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Realme GT Neo 2 review: Hands on with a fast-charging flagship-class 5G phone

The Realme GT Neo 2 offers some impressive specifications at a competitive price. While its main appeal may lie among gamers, this phone's good battery life, great AMOLED screen and high-quality speakers also make it suitable for more mainstream use cases.
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Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributor on
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The Realme GT Neo 2 runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 870 5G chipset with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.

Image: Realme

The Realme GT Neo 2 is a blast of a handset considering its price -- £429 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (~$570). Powerful and with a long-lasting battery, 5G support and two SIM slots, the Realme GT Neo 2 should appeal to smartphone buyers seeking a flagship-class handset at considerably less than four-figure flagship prices. 

My review unit was a distinctive and somewhat alarming shade of lime green. However, at the time of writing it's only available online in the UK in more staid shades of blue and black.  

Pros
  • High-end chipset
  • 120Hz AMOLED screen
  • Good battery life & 65W fast charging
Cons
  • No IP rating for dust/water resistance
  • No MicroSD slot or 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No wireless charging
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The Realme GT Neo 2's 6.62-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen is a highlight.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The 6.62-inch AMOLED screen sits in a plastic chassis measuring 75.8mm wide by 162.9mm deep by 8.6m thick and weighing 200g (2.98in. x 6.41in. x 0.35in., 7.05oz). It feels like a serious piece of kit in the hand, although there's no IP rating for dust/water resistance. The screen bezels are quite small, and the punch-hole selfie camera in the screen's top left corner doesn't distract from its usability. Realme claims a screen to body ratio of 92.6%, although we calculate it to be 85.9%. 

The backplate is punctured by a rather large camera bump that protrudes significantly and causes the phone to rock around on the desk when the screen is prodded. This isn't unusual these days but remains an irritation.  

The FHD+ (1080 x 2400, 397.5ppi) AMOLED screen is superb -- bright and sharp, with colours that really do 'pop'. The 120Hz refresh rate is not as rare as it once was, but it's still good to see on a phone at this price point. The 600Hz touch sampling rate is a plus, and the 1300 nits of peak brightness is also impressive. Stereo speakers push out really good quality sound, too. Gamers will like this setup, but so will anyone who is seeking good-quality visuals and audio. 

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The Realme GT Neo 2 is available in blue, black and a distinctive shade of green.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  
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The triple rear camera system (64MP, 8MP, 2MP) protrudes noticeably from the backplate. 

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Realme has chosen Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 870 5G chipset, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage -- which is not expandable via MicroSD -- in the UK at the time of writing. My lime green review unit had 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There is no shortage of performance here, as befits a smartphone pitched at 'tech enthusiasts and power users'. 

The Realme GT Neo 2 had a 16MP f/2.5 wide-angle (78°) selfie camera, and a rear camera array comprising 64MP f/1.8 wide-angle (78.6°), 8MP f/2.3 ultra wide-angle (119°) and 2MP macro cameras. I haven't had a great deal of opportunity to test these cameras, but on the basis of some point-and-shoot snaps the GT Neo 2 seems to deliver good enough images for everyday use.  

SEE: Best cheap 5G phone 2022: No need to pay flagship prices for quality devices

Equipped with a 5000mAh battery, the Realme GT Neo 2 saw me through two days of normal mainstream usage. Gamers will push the battery harder, of course, but even then a day between charges might be within reach. Realme provides a 65W SuperDart charger, and claims this will take the battery from zero to full in less than 36 minutes. I certainly found charging to be fast: at one point, with the battery at 36% I left it to charge for 15 minutes and it rose to 79%. 

The Realme GT Neo 2 runs Android 11 with the Realme UI 2.0 user interface overlay. As usual with Realme, there is a lot of bundled software, including social media and online shopping apps. You can uninstall these apps if they're not required. 

The Realme GT Neo 2 offers some impressive specifications at a competitive price. While its main appeal may lie among gamers, this phone's good battery life, great AMOLED screen and high-quality speakers also make it suitable for more mainstream use cases. And if you like your phone to look distinctive, the lime green option delivers that.

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