Highlights

  • Snapdragon 888 chipset, up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 6.6-inch Samsung E4 AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate
  • 50MP triple rear cameras with optical image stabilisation

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Realme GT 2 Review: it doesn't get much better than this!

The Realme GT 2 is arguably the best new value flagship on the market, with a price-to-performance ratio that beats out the competition

Around 8 months ago, I reviewed the Realme GT. It had killer looks, flagship specs, and a price tag that was all about value for money. So when Realme sent over their new GT 2, I thought--how can this be any better? Well, today I've got the phone with me and having spent over a week with it, I only have two words for it--underrated legend.

Design & Display

Like the previous GT, Realme has made the GT 2 a real head-turner, and in this Paper White variant, it looks quite unique. It does share its design with the GT 2 Pro, including the signature of its designer, Naoto Fukasawa, who you might remember from our GT Master Edition review as well. Anyway, this textured finish on the back isn't all just looks, it feels almost like paper, hence the Paper White name for the variant. It isn't actual paper, of course, it's biopolymer, that's been derived from renewable sources like paper pulp, and claims to reduce carbon emissions during manufacturing. That, I think, is a much better way of claiming to save the environment than let's say, not giving a charger in the box.

But, back to the phone for now, which is fairly lightweight considering its hardware, at 194.5g for this particular variant. It's also decently slim at 8.6mm and feels really nice to hold in the hand thanks to the textured back. I will say this though, that even though this white coloured phone didn't seem to pick up a whole lot of dirt and dust during my usage, I don't know how well it'll hold up in the long run, so if you want to protect it, you can use the high-quality phone case that Realme includes in the box.

In terms of display, the GT 2 has been upgraded with a 6.6-inch Samsung E4 AMOLED panel. It's got an FHD+ resolution with brilliant colours, good viewing angles and a super-smooth 120Hz high refresh rate. It offers a great experience whether you're watching content on OTT platforms or just scrolling apps endlessly, this display is an absolute joy to use. There is Widevine L1 certification for Netflix, but HDR is limited to apps like YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. The screen is completely flat, which I like, but the bezels aren't as skinny as the GT 2 Pro, with a slightly more pronounced chin. One-handed operation is just about manageable, but you will still have to shuffle your hand to reach higher parts of the screen.

Also watch: Realme GT 2 Pro Review: the most premium flagship under ₹50,000?

Cameras

Now cameras have always been a bit of a weaker point on Realme phones, but the company has made some strides in improving that and it shows on this Realme GT 2. For instance, it sports a 50MP Sony IMX766 primary sensor for high quality images and better colours than usual, and also features optical image stabilisation. The ultrawide lens remains the same as the previous model, though, with 119-degree field-of-view and an 8MP sensor. And, of course, no Realme smartphone would be complete without the dhaniya-mirchi 2MP macro sensor which unfortunately, feels out of place on a phone that's otherwise very capable.

Unsurprisingly, the main 50MP sensor is the highlight here, and takes good pictures in well-lit outdoor scenarios, and when you're in mixed lighting conditions, the HDR works pretty well too. Colours are sharp and punchy enough across the range, but not over-saturated. The sky in some images didn't look extremely accurate, but overall, image processing is a big step up from the Realme GT.

The 8MP ultrawide performs as expected, offering a wide field-of-view and colours that aren't too far off from the main sensor, which is appreciated. However, due to it's significantly lower resolution, there is a visible lack of detail. It's a similar story with the 2MP macro, which mostly offered inaccurate colours and pictures that weren't always the sharpest. Honestly, the main sensor packs enough pixels to use at 2X to get close up to objects, and I'd suggest using that instead.

In terms of low-light performance, the Realme GT 2 gave me good results, as long as I turned on the dedicated Night Mode. It still did a decent job without it, but turning it on just made things a bit sharper and better exposed light sources in the frame. I will admit, though, that the camera had a habit of picking up lens flare in low-light images with stray light sources, which I wasn't a fan of.

The Night Mode was even more helpful with ultrawide sensor, adding light, sharpness and colour to low-light ultrawide images.

When it comes to video, the GT 2 shoots at a maximum 4K at 60fps, but the EIS caused noticeable jitter in the frame at times. Auto-exposure also tends to be quite aggressive, sometimes causing a loss in colour accuracy.

In the hole-punch display lies the front facing camera with a 16MP sensor that captured good selfies in both indoor and outdoor scenarios. Skin tones were mostly accurate, there was more than enough detail for social media use and the edge detection in the portrait mode was also surprisingly accurate. It's worth noting that the front camera shoots videos at up to 1080p, and I would have liked to see a 4K option here.

Performance & Software

Performance is perhaps one of the only areas on the Realme GT 2 where there hasn't been a massive upgrade because it runs on the Snapdragon 888 chipset, same as the GT 5G. It also gets up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM like the previous generation, along with up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Now that isn't to say I missed having a more powerful chipset, the 888 is a very capable flagship chipset that holds its own, and no matter what workload I put the GT 2 through, it performed without any issues. Day-to-day tasks, app-switching, and multi-tasking caused no stress to the phone, and even graphic intensive titles like Call of Duty Mobile ran optimally on the GT 2. Even gaming for extended periods of time didn't cause any major frame drops or lag, and the phone didn't really heat up to uncomfortable temperatures during my usage.

The smooth user experience is also helped by Android 12 and Realme UI 3.0. Apart from some bloatware which you can easily uninstall or disable, the software on this phone is great and snappy to use. UI animations are quick without stutter, buttons are the right size, and there's plenty of customisation options and handy features. I particularly liked Background Stream, which lets you run apps like YouTube in the background, without needing to buy YouTube Premium. Moreover, Realme has promised three years of major OS updates and up to five years of security updates to the Realme GT 2, which is really good to see.

Also watch: Realme GT NEO 3 Review: Fast and furious!

Battery & Utility

The Realme GT 2 has gotten a bump in battery size over the last generation, now sporting a bigger 5,000mAh battery unit. I mostly got a full day of battery life even with the 120Hz refresh rate and heavy usage patterns, and with moderate usage, you should be able to make it last even further. The battery still charges at the same fantastic 65 watts, and the included 65W adaptor should get you from flat to full in 35-40 minutes.

There is one omission compared to the GT 5G, which is the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack on the GT 2. To be completely honest, I'm not a stickler for high-fidelity audio and I've moved almost entirely to wireless audio, so it's not a huge deal-breaker for me, but still worth pointing out for those that care. There's also no microSD card expansion, just space enough for two nano SIM-cards, and while there's no official IP rating, there is a rubber gasket on the SIM tray which is reassuring.

Omissions aside, the Realme GT 2 does get a super-fast and accurate in-display fingerprint scanner along with loud stereo speakers, and there's several 5G bands for whenever the high speed network rolls out in India.

Price & Verdict

So, I started this review by calling the Realme GT 2 an underrated legend, and if you take a look at everything the phone offers at its starting price of ₹34,999, it really lives up to the title. It offers more value-for-money than almost all of its competitors, including the likes of the One Plus 9RT. It's packed with killer looks, a large battery, a vastly improved camera and all the performance you could need in 2022. Honestly? It doesn't get much better than this.

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