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Review: Realme GT NEO 2

The Realme GT NEO 2, the latest in the GT series, positions itself between the GT with the Snapdragon 888 processor and the more affordable GT Master with the 778 processor. Sporting a Snapdragon 870, it offers a unique middle-ground option. In Poland, it comes in two memory variants: 8/128 GB priced at 2099 and 12/256 GB at 2299. This places it in a niche category, balancing between a premium mid-range and a flagship with some reservations. Its primary competitor is the Realme GT, featuring the powerful Snapdragon 888 processor, priced similarly at 2299 for the 8/128 version.

The main advantages and disadvantages of Realme GT NEO 2

Benefits of Realme GT NEO 2:

  • 6.62 “AMOLED 120 Hz screen (Samsung E4)
  • High touch sensing sampling – 300 to 600 Hz (in GT Mode)
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Snapdragon 870 5G
  • 5000 mAh battery (two 2500 mAh cells)
  • Super Dart Charge 65W fast charging
  • ROM (UFS 3.1)
  • DRE (Dynamic RAM Expansion) – 5 GB (up to 13 GB) is supported for the 8/128 GB model, and 7 GB (up to 19 GB) is supported for the 12/256 GB variant.
  • RAM LPDDR4x 2133 MHz (four-channel)
  • fingerprint reader under the screen
  • 5G
  • WiFi 6
  • dual SIM (2 x nano SIM)
  • Dolby-certified stereo speakers
  • good quality main lens with a matrix of 64 MP
  • extended Always on Display
  • the fingerprint reader works very well
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • case included

Disadvantages of Realme GT NEO 2:

  • The smartphone is not waterproof
  • No optical image stabilization
  • No optical magnification
  • 2MP macro lens required
  • Third-party applications installed by default unnecessarily: Amazon, PUBG Mobile, AliExpress, etc.
  • The lower speaker sounds much louder than the top speaker
  • The button for closing the application in bulk does not work well
  • 4K material is not stabilized

Design

The Realme GT NEO 2 boasts an appealing design, especially in the attractive BLACK NEO variant. The satin back not only looks delightful but also stays clean, resisting visible fingerprints. The camera island, while significantly protruding, lacks distinctive features. The well-placed buttons contribute to user convenience. However, the primary speaker is located at the bottom, with the top one noticeably weaker. Notably, the absence of a headphone jack is a drawback. The in-screen fingerprint reader adds a modern touch. Unfortunately, the housing lacks any IP standard for water and dust resistance, presenting a notable compromise. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, though not the latest Victus iteration.

Display

No compromises are made in the display department, featuring a 6.62-inch AMOLED panel crafted by Samsung. Utilizing the new E4 luminescent material, it promises greater energy efficiency and improved image quality compared to its predecessor. The panel’s refresh rate ranges from 30 to 120 Hz, offering flexibility for manual adjustment or automatic adaptation. In GT Mode for gamers, touch sensitivity ranges from 300 to 600 Hz.

Supporting the HDR10+ standard, the display reaches a maximum brightness of 1300 nits, ensuring readability even in bright sunlight (tested in France). Although not ideal for work in such conditions, it meets expectations. The screen resolution, while not exceptionally high sits at a more than adequate FHD+ with 1400×1080 pixels. Out of the box, the screen is protected by an affixed film, although it may need replacement over time.

A notable screen feature is edge lighting, illuminating the screen’s edge for notifications. The Always on Display mode is extensive, offering continuous information. The ultra vision engine enhances sharpness and colors for lower-quality video materials. Additionally, the “Bright HDR” feature boosts screen brightness when viewing HDR video content.

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Specification and operating system 

The Snapdragon 870 stands out as a major advantage for this smartphone. While not the flagship 888, it reportedly generates less heat. realm emphasizes its upgraded cooling system, featuring a steam chamber and gel with diamond particles, along with a specialized steel-copper plate for efficient heat dissipation.

