Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: Realme takes on the Android establishment

A Samsung Galaxy S22 against a blue background and a Realme GT Neo 3 against a green one
A Samsung Galaxy S22 (left) and a Realme GT Neo 3 (right) (Image credit: Samsung / Realme)

Realme has quietly become one of the most compelling makers of mid-priced smartphones on the market.

With the Realme GT Neo 3, it once again has the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S22 in its sights, looking to offer a broadly competitive experience for hundreds of pounds less.

So how does it fare? We’ve put both phones through their paces, so we know exactly where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Let’s take a closer look.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 hit shops on February 25 in the US, March 3 in Australia, and March 11 in the UK. Prices start from $799 / £769 / AU$1,249 for 128GB, while $849 / £819 / AU$1,349 will get you the 256GB model.

The Realme GT Neo 3 launches on June 15 in the UK and Europe, where it will cost £599 (about $750 / AU$1,040) for the sole 12GB/256GB version.

Realme has effectively managed to undercut the Samsung Galaxy S22 by £220 here, if you’re comparing like for like.

A Samsung Galaxy S22 in someone's hand, viewed from the back

The Samsung Galaxy S22 has a stylish 'contour cut' camera block (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: design

Both of these phones sport curvy bodies and flat displays, but the Samsung Galaxy S22 wins for style and elegance.

For one thing, it’s the smaller phone of the two, measuring just 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm with a weight of 168g. That compares to the Realme GT Neo 3’s significantly larger 163.3 x 75.6 x 8.2mm and 188g.

Samsung’s phone also benefits from the company’s stylish “Contour Cut” camera module, which separates it from any other smartphone brand. Meanwhile, Realme’s flat, rectangle camera module feels fairly nondescript. Both phones have centrally placed hole-punch selfie cameras, for whatever that’s worth.

A Realme GT Neo 3 from the back, on a tree branch

The Realme GT Neo 3 can be had in a striking Nitro Blue shade (Image credit: Future / Jitendra Soni)

In terms of build quality, only the Galaxy S22 comes with an IP68 rating – or any IP rating at all, for that matter. We wouldn’t wholly trust the Realme GT Neo 3 near a pool or bath as a result.

Samsung’s choice of color options is both classier and more varied: it arrives in Phantom Black, White, Pink Gold, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet, and Cream, depending on your region.

Realme offers just three colors: Nitro Blue, Sprint White and Asphalt Black. The blue model carries a somewhat tacky – although undoubtedly eye-catching – dual-racing-stripe design, while the black model has a pleasant green shimmer when held at an angle.

All in all, it’s a win for the Galaxy S22 on the design front.

A Samsung Galaxy S22 from the front, in someone's hand

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is small at 6.1 inches (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: display

One of the key reasons that Samsung’s phone is so much smaller than Realme’s device is because it comes packing a much smaller display. We’re talking 6.1 inches as opposed to 6.7 inches.

However, both use vibrant AMOLED display panel technology and deliver similar FHD+ resolutions.

It’s a tie when it comes to the refresh rate, too, with both panels capable of hitting the heady heights of 120Hz. Only the Galaxy S22 can drop as low as 10Hz, however, which makes it more efficient.

A Realme GT Neo 3 from the front, with the screen on

The Realme GT Neo 3 has a big 6.7-inch screen (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung utilizes a more secure and sophisticated ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under that display, whereas Realme chooses a more bog-standard optical variant. Both are reliable and suitably speedy.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: camera

The Samsung Galaxy S22 has a triple-camera system led by a brand-new 50-megapixel wide sensor with an f/1.8 aperture.

The Realme GT Neo 3 also packs a triple-camera system led by a new (for the GT series, at least) 50-megapixel wide sensor, together with an f/1.9 aperture.

Both phones take very good shots in a variety of lighting conditions. That’s arguably more impressive in the Realme due to its lower price.

A close-up of the Samsung Galaxy S22's camera array

The Galaxy S22 has a triple-lens camera (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

However, where the Galaxy S22 really proves its mettle is with those additional cameras. Its 12-megapixel ultra-wide takes solid landscape shots with a relatively consistent color tone, whereas the Realme GT Neo 3’s 8-megapixel ultra-wide is pretty disappointing.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 gets a dedicated 10-megapixel telephoto camera capable of solid 3x optical zoom. The Realme doesn’t get any telephoto provision at all, and instead provides a pointless 2-megapixel macro camera.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy S22’s camera system is way more complete than the Realme GT Neo 3’s, although Samsung’s punchy color science is something of an acquired taste.

A Realme GT Neo 3 from the front in someone's hand

The Realme GT Neo 3 offers solid performance (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: specs and performance

The Samsung Galaxy S22 will be powered by either a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or a Exynos 2200 chip, depending on where you buy it. Both are 4nm chips providing roughly equivalent power, although the Snapdragon definitely has the edge.

Realme has packed its phone with a less mainstream MediaTek Dimensity 8100 chipset, built to a slightly less advanced 5nm standard. It provides impressive performance nonetheless, with superior Geekbench 5 multi-core scores, if slightly inferior single-core scores, to the Samsung.

In the hand, both handsets deliver impressive performance, then, whether you’re multitasking, gaming, or simply navigating through the home screens and menus.

On the memory front, the Galaxy S22 offers 8GB, while the GT Neo 3 comes with 12GB. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S22 provides a choice of either 128 or 256GB of internal storage, while the Realme gives 256GB.

A Samsung Galaxy S22 from the front in someone's hand

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is a powerful performer (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: battery

Neither of these phones includes super-generous battery capacity. In keeping with its petite dimensions, the Galaxy S22 supplies a 3700mAh cell, while the GT Neo 3 lays on a 4500mAh battery. Of course, the Samsung has a much smaller display to power.

Not surprisingly, neither phone exactly wowed us for stamina. Both will get you through a full day of intensive use, but there might not be an awful lot left in the tank by the end.

The charging situation yields mixed fortunes. The Realme GT Neo 3 absolutely blitzes the wired charging round, with an astonishing 150W charger bundled in the box. Samsung’s phone supports only 25W charging, with you having to supply that charger yourself.

A Realme GT Neo 3 from the back in someone's hand

The Realme GT Neo 3 charges incredibly quickly (Image credit: TechRadar)

Realme’s ramped up charger really is impressively rapid. Once active, we were able to charge up the phone to 100% in just 15 minutes.

The tables turn when it comes to wireless charging. Samsung’s phone delivers 15W wireless charging, while Realme’s handset doesn’t provide any such option at all.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Realme GT Neo 3: takeaway

Realme has taken a valiant shot at delivering the kind of flagship experience that the Galaxy S22 offers for hundreds less, and it succeeds in several ways. There’s much faster charging, a larger 120Hz AMOLED display, a competitive main camera, and similarly nippy performance.

However, the Samsung Galaxy S22’s greater class ultimately shines through, with the device offering up a more sophisticated design, a better-rounded camera system, a reassuring IP68 rating, and wireless charging.

It’s the better all-round phone; but we must come back to that price. If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as the Galaxy S22, then the Realme GT Neo 3 lays on a worthy, almost-flagship show for significantly less money.