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Test realme GT Neo2: is it the real flagship killer of this end of year 2021?

realme GT Neo2 review, Realme GT Neo 2 price, realme GT Neo2 release date
© Marc Mitrani pour Clubic

True to its habit, realme is making a steady stream of smartphone announcements. With the GT Neo2, the manufacturer is more interested than ever in the premium segment at a contained price. In other words, the GT Neo2 is what is known as a flagship killer: a high-quality smartphone sold for two to three times less than a high-end model.

realme GT Neo2

Realme GT Neo2

  • Overall performance
  • Screen
  • Autonomy
  • Fast charging
  • Quality of construction
  • No induction charging
  • No IP certification
  • Average photography

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It must be said that with a price starting at 469 € (369€ during the launch period), the GT Neo2 has enough to attract the attention of demanding users. Especially when you know that it has a 120 Hz AMOLED screen, a 5000 mAh battery, and an ultra-fast charging mechanism.

Should you fall for the GT Neo2? To find out, we tested it from top to bottom.

Design: appreciated efforts

Even if it doesn’t renew the genre, the Neo2 GT has the merit of offering a little originality. Don’t get me wrong: it’s above all a classic smartphone, but the use of premium materials and unseen colors brings a bit of freshness in a rather uniform universe.

On the front, there’s nothing earth-shattering. The screen occupies the vast majority of the available space. It is surrounded by thin black borders, discreet enough to be quickly forgotten. The Neo2 GT houses an optical fingerprint reader under its AMOLED panel that we consider reliable and efficient. The front camera is housed in a punch in its upper left corner

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realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic


realme GT Neo2 – © Marc Mitrani for Clubic

The GT Neo2 chassis is made of good quality metal. Not surprisingly, it houses the sound control buttons on the left side and the power button on the right. The bottom side features perforations for sound, a nanoSIM card slot and the now traditional USB-C connector. The old 3.5 mm jack audio output is absent, which will despair the lovers of old things.realme

The rear face is covered with a glass sheet protecting a coating with pleasant reflections. For this test, we received the green version, whose particularity is to be crossed by two shiny black bands. The thicker one displays the brand name at its base. The thinner one repeats over and over again the house mantra “dare to leap” (which can be translated as “dare to take the plunge”).

realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic


realme GT Neo2 – © Marc Mitrani for Clubic

Described as such, this design can be chilling, especially when you remember what the manufacturer had done with the realme 8
and realme 8 Pro… In fact, the result is successful, even very successful. And to tell the truth, we had pleasure to take the device in hand for this test. The silky touch of the glass surface is both pleasant and above all totally insensitive to fingerprints.

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The back camera adopts the now-classic domino slightly protruding. The grip is comfortable and the mechanical keys fall well under the fingers, even if the GT Neo2 is a bit too big to be handled with one hand.

Made of quality materials and with an excellent finish, the GT Neo2 is a pleasant product that you will enjoy using every day. If the green version (elegantly tending towards yellow) does not go unnoticed, one can opt for the blue version with its magnificent colored reflections or for the more classic black. We could almost talk about a flawless performance if the GT Neo2 had an IP certification… but you can’t have everything!

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Screen: like a (very) big one

The screen of the GT Neo2 is made up of an AMOLED panel of 6,62” of diagonal displaying 1080 x 2400 pixels and covers 92,6 % of the front face. Realme specifies that it uses a new luminescent material called E4. In other words, this is the latest generation of screens that Samsung intends for its customers other than Apple and Samsung Mobile. The Apple benefits from LPTO slabs while the Korean reserves the slabs of the M series, positioned at the top of the range.

realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic

realme GT Neo2 – © Marc Mitrani for Clubic

Specifically, this screen produces an image whose brightness can reach 1300 nits maximum, that is to say in full sun if the automatic adjustment of the light intensity is activated. The refresh rate rises to 120 Hz and ensures a display of great fluidity. In order to save battery life, Realme had the excellent idea of offering a dynamic adjustment mode of refreshment, activated by default.

The color fidelity is at the rendezvous if you adjust the parameters a little. By default, the colors are a little boosted to make the image more flattering to the eye (especially in video). This can be corrected by switching from “bright” to “soft” mode, in our opinion closer to reality. If necessary, we can also adjust the white point to make the display cooler or warmer according to his tastes.

