some compromises as well like the absence of a 3.5mm audio jack and no provision for SD Card expansion which might be a deal-breaker for some people.

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Moving to its front, it boasts a 6.62-inch E4 AMOLED display panel with a 120hz of refresh rate for slicker scrolling and smoother animations. However, it comes with an ‘Auto Select’ mode which smartly switches to 60hz for preserving battery juice and other options as well to lock on 60hz or 90hz mode as desired. The punch hole camera is situated on the top left corner. It looks pleasant to the eyes and emits bright and punchy colours which deliver a great indoor and outdoor viewing experience. With the Samsung’s made E4 Display, the peak brightness can go up to 1300 nits and sunlight readability is not a concern with this. It also comes with the support for HDR10+ certification for binge sessions. As of now, HDR video playback only works with Youtube. Let’s see if Realme will address this with future updates. It holds three display profiles to choose from:- Vivid, Gentle, and Brilliant; Gentle for a flat colour science, Vivid for better saturation science, and Brilliant for an enhanced colour science with better contrast and saturation level. Hence, we’ll recommend switching to ‘Brilliant’ mode. 

PERFORMANCE

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Realme made a nice decision to onboard the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 in Realme GT Neo 2 which makes it sit between the Realme GT Master Edition’s 778G and Realme GT’s 888 Processor. This chipset is based on 7nm architecture which delivers a clock speed of up to 3.2Ghz. The X55 5G modem enables the support of 5G connectivity. It comes with UFS 3.1 storage with a reading speed of up to 1.3GB/s and a write speed of up to 694MB/s. As far as benchmark scores are concerned, it scores 719048 in Antutu Benchmark where the temperature rises from 37.2 degrees to 43.1 degrees with a drop of 5% in battery. In CPU throttling, the CPU throttled to 86% to its maximum performance within 15 minutes with no evidence of heating. In GeekBench 5, it scores 1010 in Single-Core and 2970 in Multi-Core. 

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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 is an incremental update over last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+. Since, the market is already bombarded with Snapdragon 888, 888+ and Mediatek Dimensity 1200; This chipset really makes sense and doesn’t lag behind the competitors. In our review of Realme GT, the SD888 gets warmer than usual during intensive tasks and that’s where Realme GT Neo 2 just shines. It screams a sheer performance on the table with better thermals. During multitasking, day-to-day performance poses no issues and the UI interface is smooth and fast. With multiple hours playing game titles like Asphalt 9, Battleground Mobile India, Call of Duty, Genshin Impact and Traffic Rider; it ran smoothly with minimal heating throughout my time for prolonged sessions. The BGMI supports graphics up to Ultra HD with an Ultra frame rate. The graphical duties are handled by Adreno 650. 

CAMERA

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The Realme GT series is moreover inclined towards being a powerhouse and compromises in this latter area to keep the price aggressive for the competitors. Hence, the camera feels ordinary like we’d witnessed in Realme GT and GT Master Edition. It follows the triple camera setup on the rear with a 64 MP Samsung GW1 Primary Camera Sensor, matched up with an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a boring 2MP macro shooter. On to the front, it holds a 16MP shooter for selfies.

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Photos taken on the Primary Camera during daylight turned out quite good with an ample amount of details and sharpness. The dynamic range is on point with accurate white balance. There is a slight skew towards oversaturated colour which tends to pop out the image. The digital noise is not present till there’s sufficient light in the scene. As soon as you zoom in, the softening in the details and highlight clipping is minimal. The camera struggles while managing the exposure but that can be adjusted with the exposure slider before clicking pictures as per liking.

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Taking a bow towards low light photos, it crankles up the digital grain and noise at night with compromised details in the frame. Night mode helps with a better contrast level while sacrificing details in the picture. The 8 MP Ultrawide lens captures a 119-degree field of view and captures decent pictures which don’t retrieve a lot of details while peeping into the picture which results in grainy images. In low light scenarios, it isn’t able to maintain the exposure correctly which produces noisy images. This low-resolution 2MP Macro lens ends up into iffy focusing making it a pain to lock focus on the object for macro photography. However, we’ll recommend you capture photos with a primary camera and later crop them for better results. 

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For selfies, it bundles a 16MP shooter onto its front. It reproduces good pictures in daylight situations with slight edge detection and sharpness. The skin colour remains close to natural tones which look appealing. As far as video capabilities are concerned, Realme GT Neo 2 can go up to 4K 60fps and gyro-EIS does an excellent job of keeping handheld footage to be more stable. The front optics can shoot up to 1080p 30fps which also supports electronic image stabilization for better-stabilized footage.

SOFTWARE & BATTERY

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The Realme GT Neo 2 runs on Realme UI which is based on Android 11. The interface is slick and smooth with an ample amount of customizations features in this custom skinned OS. Realme chose to plague this device too with its choice to bloatware and with spam notifications from system-based apps and however, this isn’t the device for everyone who likes a much cleaner approach to the android. Thankfully, most of this bloatware can be removed and notifications can be turned off from settings. Also, I missed a lot of Email and social media notifications due to its aggressive RAM management.

Realme GT Neo 2 packs in a massive 5000mAh battery which supports 65W Super Dart charging technology through which 0% to 100% can be clocked under 34 minutes which competes for neck-to-neck with some of its straight competitors i.e, OnePlus Nord 2 and iQoo 7. With that, it easily gets through a day with battery life to spare and delivers a screen-on-time of around 6-7 hours while browsing social media, watching OTT content and playing games in it. 

THE UNBIASED VERDICT

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Realme GT Neo 2 is available in two configurations: 8GB+128GB for INR 31,999 and 12GB+256GB for INR 35,999 from Realme Official Website and Flipkart. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 and 120Hz E4 AMOLED display, this is a power-packed device at an affordable price tag. With this device, Realme strikes the ball to the boundary in every aspect apart from a weak camera setup. It holds some more compromises as well such as lack of 3.5mm Audio Jack and Memory Card, spammy notification and bloatware.

There are smartphones like the OnePlus Nord 2 and iQoo 7 that bundle a more flexible camera setup and a better low light camera performance. If you’re choosing the OnePlus Nord 2 for its processor, the only benefit which gives a slight edge to MediaTek Dimensity 1200 is better battery life, while the Snapdragon 870 performs better in CPU and gaming performance. OnePlus Nord 2 will be a wise choice if you’re in the market for better camera optics. The Neon Green colour may not be preferred by everyone and it’s all boils down to personal preference. If you’re out and searching for a smartphone with a gorgeous and bright display, a capable snapdragon based processor with better thermals, a subtle design to roam and a lacklustre camera is not a concern, I’ll suggest adding Realme GT Neo 2 to your cart as it nails the basics and is a strong alternative to the competitors.

Disclaimer: We tested the Realme GT Neo 2 5G for two weeks 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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