Realme GT Neo 2 review

A typical Realme phone

Realme GT Neo 2
(Image: © Srivatsa Ramesh)

TechRadar Verdict

The Realme GT Neo 2 is Realme’s best affordable flagship phone of the year that sits in between the Realme GT and Realme X7 series. It brings an excellent E4 AMOLED display, a bigger battery, super quick charging, and new bold colours. In typical Realme fashion, as we’ve seen throughout the year, the phone once again falls short in the camera department compared to the rivals.

Pros

  • +

    Brilliant display

  • +

    Good battery life

  • +

    Excellent performance

  • +

    65W fast charging

Cons

  • -

    No improvements in the cameras

  • -

    No headphone jack

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The Realme GT Neo 2 is the new flagship device from Realme which sits right in between the flagship Realme GT and the Realme X7 devices. It is the successor to the Realme X7 Max launched a few months back in India. It brings a lot of improvements to the table and also raises the price tag to over Rs 30,000.  

The Realme GT Neo 2 offers the best display on any Realme phone that costs less than Rs 35,000. It also comes with a unique colour choice and a cool design language. The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset that offers excellent performance. 

Further, the device is backed by a big 5,000mAh battery which is paired with 65W fast charging. The phone can easily last one full day with enough juice left for a few more hours on the next day and as for the charging, you can fuel up the device completely while you take a shower and have your breakfast. 

On the downside, the phone comes with a 64MP triple camera which isn’t the most versatile we have seen in this segment. Also, the phone weighs 200 grams which might be bulky for some people. Lastly, while we liked the Neo Green colour option, some people might prefer it, but thankfully there are other colour options. 

With Realme GT Neo 2, Realme has hit home runs in all the departments, but the camera department is the only one that's left behind. If you are a user who’s looking for a good all-around phone with an excellent display, battery life and performance, but can compromise slightly on the camera, the Realme GT Neo 2 is for you. 

Realme GT Neo 2 price in India and availability

Buy  Realme GT Neo 2 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Buy  Realme GT Neo 2 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

8GB+128GB: Rs 31,999

12GB+256GB: Rs 35,999

The Realme GT Neo 2 is priced at Rs 31,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant while the 12GB+256GB version costs Rs 35,999. In terms of offers, you can get Rs 3,000 off on pre-paid transactions on Flipkart as well as Realme.com. Additional offers are available on SBI credit card. 

The device is now available for purchase on Flipkart (opens in new tab) in three colour options 一 Neo Green, Neo Black, and Neo Blue. 

Design

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Realme is the only company that did a lot of experiments with the design and back panels of the phones. The Realme 8 Pro Illuminating Yellow was a fancy and flashy colour variant that could glow in the dark while the Realme X7 Max had a two-tone design with a glossy camera strip and the rest of the back with a matte finish 一 we were not a fan of this design and the Realme X7 Pro had a polarizing colour option called the Fantasy along with big Dare to Leap branding. With Realme GT Neo 2 things continue to evolve.  

The device is available in three colourways 一 Neo Green, Neo Black, and Neo Blue. As you can see from the pictures, we are using the Neo Green variant for the review. Realme calls it a digital urban design. The phone comes with a glass back aligned with a stripe running on the back with the Realme moniker and a smaller strip with “Dare to leap” motto. The phone has a plastic frame on the side. The Neo Green colour option comes with a matte finish design and eight gradient colour nanolayers.

In terms of hand feel, the Realme GT Neo 2 feels quite bulky in comparison to other Realme phones which were around 180-gram weight. The device is thicker too than the Realme X7 series devices. It weighs 200 grams and measures 8.6mm 一 this might feel bulky for some people, but the weight balance is good here which offers a solid in-hand feel. 

The phone comes with a dual SIM card slot, Type-C port, speaker on the button while you get a textured power button on the right-hand side. On the top, you get a mic and to the left, you will find the volume rockers. Realme has removed the MicroSD card slot as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack from the Realme GT Neo 2 一  Which might be a bummer for a few people. The back comes with a triple camera setup along with a dual-LED flash which sits in a module that protrudes. The back has nice curved edges on the side and offers a good in-hand feel.

