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Realme GT 2 Pro review: Ignore it at your peril

With the GT 2 Pro, Realme now offers legitimate options for premium phone buyers

The Realme GT 2 Pro from the back, showing the phone in hand
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Realme’s most well-rounded phone yet would make a great purchase for someone who appreciates the phone’s unique selling points, and is at least worth considering for its strong price-to-spec ratio. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you prioritize photography or live in the U.S. though.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent performance

  • +

    Good value

  • +

    Unique look and software features

  • +

    Fast 65W charging

Cons

  • -

    No U.S. availability

  • -

    Inconsistent photography

Realme GT 2 Pro specs

Starting price: £699

Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (1440 x 3216)

Refresh rate: 1 - 120Hz adaptive

Cameras: 50MP main (f/1.8), 50MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 3MP microscope (f/3.3)

Front camera: 32MP (f/2.4)

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 5,000 mAh

Charging: 65W wired

Operating system: Android 12 with Realme UI 3.0

Size: 6.4 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches (163.2 x 74.7 x 8.18 mm)

Weight: 6.7/7 ounces (189g/199g)

With the arrival of the Reame GT 2 Pro, Realme's ascent from new company to established brand feels like it's near complete. The GT 2 Pro is an honest-to-goodness premium phone with no glaring flaws that can go up against any flagship device. That’s a far cry from the first Realme GT, which was undone by a few key missteps.

Even better, at £699, the Realme GT 2 Pro is notably less expensive than many of the premium phones it’s challenging. 

Because the Realme GT 2 Pro is made by a company that's part of the same stable as OnePlus and Oppo, you may recognize some of the features that have made their way over from other phones. There are still some surprises to uncover though, like Realme's strange photography tricks or its boosted NFC abilities.

Sadly, the Realme GT 2 Pro isn't going to reach the U.S., but U.K. shoppers should pay attention to both Realme and the GT 2 Pro. It's a phone many will appreciate just for its aggressive pricing, and that a few will love for blending together good ideas from its sibling companies along with its own.

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Price and availability 

Realme sells the GT 2 Pro in the U.K. for £699, with sales starting March 15. You can currently pre-order the phone in Steel Black for £599 in an "early bird deal" from Realme's website until March 21. It'll mean you miss out on the unique "paper-like" designs you get with the other two colors, but it's quite the offer.

Even at its normal asking price, the GT 2 Pro undercuts all the competition. The Samsung Galaxy S22, which offers similar features but in a smaller overall package, starts at £769 in the U.K. The iPhone 13 starts at £779, and while we don't yet know the price of the OnePlus 10 Pro, it'll likely cost more than the Realme as well when it launches at the end of March. 

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Cameras

Realme seems to have blatantly stolen parts of the camera systems for the Oppo Find X3 Pro and OnePlus 10 Pro when assembling the GT 2 Pro. And that's fine because the quadruple-camera array produces surprisingly good photos.

The Realme GT 2 Pro from the back, focussed on the cameras

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Realme's camera collection contains 50MP main and ultrawide cameras, along with a 3MP "microscope" camera and a 32MP selfie camera. You don't get a telephoto camera like the one on the Galaxy S22, but perhaps you'll find the other things this camera array is capable of below make up for that.

Let's see some comparison shots, starting with this picture of some delicious Korean-style street toast, taken with the main sensor on the GT2 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, our current pick for the best camera phone. The crispy gold slices of bread, the meat and even the cabbage slices look more vivid on the Realme's image. Thanks to its slightly higher resolution compared to the iPhone, you get better detail too, such as the sugar crystals sprinkled on top. The iPhone's image is by no means a bad shot but I think the Realme did better here.

Here we have an ultrawide shot looking over Hawley Lock on the Regent's Canal near Camden. In contrast to its main camera, things look a bit grimmer and greyer on the Realme compared to the iPhone, although the weather that day was never going to help with that. Things get worse when you start looking at sharp edges, like those of the railings on the left side, which are muddier on the Realme image.

The last of the standard cameras is the 32MP front shooter. I tried a portrait mode shot of me standing in my garden and we see more of the same effect as before. The Realme has made a very colorful portrait, where the sky is notably bluer and my skin pinker. But the textural detail doesn't match the iPhone's, which I also consider to be more accurate in terms of color. My jacket is most definitely black, not the navy color the Realme seems to have made it.

The first of the GT 2 Pro's unique camera tricks is a 150-degree ultrawide camera mode, wider than the typical 120-degree ultra-wide cameras you find on most phones like the iPhone 13 or Galaxy S22, and something that's also going to be available on the OnePlus 10 Pro. You can either take really wide shots with it (as you can see below in a second shot of Camden Lock) or use it in fish-eye mode for more unique images.

Realme GT 2 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I tried out the fish-eye effect by pointing the GT 2 Pro at an apple, but found that I couldn't get the image in focus when I was close enough to the apple to have it dominate the screen. The feature worked better on larger subjects, but I included this shot to demonstrate this important limitation.

A fish-eye style photo of an apple taken with the Realme GT 2 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Find X3 Pro's 20x microscope camera can zoom in up to an incredible 40x magnification. It's tricky to use since you have to keep the phone very stable to get good shots, but when you do get a good photo, the result looks incredible. Just look at this image of a bracketed "S" printed on an invoice, where you can see the bumps and strands of paper and the blobs of ink easily. 

