realme GT 2 Pro 5G Review - Flagship specs for less, rear camera powerhouse?

After using the realme GT2 Pro for two weeks as a daily driver, here are our thoughts and experiences.
realme GT 2 Pro 5G Review - Flagship specs for less, rear camera powerhouse?
Unique design

Launched in the Philippines in March 2022, the new realme GT 2 Pro 5G has finally arrived and we have been having fun with it as our daily driver. 

To recap, the new value-oriented flagship features a 6.7-inch Gorilla Glass Victus protected AMOLED LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate display and a 3216 x 1440 resolution. Inside is the 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 octa-core processor, Adreno GPU, 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, 256GB UFS 3.1, and 5,000mAh battery with 65W fast charging.

At the back are a 50MP main camera, a 50MP 150-degree ultra-wide and a 2MP ultra-macro camera while in front is a 32MP selfie camera.

In the Philippines, it is priced at PHP 34,990.

How does it perform in real life? Read our review here.

Let's find out!


Multimedia Experience

Display
Display

In front is the aforementioned 6.7-inch Gorilla Glass Victus protected AMOLED LTPO screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ and QHD+ 3216 x 1440 resolution. Around this panel area super slim bezels. On the top right corner is the punch hole that holds the 32MP Selfie camera.

Arguably the best display for the price!

The panel is able to produce bright and sharp images with plenty of detail, deep contrast, and colors that pop. Video and games play smoothly because of the fast refresh rate while the 10-points of multitouch are responsive and accurate.
Top and bottom
Top and bottom

On top of the display is the super slim slit for the earpiece. The earpiece and the bottom-firing speakers work together to offer a stereo experience with a loud maximum with a good sound stage, good clarity, and accurate directionality.

One of the best speakers around!

While it has one of the nicest stereo speakers for the price, of course, don't expect too much bass.

There is no 3.5mm audio jack but there are two visible microphone ports. These microphones can pick up audio from under a meter away. The noise cancellation is good enough that our callers never complained about voice quality. There is only one visible microphone port at the bottom.

Cameras

Rear cameras
Rear cameras

At the back is a triple camera setup made up of a 50MP f/1.8 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX766 main camera, 50MP f/2.2 ISOCELL JN1 150-degree ultra-wide camera, and 2MP 40x ultra-macro with an LED flash.

The stock camera app includes the following modes: Photo, Video, Street, Night, 50M, Expert, PANO, Movie, Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, Dual-View Video, Microscope, 150-degree, Text Scanner, Starry Mode, Tilt Shift, and 3D photo.

The Pro mode allows for controls of ISO (100-6400), Shutter speed (1/8000s to 32 seconds), White Balance, EV (+-2), and controls to switch between the 1x camera and 2x camera.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1x
Daylight 2x
Daylight 2x
Daylight 10x
Daylight 10x
Daylight ultra-wide
Daylight ultra-wide

The realme GT 2 Pro's rear 1x and ultra-wide cameras produce stunning images. The 2x image is also great. But, unfortunately even when used in daylight, the 10x digital zoom is soft and pixelated. This is understandable as it has no dedicated telephoto camera.
150-degree mode and 150-degree fish-eye modes
150-degree mode and 150-degree fish-eye modes

The realme GT 2 Pro is one of the few smartphones with a 150-degree field of view for its ultra-wide camera. It can fit so much in the frame while producing sharp and detailed with good color and good contrast. You can even use the 150-degree mode to automatically turn the image into a fish-eye image.
Main close-up
Main close-up

When shooting images close-up, the images are the same in daylight. Sharpness and detail are sharp and detailed with good color and good contrast. 

Daylight images are exceptional as expected from a flagship smartphone.
1x camera, 20x Macro, 40x Macro
1x camera, 20x Macro, 40x Macro

The 2MP 40x ultra-macro camera can focus real close but because of the 2MP sensor, the sharpness and detail aren't the most compelling image from the rear triple camera array.
Indoors 1x
Indoors 1x
Indoors 2x
Indoors 2x
Indoors 10x
Indoors 10x
Indoors ultra-wide camera
Indoors ultra-wide camera

Indoors, the photos produce images with the same quality as the daylight images.  These images have great color and contrast while having plenty of detail. In this situation, the 10x digital zoom performed great.

