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Realme GT2 Pro on top of a table showing back panel
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
aa2020 recommended

Realme GT 2 Pro review: A winning combo of style and substance

A potent mix of high-end specs and visually pleasing aesthetics.
By
April 9, 2022
aa2020 recommended

Realme GT 2 Pro

The Realme GT 2 Pro isn't the most feature-packed phone in its price range, and some notable omissions hurt its broader appeal. However, there is real value to be found here, especially for performance enthusiasts and media lovers on a budget. The reliable cameras round out a refreshingly designed and refreshingly affordable flagship-tier phone.

What we like

Eye-catching, bio-polymer design
Reliable cameras
Fantastic display
Well balanced performance
Speedy wired charging

What we don't like

No telephoto camera
Poor portrait mode
No wireless charging
No IP rating
aa2020 recommended

Realme GT 2 Pro

The Realme GT 2 Pro isn't the most feature-packed phone in its price range, and some notable omissions hurt its broader appeal. However, there is real value to be found here, especially for performance enthusiasts and media lovers on a budget. The reliable cameras round out a refreshingly designed and refreshingly affordable flagship-tier phone.

Realme’s product lineup has been increasingly looking northwards in its feature set and, true to form, prices have been inching up as well. The Realme GT 2 Pro is the nascent brand’s latest play at vying for a share of the coveted premium smartphone space. While value for money lies at the core of the company, it takes an extra degree of polish to successfully retail a phone that competes against much more established competition. Does the Realme GT 2 Pro successfully balance specs with value or does it fall short of the mark? Find out in the Android Authority Realme GT 2 Pro review.

Realme GT 2 Pro

What you need to know about the Realme GT 2 Pro

Realme GT2 Pro side view of rear pattern back
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • Realme GT 2 Pro (8GB/128GB): €749 / Rs. 49,999 (~$660)
  • Realme GT 2 Pro (12GB/256GB): £699 / €849 / Rs. 57,999 (~$770)

The Realme GT 2 Pro sits right at the top of the Shenzhen-based company’s product portfolio. In fact, Realme calls the GT 2 Pro its most premium flagship device yet. The spec-sheet backs up that claim with all the core essentials that you’d expect from a high-end phone, with some cut corners to hit an aggressive price point.

You’ll find 2022 flagship standards like a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, oodles of RAM going all the way to 12GB, as well as an innovative design that makes use of exotic materials like bio-polymer. Realme has even tossed in premium Gorilla Glass Victus glass on top of a flat display.

What you won’t find are trimmings like wireless charging or an IP rating. Elsewhere, the camera setup has a triple camera array but does not include a telephoto sensor for zoom shots. Instead, Realme has included microscope camera for super-macro photography. The phone ships in three colors: Paper White, Paper Green, and Steel Black. While the first two color options get the new bio-polymer material, the black variant sticks to glass.

Related: The best budget phones

The Realme GT 2 Pro is priced starting at €749 in Europe for the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The higher-end variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage — the only variant available in the UK — will cost you a bit more. European buyers can pick up the phone from Realme.com or via Amazon, while those in India can also find it at Flipkart.

What’s good?

Realme GT2 Pro rear panel on top of a book.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Realme GT 2 Pro is seriously good-looking. The phone pulls off its head-turning looks through the use of innovative materials like the aforementioned bio-polymer back and muted shades that accentuate the rounded edges and corners beautifully. Realme claims that the back panel was inspired by paper. I can’t really see the inspiration in the hedge-like pattern but the materials feel great in the hand and are a nice change from Realme’s usual glut of gloss-heavy models. The matching silver frame also helps elevate the look and feel of the phone. As an added bonus, the matte finish back is resilient to scratches and offers excellent grip.

The bio-polymer material used here is a nice change from the glut of gloss-heavy glass and metal designs.

The 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen is yet another stand-out feature of the Realme GT 2 Pro. It’s been a hot minute since flat displays got popular again, and the use of one on the GT 2 Pro helps the phone stand apart from many alternatives. It’s not just about aesthetics though, as the flat display helps avoid any errant distortion or color variation around the edges (it also makes installing a screen protector a whole lot easier).

The panel displays excellent color accuracy when set to the natural color profile, and peak brightness is more than sufficient for outdoor use. Additionally, the adaptive refresh rate assists battery longevity. I measured the refresh rate going down as low as 10Hz when sitting idle. There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner to be found here as well that I found to be amongst the best in its class. Instant unlocks, no complaints.

