As part of the Chinese BBK Electronics group, Realme has only been on the German market since 2020. In this short time, the company has already made a name for itself with powerful smartphones and good value for money. The Realme GT (test report) impressed us with high-end power at a fair price – and a very cool look. The Realme X50 Pro 5G (test report) also offers flagship qualities.
The latest addition to the family is the Realme GT Neo 2, which ventures into the hotly contested market for smartphones up to 39,900 BDT (guide). We tested the new cell phone and explain how it fares against the big competition and whether it can scratch the upper class.
The Realme GT Neo 2 impresses with an elegant and straightforward design language with an eye for detail. The case made of polycarbonate and glass has a matt black finish and leaves an extremely high-quality impression. The surface is also pleasantly insensitive to fingerprints. A point of contrast is the camera element with a high-gloss finish, which protrudes only minimally.
When designing the camera on the back of the smartphone, Realme hid a little surprise. If you look at the lenses in landscape format, they are strongly reminiscent of the surprised emoji. Two large lenses are at the same level, further down is the third lens as a “mouth”, which is flanked by two LEDs.
With a weight of 200 grams, the Realme GT Neo 2 is anything but lightweight, but it conveys a solid feeling and is still comfortable to hold. With dimensions of 163 x 76 x 8.6 millimeters, the mobile phone is rather large and is slightly smaller than the 6.7-inch models. Operating the Realme GT Neo 2 with just one hand is therefore not easily possible – except perhaps for real “thieves”.
The workmanship makes an absolutely high-quality impression and offers neither gaps nor wobbly elements. Both the volume rocker and the power button offer a solid pressure point. There is a protective film on the display by default, and a dark gray and rather unspectacular protective cover is also included, which is intended to protect the smartphone from damage in the event of a fall. This sits a bit too baggy and loose. However, the Realme GT Neo 2 is not protected against dust and water.
Realme uses a Samsung OLED display with a diagonal of 6.62 inches for the GT Neo 2. This offers a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, which, with a pixel density of 397 ppi (pixels per inch), always ensures a sharp image. The refresh rate is 120 Hertz, which enables smooth playback of videos, scrolling, or games. The front camera’s punch-hole notch is mounted on the side. This means that it is less visually disturbing than with a central arrangement.
The high sampling rate of 600 Hertz is particularly worth mentioning. For most smartphones in this price range, this is around 300 Hertz. Displays with a high sampling rate scan the input surface more frequently for touches. This gives a more direct feeling when scrolling and swiping. This is especially useful for games. We explain what else is involved in the guide to smartphone displays: Panels, resolutions, and frame rates are explained.
The image quality of the Realme GT Neo 2 is excellent. The colors look lively, and could perhaps be a touch stronger and warmer. Contrasts are strong and offer deep black levels like the night and full saturation. The viewing angle stability is also brilliant from all positions.
The maximum brightness is around 500 cd/m² in manual mode, and we measured values of over 700 cd/m² when the automatic mode was switched on. The display is more than bright enough to remain legible outdoors. According to Realme, the automatic brightness should increase to up to 1300 cd/m² in particularly strong sunlight. Indirect sunlight, however, the mirroring limits the visual enjoyment somewhat – an experience that we have with almost every smartphone.
The equipment of the triple camera is the standard fare for the middle class. Unlike the processor and the other equipment, the Realme GT Neo 2 does not stand out here. A lens with an f/1.8 aperture and 64 megapixels is used as the main camera. This complements a wide-angle lens with 8 megapixels and a macro lens with 2 megapixels. The camera on the front offers 16 megapixels.
With the main camera, more than decent shots with sufficient image details are possible in good lighting conditions. The lens combines four pixels into one using pixel binning. A special 64-megapixel mode exploits the full performance and offers even more image details. The size of a photo then quickly reaches 20 Mbytes and more. The zoom is purely digital, which quickly leads to pixelation at high magnification. The night mode effectively brightens up the recordings in the dark – but only in connection with high image noise.
The ultra-wide-angle lens has 8 megapixels. Image details decrease significantly compared to the main lens. The edges also appear slightly distorted. However, the coloring largely corresponds to the pictures taken by the main camera – we have seen that worse in this price range, for example with the Honor 50 (test report).
Like so many other manufacturers, Realme packs a macro lens with a meager 2 megapixels on board. A real telephoto lens would have been nice as an alternative. On the one hand, the resolution of the macro lens is low, and focusing does not always work at short distances – and honestly: In everyday life, this lens should rarely be used, especially since the activation is well hidden in the submenus of the camera. The Motorola Edge 20 (test report) shows how well a wide-angle lens works as a macro lens via software optimization
The main camera leaves a good impression in video recordings. The recordings appear stable – even if no optical image stabilizer is installed. The electronic stabilization (EIS) delivers successful results here. If necessary, set the recording to Ultrastable mode and film at 60 fps in 1080p or 30 fps in 4K resolution.