There is one nitpick though. The light sources tend to get overexposed though.
Lowlight 1x
Lowlight 1x
Low light 2x
Low light 2x
Low light 10x
Low light 10x
Ultra-wide camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light

In low light, the 1x and ultra-wide cameras produce great images as well. It is not the sharpness nor is it with the least amount of noise, but it is on par with what you would expect from a phone with flagship specs. Minor nitpicks are that the light sources are over-exposed while there is little contrast in certain areas like the leaves on the trees. The 10x digital zoom is soft and pixelated.
Night mode 1x
Night mode 1x
Night mode 2x
Night mode 2x
Night mode 10x
Night mode 10x
Night mode ultra-wide
Night mode ultra-wide

The Night Mode is able to improve the low light images by improving the sharpness, contrast, and color. Though the light sources still tend to overexpose. Otherwise, we recommend using the night mode when possible.
front-facing camera
front-facing camera

While on the notch is the 32MP f/2.4 selfie shooter. The selfie includes the following modes: Photo, Portrait, Night, and video.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie

In daylight, the selfie camera produces sharp and detailed selfies with good color and good contrast. It struggled with one selfie where there were a lot of white surfaces that threw off the exposure. Otherwise, the selfie images are great but struggle with bright areas.
Daylight portrait
Daylight portrait

The portrait selfie is able to the background entirely with great edge detection. It is one of the better implementations of artificial bokeh forus.
Selfie Indoors
Selfie Indoors

Indoors, the image produced is sharp with plenty of detail. The contrast and color are good too. Like the rest of the cameras, the light sources are overexposed.
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie

In low light, the phone struggled with light sources. Surprisingly, there is minimal noise and the image is sharp with plenty of detail for an image shot in low light.
Selfie Night mode
Selfie Night mode

The Night mode improved sharpness, detail, and colors significantly. Because of the ambient warm-tinted lights, the white balance of the night selfie image became warmer than expected. Like the rest of the cameras, the light sources are overexposed. Otherwise, we recommend using the Night mode for selfies in low light when possible.

The rear cameras can capture up to 8K while the selfie camera can capture up to 1080 only. There is no option to select a preferred frame rate. The resulting 8K footage is sharp with good color but is shaky. While the 1080p selfie footage is decent in sharpness with good color but like the 8K, it is shaky.

Performance

Powerhouse benchmarks!
Powerhouse benchmarks!

Inside the phone is the 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 octa-core processor and Adreno GPU with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage.

Monster speed!

It managed to score a monstrous 970,107 in AnTuTu and scored 1251 in Single-Core and 3239 in Multi-Core test in GeekBench. These are the expected performance numbers for 2022 flagships.

It is worth noting that the CPU heated up by 9.1 degrees celsius and lost 5 percent in the battery. However, the phone was just warm to the touch and not super hot.
3DMark and CPDT
3DMark and CPDT

While in 3DMark Wild Life, the phone managed to score 8,991 overall and got a 53.8 fps average. These scores are impressive and are expected with the SD8 Gen 1.

While in the internal storage benchmark CPDT, it scored over 480.84 MB/s in sequential write speeds and 660.7 in sequential read speeds. The sequential reads are one of the fastest we've seen yet however the sequential write speeds are shy of 500MB/s.

realme GT 2 Pro benchmark scores:

1. AnTuTu - 970,107
2. Geekbench - 1,251 (Single-Core), 3,239 (Multi-Core)
3. 3DMark Wild Life - 8,991 and average 53.80 fps
4. CPDT - 480.84 MB/s (Sequential write speed), 660.70 (Sequential read speed)
Genshin Impact

In the latest version of Genshin Impact, the phone managed to unlock Medium Graphics as the default. This is in line with flagships of 2022 with the same chipset. Also, we can push the frame rate to 60fps but expect it to be warmer and it will consume the battery faster.

The In-Display fingerprint scanner is easy to set up and it detects and scans the fingerprint quickly. Because it is a dedicated sensor, it scans our fingerprints and unlocks the phone instantaneously.

