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Realme GT Neo 2 review: Much on flagship level

Realme GT Neo2 review header
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2021 TechnikNews)

The Chinese manufacturer Realme has long been known for bringing good smartphones onto the market for a fair price. Especially that GT and the GT Master Edition deliver quite a bit of good hardware for comparatively little money and were mostly able to convince in our test reports. Now the manufacturer has officially presented another GT series smartphone with the Realme GT Neo 2.

Both on paper and in terms of price, it is between the GT and the Master Edition. For a recommended retail price of 449 euros, customers get a performance at flagship level with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, a large OLED display with a smooth 120 Hertz refresh rate, a 5.000 mAh battery with 65 watt fast charge and much more. So on paper it sounds like Realme has another, high-priced smartphone on offer, but whether that's really the case or whether there isn't one or the other weakness, you will find out in this detailed review.

Haptics & design - beautiful and high quality

With dimensions of 162,9 mm in height and 75,8 mm in width, the Realme GT Neo 2 is definitely one of the larger smartphones that are no longer procan be easily operated with one hand. For such a large smartphone, however, the Neo 2 feels surprisingly good and comfortable in the hand, which is probably due to the almost perfectly rounded back. It flows almost seamlessly into the frame, which is why there is never a sharp-edged feeling in the hand. The thickness of 8,6 mm is absolutely fine, especially when you consider that a 5.000 mAh battery is installed inside and the weight of 200 grams also fits perfectly with the overall design of the smartphone.

The frame is made of plastic with a high-gloss finish, which unfortunately has become a matter of course in the middle class in 2021. It doesn't feel as high-quality as the current flagships, but it still makes a stable impression and due to the matte coating, it is hardly prone to fingerprints, which is not the case with most of the competition from Samsung, OnePlus and Xiaomi . Some competitors in this price range also have to make big compromises on the back, but fortunately that's completely different with the new Neo2, because Realme uses a high-quality, matt glass back, which I really like. Thus, fingerprints are hardly noticeably attracted and the matt surface gives a very comfortable and soft feeling in the hand. Such a great back is rarely seen in this price range. The Neo 2 is the highest quality Realme smartphone I've ever tested. Very high praise.

When it comes to colors, customers have three beautiful colors to choose from: “Neo Blue”, “Neo Green” and “Neo Black”. I got the latter to test. It is without question the most inconspicuous color, but I still like it very muchproThey look good because the color always looks a little different depending on the incidence of light and sometimes also has a slight silver or bluish shimmer. If you like it a little more colourful, you should definitely go for the blue or green model. The blue color is not just blue, but shimmers in many bright colors depending on the incidence of light and the green device is an absolute special feature. This is a very bright, gaudy green and there are also two black, shiny stripes on the right side. One of these strips is adorned with the Realme-typical lettering "Dare To Leap".

In addition to the colors, you should immediately notice the camera element in the left corner, which is glossy and in the same color as the device, which I very much appreciate. This also makes the three built-in sensors and the flash more visible. The cameras protrude a good bit from the housing, which means that the smartphone wobbles noticeably when it is on the table when operated.

If we turn the Neo 2 around, we see a familiar picture for 400 to 500 euros. The large display is surrounded by relatively narrow edges and is only interrupted in the left corner by a small punch hole in which the front camera can be found. The recess does not interfere with everyday use at any time.

Good workmanship

There is no reason to criticize the workmanship. The smartphone makes a very stable, well-made impression and the back can be different from the Galaxy A72 not visibly press in. I would like to praise the manufacturer again for the excellent placement of the buttons. Realme can do that. The keys also have a decent pressure point, but could be a bit tighter in the case for my taste.

