Realme GT First Impressions: The Makings of a ‘Flagship Killer’

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OnePlus created it, Xiaomi ran with it, and Poco took it over – but it has been a while since a smartphone manufacturer has actually used it. I’m referring to the “flagship killer” tag, used for a smartphone that offers premium hardware but is sold at a cutthroat price. Just launched at Rs. 37,999, the Realme GT has a top-notch processor and lots of other impressive specifications. It isn’t super affordable, but it undercuts today’s top-end models from the likes of Samsung, Apple, and even OnePlus. It will certainly grab the attention of those interested in an expensive mid-range smartphone.

The frame of the Realme GT has been flattened at the top and bottom. The Racing Yellow finish I received for review has a racing-inspired theme, using a mix of vegan leather and plastic. The phone is also available in Dashing Silver and Dashing Blue, both of which have glass backs.

The back panel of the Racing Yellow model is made of polycarbonate and has a layer of vegan leather, which makes it easy to grip. The GT’s camera module seems designed to blend in with the polished black stripe running through the back. The frame of the Realme GT is made of plastic, with the power button on the right side and the volume buttons and SIM tray on the left. The Realme GT has stereo speakers with the earpiece doubling up as the second speaker.

There is a 6.43-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a maximum 360Hz touch sampling rate, which should be useful while playing games. The display is protected by Asahi’s Dragontrail glass and features a hole-punch cutout for the camera. While it appears to be a bright display (Realme claims 1,000 nits peak brightness), there was no sign of HDR10 support when I opened Netflix.

The back panel of the Realme GT is a mix of vegan leather and plastic

 

The Realme GT runs Realme UI 2.0, which is based on Android 11. The UI is focussed on personalisation, and I noticed several third-party apps preinstalled. Regardless, the OS did feel snappy during my initial usage.

For a smartphone that’s focussed on performance and gaming, I was a bit surprised to find a 4,500mAh battery listed on the spec sheet. The phone charges using a 65W Super Dart charger that comes in the box.

The camera setup on the Realme GT includes a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. Selfie duties are handled by a 16-megapixel front camera.

The phone is available in 8GB and 12GB RAM variants with 128GB and 256GB of storage, respectively. Pricing starts from Rs 37,999. We received the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant for review. Both configurations have a dual-Nano SIM tray and offer no storage expansion.

The Realme GT has the makings of a flagship killer, but it’s missing features like an IP rating and wireless charging. It’s also 2021, and with expensive 5G processors, brands cannot get too aggressive with pricing. While the Realme GT’s price is not exactly “flagship killer”, it will attract buyers who aspire to have a premium smartphone, and will compete with devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G (Review) and iQoo 7 Legend (Review). I cannot wait to put it through its paces and test its gaming capabilities, so stay tuned for the full review.




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