While the Face Unlock with the selfie camera is also easy to set up and works fast. It detects our faces and unlocks the phone instantaneously in both well-lit and poorly lit environments. The screen brightens up when in a darker environment too.

The phone works with OTG when the feature is enabled manually. The WiFi, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G, and LTE connections are fast, stable, and reliable. The GPS acquires our location immediately and accurately.
PCMark Battery Benchmark
PCMark Battery Benchmark

Inside the phone is a large 5,000mAh battery with 65W fast charging thru USB-C. In our usual PCMark battery test, the phone managed to endure over 12 hours and 10 minutes. This is shorter than expected for the battery size and chipset.

While in our real-world use where we use the phone as our daily driver, it managed to last for an average of 6 hours of on-screen time after a loaded 8-hour workday with only 10 percent battery left. Competing smartphones with the same chipset and capacity can last for an hour or two more than what we experienced with the realme GT 2 Pro.

It may improve with future software tweaks.

The 65W charger charges the phone in around 60 minutes to charge from 0 to 100 percent. It is not the fastest charging but it is more than fast enough for most people. It is still way faster than the charging of iPhones and Samsung phones.
realme UI 3.0
realme UI 3.0

For software, it is running on the latest Android 12-based realme UI 3.0. It features minor visual tweaks from the previous realme 2.0 while adding Android 12 features. This includes the ability to customize the UI colors to the same color palette as the current wallpaper. So if you like Android 12, you will like the new realme UI 3.0. 

Performance-wise, navigating thru the UI and launching apps is snappy fast. We have no complaints about the overall performance phone. There are some preinstalled apps like Booking.com and Amazon. These can be uninstalled after the initial set-up.

Hopefully, realme can tweak the skin to further improve battery performance.

Pros - Eye-catching design, solid and lightweight build materials, monster performance for the price, dual 50MP rear cameras, stereo speakers
Cons - Selfie cameras struggle with bright scenes, 1080p selfie video, 8K video is shaky

realme GT 2 Pro Specs

Display: 6.7-inch flat Gorilla Glass Victus protected AMOLED LTPO screen w/ 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, QHD+ 3216 x 1440 resolution at 526 ppi
CPU: 3.0GHz 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno
RAM: 12GB LPDDR5
ROM: 256GB UFS 3.1
Back Camera: 50MP f/1.8 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX766 w/ PDAF, OIS + 50MP f/2.2 ISOCELL JN1 150-degree ultra-wide + 2MP 40x ultra-macro + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 32MP f/2.4 Sony IMX615
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 65W fast charging
OS: Android 12 w/ realme UI 3.0
Connectivity: WiFi 6, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS (L1 + L5), GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, NavIC, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio, HyperSmart antenna (12 wraparound antennas) X-axis linear motor, Stainless Steel Vapor Cooling System, USB-C, Colors: Forged Black, Titanium Blue, Master Paper, Master Sen
Dimensions: 163.2 x 74.7 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 199.8 g (Forge Black, Titanium Blue), 194.5 (Master Edition)
Price: PHP 34,990

Verdict

Web browser
Web browser

The realme GT 2 Pro is an eye-catching smartphone with bleeding-edge specs for the affordable price of only PHP 34,990.

It performs like what one would expect from a flagship in 2022. Yes, it can compete with a lot of PHP 50K and above devices. We love the display, stereo speakers, performance, and cooling.

To reach the price point, there were some compromises like unpolished camera and battery performance that we hope can be addressed in a firmware update.

Our other nitpicks include the 1080p selfie video recording, polycarbonate back panel (though it is a bio-based polymer that is friendly for the environment), and the average battery performance.

If you can live with the minor nitpicks, then the realme GT 2 Pro can be for you, especially with its value for money price.

What do you guys think?

Build/Design - 4.25
Multimedia Experience - 4.5
Cameras - 4.25
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.375/5
realme GT 2 Pro 5G Review - Flagship specs for less, rear camera powerhouse? realme GT 2 Pro 5G Review - Flagship specs for less, rear camera powerhouse? Reviewed by Telenor Editorial on April 18, 2022 Rating: 5

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