Display - an (almost) perfect AMOLED panel

The display is a 6,62-inch Samsung E4 AMOLED display with a resolution of 2.400 x 1.080 pixels, which is more than sufficient that you never see individual pixels in everyday life. In addition, the panel supports a fluid refresh rate of 120 Hertz, which means that the screen can display 120 individual images per second. As a result, all animations and scrolling appear as smooth as butter, which makes for a great user experience. To save battery, the display also automatically switches to 30Hz, 60Hz or 90Hz depending on the scenario. In addition, there is a touch sampling rate (indicates how often the screen registers, scans or recognizes inputs per second) of an impressive 600 Hertz. For comparison, the much more expensive one Huawei P50 Pro only brings it to 300 Hertz and that Xiaomi mi 11 ultra at least 480 hertz.

Realme GT Neo2 display

When viewed from the side, the display of the GT Neo 2 (center) is slightly more discolored than that of the Huawei nova 9 (left) and Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE (right). (Image: TechnikNews)

Both the black and the white value are really good and colors are reproduced extremely naturally in the “Mild” color mode, which I really like. Here I hardly see any difference to the more expensive flagships and compared to the OPPO Find X3 I even like the color rendering of the Neo 2 a little better. However, if you like it more saturated, you should activate the "Lively" mode. I am positively surprised by the maximum brightness, which is unparalleled in this price range. I never had, even on sunny days Proproblems with readability. In my opinion, there is only room for improvement when it comes to viewing angle stability, but it is by no means bad.

Software - many personalizations thanks to the Realme UI 2.0

The in-house user interface Realme UI in version 2.0, based on Android 11, is used as software. I'm actually a big fan of the Realme UI now, even if I still don't really get along with the Settings app, because it is a little too confusing for my taste. Otherwise, I really like the software, because you can adjust a lot here to your own taste. For example, you can change the colors of the UI, the notification bar or the animation when unlocking via the fingerprint sensor. In addition, Realme integrates the popular Google Discover feed on the left side of the home screen and of course there is also an app drawer.

As additional functions, the user can, for example, configure the icons of the apps, change the navigation and there are screen-off gestures (gestures for the switched-off display). Furthermore, the device can be woken up by tapping twice on the switched-off display and switched off again by tapping twice on a free space. A very useful and practical feature that I use very often in everyday life. There is now even a quick start function for starting the camera, which I missed a few months ago.

Unfortunately, Realme installs some bloatware with Facebook, TikTok, Booking.com, Netflix, Amazon, Amazon Music, Prime Video, Twitter, LinkedIn, PUBG Mobile and AliExpress. After all, except for Facebook, all apps can probe uninstalled without problems.

Performance - absolutely at the flagship level

The Snapdragon 870 from Qualcomm, which is usually only used in more expensive models, works under the hood. Depending on the version, it has 8 or 12 GB of RAM by its side and there is also a choice of 128 or 256 GB of internal memory, which unfortunately cannot be expanded via a microSD card.

As expected, the Realme GT Neo 2 performs like current flagships with the Snapdragon 870 paired with the smooth refresh rate of 120 Hertz. Apps start and close extremely quickly, you won't find any stutters or delays here and the overall operating speed is at a very high level. What I particularly like is how consistently and smoothly the smartphone runs, which I have noticed positively in all Realme smartphones so far. The in-house software seems to be very well adapted. More complex apps or games don't bother the GT Neo 2 either Probleme and in two to three years the Neo 2 will almost certainly still perform very well. For a smartphone in this price range, such a strong performance is almost unique and simply extremely praiseworthy. This is probably the only thing that can be done here at the moment Poco F3 keep up well, and that too OnePlus North 2 delivers good performance.

Compared to the normal GT, the Neo 2 doesn't get quite as warm either, which is almost certainly due to the Snapdragon 870 and especially the new cooling system.

Battery - long runtimes & extremely fast charging times

The battery has a proud capacity of 5.000 mAh and can be used with the included 65 watt power supply in 36 Minutes from 0 to 100 Profully charged, which is extremely impressive, especially in this price range. Only the similarly expensive OnePlus Nord 2 and the in-house GT Master Edition can keep up here. Wireless charging is of course not possible, but in my opinion you can't expect that for the price offered.