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The HDR10+ certification allows compatible content to express its potential. Others will be able to take advantage of the optimizations provided by the O1 Ultra Vision display engine (display enhancement for low definition content and HDR simulation).

Whether it’s still or moving images, the GT Neo2 will satisfy its owner by the quality of its display. We appreciate the very good fluidity of the display and the very satisfactory contrast provided by the E4 panel.

Audio: average, but no more

The internal audio consists of two speakers: one is located at the base of the smartphone while the other is located on the top (it also acts as a phone earpiece). We weren’t under too many illusions about the overall sound quality, as the low volume dedicated to the speakers in such a thin smartphone doesn’t allow for miracles.

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realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic

realme GT Neo2 – © Marc Mitrani for Clubic

If the bass is unsurprisingly under-represented, it is not totally absent. The mids are clear and the high frequencies are a little too invasive for our taste. The result will not delight a music lover, but remains listenable within the framework of traditional use (podcasts, short videos, etc).

The spatialization of the scene is not extraordinary either, but is it really a problem on this type of device? We are not sure. Finally, the lack of audio jack output forces you to use a USB-C adapter or Bluetooth headphones.

While the GT Neo2 doesn’t shine exceptionally well in terms of internal audio quality, it has nothing to be ashamed of either. It remains in the good average of what the competition can produce on such a thin product.

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Good performance, especially in games

The GT Neo2 is built around a Snapdragon 870 5G. We’ve come across this SoC before, designed to provide an affordable entry point into Qualcomm’s premium lineup. To design it, the founder did not reinvent the powder since it is primarily an updated version of the Snapdragon 865, star of last year.

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It is assisted by an Adreno 650 graphics circuit and 12 GB of working memory. Finally, the internal storage consists of 256 GB of UFS 3.1 Flash memory without the possibility of expansion.

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realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic

In theory, these technical characteristics suggest very good performance. This is confirmed by our tests. With a score of 729,660 points in the Antutu benchmark, the GT Neo2 offers the necessary computing power to perform the most demanding tasks. This result is confirmed by the 3203 points obtained with GeekBench 5 in multicore mode (1016 points in single core). The Adreno 650 scores 4217 points in the 3DMark Mobile Wild Life test evaluating the capabilities of the graphics processor.

So it’s no surprise that the GT Neo2 is capable of running 3D games like Geshin Impact or Call of Duty Mobile with a high level of detail without slowing down. In this regard, we will take advantage of the Game Space, a utility offered by realme. In addition to prioritizing resources, it allows for advanced management of notifications and all the little things that could bother you during a gaming session.

realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic

Video editing, photo editing or 3D software also run smoothly. The 12GB of working memory allows for smooth switching between applications without having to activate dynamic RAM expansion. This feature allows you to add up to 7GB of virtual RAM – taken from the storage Flash memory – to improve performance.

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In practice, we have never encountered a situation where this feature would prove effective. That’s not to say that it isn’t… but that with 12GB of RAM, it’s safe from need for the time being!

Finally, a word about the heat dissipation mechanism, which realme boasts about with impressive technical arguments (conductive paste with diamond powder, large size heatsink made of copper and stainless steel alloy). Here again, we won’t go into technical details, because in the end only the result counts.

During our tests, the GT Neo2 never overheated more than necessary. The device often seemed warm, or even a little hot when used for a long time. But it never got hot like some smartphones can.

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While not the most powerful smartphone around, the GT Neo2 offers more than enough power to run the most demanding software. We also appreciate the large internal storage capacity that makes you forget about the lack of a micro SD card slot.

Very fast charge and satisfactory autonomy

The GT Neo2 has a 5000 mAh battery. Or rather two 2500 mAh batteries, which is the same, except for one important detail.

This duality allows the implementation of the SuperDart technology, allowing the simultaneous charge of the two batteries and thus a drastic reduction of the duration of the operation. Realme promises a transition from 0 to 100% autonomy in 36 minutes. Of course, we wanted to verify this and our tests show that the manufacturer is not exaggerating, since it took us 37 minutes to perform the operation (battery at 0%, charging performed with the smartphone turned off).

