Realme GT Neo 3 5G review: Tame smartphone disguised in sporty avatar

Realme GT Neo 3 5G is a good performance-centric smartphone, but not an all-rounder. Though capable in every respect, it is exceptional in none

Expanding its line of premium smartphones in India, Realme recently launched the Realme GT Neo 3 5G 150W. The smartphone boasts industry-leading 150W fast charging tech, GT racing inspired twin-strip design on the back cover, 10-bit AMOLED screen of 120Hz refresh rate, dual stereo speakers, MediaTek Dimensity 8100 system-on-chip, and a flagship grade imaging system backed by 50-megapixel primary camera sensor. Touted by the Chinese maker as a performance-centric smartphone, the Realme GT Neo 3 5G 150W (priced at Rs 42,999) seems to be a value proposition in its segment. Is it? Let’s find out:

Design

The Realme GT Neo 3 5G comes in three colour options — nitro blue, sprint white, and asphalt black. The former two colours have a racing inspired twin-stripe design on the back cover, which looks bold without being loud. If you like minimal, there is an asphalt black colour option that is devoid of any fancy theme by design. The sprint white (review unit) colour variant has an anti-glare back cover made of glass. It feels smooth and soft to touch and does not accrue smudges easily. It is, however, not resistant to scratches due to lack of any protection on it. Likewise, the plastic frame coloured in black looks neat but is not durable and is easily scratched. The choice of construction material might not be the best, but it makes the phone lightweight and, therefore, comfortable to hold and operate. Moreover, there is protection where it matters the most, display that is. The phone has Gorilla Glass 5 on the front for protection against everyday abuses. In terms of design, the GT Neo 3 is the first Realme smartphone to sport a centre-aligned punch-hole for the front camera.

Display and audio

The Realme GT Neo 3 5G has a 6.7-inch fullHD+ 10-bit AMOLED screen of 120Hz refresh rate, made of E4 material. The screen is bright, vivid, and smooth. Its enhanced refresh rate improves everyday experience by rendering smoothly the user interface elements, transitions, and animations. The benefit of enhanced refresh rate extends to gaming performance and, together with a dedicated chip for frame rate interpolation, delivers a wholesome experience in supported games. The display is good for watching videos too and supports HDR10+ high dynamic range format. Complementing the screen is the dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos. The speakers are loud, clear, and balanced. That said, the display and audio are in sync with the performance-centric utility of the Realme GT Neo 3 5G.

Camera

The Realme GT Neo 3 5G has a triple-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 50-megapixel primary sensor (Sony IMX766) with optical image stabilisation (OIS) paired with an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 2MP macro lens. On the front, the phone has a 16MP camera sensor.

Of the three cameras on the back, the primary 50MP sensor works wonders but the other two are mediocre at best. Speaking of primary camera, it takes detailed shots with good colours, modest dynamic range, and decent highlights and shadow details.

In low light, thanks to OIS, it works well. The ultra-wide-angle camera sensor captures a good amount of details but shows distortion on the edges. Unlike the primary sensor, the ultra-wide-angle sensor struggles in low-light conditions. Its low-light performance, however, lifts marginally through the phone’s built-in night mode. The macro camera is there for novelty. It is not bad, but difficult to use due to fixed focus. As for the front camera, it works well for both regular shots and portraits.

As for the videos, the Realme GT Neo 3 5G can do up to 4K at 60 fps from the primary sensor, 1080p at 30fps from ultra-wide-angle, and 1080p at 30fps from the front camera. The videos recorded by the primary sensor look good but the ultra-wide-sensor disappoints here as well. Videos recorded from the front camera look fine but the sensor’s narrow frame of view (FoV) makes it less suitable for anything other than recording self.

Performance

Though a performance-centric smartphone, the real life experience using the Realme GT 2 Pro 5G is a mixed bag. It is primarily because the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 is a new chip and not optimised for a lot of things. For example, a commonly played graphic-intensive gaming title ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India’ runs at HD graphics and does not support HDR graphics and ultra frame rates. Nevertheless, the phone works well in everyday use, even when used for power tasks. In its current form, it does not make the most out of its capable chip but is expected to get better with future software updates. Speaking of future updates, the GT Neo 3 5G will get at least two major Android upgrades and security updates for two years.

Interface

The Realme GT Neo 3 5G boots Android 12 operating system-based Realme UI 3.0 interface. The interface lacks any sort of content (themes, icons, transitions, etc) to complement its GT racing inspired design, which is surprising. Nevertheless, the Realme UI 3 is optimised and has no snags. Therefore, it works fine and seems polished. On the downside, there are many bloatware apps preinstalled, including some that cannot be uninstalled from the system.

Battery and charging

The Realme GT Neo 3 5G 150W is powered by a 4,500 mAh battery, which keeps the show going for more than a day on normal usage. The battery runs out of power quickly when used extensively for power-and-graphic intensive workloads. Thankfully, the phone ships with a 150W fast-charging adaptor, which takes about 20 minutes to charge the phone’s completely drained out battery to 100 per cent.

Verdict

The Realme GT Neo 3 5G is a good performance-centric smartphone, but not an all-rounder. It is a smartphone with something in store for everyone. Though capable in every respect, it is exceptional in none. In comparison, the Xiaomi 11T Pro (review) offers a whole lot more and it costs about the same as the GT Neo 3 5G.

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