Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

Realme GT Master Edition review: Flying high on design

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

The latest entry to the Realme GT series has launched in the Philippines, alongside the brand’s first-ever laptop, the Realme Book. Say hello to the Realme GT Master Edition.

Locally, the phone is priced at P18,990 (roughly $372 converted) for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage edition, which is exclusive to online retail, while the unit with 256GB of built-in storage costs P21,990 ($431). Taking inspiration from designer luggage pieces, the GT Master Edition debuts a faux-leather-clad back, alongside a 5G-ready Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset, a Super AMOLED screen that can run at 120Hz, and 65-watt fast charging — all noteworthy specs at this price point.

So, does Realme’s newest handset on the local market deliver on the same hype as its other products? Read our review of the Realme GT Master Edition to find out.

Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

You may want to check out our short Realme GT Master Edition unboxing video

The Realme GT Master Edition arrives in Daybreak Blue, which has a glossy gradient finish, and Voyager Grey. The latter, as you may know, touts what Realme calls a suitcase design created by Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa, who has also collaborated with MUJI and other companies such as Herman Miller, Alessi, Magis, and B&B Italia.

Sporting a faux-leather back, with a color-matching camera module and a tactile pattern that obviously takes inspiration from a designer suitcase, the unique aesthetic of the GT Master Edition in Voyager Grey is instantly recognizable and worth revisiting. Not to mention, the material that Realme used doesn’t pick up fingerprints and smudges easily and adds a bit of grip in all the right places. Naoto Fukasawa’s laser-engraved signature beside the Realme branding in silver, meanwhile, is icing on the cake.

Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

Naoto Fukasawa’s laser-engraved signature beside the Realme branding in silver is icing on the cake

This is one of the best-looking yet most minimalist rear covers we’ve seen on a phone this year, full stop. And considering how most mobile devices look so similar these days, the Voyager Grey variant really feels like a clever and elegant celebration of smartphone design. Hopefully, a bunch of different-colored back covers is in the works for future iterations in the GT series.

The bundled silicone case for the Voyager Grey variant of the GT Master Edition is likewise worth a special mention, as it carries the same luggage-inspired aesthetic as the device itself. It even flaunts the same Realme branding and Naoto Fukasawa’s signature in chrome silver.

The frame of the phone is made of plastic, not metal, but that’s fine because it has made the Voyager Grey variant lighter at 180 grams (the Daybreak Blue edition is even more lightweight at 174 grams). The unit we have measures 8.7mm at its thickest point, which is more than acceptable. We liked that we were able to crank out texts and emails with one hand without fear of fumbling or dropping the Realme GT Master Edition.

Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

The frame of the phone is made of plastic, not metal, but that’s fine because it has made the Voyager Grey variant lighter at 180 grams

It’s also worth mentioning that there is a decently sized camera bump here. The camera block doesn’t protrude far enough from the back to cause the phone to wobble significantly when placed on a flat surface.

As you can see, there’s no physical fingerprint reader on the back or sides of the device; you use an under-display sensor to unlock the phone if you want. There’s the option of using face unlock for biometric security as well, but don’t expect to enjoy the same accuracy and speed advantages designed into physical fingerprint scanners.

Per usual with Realme devices, the power button is located on the right side opposite the volume rocker on the left. You get a standard headphone jack on the base, too, along with a USB-C port and a single speaker, which delivers more than enough volume for your everyday use.

Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

The Realme GT Master Edition packs a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED screen from Samsung, with a respectable 1080p resolution and a nice 120Hz refresh rate coupled with 360Hz touch sampling

Moving to the front, the Realme GT Master Edition packs a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED screen from Samsung, with a respectable 1080p resolution and a nice 120Hz refresh rate coupled with 360Hz touch sampling for better sensitivity and less input lag. The company says the brightness can go up to 1,000 nits in Auto mode and offers an impressive 100% DCI-P3 coverage, which is widely used in films and video productions.

This makes the panel great for viewing content and editing photos on the go, and the brightness is high enough that the screen can be used outdoors on a sunny day. The viewing angles are consistent with a premium smartphone — no visible color distortion even at awkward angles.

The screen supports Google’s Widevine L1 certification, so content from apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can be streamed at higher-than-SD resolution. It also has an always-on function for checking alerts as well as the time and date without unlocking the screen. The GT Master Edition likewise supports HLG and HDR10, which works in YouTube videos, if you want a more vibrant picture. You can enable DC dimming under the Realme Lab tab in the Settings, to reduce screen flickering.

