Realme’s Master Edition smartphones stand out from the crowd courtesy of their distinct designs. Now we have a new Master Edition in the mix featuring a design that is thankfully not inspired from under-construction buildings or Indian curries. Instead, the design brief seems simple – to remind people of travel.
The Realme GT Master Edition design is a brainchild of Naoto Fukasawa, and is inspired from suitcases. The Voyager grey variant also gets a vegan leather finish that rounds off the unique look. But is the design all that is good about the phone, or does it have what it takes to make its mark in the competitive mid-range segment? Read on.
We got the Luna White variant for review, and while it may not remind you of crowded airports or railway stations, it doesn’t look all that bad either. The matte finish feels velvety to touch, and has a sense of premium-ness to it. It may not attract fingerprints easily, but you wonder how long it will be able to retain that fresh white look. You can always put the phone in a case though to preserve that look.
The rest is pretty much a standard affair. The display dominates the front with a punch-hole camera on the top-left corner, and thin bezels on all sides. The sides have the usual set of buttons, and bottom has the Type-C port, speaker grille, and lo and behold, a 3.5mm audio jack.
The smartphone flaunts a 6.43in FHD+ sAMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate, and Widevine L1 certification. In day-to-day use, the display is a treat for the eyes with good levels of brightness, punchy colours, and sharp text.
The high refresh rate makes scrolling and other animations buttery smooth, while Widevine L1 certification makes this phone worthy of your Netflix and chill sessions. No HDR streaming support though is a glaring omission, but not something that is going to be a huge deal breaker for many.
Among the stand out features is that brand-new Qualcomm chipset under the hood. The Snapdragon 778G SoC is plenty powerful to seamlessly switch between your work and chill lives. During our testing, performance levels were on par with what you expect in this price range. The phone was able to handle all the apps with ease, and even multi-tasking to an extent.
This may not be a gaming phone, but it was largely able to handle games like Asphalt 9: Legends with relative ease. What was impressive is how the phone didn’t heat up even after a few races.
The same can’t be said about the battery though, which struggled at times to last an entire day. With a bit of judicial use, you can get through till the end of the day, but will need to charge the phone before going to sleep. Watching videos or playing games considerably brings down the battery life. Juicing up the battery however is pain-free. The 65W SuperDart charger can recharge the battery fully in a blink of an eye.
The device runs Android 11 with Realme UI v2.0 on top. The overall software experience is exactly what we expect from Realme. The overall UI is clean and smooth with tons of customisation options for users. While you don’t get ads on the phone, there are a couple of apps like the Theme Store and Browser that send out pesky notifications that tend to get annoying really quick.
One aspect that disappoints, is the phone’s audio chops. There’s only a single set of speakers at the bottom that feels inadequate. They can get loud when you want to, but there’s no depth in the audio. It reminds you of those really loud band baaja speakers, which are loud enough for the entire neighbourhood to hear, but without any sense of balance or depth.
Also when gaming in landscape mode, you are likely to end up covering the speaker grille with your palms, resulting in muffled sounds. The saving grace is the 3.5mm audio jack, which has become rare, but still shows no signs of going extinct. A pair of wired earphones will go a long way in improving the audio quality while gaming or watching OTT content.
The cameras on the Realme GT Master Edition are a mixed bag at best. The primary 64MP camera is able to click some great photos in daylight conditions with plenty of detail and colours that border on overly saturated.
But as the sun goes down, so does the quality of photos. Photos shot in low light conditions tend to miss out on sharpness, and some of the details look artificially boosted. Similarly disappointing are the 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro cameras.
The 32MP selfie camera works well though, and we were able to shoot some good quality photos. Even the portrait mode in the front camera works well. The photos you’ll end up with are good enough for social media platforms without the need for a lot of touch-up.
The Realme GT Master Edition is an interesting smartphone that gets a lot of things right, but not everything. Things falling in the former category are the design, display, and processor, while those in the latter category are the cameras, and audio.
With prices starting from ₹25,999 and going up to ₹29,999, the smartphone is at the heart of the segment where competition is cutthroat. In fact the toughest competition for this new smartphone is Realme’s own X7 Max 5G, which seems like a better package at roughly the same price.