There’s a lot about the Realme GT 2 Pro that makes it feel sort of like a OnePlus 10 Pro light – heck, you could even look think of this phone as a vanilla OnePlus 10. The camera shares much of what makes the OnePlus 10 Pro’s snapper sing, and its design, charging tech, and zoom have all been dialed right back.
The Realme GT 2 Pro is very much a flagship despite its price and positioning. Its 2K display is excellent – the first flat panel to feature the LTPO 2.0 technology found in Oppo and OnePlus’s new flagships, and its cutting edge Snapdragon processor is a tried and tested performance champ.
Realme does push the envelope in one area with this phone – its new ecological design made from a combination of materials including paper pulp, and a dual 50-megapixel camera system, complete with a class-leading ultra-wide angle, and a microscope camera, similar to that introduced on the Oppo Find X3 Pro (opens in new tab).
Costing £699 in the UK which is approximately $890, the Realme GT 2 Pro undercuts its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 competition, including the Xiaomi 12 (opens in new tab) and Samsung Galaxy S22 (opens in new tab).
The question is, can the GT 2 Pro’s excellent hardware hold out against the flagship experiences from the likes of OPPO, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi, or does the Realme GT 2 Pro try to cram too much in without getting the fundamentals right first?
Realme GT 2 Pro design and screen
There’s no doubt about it, from the front, the Realme GT 2 Pro looks and feels like a serious flagship smartphone. Its screen is stunningly bright, vibrant, and punchy with a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate, and AMOLED tech matched with 2K resolution. On paper and in the flesh, it checks our boxes. The rest of the design isn’t so instantly impressive though, on first impression.
The standout feature of the GT 2 and GT 2 Pro’s design is the back panel, which is more ecological than plastic. Made from a paper biopolymer, it’s available in a pastel mint green or white. Feeling like matte hard plastic, the back lacks the striking premium impression made by glass and metal phones, but carries a less stark, warmer quality.
Along with the new, eco-focused design, Realme also shared some stats – for every million phones with this type of back panel sold, an equivalent of 3.5m fewer bottles worth of plastic would end up in the world.
Big numbers always sound impressive, and it’s great to see Realme take action on this front. Of course, this is one aspect of a wider smartphone ecological impact story. A focus on phone longevity, easy recycling and repurposing of old phones, and a reduction of smartphone packaging size would all take Realme’s initiative even further. We’re excited to see more brands take an increasingly sustainable approach to smartphone production and distribution.
Because Realme uses a new LTPO 2 panel, as used in the OnePlus 10 Pro (opens in new tab), the phone’s display can drop the refresh rate as low as 1Hz, taking it all the way up to 120Hz. This should help with keeping it power-efficient.
Realme includes a 6.7-inch screen on the GT 2 Pro, matched with a WQHD+ resolution, which means 3216 x 1440 pixels, creating a pixel density of 509 pixels per inch. That’s super-sharp. The fact its screen is flat will also win over anyone who doesn’t love curved displays – this is one of the best quality flat screens you can buy on any smartphone.
With a screen-to-body ratio of 92.6 percent, the phone’s front is immersive, and what's even more impressive is that the GT 2 Pro features a touch sampling rate of up to 1000Hz, as high as the new Oppo Find X5 Pro (opens in new tab). This should make it incredibly responsive for gaming.
The fact that Realme also opts for a 10-bit display on the GT 2 Pro with a broad contrast ratio only adds to its screen quality. It also gets as bright as 1400 nits, so outdoor viewability is no problem, and with Gorilla Glass Victus protection, it’s as scratch-proof as flagships get.
Realme GT 2 Pro camera
The Realme GT 2 Pro’s camera champions a mix of quality and quirky – and we like the mix.
There’s no telephoto camera per se. Instead, there’s a microscope camera with extreme magnification. Its ultra-wide also captures a more expansive angle of view than virtually any other phone out there.
Despite its fun secondary cameras, Realme covers the basics, and the main camera is a Sony IMX 766 OIS module – a tried and tested strong performer. It combines a 50MP resolution with a 23.6mm focal length, an f/1.8 aperture, as well as a six-element lens. As for the sensor size, it’s 1/1.56 inches, making it large, but not the largest around.
The 150º ultra-wide camera is also 50MP, and features a Samsung sensor. 150º equates to a 15mm focal length, and that’s matched with an f/2.2 aperture.
