Realme GT review: Premium Android specs on budget, what’s the catch?

With so many Android devices filling stores shelves, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. However, that’s exactly what brand Realme has managed to do with the launch of its new GT smartphone. How has Realme managed this feat? Well, the Shenzhen-based firm has stuffed some serious specs into their latest Android handset at a price that’s genuinely hard to believe. At time of writing, you can pop one of these smartphones into your online shopping basket for as little as £332, making this one serious bargain.

So, is the Realme GT worth considering, or has the Chinese firm cut some corners to hit that ludicrously good price tag? Express.co.uk has been putting this phone to the test and here’s our full review.

There’s no denying that the Realme GT is incredible value for money. For less than half the price of a Samsung Galaxy S21, you’ll be treated to a device that includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor – the fastest chipset you’ll find inside any Android smartphone right now. While it’s true that Qualcomm is launching its new 888+ chip soon, no devices are currently using that slightly upgraded chip, so the budget Realme GT can still gloat about packing one of the best processors available.

Most handsets with the flagship Snapdragon series cost in excess of £700 and it’s incredible that Realme has managed to squeeze the 888 into a smartphone that’s so ludicrously cheap.

And it’s not only that pricey processor that makes the smartphone feel fast and insanely underpriced. The Realme GT also includes a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display, which is not only sharp and bright but also silky smooth thanks to its fabulous 120Hz refresh rate. Not even the £999 iPhone 12 Pro can top that as Apple is still shipping phones with a measly 60Hz refresh rate.

You’ll also find a reliable fingerprint scanner tucked under that slick display, which can unlock the device in a flash. Hiding the fingerprint scanner under the glass screen means Realme can push the screen to the very edge of the case, meaning there are minimal bezels.

Elsewhere, there’s a 4,500mAh battery which just about lasts a day, but users can refill it to 100% in around 30 minutes, thanks to the nifty 65W SuperDart charging. Realme includes the fast charger you need, while other brands, including Apple, don’t even include any mains charger.

Realme GT can take advantage of the latest and greatest 5G data speeds enabling downloads to be blasted onto the device at speeds in excess of 300Mbps. That’s almost five times faster than the average home broadband speeds across the UK right now.

Flip over the Realme GT, there’s a triple rear camera system that features lens technology from Sony. This set-up includes a 64MP main lens along with an 8MP Ultra-Wide camera and Macro option for close up shots.

Overall the photography experience is pretty good with pictures looking bright and full detail. There’s also a bunch of fun effects, filters and all the usual settings such as manual mode and AI Scene Enhancement.

Videos can be shot in 4K quality and image stabilisation keeps your home movies looking shake and wobble-free. It’s a solid camera, but it’s by no means the best and it can struggle at times, especially when the lights get low. In fact, during our tests, we found the Night Mode is pretty much useless especially when compared to more expensive rivals, which can make gloomy night shots look as bright as day without the flash blinding everyone in the photo.

The camera is one area where the Realme GT’s bargain price tag starts to show as it’s definitely not one of its strongest points. And it’s not the only niggle we have with this phone.

From head-to-toe, the overall case design does pretty plasticky and, unless you opt for the bright yellow model, it all looks pretty bland too.

Realme also bundles way too much bloatware on the GT, which means you’ll have to spend quite a lot of time deleting the endless selection of pointless apps pre-loaded on your new phone during the set-up process.

While the high refresh-rate screen might be stunning to look at, it’s marred by a weird auto-brightness setting that has a weird habit of being way too dim. Not only that, but there’s no wireless charging, which isn’t a surprise considering the price, which some may find annoying.

If none of that bothers you, then you’re going to be seriously impressed with your new purchase …although buying the GT is a bit of an odd experience.

Right now, the only place to grab one right now is from a site called AliExpress, which is an online retail service based in China. It’s been around since 2009 and is clearly an official store, but it’s simply not as easy as popping one in your Amazon basket, which is where most other Realme phones.

Realme GT review: Final Verdict

FOR: Ultimate power from Snapdragon 888 • Cheap price • Great screen • Fast charging
AGAINST: Hard to buy one • Camera could be better • Some models are a little bland

There’s no doubt that the Realme GT is a seriously impressive phone at a ridiculously low price. The fact it lands with a Snapdragon 888 processor, fast-charging, a high refresh-rate display, and a 4,500mAh battery …for less than £350 still boggles our mind.

However, as you might expect given the price, there are some minor niggles, including the bucketloads of bloatware preinstalled, the lack of charging, and lacklustre camera – especially at night.

We can forgive Realme for most of these issues as the GT is an incredible phone for its £330 price. And if you’re looking to upgrade to a new Android handset and don’t want to break the bank, the Realme GT is a great choice.