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Realme GT Neo 2 review: performance you can count on

Realme has added quite a few devices to its kitty in 2021, and the GT series has been a new entry to the brand’s portfolio. After the Realme GT 5G and Realme GT Master Edition, the the company has added another GT device to its lineup – the GT 2 Neo.

Also readRealme GT 5G review: turbo-charged performance with a few compromises

The GT Neo 2 is the company’s affordable flagship smartphone that comes armed with the Snapdragon 870 under the hood to take on the likes of the OnePlus Nord 2, Mi 11X and more. The Rs 30,000 – Rs 40,000 segment is booming in India this year, and there are now several options in that price range from various brands. So can the Realme GT Neo 2 carve out a niche for itself? Let’s find out.

Design and display

  • 162.9 x 75.8 x 9mm, 199 grams
  • 6.62-inch E4 AMOLED FHD+ display, 120Hz refresh rate, 1300 nits brightness

The Realme GT Neo 2 comes in three variants – Neo Black, Neo Blue and Neo Green. Out of these, only the Neo Green version takes some risk with the design, with a neon green paint job and and black vertical lines running down the back panel. The other variants look pretty underwhelming, particularly the black version we received. The phone has a nice feel when you hold it in the hand, even though with 9mm thickness and weight of 199 grams, it isn’t that compact to use.

Besides the dimensions, you have the slick metal finish at the back that is now a common sight among phones in this price range. The power is on the right side, while the volume rockers are placed on the left. The screen gets Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, which comes in handy to protect against minor nicks and scratches. For security purpose, GT Neo 2 has in-display fingerprint sensor, along with the software-centric face unlock.

When it comes to the display, GT Neo 2 sports a 6.62-inch AMOLED display that offers Full HD+ resolution. It supports 120Hz refresh rate as well, and having this combo makes a world of difference while viewing content on the screen. The blacks are deep, the colours are vibrant, and high refresh rate makes everything tick, with ample help from the hardware under the hood.

The screen’s brightness maxes out at 1,300 nits, making it one of the brightest in the segment that we have used till date. So, we have very little to complain about on that front.

Cameras

  • Rear: 64-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor, 2-megapixel macro sensor
  • Front: 16-megapixel sensor

Realme GT Neo 2 sports a triple rear camera setup that includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. On the front it has a single 16-megapixel shooter. You get the standard set of modes on the primary camera that includes 64MP mode, time lapse, night mode, portrait and others.

Realme has mostly focused on performance with its device and the compromises seem evident when you start using the camera on the GT Neo 2. The cameras deliver good quality photos in bright outdoor conditions, and satisfactory results when the light is not too sharp. Details are also clearly visible on zooming in.

The images above clearly show you the impact of using a reliable sensor, tuned nicely to compliment the software processing. However, the sharpness feels overdone. Low light shots also lack detail.

The 16-megapixel front camera delivers basic results. But again, for the price, we would prefer to use a device that tries to punch above its weight. Fair to say the Realme GT Neo 2 is not catering to those who like clicking high quality photos.

Performance, software and battery

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC
  • 8GB + 128GB, 12GB + 256GB
  • 5000mAh battery, 65W fast charging
  • Realme UI 2.0 over Android 11 OS

Realme GT Neo 2 is all about performance, and we have the reliable Snapdragon 870 octa-core chipset to thank for it. The phone comes in 8GB or 12GB RAM options, with 128GB and 256GB onboard storage respectively. Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 870 as its affordable flagship chipset, which sits just below the Snapdragon 888. When it comes to performance and power efficiency, we have noticed the Snapdragon 870 gives you balanced results.

As can be expected, the Realme GT Neo 2 is a gamers’ delight, or even anyone who needs a phone for heavy multi-tasking purpose. Realme also gives you the option to expand the RAM up to 19GB using its virtual memory feature, but for most people, 12GB RAM is more than sufficient.

We enjoyed playing games like Battlegrounds Mobile India on the highest settings, without any frame drops or lags to report. It tends to warm up a bit when playing for longer periods, but that’s to be expected.

The Realme GT Neo 2 runs Realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11. It continues to nag us with its large number of pre-loaded apps, but has several customisation options to let you tweak the interface to your liking.

Realme GT Neo 2 packs a 5,000mAh battery which is more than accommodating for heavy users. You get decent backup out of the unit. And even after the juice runs out, you have the 65W bundled charger to your rescue. It takes just about 40 minutes to charge the battery completely.

While putting the phone through our rigorous video test, the phone lasted well over 6 hours without breaking a sweat. Most users should easily get the phone to last well over a day.

Bottomline

The Realme GT Neo 2 is priced at Rs 31,999 for the 8GB + 128GB variant, and goes up to Rs 35,999 for the 12GB + 256GB option. This is a phone that guarantees performance, and is a great pick for both for gamers and power users. The classy AMOLED E4 display with the 120Hz refresh rate ensures viewing any sort of content is a visual treat. The battery life is excellent, and the 65W fast charging is a welcome addition.

There are two main aspects where we found the Realme GT Neo 2 lacking – the staid design and average cameras. These are complaints we’ve had about previous Realme phones as well, but we expect better at this price.

As for the competition, the Xiaomi Mi 11X (review) also brings you an AMOLED display, but with better cameras in tow. The OnePlus Nord 2 (review) is also a fantastic all-round option in this price range. While the Realme GT Neo 2 falls short of the competition with its cameras, the Snapdragon 870 chipset, 120Hz AMOLED display and 65W fast charging are tempting enough if you want a powerful flagship phone.

Pricebaba rating: 8 / 10

What works

  • 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Great performance
  • Long battery life
  • 65W fast charging support

What doesn’t

  • Boring design
  • Average cameras for the price
  • No headphone jack or microSD card slot
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