a high-end smartphone that remains accessible

realme is a brand that has burst onto the smartphone scene, presenting excellent devices that are still good value for money. This time, Realme clearly displays its ambitions by attacking the high-end smartphone market and announces a device that does not have to be ashamed of the comparison with its competitors. In any case, this is what the technical sheet of the Realme GT2 Pro 5G seems to be shouting at us.

Technical sheet

Design and unboxing, my first impressions

The design of the GT2 Pro is the first thing that surprises, Realme has opted for a totally different angle by collaborating with renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. That’s why you find his signature on the back of the phone, next to the Realme logo. The design also has other unusual aspects: the power button is on the right side of the device, while the volume up/down keys are on the opposite left side.

The phone is available in several colors, here in green and paper effect (“Paper Tech”), created from Biopolymers. Between this rather striking paper texture and the pastel green completely clash with the brighter colors used by most manufacturers these days. Realme wants to establish itself permanently and finds its own style that is recognizable among all, proof once again of great ambition.

This design, however, goes beyond simple aesthetic tastes, and the choice is very precise: the back shell is made from biopolymers. According to the brand, this translates into a considerable reduction in carbon emissions during the manufacture of the phone. There is also another finish in white. Realme is keen to emphasize that its commitment to protecting the planet doesn’t end with the back cover of its flagship product: the design and packaging reduce plastic usage by the equivalent of 3.5 million plastic bottles. However, the wall adapter for charging remains in the box.

In addition to the simple design aspect, this finish gives the device a very firm anti-grip grip that is quite pleasant and only the camera housing and the embossed square of the logo and signature stand out. These cameras are simple dark black circles, in the style of the iPhone 13 series, but don’t protrude too much. For people like me who are always afraid of scratching lenses when putting their phone down, this is a nice bonus.

With so many star phones nowadays coming in ever larger sizes, the GT 2 Pro does a good job of providing a slim and light look. It’s a refreshing feeling and it certainly won’t weigh down a pocket or bag unduly. The screen is large in size, with plenty of flagship-level spec points to make: it’s high resolution, it’s OLED (thus promising crisp whites and deep blacks), and peak brightness is seriously impressive.

Unlike other smartphones from competing brands, Realme has opted for a flat screen, without curved edges, a choice that will appeal to many users who have not appreciated this novelty that has dotted the new top-of-the-range models. The display supports variable refresh rates up to 120Hz, with software capable of lowering the frequency down to 1Hz, where possible, to conserve battery power in some cases.

As I said in the introduction, however, it is its components that give the GT 2 Pro one of its main selling points. This device is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and its RAM (8GB and 12GB version) can be increased later, but let’s see what this performance is worth.

The performance is there: Turning on and testing the Realme GT2 Pro 5G

The first impression, even discreet, is the power. The phone loads screens and apps with ease and a smoothness I’ve never seen before. I had already mentioned it, the Realme GT2 Pro has nothing to envy to the better known names in terms of technical characteristics.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 found in many high end devices on the market today does a great job and to support it and especially to keep the temperature in check, Realme has included a cooling chamber, two times larger than its predecessors and never before seen on a phone. I tested the cooling and it is a great success.

Even with intensive use, the Realme GT2 Pro manages to keep its temperature at an extremely low level. Powering this behemoth is a 5000mAh battery, which is impressive in such a slim device, with a 65W fast charger included in the box (plug and cable, which is increasingly rare). It’s not the fastest charging system out there, but it’s still fast enough to use without a problem.

In daily use, probably also thanks to this large vapor chamber, and therefore at still normal temperatures, the system is extremely fluid. I compared it to other current high-end devices, even more expensive, and the Realme GT 2 Pro is more than up to par, even managing to do much better than other models. Never a lag, never a slowdown, with truly remarkable responsiveness, using it is a daily pleasure.

When it comes to sound, however, the Realme GT2 Pro uses a stereo speaker setup. The result is still good, with a fairly high volume, but which lacks a little power at the bass level. Overall, however, it will satisfy the vast majority of users just fine. The Realme GT2 Pro runs Android 12 with Realme UI 3.0, which is based on OPPO’s ColorOS.

This OS works very well and offers important functions, such as one-handed operation, which is similar to Apple’s Reachability function. We find most of the options of Android like the shortcuts on the screen with bars allowing to quickly launch applications and functions.

Overall, menu navigation is very responsive and intuitive. Finally, the GT mode will especially appeal to gamers because it will boost the performance of the device even more, even if you will see your battery drop visibly.

The photo sensors of the Realme GT 2 Pro 5G

Again, the technical sheet of the GT2 Pro sends heavy with its triple rear camera. A main lens of 50 megapixels, an ultra wide lens of 50 megapixels also and 150 degrees of aperture and finally a macro lens of 3 megapixels judiciously named “Microscope” which can reach X40.

Let’s talk about this Macro lens, it’s literally a microscope! This lens is very fun to use. Just hold the camera lens closer to your subject and you’ll see the tiniest details appear. I had a lot of fun with this mode seeing what the most innocuous objects looked like under the microscope. On the other hand, there is a problem, this phone has neglected the zoom mode a bit and can only go up to x2 in normal photo mode.

Portrait, video and night modes are good and easy to use, as well as HDR, aspect ratio selection and flash. There are some cool modes, like for example the professional mode, the ability to record videos with both front and rear cameras at the same time, or 150 degree panoramic photography. The shooting is very fast and the overall experience was really very pleasant.

The Realme is approaching the results of the very high end. During the day, the positive points are a white balance and a colorimetry close to perfection. Realme’s colors have been a problem for years, now they’re surprisingly accurate. The ultra wide-angle offers quite correct performance.

In fact, it doesn’t lose too much in quality compared to the main sensor, even if the results are a notch below. We have very bright images. At night, the Realme’s camera has two completely different personalities. In general, in recent years, the night mode is mainly used to improve the lighting of the scenes and to bring back a little detail, but without a drastic change from one photo to another.

Realme offers two completely different types of processing. Photos without night mode are classic, too dark, too blurry, not extraordinary… But once night mode is activated, the photos change completely. The difference between the two is very curious since the night mode here does not add light, it is content to fully exploit the one that exists.

The front lens is less efficient, but also allows you to take very nice selfies. I’m a little sorry that it didn’t benefit from the same hardware as the rear cameras. The development in particular is not completely fluid. The Realme GT 2 Pro can record video at up to 8K, but I recommend sticking to 4K and 1080 or it will shoot gorgeous video.

The Realme has taken a significant leap forward on video compared to the previous generation.

Conclusion

The GT2 Pro is Realme’s first entry into the high-end market. And it’s a great success! It’s a simple, efficient, light and nicely sized phone that’s a pleasure to use every day. The choice of design and materials used is very bold and I am very curious to see what Realme can offer for its next models.

Even during intensive daily use, it is extremely fluid, without any lag or heating of the device, it is the gamer’s dream but also a very good video player or simply, an excellent phone that never slows down. He finally takes excellent photos thanks to his three cameras and his microscope is really extremely fun to use and to have in your pocket.

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