Adding to the multimedia potential of the phone are surprisingly good stereo speakers. There’s an obvious skew towards the bottom-firing speaker. However, the sound reproduction is anything but tinny with full-sounding output and even some bass on the off chance you decide to host a rave with your phone. Cranking it all the way to the top can introduce a bit of distortion, but it’s not too bad all things considered. There’s no headphone jack here, but you do get all the most popular Bluetooth codecs including aptX HD and LDAC support.

Realme GT2 Pro playing genshin impact
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Performance is all-around excellent. A lot of that comes down to the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, but keeping the phone noticeably cool under extended use points to thoughtful engineering. We observed that performance in demanding titles like Genshin Impact was notably better than on recent hardware like the OnePlus 10 Pro. The phone consistently maintained frame rates in the high 50s, and never went above a warm but comfortable 43°C (109°F). It’s impossible to verify Realme’s claims of a larger than usual cooling solution without taking the phone apart, but whatever is under the hood is clearly doing its job. The phone not only hits high levels of peak performance but manages to sustain them over long periods of time. Benchmarks aren’t the be-all and end-all of performance testing, but the Realme GT 2 Pro does just fine there as well, though the GPU scores in 3DMark did fall behind other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices.

The Realme GT 2 Pro runs cooler and smoother than alternatives like the OnePlus 10 Pro.

Most importantly, Realme UI has come a long way in ironing out inconsistencies in performance across the user experience. There’s an inherent smoothness to the interface and I didn’t spot any jitters barring the occasional frame drop. Realme is even promising three years of updates and four years of security patches. This isn’t on the same level as Google or Samsung, but it’s a solid long-term guarantee. It’s not all perfect on the software front though, and we’ll come to that in a minute.

The Realme GT 2 Pro isn’t the fastest charging phone around, but 65W charging using the included brick is still rapid. In our testing, it took about 34 minutes to top up the phone. I found battery life to be satisfactory, with my use case involving social media, texting, and emails. I averaged six hours of screen-on time despite heavier than usual use during the testing period. The GT 2 Pro also displayed very good battery optimization while gaming and 45 minutes of the power-hungry Genshin Impact only took a 10% bite out of the battery life. Not bad.

Realme GT2 Pro close up of realme logo on rear.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Realme GT 2 Pro also proved to be a surprisingly good performer on the imaging side. The primary sensor is the Sony IMX766 that we’ve seen on the OnePlus Nord 2 and the OnePlus 9RT. This is also the same sensor that we saw earlier on the underwhelming Realme 9 Pro Plus except, this time, Realme has significantly improved the processing. The dynamic range is astounding, and unless you get down to pixel peeping, noise levels and fine grain are kept tightly in control. HDR performance has improved by leaps and bounds. The phone also does a very good job at low-light images which are further enhanced when shooting in night mode.

The Realme GT 2 Pro's camera setup punches above its weight and is tough competition for the likes of OnePlus.

Results from the ultrawide sensor are predictable. There’s a drop in sharpness when compared to the primary camera. However, colors remain true to life and there’s a very good amount of detail, even when zoomed in. The 150-degree frame of view, however, isn’t something I expect to get much use out of. The barrel distortion around the edges is a creative effect at best accompanied by a significant drop in detail.

You can check out a range of images taken by the Realme GT 2 Pro in our camera gallery further into this review, or take a closer look at the full-resolution camera samples at the Google Drive link here.

Low resolution aside, the microscope camera is fully capable of capturing interesting-looking images. I’m not convinced it was a good trade-off against a more traditional third camera, but the implementation is effective, to say the least. The default shooting mode is set to 20x, which is where you’ll get the sharpest images aided by the autofocus motor. It is possible to digitally zoom in further to 40x, but the results are too soft to be usable.

The Realme GT 2 Pro’s imaging chops extend to video capabilities as well. The camera captures silky smooth stabilized video at 4K/60fps. I observed that the camera bumped up saturation levels noticeably. However, the level of detail is excellent here. In fact, the bitrate is high enough to ensure usable results even in less than perfect light.

What’s not so good?

Realme GT2 Pro close up of camera module
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

There’s a lot to like about the design of the Realme GT 2 Pro. The heavy-handed use of branding isn’t one of them. I’m all for paying homage to the designer of the phone but, combined with the Realme logo as well as camera branding, it comes across as a bit much.

Realme UI 3.0 is let down by the sheer amount of pre-installed bloatware.