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SuperDart is certainly not a novelty, as Realme has been implementing it on its products for a few years. For it to work, it is imperative to use the 65 Watt charger and the cable provided, both of which have essential control devices to prevent damage to the smartphone. Without one of these two elements, the charge is done in slow speed (10 Watts).

Once full, the battery offers more than satisfactory autonomy. In geek mode, we can exceed 1.5 days without worrying about finding an electrical outlet. In reasonable use, we reach two days of use. You can even gain a few more hours by activating the built-in power-saving devices and disabling certain secondary functions (always-on display, voice activation, gestures on the screen when off, etc.).

With a fast-charging speed and good battery life, the GT Neo2 will be able to follow its owner during his workdays or weekend getaways. In the end, we only regret the absence of induction charging. If it is not essential, it is very useful, especially when traveling.

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An efficient and fluid OS

At launch, the GT Neo2 comes with Android 11 and the in-house overlay realmeUI 2.0. The manufacturer told us that the update to Android 12 was planned and that it should “arrive quickly” without further details.

We won’t dwell too much on realmeUI 2.0, which we’ve already talked about in the tests of the realme 8, 8 Pro, GT, and GT Master Edition. We can also refer to the tests of Find X3 Pro, Neo, and Lite as well as those of the Reno6 and Reno 6 Pro from Oppo. The latter uses ColorOS 11, a twin overlay of realmeUI 2.0, the main difference between the two being for the moment the name.

realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic

Whether we call it RealmeUI 2.0 or ColorOS 11, the overlay is undoubtedly a success. It retains the fluidity and spirit of Android 11 Stock, while correcting certain shortcomings. For example, we can keep the traditional presentation of applications in drawers or opt for a paginated mode. Icon customization is as easy as can be thanks to a very nice interface.

Good point also for the clone function which creates a virtual smartphone in order to create a watertight partition between personal life and work. Another point of satisfaction is the simple but effective management of the multi-window or the sidebar allowing to add the most frequently used applications.

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We’re fans of realmeUI/ColorOS, one of the few overlays that can compete with the simplicity of Android Stock or the very accomplished OneUI found on Samsung smartphones.

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Photography: average in every respect

During the press presentation of the GT Neo2, realme France completely ignored the possibilities of its photo part. When we were surprised, we were told that they were concentrating on the specificities of the newcomer…

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realme GT Neo2 © © Marc Mitrani pour Clubic


realme GT Neo2 – © Marc Mitrani for Clubic

Looking at the datasheet, we can understand a little better this lack of urgency about one of the most used functions. Thus, the GT Neo2’s back camera embeds three modules:

Wide-angle: 64 mpxl (1/1.73”, 0.8 μm photosites); 26 mm f/1.8 lens Ultra-wide angle: 8 mpxl (1/4”, photosites 1,12 μm); 16 mm f/2,3 lens Macro: 2MPL; f/2.4 lens

As for the front camera, it consists of a 16 Mpxl sensor (1/3”, photosites 1 μm) and a lens (26 mm f/2.5).

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These features are exactly those already seen on the realme GT, and more generally on many mid-range smartphones marketed since late 2020. The wide-angle module produces 16MP images thanks to pixel binning (the photosites of the sensor are grouped in a 2×2 matrix, each producing a pixel of the final image).

In a way, we can only be admired in front of the constancy of realme in photographic matters. Not content with equipping the GT Neo2 with the same material as the GT, the manufacturer copies and pastes the signal processing part. As a result, it is almost impossible to tell the difference between the images produced by the two smartphones as they are so close.

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Realme GT Neo 2: the opinion of TechMarkup

Very similar to the GT announced last June, the GT Neo2 has a slightly larger screen, better autonomy and a slightly less high-end processor. It also differs from its predecessor by a more assertive design – and successful – as well as a pleasant design. No revolution on the photographic side, the configuration of the cameras remaining strictly identical.

And the price, in all this? It is undoubtedly very aggressive, at least at launch. It will be available for 369 € in 8 GB RAM/128 GB version and 449 € in 12 GB RAM/256 GB. This very interesting price is only temporary, the official prices of the two versions being respectively 469 € and 549 €.

In the end, the GT Neo2 doesn’t lack much compared to the high-end products it competes with: a better quality camera, IP certification and induction charging. We’re happy to forgive these small weaknesses for the price.

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