The selfie camera delivers more than passable results. In portrait mode, both a bokeh effect and a soft-focus are possible. The cell phone also allows dual videos, in which the front and main camera are filming at the same time, as is the case with the Honor 50 (test report).
Realme has chosen the Snapdragon 870 with eight cores as the CPU. The choice did not fall on the fastest model 888. The manufacturer justifies this with a better balance of the processor as well as a more constant and stable performance. Even if the top model from Qualcomm is not used here, the Realme GT Neo 2 convinces in terms of performance across the board. We achieved an average of 14700 points in the PCMark benchmark. The fluctuations between the individual tests were always small. This puts the cell phone at the top of our test devices, just behind the Realme GT (test report) with Snapdragon 888 and the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro (test report).
The GT Neo 2 also cuts a fine figure when used for games. This is shown by the result from the 3Dmark “Wildlife” benchmark, where the device achieved over 4300 points. Only Android smartphones with the Snapdragon 888, such as the Sony Xperia 5 III (test report), do better here with 6000 points. In practice, this ensures a smooth gaming experience with titles such as Asphalt 9, even with high graphic details.
The cheaper model has 8 GB of RAM and the top version even has 12 GB of RAM. This ensures high system stability when using several apps at the same time with short reload cycles. If necessary, the mobile phone uses internal memory to contribute 7 GB of virtual RAM. The space available is more than decent with 128 GB and 256 GB in the top model. However, it is not possible to upgrade the memory using a micro SD card.
The vibrating alarm is also positively charged. While inexpensive cell phones in particular rely on simple motors that tend to cause a tired rattling, the Realme GT Neo 2’s solid vibration makes for a high-quality impression. The same applies to the haptic feedback for inputs on the display. The fingerprint sensor was not entirely convincing. This occasionally hangs compared to a variant in the power button such as the Motorola Edge 20 Pro (test report).
The USB-C port, which only supports the slower USB 2.0 transmission standard, is no longer up to date. This is noticeable when you move large amounts of files between your cell phone and PC. If you don’t do this anyway, you won’t notice much of it in everyday life. When it comes to wireless connectivity, everything is up to date with 5G, Wifi-6, and Bluetooth 5.2 including aptX HD and NFC. Operation with two SIM cards is possible.
There is no longer a jack plug for headphones on the Realme GT Neo 2 – which is now common practice. The stereo speakers also make a good impression. The sound is clear and spacious, the system even supports Dolby Atmos. This ensures a good background sound for video clips or games. Android 11 is used as the operating system. The security patch dates from October and is therefore sufficiently up-to-date. An update to Android 12 (guide) will follow soon. After all, the company is involved in the beta phase of Android 12 with the Realme X50 Pro 5G (test report), which gives hope for a speedy update.
The battery offers a solid capacity of 5000 mAh. Weaker batteries with only 4300 mAh, such as the Honor 50 (test report), have recently been found especially in slim smartphones, which ensure mediocre runtimes.
The decision in favor of the larger battery and the Snapdragon 870 pays off: The Realme GT Neo 2 manages an impressive 14.5 hours in the PCMark battery test. This puts the smartphone in the top group of our battery life tests. The test simulates various tasks on the smartphone at an average brightness of 200 cd/m² and stops as soon as the battery level drops below 20 percent.
The included 65-watt power supply delivers a lot of power and brutally fast charging times. The smartphone is fully charged in just under 40 minutes. However, inductive charging using Qi is not possible.
Realme offers the GT Neo 2 with 8/128 GB and 12/256 GB memory versions. The colors available are black, blue and a bold bright green with shiny black rally stripes. The “large” variant is only available in green or black. the Realme GT Neo 2 is 39,990 BDT with 8/128 GB and 44,500 with 12/256 GB.
Realme GT Neo 2 8/128 GB variant 39,990 BDT and 12/256 GB variant 44,500 BDT are available in Bangladesh.
The Realme GT Neo 2 is an excellent smartphone for the asking price. This device has the potential to be crowned as the new king of the mid-range. The optics and workmanship are convincing, the performance is excellent, and moves on the level of a high-end device. The OLED display offers a crisp picture with 120 Hertz and responds quickly thanks to the high sampling rate. The battery life is also more than convincing.
The camera itself does not set new standards but does a more than decent job for the price range. It might not be quite a flagship killer, but it offers strong value for money and a balanced compromise of strong features. If you rely on an elegant design, are looking for a fast mobile phone, and do not have particularly high demands for photography, the Realme GT Neo 2 is the right choice at a fair price.
An inexpensive middle-class alternative with flagship properties is the Xiaomi Poco F3 (test report) for just under 28,500 BDT. If you want to be on the safe side, the Samsung Galaxy A52 (test report) is a waterproof smartphone with a great camera and optical image stabilizer. The cell phone is now also available as a 5G version. The group brother Realme GT 5 offers even more power.