The iPhone did a better job than I expected with taking the same shot, capturing a surprising amount of detail and keeping everything in focus, something that I didn't get completely right on the Realme even after several attempts.

As well as the Realme GT 2 Pro cameras performed, I don’t think this device ranks among the best camera phones because it doesn’t provide the necessary consistent quality that the phones on that list need to have. But as you can see in these comparisons, Realme’s phone has enough photography potential to let it keep up with the best in its class.

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Battery and charging

You get a roomy 5,000 mAh battery inside the GT 2 Pro. I didn't perform a formal battery test but the phone easily lasted me a couple of days of light use as my work device, where I would check emails and Slack messages, browse the web and watch a couple of videos each day.

The Realme GT 2 Pro from the front on the lock screen

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

More impressive is the GT 2 Pro’s 65W charging support, which fills the battery from 1% to 60% in 15 minutes, and gets a drained phone to 96% in 30 minutes. Compare that to the fastest charging phones we've tested, and you'll see the GT 2 Pro easily makes it to the top of the pack. However it's still not as fast as the Xiaomi 11T Pro, which offers 120W charging and is easily the fastest charging phone I've tested.

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Performance and 5G

The original Realme GT was defined by its powerful chipset, and so is the GT 2 Pro, albeit to a lesser extent thanks to other improved features. There's a single version of the phone which comes with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon, 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. While 12GB is the amount of physical RAM you get, there's also the option to get more through the RAM expansion feature, which carves out a bit of storage memory. The default is an extra 3GB virtual RAM (which I used for my testing), but you can also set it to add 5GB or 7GB more.

The GT 2 Pro proved to be better than the Galaxy S22 on all three tests we ran. It also managed a victory over the iPhone 13 in the two 3DMark graphics tests we ran, although the Apple phone retained its place at the top of the Geekbench CPU test results. 

Realme GT 2 ProSamsung Galaxy S22iPhone 13
Geekbench 5 (single / multicore)1,246 / 3,5271,204 / 3,3481,668 / 4,436
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (Score / FPS)10,182 / 60.99,976 / 59.79,331 / 56
3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (Score / FPS)2,517 / 15.12,404 / 14.402,189 / 13

If you're wondering about 5G, then the Realme does support sub-6GHz, but not mmWave. That's only to be expected though since mmWave is not widely used outside of the U.S., and the phone isn't on sale in North America.

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Design, display and other features

Design: You can get a plain glass version of the GT 2 Pro in Steel Black, but the more interesting versions are the Paper Green (pictured) and Paper White versions. With these latter colors, the back of the phone is made of laser-engraved bio-polymer that not only gives the device a unique look but is also lighter and more environmentally friendly than the toughened glass that’s featured on other handsets.

The Realme GT 2 Pro's rear logo

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I don't know if I like the overall look of the design, especially with the block that juts out of the top right side with the Realme logo and collaborating designer Naoto Fukasawa's signature on it. I like how there's no mistaking this phone for another model though.

Display: The GT 2 Pro's display is high quality, that’s in line with other flagship-grade screens. You get a 6.7-inch LTPO 2.0 display with QHD resolution, capable of a dynamic refresh rate that ranges from 1Hz to 120Hz. The Realme GT 2 Pro also boasts a responsive 10,000Hz touch sampling rate, and its display is covered with Gorilla Glass Victus, one of the toughest types of glass you can find on phones today.

After playing games and watching video on the Realme, about the only area it doesn't match up so well to the existing flagship crew is brightness. The GT 2 Pro still offers a decently bright display, but after comparing it side-by-side with the Galaxy S22 Plus, it was clear that Samsung’s super-bright phone is more visible in very bright conditions.

360-degree NFC: This is perhaps a weird feature to fixate on, but as someone who regularly uses Google Pay and Apple Pay, I was entranced by it. As the name suggests, you can use NFC features like wireless payments by tapping with any side of the Realme GT 2 Pro. There's no need to shuffle the phone around in your hand to find the sweet spot, it just works as soon as you bring the phone near to the reader.

Realme GT 2 Pro review: Verdict

By borrowing heavily from its devices made by Oppo and OnePlus, Realme has managed to gain entry to the premium flagship phone club. With the latest Qualcomm chipset and more than enough RAM, plus display, camera and charging know-how from its sibling brands, the GT 2 Pro has rounded out the weaknesses of the original GT to become a phone worthy of any flagship Android buyer's shortlist.

The Realme GT 2 Pro from the back

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This isn't just a rebadged OnePlus or Oppo phone though. Realme seems determined to carve out its own identity with its unique design flourishes and odd features like the 360-degree NFC. That said some of the phone’s tech is getting a little outdated as OnePlus introduces 80W charging and both it and Oppo make use of Hasselblad camera tuning. That may be a fair trade, though, considering you get a phone that's a fair bit cheaper than the competition.

U.S. buyers will sadly have to wait for Realme to enter the American market, or look at different entry-level flagship phones like the Galaxy S22 or Google Pixel 6. U.K. buyers however should definitely consider the GT 2 Pro if you like its quirkier features, especially if you want to save a bit of money while still getting the flagship-grade essentials.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.