TEST: Realme GT Neo 2 – affordable style mobile with sharp screen

This autumn’s new mobiles from Realme started with performance peaks Realme GT, and continued with simpler intermediate mobile Realme GT Master, which despite its name is a slimmed-down GT. Now the trio ends with the Realme GT Neo 2, which in terms of price and performance is in the middle between the two. We have not seen any Neo 1. It was certainly launched this spring, but never came to Swedish stores.

Rating 4 out of 5

Opinion

GT Neo 2 is a typical Realme mobile, which gives you headstrong design, a lot of performance and several good qualities for a good price. Their range can vary greatly in quality, but here you get more of the good qualities and fewer of the less good ones. If you do not need an elite-class mobile camera, wireless charging or a fully waterproof mobile, you get a lot of other good things here instead.

Positively

  • Protruding style
  • Very good picture and sound
  • Almost top performance at a good price
  • Large and fast-charging battery

Negative

  • Half-baked extra cameras
  • Unclear about updates
  • And a lot of bloatware

The other two GT models stand out with spectacular design, including the ability to get the back in imitation leather. GT Neo 2 does not want to be worse and attracts the eye with aggressive neon green back in matt glass-like plastic that is broken off with an eye-catching glossy black stripe. For those who are bored, there is a conservative alternative, a dark gray version.

But then you do not get the best specifications on the phone. The gray model has eight gigabytes of frame memory and 128 gigabytes of storage, while the obscene neon model has equally obscene 12 gigabytes of memory and 256 gigabytes of storage. The price of it is therefore also different, SEK 4,990 and SEK 5,490 respectively. Considering what you get for that money, it’s really well priced.

The one we tested is the colorful top model, but they learn to behave about the same in terms of performance in most everyday situations. More storage is of course a plus, and extra frame memory is good if you multitask with several heavy apps and games. But eight gigabytes is quite a lot in a smartphone just that. GT Neo 2 also has a processor and graphics that allow you to take advantage of it.

Not the fastest, but close

Here is the system circuit Snapdragon 870, the same as we have seen before Motorola Edge 20 Pro. Here, however, we get it at a much more advantageous price. It’s the performance class just below the Snapdragon 888, with slightly lower clocked cores and slightly simpler graphics, but still a really powerful circuit. In our benchmark measurements, the GT Neo 2 is a bit faster than the Edge 20, and is actually as nimble as some mobiles with the Snapdragon 888. And that without most of the often uncomfortable overheating that the 888 is dragged with.

In addition to the look, it is precisely the screen that stands out in the GT Neo 2. It is relatively large with its 6.62 inches, which makes the entire phone wider in grip than the GT and GT Master, but with a rounded back and a frame that does not stand out extra much so the mobile is not uncomfortably large to grip. The screen is an amoled panel with 1080p resolution and all the good features we have come to expect from a good one in recent years, such as intense colors and almost perfect color accuracy. At least when matched against dci-p3 or srgb color scales.

Realme GT Neo 2
There will be a lot of neon, even a phone called Neo. Neon green or neon yellow? It depends a little on the lighting.

The panel should also be a bit above the ntsc standard, which is what AdobeRGB is based on. So in terms of color, you get exactly everything you can ask for. There is some white point shift in different angles, but we think it has to do with the fact that the glass in front is Gorilla Glass 5 which has certain such tendencies. This is a plus compared to the Realme GT, where we did not know what type of glass protects the screen.

You also get high dynamics, with the absolute blackness of OLED technology and up to as much as 1,300 cd / m2 in brightness, and with support for hdr10 + you can get a very good movie experience. In everyday use without hdr, the screen can shine in about half of it. It is marginally bright enough for the screen to be readable even in bright sunlight.

Quick response

The screen has a 120 Hz frame rate that can be set to a fixed 60 Hz or 120 Hz, or to an auto mode that scales up to 120 Hz if needed. It works for the most part, but some games that can run more than 60 Hz even on simpler mobiles get stuck at 60 here, so the automation is not perfect. The screen has an extra fast touch reading of 600 Hz which together with a haptic vibration motor delivers a direct feeling of control.

GT Neo 2 also has really good speakers. You get stereo sound with good spread as the speaker at the ear also works for media playback, and both speaker elements are high class. The sound is detailed, well-balanced and has clear, though not very full bass tones. Watching a movie or playing music with a mobile phone is of course not a full hi-fi experience, but above average for a mobile phone.