There’s no telephoto camera amongst the GT 2 Pro’s camera mix, though there is a Micro-lens camera that has a 20x optical magnification for a microscope-like effect. As for selfie cameras, the GT 2 Pro’s is a respectable 32MP, featuring an IMX 615 sensor with an 80.6º field of view and an f/2.4 aperture.
Shooting modes include Night, Street, Video, Photo, Portrait, 50MP, Pro, Pano, Film, Slo-mo, Time-lapse, Dual-view, Microscope, 150º, Text scanner, Starry mode, Tilt-shift, and 3D photo.
Realme GT 2 Pro camera review
The most important thing about any camera phone is its main sensor, and with so many apparent gimmicks going on, the Realme GT 2 Pro could have fallen at the first hurdle – but it hasn’t. The 50MP primary camera is a seriously reliable shooter that captures punchy, detailed shots, and matches a sharp subject with pleasing amounts of background defocus.
Quick to lock onto subjects, and to take a photo, Realme delivers a responsive experience and while results are on the over-saturated side of punchy, photos taken on it still pack a pleasing warmth, and miss out on the radioactive color handling of some more affordable Realme phones. Despite this, contrast is ramped up more than on most flagship competitors, which can make dark areas look a bit samey.
There’s support for 10-bit HEIF files and 12-bit RAW files, the latter giving uses maximum control when it comes to dialing back the over-sharpening and saturation discerning photographers might not love. That said, for most, the out-of-camera photos are mighty from the main camera.
Night photography from the main camera showcases well-balanced colors and tapered noise, though the phone’s ramped up contrast can render details in dark areas indiscernible.
While the secondary cameras miss out on the autofocus, clarity, and richness of the primary camera, they’re very handy, smart additions to the GT 2 Pro’s camera mix. The fact the ultra-wide camera gets so expansive at 150º adds a lot of versatility, delivering GoPro Hero10 Black (opens in new tab) style, dynamism and range.
It’s a shame RAW capture is disabled when shooting with the ultra-wide camera – something that would enable bypassing of Realme’s lively photo processing. OnePlus doesn’t disable this feature on the 10 Pro, and you can’t access the 150º camera in third-party apps like Manual Camera or Filmic Pro on the Realme GT 2.
As for the microscope camera, it’s a fun, enjoyable addition, that adds a huge range to the GT 2 Pro. In our time reviewing the phone, we had an outbreak of flour mites in our baking cupboard. The microscope camera proved invaluable when trying to assess whether or not these tiny little creatures had infested our entire stock of dry pantry items – they had. Beyond practicalities like flour mite hunting, the microscope is also a novel, fun party piece.
The phone’s front camera takes flattering selfies that have pleasing, warm tones to them. While there’s no autofocus, held at around 50cm from a face, features are sharp and video is held steady too. It’s captured at up to 8K from the rear camera and Full HD from the selfie camera.
Realme GT 2 Pro specs
We’ve seen a lot of fast charging phones from Realme before, so it shouldn’t come as any wonder that the brand’s brought back 65W SuperDart charging to the GT 2 Pro, matched with a 5000mAh battery. This powers up the phone from zero to 100 percent in around 35 minutes.
The phone also enjoys dual speakers, a flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and 12GB RAM with 256GB storage – plenty for most users. We found performance to be excellent, and even when gaming, the phone kept its cool better than much of the glass and metal competition.
The only major omission we found that held the GT 2 Pro back is wireless charging, which a number of phones in the GT 2 Pro’s price category feature, including the Pixel 6 (opens in new tab) and OnePlus 9 (opens in new tab).
Realme GT 2 Pro verdict
We had a great time reviewing the Realme GT 2 Pro, not because it was one of the best camera phones (opens in new tab) of 2022, but because it’s a quirky, fun phone that gets the basics right. It has a strong main camera, fun secondary cameras, a bright, bold, big screen, and loads of power under the hood.
At its price, you could pick up a Pixel 6 (opens in new tab) if you don’t mind sacrificing on storage, charging speed and screen quality, you’ll get a more tapered image processing experience, glass and metal design and wireless charging. That said, Nothing does quite does what the Realme GT 2 Pro does, and the fact Realme’s also trying to push the envelope with more eco-friendly materials is a boon.
Now Realme’s launching higher-end devices than the Realme 8 and 8 Pro, it’s clearly a brand to watch across the board, not just for those looking to pick up some of the best budget camera phones (opens in new tab) money can buy.
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