With the Neo 2 I never had in my entire test time Prodifficult to get through a day without a shop, it was even possible for 1,5 to almost 2 days. With 120 hertz activated, I still had 5 to 6 at the end of the day with a screen-on time of 35 to 50 hours Procent battery left, which are very good values ​​and are worlds better than the regular GT. The low standby consumption is also extremely praiseworthy. So with the Neo 2, nobody has to worry too much about getting through a day without a charge. The battery life is very good.

Camera - average

A rather unspectacular camera setup is used on the back, which is also used in the GT and the cheaper GT Master Edition. The main sensor is the IMX 682 from Sony, which has a resolution of 64 megapixels and is 1 / 1.73 inches in size. The ultra-wide-angle camera with a sensor size of only 1/4 inch has a resolution of 8 megapixels and there is also a 2 megapixel macro camera, which is slightly larger at 1/3 inch. The front camera has a resolution of 16 megapixels.

Realme GT Neo2 camera

The 64 megapixel triple camera of the Realme GT Neo2. (Image: TechnikNews)

And what is the quality of this triple camera like? Well, let's start with the main camera first. If there is enough light, this makes very nice, handsome pictures, which are sometimes reproduced a bit too saturated, but here Realme has improved a lot compared to older devices. The dynamic range is great, the sharpness is really good for this price range and the digital zoom is also perfectly fine and is even a little better than the Nord 2. Only in poorer light conditions I would have wished for a little more. Don't get me wrong here, the shots are fine and every now and then they look pretty good too, but for over 400 euros I expect a little more. Colors are often reproduced very falsely and details are quickly lost. A OnePlus Nord 2 and Google Pixel 4a 5G are visibly better here and even the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE delivers slightly better results. Overall, I would describe the main camera as average for the price on offer.

Much more of a scene can be captured with the ultra-wide-angle camera, which can be very practical in everyday life, but the image quality must be right for this, and unfortunately that is not the case with the Realme GT Neo 2 at all. Details leave a lot to be desired, there is extremely strong noise at the edges even in good lighting conditions and it also comes up again and again in the dynamic range Protrouble. For the price offered, that's pretty weak. Here I wish for a new, better ultra wide-angle camera for the manufacturer's upcoming smartphones, because the same was also used in the GT, the Master Edition and, to my knowledge, also in the much cheaper 8 Pro installed and even with these I was not really satisfied.

As with many other smartphones in this price range, the macro camera is rather unusable. Images can rarely be seen at first glance, but as soon as you take a closer look, you can clearly see a strong image noise. Furthermore, the recorded images lack sharpness and accurate color reproduction and as soon as the lighting conditions are only minimally worse, this camera should no longer be used for good. A Poco F3, Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G and even that Galaxy A52 have a noticeably better macro camera. With the GT Neo 2, I recommend using the main camera for macro photos.

With the front camera, you can get solid selfies, even if faces are drawn a little too soft for my taste despite the deactivated beauty filter and the sharpness could be a little higher.

Test photos

Let's take a look at a few test photos. As always, the following images are absolutely unprocessed, but compressed without loss in order to keep loading times and memory consumption of the website low.

Comparison with the OnePlus Nord 2

Last but not least, we want to compare the cameras in different situations with the OnePlus Nord 2, which is equipped with an IMX 399 for a recommended retail price of 766 euros. This sensor is also used, for example, in the Huawei P50 Pro and OPPO Find X3 Pro .

The camera comparison shows quite well that the GT Neo 2 is not a bad result and that it can definitely keep up with the Nord 2. The main camera in particular takes solid pictures with a good dynamic range and great sharpness, which is even higher than that of the Nord 2. However, colors are reproduced a bit more realistically with OnePlus and the white balance is usually better. As soon as it gets darker, the differences in favor of the North 2 increase. Here the GT Neo 2 takes quite decent pictures every now and then, but for the offered price and compared to OnePlus there is a lot of room for improvement, especially in terms of color reproduction and sharpness.