Smart Communications 5G speed test onthe Realme GT Master Edition via Revu Philippines

One of our Smart 5G speed-test results on the Realme GT Master Edition

Running the show is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset with an integrated 5G modem, allowing for faster internet speeds where available. We tested a couple of 5G networks in our area, and we didn’t notice any issues with regard to 5G connectivity. If anything, it seems to perform better than entry-grade MediaTek Dimensity chipsets we’ve tested, particularly when it comes to getting a consistent 5G signal in our home office. The GT Master Edition is the first global Realme handset that features Qualcomm’s latest upper-midrange chipset under the hood.

The chip is paired with 8GB RAM and as much as 256GB of internal storage on the top-of-the-line model. As expected, Realme’s RAM expansion software feature is available here, giving you up to 5GB of virtual RAM for multitasking and stopping apps from closing unexpectedly. It’s worth noting that virtual RAM isn’t like physical RAM, and it won’t transform your device into a true flagship powerhouse by any metric, even if you allow your unit to use as much VRAM as it can.

Benchmarks

And that’s fine, because the Snapdragon 778G is one of the fastest chips you’ll find in this price range, capable of running any graphics-intensive game you throw at it, including Marvel Future Revolution and Genshin Impact, at medium to high settings without lag or drag. Our unit managed to hit 60 fps in Genshin Impact with the graphics set to Medium; cranking the visuals up to High dropped the fps to around 50, which is still impressive for a non-flagship spec.

The Realme GT Master Edition also features GT Mode (exclusive to the GT lineup) like on the standard GT. Enabling it from the notifications shade made no tangible impact on the games we played. Our unit did seem to heat up faster and remained hot while the software feature was enabled.

Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

The triple-rear-camera setup includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide option, and a 2-megapixel unit for macro shots

The triple-camera setup on the back includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide option, and a 2-megapixel unit for macro shots. Selfie duties are handled by a 32-megapixel front-facing camera behind a punch hole in the left corner.

Though there is no depth sensor for portraits, you can still shoot pictures with a blurred background using the native camera app’s Portrait mode. The GT Master Editions offers Night mode on the front and rear cameras as well, if you need to take brighter images at night or in a dark indoor scene, such as a restaurant or bar.

Digital zoom goes up to 20x, but the quality is expectedly poor at the highest magnification. We don’t recommend using the macro camera indoors; the 2x and 5x magnification presets are a far better substitute, particularly when shooting toys and flora. Expert mode lets you capture a RAW image and adjust a few basic camera settings, but it’s not available on the ultra-wide and macro cameras.  

Here are some pictures we’ve taken with the Realme GT Master Edition. Notice the colors and contrast preserved by the 64-megapixel sensor. Obviously, the phone can capture bright night shots while retaining a pleasing level of detail and dynamic range, too.

Sample shots

The Realme GT Master Edition packs a 4,300mAh dual battery inside and supports fast charging up to 65 watts using the included SuperDart Charge power brick and USB-C cable. It typically lasts an entire day or longer on a single charge based on our usage, and that’s with the refresh rate set to 120Hz. Our everyday usage includes browsing the web or social media over Wi-Fi or 5G data, video and music playback, as well as some gaming on the side.

In the PCMark battery test, our phone lasted 12 hours and 21 minutes with the brightness set at 50% and 120Hz refresh turned on. Overall, we’re pretty happy with the smartphone’s endurance metrics, but we’re much happier with the fast charging speed this Realme offers.

As mentioned earlier, the GT Master Edition charges at up to 65 watts, which is among the fastest in the category, allowing the battery to fill up in under 30 minutes and provides a few hours of use within minutes plugged in. The shortest charging time we observed was 29 minutes, with the phone going from zero to full in the time it takes for us to finish eating a full breakfast.

Realme GT Master Edition review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

No worries about charging because of its support for Realme’s 65W SuperDart technology

Final thoughts

The Realme GT Master Edition is an excellent all-around smartphone with a unique, suitcase-inspired rear design that will draw envious glances. It has a competent, truly gaming-capable chipset with 5G, to go along with a feature-rich AMOLED display, capable triple cameras, and long battery endurance matched with 30-minutes-or-less fast charging.

Of course, some alternatives out there offer better gaming performance for less or a similar amount of money, but none of those phones can hold a candle to the GT Master Edition’s premium aesthetic and stylish minimalism. With a starting price of P18,990 in the Philippines, this phone is an attractive value for those who don’t need flagship power.

Realme GT Master Edition specs

  • 6.43-inch Super AMOLED screen, FHD+, 120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch-sampling rate
  • 6nm octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor with 5G
  • Adreno 642L GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB storage
  • Triple 64-megapixel main, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro rear cameras
  • 32-megapixel front camera
  • Fingerprint sensor (under-display)
  • 4,300mAh battery with 65-watt USB-C fast charging
  • Realme UI 2.0 based Android 11
  • Colors: Daybreak Blue, Voyager Grey

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 12 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between. His latest addiction is the comments section of viral Facebook posts.