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Realme GT Neo 3 Review

Up for review today is the realme GT Neo 3 (150W), an unlocked phone packed with an impressive set of upper tier hardware. I’ve had this one for about 10 days now and have been using it as a secondary handset.

This review will evolve over the next few weeks as I get a chance to dig deeper into the experience, but I’m ready to share my early impressions.

I’ve fast fallen in love with the realme brand as each of its phones have incredibly solid build quality with hardware that rivals much more expensive counterparts.

While it seems that the company releases a steady stream of models to market, not all of them are offered globally. Things are increasingly widening for the brand, though, as it looks to take its place as one of the top handset makers in the world.

About the realme GT Neo 3

Similar to cars with ‘GT’ classification, the phone is a sporty looking one with a pair of racing stripes that run vertically through the rear. The white lines look sharp against the blue and definitely catch the eye.

The screen measure 6.7-inches with hole-punch camera in the top center; it has a resolution of 1080 x 2412 pixels, a refresh rate of 120Hz, and it’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

Under the hood are a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 processor with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage capacity. This puts it near the top of the line in terms of performance capability. With eight cores (four Cortex-A78 CPU cores at 2.85GHz and four Cortex-A55 CPU cores at 2.0GHz0, it’s more than enough to get work done and leave plenty in the tank for gaming.

Design

My review unit was Nitro Blue but it will also be available in Sprint White and Asphalt Black colors. I’m pretty fond of the look of this one and was pleased to find that the included protective cover was nearly transparent. There are few things sillier than buying a phone with a unique design or finish and subsequently hiding it under a case.

I find the GT Neo 3 to be a smidge thinner in the hand than my main phone, the Google Pixel 6. I appreciate every little millimeter I can get when it comes to one-hand usage. Between that and the barely noticeable overall thinner design, I like the way this feels.

The fingerprint reader is located under the display and feels a little closer to the bottom than other phones I’ve used. This doesn’t change anything, really, but may take some time to get used to for some.

The two stripes run down through the left half of the phone, directly through the center of the camera module. The large main sensor sits at the top with the flash resting neatly between the two other cameras. I like the symmetry here; it feels intentional and thought out.

Software

The realme GT Neo 3 runs an Android 12-based of Realme UI 3 which largely resembles the stock experience. If you’ve used a phone from Google, Motorola, or BLU over the last few years, things will pretty much look the same.

There are enough customization features and “extras” to make the phone experience feel unique to you, but I suspect many users might just take the default settings and run with them.

There were a number of extra apps pre-loaded on my review unit, including Amazon, Booking.com, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Moreover, I noticed a few apps that duplicate some Google titles or might be otherwise be considered “bloatware” by some.

I’ve certainly seen worse offenders here, and I get that some of these partnerships are what helps keep phone prices in line. Still, it’s worth noting that you don’t get a clean OS-only load.

Camera

As far as cameras go, the phone has a 50-megapixel Sony IMX 766 main sensor with optical image stabilization, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 2-megapixel macro camera. A 16-megapixel camera is located around front.

I wish I could speak more to the results and provide a deeper look here. Truth be told, I just have not had enough spare time over the last week or so. In the few shots I’ve taken around the house and office I’ve been pleased with the images.

Thus far everything I’ve taken has been sharp and detailed, and particularly vibrant. White balance is accurate, especially for daylight shots. Lower light settings don’t seem to be much of an issue for me in these first days. 

There are plenty of modes and options in the app to keep me, and many others, happy. Toggling the various cameras is as easy as is pulling up live filters and switching to video.

Performance

I have a love/hate relationship with getting set up on a new phone. On one hand it’s a pain in the butt to go through and install apps, log into things, adjust my security settings with Google, etc. I’m often selective in what I load in the first days as I am not quite certain as to how much I’ll use the phone as my main device. On the other hand, when I’m ready to settle in, I love starting with a blank canvas of sorts, and customizing the new phone.

I’m still at the stage where not all of my apps and games are loaded on the realme GT Neo 3. Having said that, I have utmost confidence that it’s going to handle the multi-tasking, gaming, and synchronizing of accounts without a problem.

I’m using the global version of the phone with my T-Mobile SIM and find 5G connectivity has been pretty much the same as with my Pixel 6. Speeds in the Akron, OH area are typically around 35Mbps down and 8Mbps up which are easily what I want or need.

Having a high refresh rate is one of those features we’ve lived without for years. We’re only starting to see over the last generation or two and it’s still a thing that’s not truly necessary. If you’re a gamer, though, you want your phone to have that 120Hz (or higher) refresh.

While I could make do with something that’s 90Hz, or even lower, I don’t want to anymore. I’m glad to see the 120Hz stuff here in the select games I’ve installed. Smooth, silky graphics and animations for the win!

Maybe the real kicker for the GT Neo 3 is that it supports UltraDart 150W charging, with a 150W charger included in the box. According to realme, just five minutes on the charger is all it takes to get to 50% battery. Indeed, this is the fastest charging available in a smartphone to date. If you’re concerned about the 4,500mAh battery being smaller than the competition, think about how much less time you’ll spend plugged in.

My global unit doesn’t have the standard plug for the US so I’ve not been able to test the 150W stuff out. With that said, I can attest to the fact that it still only takes a few minutes to see the phone battery make significant movement. I haven’t had to worry about charging because even a 10-minute commute is enough to push me through the rest of a day.

I really like the fingerprint reader on the realme GT Neo 3 as it was easy to set up and very quick to read. Accuracy is quite high and it feels much snappier than what I experience with my Pixel 6.

Parting Thoughts

Priced roughly $550 USD, this is a hell of a lot of phone for the money. It’s got a great color and design and feels great in the hand. The display is plenty big and bright, and graphics and animations look buttery.

I’m really digging the phone so far and think it’s something I’ll be recommending to others. One of the problems we occasionally run into with 5G handsets is that they don’t have the support for US bands. This global model has performed admirably for me with T-Mobile in my home town and general travels and I get 5G connection where I expect.

Performance, as a whole, doesn’t even feel like a thing because I’ve yet to see any stutters, force closing, or hang-ups. The battery is life has been incredible and charging speeds is as advertised.

I like the customization features that the handset allows for, such as opening from the smart sidebar, switching to split screen, quick launching select apps from the lock screen, and edge lighting for notifications.

You can learn more about the realme GT Neo 3 at the phone maker’s website (varies by region) with the ability to purchase in select markets. An 8G+128G variant is offered in India, for instance, with a starting price of INR 36999 (approximately $480 USD); however, it has an 80W charger. The realme GT NEO 3 150W (12G+256G) starts at INR 42999 ($550) in India.

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