As part of Qualcomm’s annual Tech Summit in late 2020, we were introduced to its next flagship-tier mobile chip: the Snapdragon 888, and manufacturers – including Realme – clamoured to shout about their upcoming phones powered by this hot new silicon.
Xiaomi took the lead, with the Xiaomi Mi 11 already on sale, followed by Samsung and its S21 series, available in numerous markets by the end of January, all boasting the 888 (in select markets). But not to be outdone, Realme has also stepped up, with the March release of its new performance flagship, the Realme GT.
When does the Realme GT launch?
While we’re still waiting on global availability, on 18 February, Realme’s Weibo account confirmed a Chinese launch for the Realme GT of 4 March.
The phone was formally unveiled via a streamed event (hosted on Weibo), which you can rewatch (by heading to our dedicated article on the subject) – so long as you speak Mandarin and read Chinese.
The teaser image Realme shared on Weibo
The GT is now available for pre-order in China and in the run-up to launch received over a million reservations, according to Realme. It’s scheduled to go on sale locally on 10 March.
How much is the Realme GT?
In the run-up to the GT’s launch, Realme’s Xu Qi Chase alluded to the fact that the phone would come in at around the same price as the company’s 2020 flagship – the Realme X50 Pro – somewhere in the region of CNY¥2,999 (approximately £335, €385 or US$465).
While this was already a promisingly-low price bracket to hit, rendering the GT the most affordable Snapdragon 888-powered phone so far in the process, in actuality, the phone has launched with an opening price of just ¥2,799 (approximately £310, €360 or $435), although that will move up to ¥2,899, following release.
That’s for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage SKU, while the higher capacity 12GB RAM/256GB model comes in at ¥3,299 (approximately £365, €425 or $510).
Should the phone release in the UK, we’d expect it to cost somewhere in the region of £450 to £500, based on the price conversion and import of previous Realme phones.
What specs and features does the Realme GT offer?
At the same time as revealing the date of the Realme GT’s launch, the company also announced its new “Dual-platform Dual-flagship” release strategy, which promises one top-tier device line focusing on speed and performance and one centred around photography (an as-yet-unannounced follow-up to last year’s X3 SuperZoom, is expected to fill this slot) each year.
Early shots of the silver glass-backed Realme GT, featuring singer and actress Yang Mi
If the name wasn’t enough of a clue, the GT’s focus is undoubtedly speed; with 5G, the latest WiFi 6E, LPDDR5 RAM, UFS 3.1 storage, Bluetooth 5.2, 65W fast charging and a 120Hz high refresh rate display.
Most of the phone’s spec sheet leaked ahead of launch but the complete, official picture is as follows:
6.43in 20:9 120Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display w/ front & rear ambient light sensors
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor w/ stainless steel & copper vapour chamber cooling
8GB or 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 storage
64Mp f/1.8 Sony IMX682 sensor
8Mp f/2.3 119° ultrawide sensor
2Mp f/2.4 macro sensor
16Mp f/2.5 front-facing camera
Stereo speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
Hi-Res Audio support
Under-display fingerprint sensor
‘4D Tactile Engine’ haptics
Realme UI 2.0 atop Android 11
3.5mm headphone jack
65W flash charging
158.5mm x 73.3mm x 9.1mm (glass-backed), 158.5mm x 73.3mm x 8.4mm (leather-backed)
186 grams (glass-backed), 186.5 grams (leather-backed)
As shown in the press imagery, there are three colourways to choose from – two glass-backed variants with either a silver or dark blue finish, or the ‘Racing Yellow’ version, which features black-on-yellow vegan leather.
This third model weighs fractionally more and measures marginally thicker than its glass-backed counterparts and can only be had with the higher-capacity 12GB RAM/256GB storage.
Ahead of the phone’s official release, AnTuTu scores, again shared by the company’s Xu Qi Chase, suggested that the GT’s hardware handily outclasses the likes of Samsung’s Snapdragon 888-powered reference device, with a record score of over 770K, almost 100K more than the figure AnTuTu itself had on-record for the GT – something Realme subsequently brushed off as having been related to an early R&D unit.
Just three days prior to its Chinese launch, Geekbench 5 scores also appeared, clocking in at 1138 in single-core performance a 3572 in multi-core testing. For comparison, our review of the Exynos 2100-based Samsung Galaxy S21+ produced a multi-core score of 3589, one of our highest on record.
What about the Realme GT Neo?
No sooner had Realme’s Xu Qi Chase finished celebrating the newly-unveiled Realme GT on stage did he turn to tease the next entry in the GT family, dubbed the ‘GT Neo’.
While little is known about this mysterious device at this stage, it switches up the standard GT’s fundamental selling point – its powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset – for MediaTek’s newly-announced Dimensity 1200 SoC.
According to the Taiwanese chipmaker, its latest 5G-capable flagship 6nm chip serves as the successor to the Dimensity 1000+ and sports 1 + 3 + 4 octa-core architecture with support for up to 168Hz high refresh rate displays.
Based on MediaTek’s timescales for the 1200, it’s expected that devices like the GT Neo could hit the market as early as the end of March/early April.
What about the Realme GT Pro?
One of the earliest expected features of the GT was blisteringly-fast 125W ‘UltraDart’ fast charging, so when it was discovered that the GT’s fast charging only topped out at 65W, many were left wondering which devices would debut Realme’s UltraDart charging tech.
Following on from the above-leaked image, which was originally thought to be a first look at the standard Realme GT, well-known tipster IceUniverse served up a leaked document, claiming that the ‘Realme Race Pro’ (‘Race’ being the GT’s original codename) will instead be the device to feature the 125W charging tech, along with a 5000mAh battery, 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and will run on Realme UI 2.0 (based on Oppo’s ColorOS 11), which means it too will run on top of Android 11.
Here’s the Realme Race/GT Pro’s rumoured spec sheet, as it stands:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
6.8in 20:9 160Hz 3200×1400 OLED display
(Up to) 12GB RAM
Triple rear camera setup w/ xenon flash
64Mp primary + two unknown 13Mp sensors
Curved glass back
Android 11 w/ Realme UI 2.0
5G (Sub-6 + mmWave)
125W UltraDart fast charging
Previously, it was thought that the Race/GT Pro would top out at 256GB of storage, however, the latest specs promise up to 512GB of internal space, along with an OLED display boasting an unusual 160Hz high refresh rate and three cameras on the back, instead of four; fronted, again, by a 64Mp sensor.
We’re yet to know more about the standard Realme GT’s release outside of China and whether the GT Pro will ever see the light of day, but we’ll update this feature when we learn more.
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