The Realme GT 2 Pro has a special, first-of-its-kind wide-angle camera mode that at first sounds like a gimmick — it shoots photos with a 150-degree field of view — but after going out and taking some photos with it, it seems like it may not be a gimmick after all. I’ve spent an afternoon with the phone and its camera, and really like what I’ve seen so far.
Wider than wide
Most wide-angle phone cameras, or ultra-wide as many phone makers like to call them, have a 120-degree field of view, helping capture the glory of a landscape or wide-open area more effectively than the main camera. They have become a staple addition since LG pioneered the camera with the LG G5 in 2016. Realme is the first to widen that field of view on a phone, taking it to 150-degrees.
When you start taking photos with it, the results are startling. It’s not just that you see more, but because Realme has added a very strong HDR effect there’s a hyper-real look to the photos, but in a pleasing, eye-catching way. Colors aren’t over-saturated, just brighter, and blue skies have a light, airy, spacious tone. Detail is revealed where you may expect to see shadows, and there’s a slight fish-eye effect but not so drastic it ruins the scene. Nothing is 100% realistic in the photos but it doesn’t matter. This mode isn’t about realism, it’s about fun.
This is why I think it’s more than just a gimmick. The 150-degree wide-angle photos are highly shareable, which means I want to go out and take them. So many gimmicky features don’t enhance the experience or boost creativity, and end up being used once in a very specific situation.
I found I experimented more with the 150-degree wide-angle shots, and often really liked the results. That said, Realme has added a Fisheye mode that is a gimmick. The circular photos it takes are presented in a square box with an ugly black border that doesn’t lend itself to social media or viewing on a big screen. I doubt I’ll ever use it.
What about the rest of the camera? Oppo (which is part of the same family as Realme, OnePlus, and Vivo) removed the microscope camera from the Find X5 Pro, but when you dig into the camera app menu on the Realme GT 2 Pro, you’ll find out where it has gone. Yes, the super close-up camera mode has migrated over to the GT 2 Pro, and it provides a 40x or 200x super zoom, opening up a world invisible to the naked eye. Like the feature on the Find X3 Pro, it’s fun and different, but you probably won’t use it all that often.
The ultra-wide camera is one of Samsung’s 50-megapixel ISOCELL JN1 sensors, and it’s joined on the back of the GT 2 Pro by a 50MP Sony IMX766 camera and a macro lens for the 40x magnification. Unfortunately the GT 2 Pro doesn’t have an optical zoom to go along with the wide-angle feature, which is unfortunate given almost all flagship phones have at least a 2x or 3x optical zoom today.
I haven’t used the main camera outside of the 150-degree wide-angle mode much yet, so can’t judge its performance, but I have been holding the phone enough to recognize its wonderful design. Once again Realme has partnered with Japanese industrial designed Naoto Fukasawa and this time the chosen theme for the design is paper. Made from a bio-based polymer, the rear panel has been laser engraved with a fine zigzag pattern, and it instantly reminds you of really high-quality letter writing paper.
It feels lovely, with a really subtle texture and a warmth you don’t get from glass or metal. The matte finish means it should stay free from fingerprints and marks, while the color — Paper Green in our photos — is minty fresh, and a great choice for the arrival of springtime. Together, the texture and color elevate the Realme GT 2 Pro’s design from rather ordinary to something special.
At 195 grams the phone is light by modern standards, but the flat screen does make it feel less of a premium level smartphone than Realme says it is. Alongside the Oppo Find X5 Pro, for example, it doesn’t have quite the same degree of class, whether it’s from the curved screen or the more precise and expensive-feeling motion of the buttons. There’s a good reason though, as the Realme GT 2 Pro is almost half the price of the Find X5 Pro.
Specification, price, and availability
Its flagship credentials really come from the processor. It’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip inside with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space, while the flat 6.7-inch screen has a dynamic refresh rate up to 120Hz, a 3216 x 1440 pixel resolution, an impressive 1400 nits maximum brightness, and a 525 pixel-per-inch pixel density.
Android 12 with Realme UI 3.0 is installed, and it’s much the same as Oppo’s ColorOS in terms of layout and use. Realme promises three years of major Android version updates and four years of security updates on all GT 2 series phones, which does mean the phone should last for a sensible amount of time.
However, the GT 2 Pro is not especially tough and it does not have an IP water resistance rating. Inside is a 5,000mAh battery and Realme’s SuperDart Charge fast charging system will take it to 100% capacity in just over 30 minutes.
The Realme GT 2 Pro will be released in the U.K. on March 8 and it will cost 599 British pounds, which is about $800. It’s unlikely the phone will be officially released in the U.S., but it could be imported if you’re keen. To put the price into perspective, it puts the phone in direct competition with the Google Pixel 6 and is considerably cheaper than the Apple iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S22.
If you think you’ve seen the Realme GT 2 Pro before, you probably have, as it was announced in China at the beginning of January 2022, and is now being given its global release.
Value, and a hint at OnePlus’s future
No question, the Realme GT 2 Pro is a strong value. Nothing else offers the latest Qualcomm processor at this price, and so far the camera looks like it’ll be fun to use, plus I really like the design. However, keeping the price this low has meant losing some true flagship features like the optical zoom, a curved screen, and water resistance. This is the usual Realme tradeoff and if it’s one you’re willing to make, the GT 2 Pro has certainly impressed so far and is worth considering.
Interested in the 150-degree wide-angle camera, but you’re not able to buy the Realme GT 2 Pro? Your savior may come in the shape of the OnePlus 10 Pro, as it also has a 150-degree wide-angle camera, and because the two companies are very closely related (they’re both part of the BBK Electronics empire) it’s safe to assume it’ll operate in the same way. We’re still waiting for the OnePlus 10 Pro’s international release date though.
We will continue using the Realme GT 2 Pro and a full review will come in the near future.
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