The ultra-wide-angle camera is rather bad than right on both smartphones, but overall the Nord 2 is slightly ahead here as well, because images do not rustle as much at the edge areas as with Realme.

Other - extremely positive surprise

In this price range, it is common to have to make big compromises with the fingerprint sensor and the vibration motor compared to current flagship smartphones. I already liked the Realme GT devices, the OnePlus Nord and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G quite a bit in these points, but the new GT Neo 2 adds a lot on top, so that I actually don't see any difference to current high-end smartphones notice.

The fingerprint sensor unlocks the smartphone surprisingly quickly and extremely reliably. I have it with mine too Huawei P50 Pro compared (which in my opinion already has one of the best fingerprint sensors) and the Neo 2 actually unlocked the device noticeably faster. The vibration motor gives an extremely high quality feeling in the hand and just sounds perfect. Overall, it reminds me very much of the vibration motors of current OnePlus flagships. I was extremely positively surprised with the fingerprint sensor and the vibration motor, and none of them in this price range can match the GT Neo 2. Big compliments to Realme.

The Neo 2 comes with two speakers, which provide a decent stereo sound. They are sufficiently loud and also sound very good up to a certain volume, but current smartphones from Xiaomi and OnePlus still sound a little fuller. Still, I'm happy here.

Last but not least, I would like to mention that the GT Neo 2 is unfortunately not protected against the ingress of water and dust according to IP68, which is completely bearable for the price offered. Except for the Samsung devices of the current A series, no other smartphones in this price range are officially certified against the ingress of water and dust, so I can't really criticize that.

Early bird offer: only 369 euros

Realme is selling the GT Neo 2 in an "Early Bird" promotion that starts November 16 and runs through November 29. At this time, the small version with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage is available for only 369 euros, which is an absolutely good offer. For double the memory and 4 GB more RAM you only have to pay 29 euros by November 449th.

Summary

I like the Realme GT Neo 2 extremely well because it delivers across the board in almost all points and leaves almost all others in this price range behind. Regardless of whether it is the extremely fast and reliable fingerprint sensor, the high-quality vibration motor, the haptics, the bright display with a fluid refresh rate of 120 Hertz and the touch sampling rate of 600Hz, the first-class performance and the good battery life with an impressively fast 65 watt fast charge are definitely at the flagship level, which is extremely commendable for the price offered. Only with the cameras is there still a little room for improvement. The main camera takes solid pictures, but some competitors, such as the OnePlus Nord 2 or Huawei nova 9 put a shovel on top and the ultra-wide-angle camera of the Neo2 is unfortunately very weak. So if you put more emphasis on the cameras, you might be better off using one of the smartphones just mentioned or spending a little more money on a Pixel 6.

I can recommend the Realme GT Neo 2 to everyone else, even for the recommended retail price of 449 euros, which I think is fair, because you really get a lot on this smartphone. The price-performance hit for me remains the Poco F3, which is currently offered for just over 300 euros. There is also a Snapdragon 870 as well as a 120 Hertz OLED display, which is why it is certainly completely sufficient for many, but for one or the other it is definitely worth the extra charge to the Neo 2, which in terms of brightness, feel, and battery life , the loading speed and the fingerprint sensor is one step ahead.

Last but not least, I would like to mention that the GT Master Edition is currently available for around 280 euros, which is a really good price. Here you have to Proprocessor, the vibration motor, the fingerprint sensor, the haptics, the brightness and the battery life make slight compromises, but if you don't attach much importance to this and want to save some money, you can also reach for the Master Edition without hesitation. (Click here for our test report)

We would like to thank Realme Germany for sending us the Realme GT Neo 2 before it was released!

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Fabian Menzel

Fabian has been part of since mid-September 2020 TechnikNews and regularly provides the site with various news, but also with some test reports on smartphones. It's a lot of fun for him and he's extremely grateful to have such a great team at his side. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music and occasionally taking photos with his Huawei P50 Pro.

Fabian has already written 248 articles and left 22 comments.

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