Realme GT review: An impressively high-tech budget smartphone

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Realme GT review: An impressively high-tech budget smartphone
Realme GT review: An impressively high-tech budget smartphone

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The Realme GT review: An impressively high-tech budget smartphone

The mobile phone market is saturated. There are more than 200 mobile phone brands around the world, with the top six holding more than 70 percent of the market share. The old favorites, such as Samsung, Apple and Google, continue to dominate the market thanks to a mix of reputation, design and technology. Just below them, however, is a plethora of newer companies looking to skim the fat off the margins of the big three with affordable handsets that still produce the goods.

Realme is one such brand. It’s the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand and is finally starting to make waves in Europe, with the Realme 8 5G (£169.99, Amazon.co.uk) proving to be a solid smartphone with 5G capabilities at a barely credible price: indeed, the company has made a name for itself producing high-quality handsets at a price that can’t be beaten by more established rivals. At just over three years old, Realme is already the world’s seventh largest smartphone company and one of the top five players in 15 global markets.

It feels strange that such a rapidly successful company is no longer known in the UK, but Realme seems to have flown under the radar when it comes to the general consumer. Now, however, Realme’s first real big hitters hit the UK market, the Realme GT.

Looking at the GT’s high-end specs, including its 5G capabilities, you might be wondering how much monthly payments it would cost to own one. Realme’s business model is back on track, though, with a base-level GT currently costing less than £400.

The brand calls the GT its ‘flagship killer’ and promises new standards in the mid to high-end flagship phone sector. After getting our hands on one earlier this month, we put Realme’s daring new pretender to the throne to see if any of its rivals are looking over their shoulder.

The realme GT 5G is not too heavy and lies well in the hand. The rounded back also gives a very slim impression. The cameraThe s at the back stick out 1.35 millimeters (~0.05 inches), which ensures that the smartphone can tilt considerably on a flat surface.

The workmanship is pleasant. There is an unspecified glass on the front and back, while the frame is covered with metallic plastic. However, this does not detract from the high-quality impression. This is more the case for the black plastic frame that surrounds the screen. The holes are tight and even. The GT 5G does not suffer from torsional loads.

The realme smartphone is available in Dashing Blue, Dashing Silver and Racing Yellow, the latter with a leatherette back. The battery is permanently installed and there is no IP certification.

The realme GT 5G uses a USB 2.0 port with a Type-C design. Wired video output is not possible, but audio playback and the use of peripherals via OTG is. However, the feature must be enabled in the settings for the latter and will turn off again after ten minutes of inactivity.

We find the integration of an audio connection and the use of current standards such as NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E positive.

The realme GT 5G comes with Google’s Android 11, which the manufacturer covers with its realme UI 2.0. This is a slightly modified version of Oppo’s ColorOS 11.1. Especially in the menu there are hardly any differences, but the integration of HeyTap Cloud is one of them.

In addition to a few realme apps, third-party apps like Facebook or Booking come pre-installed, but they can all be uninstalled completely. Google’s user account control is also active.

At the time of testing, the smartphone came with the latest security patches for June 2021, but realme does not provide exact information about the intervals or general update periods.

In terms of communication connections, the realme GT 5G masters all current standards and can connect with anyone mobile networks without problems, which is not least due to the wide frequency equipment.

Wi-Fi 6E is available for local area networks, enabling not only high but also stable transmission speeds in the test with our reference router Netgear Nighthawk AX12. The range of the WLAN receiver also convinces in the test.

The realme GT 5G understands all common satellite networks for tracking and provides a very fast satellite fix.

During a short test drive, the smartphone was compared to the Garmin Edge 500. The realme GT showed some unexpected weaknesses and occasionally fell a little out of place, even though the connectivity options are so extensive. However, we do not expect any limitations in daily navigation tasks.

The realme GT 5G uses the standard Android telephony app, but without direct SIP support. There is also no implementation for WLAN calling, but VoLTE is on board.

The voice quality is convincing with good communication in both directions, as long as the smartphone is held to the ear. The noise reduction works reliably; even loud noises cannot be heard, but the user’s voice is transmitted hollowly and nasally in such a case. Whoever uses the loudspeaker must be prepared for a powerful reverberation.

The forward-facing camera of the realme GT 5G allows for decent selfies with many setting options, but videos are recorded at best in Full HD. Movies can also be recorded simultaneously with the front and rear lenses via dual-view video.

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