Realme GT Neo 2 screen
From the front, the design is more sane, but a bright and colorful screen lights up life.

You get support for Dolby Atmos and a bunch of simple audio profiles to choose from, either for the type of content or according to ambient sound. What we lack here is a manual equalizer, but otherwise we have nothing to complain about. Except perhaps the lack of traditional headphone jacks. Here it is usb c or bluetooth that applies if you want to connect headphones.

The camera on the back looks exactly the same as in the Realme GT, Sony’s 64 megapixel sensor IMX682 as the main sensor and two simpler extra cameras, a wide angle and a macro camera. We do not see that they differ from Realme GT in either image quality or features. For better or worse.

Photographs approved, but no more

This means a main camera with a good minimum level, fine dynamics and a noise-free image in daylight and approved quality with longer exposure in the evening. Overall, though, white balance and light control are a bit jerky, so you may need a couple of tries to get just the right balance in the image. As long as we stay away from the app’s ai mode which can improve that automation but gives images excessive color saturation. We lack optical image stabilization in some situations, but for the most part the digital one goes a long way.

The two extra cameras are clearly weaker. The eight-megapixel wide-angle camera has flat dynamics and pale colors. The small macro camera of two megapixels is hardly worth mentioning, with its fixed focus point and short depths of field that make it difficult to get sharp subjects, as well as a pale image reproduction. As a mid-range mobile, the GT Neo 2 is camera-approved, but not by a wide margin. That is by far its weakest point.

Realme GT Neo 2 grå
An alternative GT Neo 2 with a dull gray design, less memory and lower price.

On the plus side, we find the battery instead. It is at 5,000 milliampere hours without the phone becoming overly thick and heavy, and is kept charged with a massive 65 watt charger. It takes just over half an hour to fill up, and then in our tests we get between 15 and 20 hours of active use depending on activity and screen brightness. Then we are not talking about taking photos, filming, making video calls and playing games, which can always more than halve such numbers, without video streaming, web surfing and social apps.

Functional system

GT Neo 2 comes with Android 11 and the sleek, customizable Realme IU 2.0 interface. But also with a whole bunch of unnecessary bloatware that we immediately want to remove, from pre-installed Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to Amazon and Aliexpress apps. Everyone can uninstall except Netflix, for some reason.

Realme, they are not at the top when it comes to promised updates. As far as we know, only a major update to Android 12 is guaranteed, and two years for monthly security updates. What happens after two years is unclear. On the other hand, you get a manufacturer’s warranty on the phone for the two years, where most competitors only offer one year.

Cameras
The cameras are the weakest point of the phone, but they are also good for the middle class if you are not picky.

If Realme can start offering the same software policy as, for example, Oneplus, Samsung and Xiaomi, they can take a real step up in our eyes. It is still a really good and affordable mobile and it will be up to you whether extra future security is important or not. Therefore, it will still be a recommendation, but with some reservation.

Specifications

Product name: Realme GT Neo 2
Tested: November 2021
Manufacturer: realme
Systemkrets: Snapdragon 870 5G
Processor: Kryo 585 3.2 GHz + 3st Kryo 585 2.42 GHz + 4st Kryo 585 1.8 GHz
graphic: Adreno 650
Memory: 8/12 GB
Storage: 128/256 GB
Screen: 6.62 inch amoled, 1080×2400 pixels, 20: 9, 120 Hz
Cameras: 64 megapixels + 8 megapixels wide angle + 2 megapixels macro with LED rear, 16 megapixels front
Connections: Usb 2 typ c
communication: 2g, 3g, 4g, 5g, wifi 6, bluetooth 5.1, agps, galileo, nfc
Operating system: Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0
Other: Dual sim, fingerprint reader, 2 year warranty
Battery: 5,000 mAh, approx. 18 hours online video (high brightness, 60 Hz), approx. 16 hours mixed use (low brightness, 120 Hz), approx. 33 hours calls
Size: 16,3 x 7,6 x 0,9-1,1 cm
Weight: 200 g
Rec. Award: 4 990 kr (8/128 GB), 5 490 kr (12/256 GB)
Award: SEK 5,490 on Inet (12/256 GB)

Performance

Antutu Benchmark 9: 729 277 points
Geekbench 5: 1,011 points
Geekbench 5 and core: 3 159 points
3dmark Wild Life: 4 252 points
Storage, reading: 1 680,7 MB / s
Storage, writing: 752,5 MB / s

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