The device employs UFS 3.1 memory and LPDDR4x RAM. Keeping up with the latest trends, realme has integrated the DRE (Dynamic RAM Expansion) function. The 8/128 GB model supports an expansion of 5 GB (up to 13 GB), while our 12/256 GB test variant allows an expansion of 7 GB (up to 19 GB).

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The Realme GT NEO 2 achieves an impressive AnTuTu score exceeding 727K points, securing a position among the top 20 fastest Android smartphones globally. This remarkable performance, especially considering its price, surpasses competitors like the S21 Ultra and Pixel 6 Pro. For enthusiasts seeking peak performance, the dedicated GT Mode 2.0 gaming mode boosts processor speed and touchscreen responsiveness to 600 Hz.

Running on Android 11 with the Realme UI 2.0 overlay, the system received its latest update on November 9, incorporating security fixes up to October. The operating system operates seamlessly and presents an appealing visual interface. However, a drawback is Realme’s tendency to pre-install several apps, including PUBG Mobile and AliExpress, without user consent. Additionally, some services, such as Game Space, request peculiar permissions like access to voice calls on the phone.

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Camera

The Realme GT NEO 2 features the standard triple-camera setup on the rear, with two notable lenses—64 MP and 8 MP. The 2 MP macro camera, however, captures subpar photos. Images from the primary and secondary lenses, with 64 MP and 8 MP matrices respectively, impress with their detail and vibrant colors. Despite the absence of optical image stabilization, the main camera performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions.

It’s advised to avoid using the 5X digital zoom, as 2X provides more acceptable results. Wide-angle shots exhibit a noticeable decrease in quality, particularly noticeable upon closer inspection on a computer. The NEO 2 may not be the best choice for 4K video enthusiasts, as it lacks stabilization in this mode. However, in FULL HD mode, the video is detailed, smooth, and comparable to offerings from top video leaders.

Set of lenses Realme GT NEO 2:

  • 64 MP, f / 1.8 (1 / 1.72 “, 0.8 um, 78.6 °) PDAF – Samsung GW1 (S5KGW1SP03)
  • 8 MP (ultra wide angle), f / 2.3 (1/4 “, 1.12 um, 119 °) FF – Hynix Hi846
  • 2 MP (macro), f / 2.3 (1/5 “, 1.75 um, 88.8 °) FF – Omnivision OV02B10
  • selfie: 16 MP, f / 2.5 (1 / 3.09 “, 1.0 um, 78 °) FF – Sony IMX471

Sample pictures:

Battery life

When it comes to the critical aspect of battery performance, the Realme GT NEO 2 makes no compromises. It boasts a substantial 5000 mAh battery, effectively two batteries of 2500 mAh each. The inclusion of SuperDart 65W fast charging ensures a rapid charge to 100% in less than 40 minutes. In practical usage, the NEO 2 demonstrated an impressive ability to last for two days without requiring a recharge. However, intensive use, such as taking pictures during a day of sightseeing, could nearly deplete the battery within a single day.

Our final assessment

Realme, not widely recognized in our country, initially focused on winning over Polish consumers with budget-friendly smartphones, challenging Xiaomi in the price marker.  The Realme GT and GT NEO 2 take a different approach, offering a relatively expensive smartphone with features comparable to competitors priced significantly higher. While an appealing proposition, brand recognition becomes crucial in the premium segment, and building a brand from scratch is a challenging and costly process. The Realme GT NEO 2 enters a highly competitive smartphone market, with potential challenges from the non-NEO GT version and other devices featuring similar processors. To remain competitive, Realme may need to consider adjusting the price, albeit still maintaining an attractive offering.

We love: The screen and the main camera

We don’t like: The macro camera

Who is it for Realme GT NEO 2:

  • Mobile players
  • Fans of the brand Realme
  • People who need a strong smartphone with a good screen

For whom it is not real GT NEO 2:

  • Economical
  • People looking for a smartphone from a well-known brand
  • Mobile photographers – those more advanced