Realme has added a new GT series to its portfolio, which is essentially a replacement for the current X lineup. The brand has launched two phones – Realme GT and its Master Edition (ME). While the names might suggest that the ME model is a high-end variant and the other one is a cheaper version, it’s actually the other way around.
Realme has dialled back the specs of the GT ME and reduced the price to make it more appealing at a price of Rs 25,999. However, the Rs 30,000 price segment is already crowded with a few good Realme and OnePlus smartphones. So, how different or good is the new Realme GT Master Edition? Find out in my review.
Design, display: Realme GT ME features a premium vegan leather finish with a suitcase-inspired design, which gives it a distinct identity. It is good to see brands taking an extra effort to offer a unique design even in the mid-range segment to separate their phones from a sea of similar-looking phones and to spice up the competition.
The vegan leather feels nice with a slightly textured finish, which helps offer a better grip. However, it seems that the company has affixed a thin coating of vegan leather as the fabric isn’t very thick and too soft. But, it’s still good in this price range.
Just like most of Realme phones, the leather model has a polycarbonate body, which helps keep the weight down. The Realme GT ME is easy to use with one hand. If you don’t want leather, then you can check out the white model, which features a glass back. But, the advantage of having leather is that the back panel won’t get easily scratched or shatter. The leather model is only available in grey colour, but it looks classy and will appeal to those who prefer subtle colours.
Unlike OnePlus Nord 2, this mid-range phone packs a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. Those who use a pair of wired headphones will appreciate having it as an option.
Realme GT ME sports a 6.43-inch AMOLED FHD+ display with support for a 120Hz refresh rate, which is not surprising given this has now become the norm. The display quality and colour reproduction of the new phone are similar to most of the mid-range Realme smartphones. The sunlight legibility of this phone is just fine.
Performance: It draws power from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, which is powerful enough to handle the daily grind. While this is not a dedicated gaming device, you can still play games like Call of Duty, Genshin Impact and Battleground Mobile India. The default graphics settings in Genshin Impact was set to “Low” and the game was playable with little to no lag whatsoever. The same was also the case with other games.
However, don’t expect that you will get great texture and shadow quality. For that, you will have to consider buying higher-end phones like Realme GT or the OnePlus 9 series. The device didn’t get warm after playing a graphically demanding game for 30 minutes straight. However, when I enabled the “GT mode,” the back panel got pretty warm in just 15 minutes of usage. It is also worth mentioning that this mode didn’t make any noticeable difference in the game.
With a 4,300mAh battery, the Realme GT Master Edition gave almost a day’s worth of battery life, which was expected. You will get this result if your usage pattern includes social networking, a bit of binge-watching, texting and calling.
Of course, if your usage is on a heavier side, then you will get less than 10-11 hours of battery life. This happened when I played heavy titles, watched a long TV series, took a few scenic shots and did texting as well.
The good thing is Realme ships a 65W fast charger in the box, which tops up the smartphone’s battery in no time. The bundled charger took around 35 minutes to fully charge the device. A high watt fast charger really helps in times when you need to go somewhere and your phone’s battery percentage is at 5 or 10.
Camera: While the Realme GT Master Edition doesn’t offer the best camera under the Rs 30,000 price segment, it is capable of delivering some impressive shots in good lighting conditions. However, the camera cannot offer good photos consistently.
If you look at the camera samples, you will notice that some of them have either a proper or average dynamic range. But most of the daylight shots had the right exposure (with regular mode). The AI mode adds a slightly yellowish tint to photos and the overall image also looks unnatural. I got better shots with the regular camera mode.
Check out all the camera samples in the below album by clicking on it
In one or two photos, I did notice purple fringing. Some of the daylight shots even have noticeable noise, which is more visible when you look at them on a bigger screen. The ultra-wide-angle mode should be used in good lighting conditions and for sceneries. You will then good results.
The selfies taken using the Realme GT ME are good. The skin textures are preserved well and the camera managed to deliver selfies with natural colours, as per our usage. However, the portrait shots didn’t turn out to be great. In one of the photos, you will see a pale face and they are not detailed as well. Even in a well-lit situation, the camera failed to offer a noise-free and sharp human portrait shot.
The low light shots of the device are usable and can be posted on social media. I must say the device managed to retain the colours and details quite well in some of the scenarios. However, the night shots are strictly average, which is expected from a mid-range phone.
There is a single bottom-firing speaker on this phone, which is quite disappointing, considering even the smartphones that fall in the range of Rs 20,000 offer dual speakers. When I watched movies or played games, I missed having stereo sound for a seamless experience, which we usually get with most of the mid-range phones.
The Realme GT Master Edition is a watered-down version of the original GT smartphone, yet it still manages to offer most of the required features at a reasonable price. It features a premium leather finish and comes with 65W fast charging, a powerful enough processor, an AMOLED display and a good enough set of cameras. The only issue is you don’t get dual speakers.
The Realme GT Master Edition can be on your buying list if you are looking for these features and don’t wish to spend more than Rs 30,000.