“GT is the new X.” This is what Realme India’s Madhav Sheth stated ahead of launching the GT series. After spawning some brilliant phones under the Realme X series, hopes have only elevated for the Realme GT series. The Realme GT 888 in its “Bumblebee-spec” yellow is an eye, as well as mind, candy (it’s got some serious firepower inside). However, we are here for the GT Master Edition, which is more accessible, has fewer compromises, and gets that unique suitcase design.
Naoto Fukasawa has turned his attention to suitcases this time for Realme’s Master Edition phones and there’s no better way to put it – it is beautiful. It’s also got great stuff for the rest of the phone, i.e, a fast Snapdragon 778G chip, a 120Hz AMOLED display, 65W fast charging, and the list goes on. More tempting is the starting price of Rs 25,999, which puts it right in the approachable end of the mid-range segment.
Since we are suckers for beautiful phones that defy common sense, I was tasked to try on the Realme GT Master Edition and present a review. The review is going to take some time but I have some initial thoughts to spare after today’s launch.
The Realme GT Master Edition (let’s call it GT ME for the sake of my hands) continues on the legacy of Master Edition special edition phones that defined the Realme X series. After onions, garlic, brick and mundane everyday stuff, Naoto Fukasawa turns to the suitcase – a relic of the pre-COVID times. It sounds boring but Fukasawa has managed to nail the aesthetics using the same dull grey that we dread to look at on our suitcases.
Words cannot describe the beauty that’s the GT ME. Despite the dull Voyager Grey, the phone’s rear uses Vegan Leather material and an injection moulding process to create a 3D effect. The end result is a fabric-like surface that emulates the contours of hard-bodied suitcases. Add the tasteful Realme logo and the Naoto Fukasawa signature, along with the tasteful rectangular camera hump, and you have this phone that seduces the eyes.
The sombre theme on the rear is complimented by the blingy frame, complete with Chrome buttons. Sadly, the front look no different to a Realme X7 Max, especially with narrow borders and a camera cutout. That’s not necessarily bad but it’s high time Realme figures out something to jazz up the front.
The faux leather finish is luxury for the palms, and with the phone tipping the scales at 180 grams, there’s just the right amount of heft most of us seek while endlessly browsing Instagram feeds. The 3.5mm headphone jack is a happy sighting but Realme’s design team cheaped out with the buttons (they feel unsatisfactorily mushy). Also, there’s just a single loudspeaker; someone tell Realme it is 2021.
Realme being Realme, you get additional in-box items. The phone comes with a pre-installed screen protector, and there’s a flexible case to protect your suitcase-ey design. Fun fact: the case also resembles the suitcase design but it loses it appeal in front of the Vegan Leather material. The 65W charging adapter and USB-A-to USB-C cable are also present inside. No headphones though.
If the suitcase design isn’t for you, Realme also offers the GT ME is conventional white and black colours with a glossy design. Realme doesn’t say whether it is glass or plastic on these versions.
Features and specs
Specs is the game on Realme phones but on the GT Master Edition, the engineers have gone for a safer approach. You see, the Realme X7 Max starting at Rs 26,999 offers the powerful Dimensity 1200 chip, and the rest of that phone is all about giving more for less. The GT ME is not for gamers or nerds, and hence, Realme has given it the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chip.
The Snapdragon 778G is the new Snapdragon 730G but at this stage, it is reserved for fairly expensive phones (the Moto Edge 20 with this chip costs Rs 30,000). Realme undercuts the competition but in the process, has ensured the user experience does not suffer. With the Realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11, things are so far looking good. In fact, a few days of usage and it reminds me of the Realme X50 Pro, which was a high-end phone.
Of course, the Snapdragon 778G has its limitations and those are most likely to come out once I mount the pressures of the mundane life a smartphone has to witness. But it is all looking positive so far. Realme UI 2.0 hasn’t changed from the last time I visited it on the X7 Max, and you still get pre-loaded third-party apps, most of which can be removed. No system ads though, like Samsung phones.
There’s a gorgeous AMOLED display measuring 6.4-inches having a refresh rate of 120Hz. Complementing it is an extremely well-tuned haptic feedback system that elevates the user experience. The vibrations are well controlled and thoughtfully implemented throughout the UI to amp up the experience.
The 4300mAh capacity battery is yet to show its worth but paired with a power-efficient chip and Realme UI 2, I am confident of a full-day battery on this one. It is also great to see the 65W fast charger come back to a Rs 26,000 Realme phone – this system charges the phone like there’s no tomorrow.
With such little time to play and set up, the cameras are yet to show what they can do. I did some night photography while running errands and the initial photos look decent. The normal and Night mode output aren’t Pixel 4a-levels of good. That said, the new Street mode does help with exposures, details, and colours while capturing a glimpse of the nightlife. The selfie cameras are struggling right now and I hope Realme brings.
Having spent some time with the Realme GT Master Edition, it seems that Realme has matured enough to ditch the “high-specs-low-price” game and go for the quality user experience approach. This suitcase-lookalike phone does not feel like Realmes of the past; maybe this is the mark of a new future where Realme has grown up.
Of course, you can wait for our full review if you seek detailed feedback ahead of hitting the “Buy Now” button. However, to leave you with a thought until next time, the Realme GT Master Edition could be the benchmark phone you can compare future launches with.
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