Realme is also offering a good quality case in the box

The phone has a neat design and feels great to hold in hand. The flat edges on the top and the bottom add a premium touch. In terms of looks, we absolutely loved the Realme GT Neo 2 in Neo Green (although the colour is subjective) which is definitely an eye-popping colour option to pick. This variant is definitely a conversation opener. Pulling out this phone at a party will definitely attract more people. The Green along with Black stripes on the back looks absolutely gorgeous on a bright sunny day. For those who want something less eye-catching, there's a Blue and Black colour option. 

Display

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

One area where the Realme X7 series fell short was in the display. Although the phones offered a good 120Hz AMOLED display, they were no match for the Xiaomi Mi 11x’s E4 AMOLED panel. With Realme GT Neo 2, that’s changing as well. 

You are looking at a 6.62-inch display 一 much smaller than the Realme X7 series. It is an E4 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and 600Hz touch response rate. This is also by far the best display from Realme in the sub Rs 35,000 segment.  You also get support for HDR10+ content. The display also houses the in-display optical fingerprint scanner. 

The display gets bright enough for all scenarios be it indoor or outdoor. It can go up to 1,300nits which makes it readable even with direct sunlight. The refresh rate can be set to standard 60Hz or 120Hz (high) and there is an option to enable auto-refresh as well which switches between refresh rates based on the app 一 we found this to be not so useful as the system kept switching too often. The touch is very responsive and reactive and this comes in handy when you are gaming. 

While there is support for HDR10+ content, we could only watch HDR videos on YouTube as Amazon Prime and Netflix both didn't offer HDR playback. Lastly, the in-display fingerprint scanner is blazing fast and works well along with face unlock which is even faster. 

Performance and Software

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The Realme GT Neo 2 is powered by a 7nm Snapdragon 870 processor with a clock speed of up to 3.2GHz. It is based on a 7nm process and comes with X55 5G modem that offers 5G. Graphics and gaming are handled by the Adreno 650 GPU. The chipset with support for multiple 5G bands

The phone comes in two configurations: 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB options. There’s also Virtual RAM support of up to 7GB. The Realme GT Neo 2 also comes with diamond thermal gel for cooling. On the inside, the device houses a stainless steel vapour cooling system with eight layers and a massive 4129mm sq area for cooling which does help in keeping the phone cool. 

5G bands supported

SA: N41/N78/N1/N3/N5/N8/N28A

NSA:N41/N77/N78

Like the other GT series of X7 series devices, the Realme GT Neo 2 also comes with a flagship-grade chipset that offers excellent performance. The phone offers sustained performance even when you throw everything at it. Multitasking is a breeze as well. The day to day performance is excellent here without any hiccups. 

In terms of gaming, the phone handles games like Asphalt 9, BGMI, and CoD Mobile pretty smoothly and offers consistent lag-free performance with the highest graphics settings. For games, the GT Mode 2.0 comes in handy which boosts performance, touch response to 600Hz, offers precise touch control and enables 4D tactile engine. 

Furthermore, the phone also comes with dual stereo speakers with support for Hi-Res audio and Dolby Atmos. The output gets loud and it is enjoyable in a small to medium-sized room. We did not face any issues with wireless connectivities like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or even calls. However, the phone misses out on the headphone jack which is a bummer considering the phone isn’t too slim to house it. The haptics are good too on the device, thanks to the new X-axis linear motor.

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

In terms of software, the device runs on Realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11. The Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12 will arrive in the form of beta in December. Software-wise, the phone is pretty much the same as the Realme X7 Max with a bunch of customizations. Features like a Floating window, quick return bubble, assistive ball, split scream, and gamespace will come in handy often.

One of the annoying things that we faced during our time was notifications from apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Slack, etc were delayed even though we had allowed background activity and turned of battery optimization. 