The astounding amount of bloatware on the phone also makes it less than appealing to use. I counted well over 25 third-party apps pre-installed on the phone, outside of essential apps and Google’s suite. Most of these can be removed, but it certainly doesn’t make for a great initial experience. Thankfully, I haven’t come across any advertisements just yet.

For all the positives about the cameras on the Realme GT 2 Pro, it is also hard to ignore the lack of a telephoto sensor. Moreover, the portrait mode on the Realme GT 2 Pro is particularly bad. Edge detection, both from the rear and front cameras, was amongst the worst I’ve come across in 2022.

Finally, the lack of wireless charging or any manner of splash resistance is quite disappointing. I get that the phone is built to hit a low price point, but several of the phone’s direct rivals managed to include both.

Realme GT 2 Pro camera samples

Realme GT2 Pro camera sample 150 degree shot of buildings on a sunny day.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
150-degree field of view
Realme GT2 Pro camera interior sample shot of a bottle with a plant in it and mask on a table
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Realme GT 2 Pro specs

Realme GT 2 Pro
Display
6.7-inch
QHD+ Super AMOLED
3,216 x 1,440 resolution
120Hz
1,400 nits (peak)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4nm)
Up to 3.0GHz clock speed
GPU
Adreno 730
RAM
8/12GB LPDDR5
Storage
128/256GB UFS3.1
MicroSD
No
Battery
5,000mAh
USB-C
65W SuperDart charging
(65W charger in box)
No wireless charging
Camera
Rear:
50MP f/1.8 Sony IMX766, OIS
50MP f/2.2 ultrawide (150-degree)
3MP f/3.3, microscope lens with 40x magnification

Video (rear):
4K at 30/60fps
1080p at 30/60fps
720p at 30/60fps

Front:
16MP f/2.5

Video (front):
1080p at 30fps
720p at 30fps
IP Rating
N/A
Audio
Dual stereo speakers
No headphone jack
Connectivity
Dual nano-SIM slots
5G+5G Dual Mode
Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE802.11ax) 2.4/5GHz
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
Sensors
Magnetic induction, light, proximity, gyro, acceleration
Security
In-display fingerprint sensor
Software
Android 12
Realme UI 3.0
Colors
Paper White, Paper Green, Steel Black
Dimensions
163.2 x 74.7 x 8.2mm

Weight
189g

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Should I buy it?

Realme GT2 Pro top down of display on top of a book of Lisbon Poets.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Realme GT 2 Pro is a refreshing device from the youngest BBK brand. It stands out amongst a sea of familiar smartphones with predictable upgrades by making meaningful changes. The design and materials used here genuinely feel great, all while ensuring that basics like performance, battery life, and camera performance are on point. It lacks bells and whistles like an IP rating and wireless charging, but there’s still a lot of value to be found here.

More importantly, the phone drastically undercuts affordable flagships like the OnePlus 10 Pro (£799) while giving users much of the same feature set, barring a few extras like a telephoto sensor and wireless charging.

However, the Realme GT 2 Pro is far from the only game in town even at its reduced price point. Those looking for a more well-rounded experience might want to take a peek at the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (£699) which packs an older generation processor, but pairs it with a trifecta of camera sensors that includes a dedicated telephoto camera. You also get wireless charging, an IP rating, and four years of software upgrades to look forward to (plus five years of security patches).

Elsewhere, there’s the Google Pixel 6 (£599) that again nets you an IP rating, wireless charging, and one of the best cameras amongst Android devices (albeit also without a dedicated zoom lens), as well as software support for three years and five years of security updates. It’s also extremely competitively priced, coming in at £100 less than Realme’s best.

Buyers in India will want to consider some of 2021’s flagship killers like the OnePlus 9 Pro or the Iqoo 9, both of which include high-end processors and additions like wireless charging or even 120W charging support.

That said, the Realme GT 2 Pro deservedly earns a recommendation for trying out something a little different and succeeding.

Realme GT2 Pro close up of camera module
Realme GT 2 Pro
The Realme GT 2 Pro is the company's premium flagship offering. It combines 2022 flagship specs with a focus on design while still sticking to its core ethos of value for money.

Top Realme GT2 Pro questions and answers

The Realme GT 2 Pro does not have an IP rating or any claimed splash resistance.

No, the Realme 2 Pro does not include any wireless charging support.

Yes, the Realme GT 2 Pro has two nano-SIM slots with support for 5G connectivity on both (sub-6GHz only).