As part of Qualcomm’s annual Tech Summit, we were introduced to its next flagship-tier mobile chip: the Snapdragon 888, and manufacturers – including Realme – are clamouring 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, on sale across numerous markets at the end of January, both boasting the 888 (in select markets). But not to be outdone, Realme has also stepped in to confirm that its next flagship-class phone, codenamed ‘Race’, will also tote Qualcomm’s new lucky-numbered SoC.
When does the Realme Race/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 teaser image Realme shared on Weibo
Back during Qualcomm’s Tech Summit event, company CEO Sky Li proclaimed that Realme would serve as one of the first manufacturers to launch a smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform and with only Xiaomi’s Mi 11 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 already available with the chip in question, it looks like he truly meant what he said.
“The new flagship of Realme will be called ‘Race’ powered by Snapdragon 888, and its codename ‘Race’ shows the flagship will come with fast speed and high performance,” Li said.
The fact that a Realme phone has appeared on Chinese certification body TENAA and that the name ‘Realme GT’ was recently trademarked in India suggest the phone isn’t that far away from being unveiled in other markets beyond China too.
So yes, as I told yesterday, the Realme Race series could very well launch as the Realme GT series. The moniker has been trademarked in India.Feel free to retweet.#Realme #RealmeRace #RealmeGT pic.twitter.com/itPGbpHYBc
— Mukul Sharma (@stufflistings)
February 9, 2021
Mukul Sharma, aka Stufflistings, spotted the Indian trademark listing, which lines up with the image associated with the TENAA documentation, where the ‘GT’ name was first encountered.
Realme exec Xu Qi Chase previously took to Weibo with an on-the-nose tease regarding the phone’s racing-inspired name, with a model car that happens to be a scaled-down Nissan GT-R.
‘Race’ was always known as the device’s codename, while ‘Realme GT’ looks to now be locked in as the official branding for the device.
How much is the Realme Race/GT?
There’s no pricing to accompany news of the GT at this stage, however, Realme is known for offering up impressive value for money across its entire range, so we expect the pricing of its next flagship to be no different.
For reference, in the UK the Realme X50 Pro (the company’s 2020 flagship) cost an impressively-low £569 and while there’s a chance that Realme’s top end will reach even higher in terms of both features and price, it’d be a surprise if the device broke the £700 barrier, still making it markedly more affordable than a lot of rival manufacturers’ lead 2020/2021 devices.
What does the Realme Race/GT design look like?
Although the intricacies of the GT remain a mystery, there’s already plenty of information that we can piece together from various leaks. In the case of its design, we even have a leaked photo of the phone in the flesh:
This image gives us our best look at the Realme GT so far, sporting what appears to be a metal frame with a physical power key, a glass back with curved edges and a circular camera arrangement featuring four sensors with what might be a thin xenon flash to one side.
While the sensors in the image all appear to be the same physical size and one looks to have been cut-and-pasted using image manipulation software, it appears that we’ll get a decent sensor size from at least one of the phone’s snappers. There’s also no apparent periscopic zoom setup – as seen on the likes of the Realme X3 SuperZoom.
What about the Realme Race/GT specs?
As for internals, the Snapdragon 888 promises greater power efficiency than the previous generation’s 865, thanks in part to an integrated X60 5G modem and the use of a 5nm process (the 865 relied on a separate modem and was built on a 7nm process). The choice of modem also means that phones like the GT can potentially support both Sub-6 and mmWave 5G standards, resulting in both greater and faster 5G connectivity (depending on available networking technology).
Improved digital and image signal processors, along with an upgraded GPU and a new CPU architecture, should ensure improved performance across the board; from general use to gaming, camera performance and AI-based tasks.
There’s also the matter of power and while the company had previously promised a future device would debut its 125W ‘UltraDart’ fast charging technology, despite initial assumptions that the GT would be the phone to bring such technology to market, a newfound (by GSMArena) 3C listing from China, states that the phone (model number RMX2202) will instead sport “just” 65W (10V, 6.5A) fast charging.
Well-known tipster IceUniverse has leaked a document claiming that the ‘Realme Race Pro’ will instead be the device to feature the 125W charging tech, along with a 5000mAh battery, 12GB of DDR5 RAM and will run on Realme UI 2.0 (based on Oppo’s ColorOS 11), which means it will run on top of Android 11.
Here’s the Realme Race/GT Pro’s rumoured spec sheet:
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 by a 64Mp sensor.
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