While we like the snappy software and ad-free experience on the Realme UI, we would have liked to see fewer pre-installed apps especially when Realme says this is their mainstream flagship lineup. Some pre-installed apps also push multiple notifications in a day 一 but those can be blocked easily by long pressing.

Cameras

In the camera department, you get a 64MP main camera (Samsung GW1) with f/1.8 aperture, an 8MP 119-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 2MP macro shooter. On the front, there is a 16MP selfie camera with an f/2.5 aperture. In short, the Realme GT Neo 2 falls short of the best in the segment, much like the Realme X7 Max, X7 Pro, and GT Master Edition. 

The phone snaps 16MP images by default with good colours, dynamic range and sharpness. There are a bunch of modes to play with as well. The street photography mode from the Master Edition is also present here. In this mode, you can shoot in RAW and a bunch of other filters. It essentially offers instant focus with mm-level control, focus peaking, and more. You can shoot in  16mm, 24mm, 50mm, and 120mm. This can be useful during a Photowalk. The shutter button is quick to capture the image instantly. The 64MP mode does bring up more details and can be handy if you want to zoom in and get more details later. 

The HDR and AI modes will boost the photos even more which looks great for clouds and plants photos. But, image processing might look artificial often. The 8MP wide-angle camera brings a wider field of view, but loses out on colour, saturation and often oversharpens. The 2MP macro camera can take good pictures if you keep your hands steady and have ample light, else it becomes useless. 

In low-light situations, the primary camera takes good pictures with more details from shadows, but it tends to over-sharpen and brings in more noise. The OnePlus Nord 2 is still better if the camera is your top priority. 

The 16MP selfie camera is good for daylight usage. There’s also HDR and portrait modes along with a bunch of filters to play with. The portrait shots come out decently, but the edge detection could have been better.

Lastly, the phone can record up to 4K at 60fps and up to 1080 slow-mo videos. There’s no IS on board, but you do get software-based stabilization. The video quality is usable for social media usages. 

Battery

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Realme GT Neo 2 takes a step forward here as well. It runs off a 5,000mAh mega battery and also supports 65W fast charging 一 which is almost 50% faster than the Realme X7 Max charging speeds. In our testing, the phone could easily last more than a day. In most cases, the phone lasted 1.5 days of usage and we could hit the bed on day 1 with 35 to 45% battery left. 

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Typically, we got around 6 to 7 hours of battery life which is an improvement over the Realme X7. In terms of charging, Realme claims the phone can go to 100% in just 36 minutes and we are happy to report that it is indeed true and often we could even charge the device from 5% to 100% in just 33 minutes.

Should I buy the Realme GT Neo 2?

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Buy it if…

You want an excellent display 

This is by far Realme’s best display on an affordable flagship phone. The E4 AMOLED display combined with a 120Hz refresh rate offers an excellent visual experience. 

You want good and consistent performance

Powered by a Snapdragon 870 processor, the Realme GT Neo 2 performs exceptionally well and it sustains the same performance while gaming as well. 

You want a big battery combined with fast charging 

With most phones, you either get a big battery or super fast charging. But, the Realm,e GT Neo 2 brings both here. The 5,000mAh battery can last over a day while the 65W fast charging will juice up the device in 36 minutes. 

Don’t buy it if...

Camera is your top priority

While the camera performance isn’t bad, it is not as good as the OnePlus Nord 2 (opens in new tab) which is still the best in the segment. Even in low-light the Nord 2 beats the Realme GT Neo 2. 

You want something light

The Realme GT Neo 2 with a 200 gram weight might be bulky for some people. Phones like Realme X7 Max, Realme GT Master Edition, and Nord 2 weigh less than 190 grams. 

First reviewed: October 2021


Buy  Realme GT Neo 2 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

Buy  Realme GT Neo 2 on Flipkart (opens in new tab)

8GB+128GB: Rs 31,999

12GB+256GB: Rs 35,999

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