Realme GT Master Edition Review: Ships with street cred pre-loaded

The smaller brother to the flagship Realme GT 5G doesn’t warrant a detailed review, but here are the key observations of the more affordable sibling.

Quick Review

I’ve now had time to properly use the Realme GT Master Edition and have had a chance to compare it with the ‘full fat’ Realme GT 5G. The differences are fairly slight, and visually the only real difference comes with the different choice of finishes on the rear.

The vegan-leather Realme GT 5G has a sporty finish with bright yellow, while the phone reviewed here has a more muted finish, but ridges that helps with ‘holdability’. You can learn more about the design in my preview and discover what the connection is with Naoto Fukasawa and a suitcase!

Once switched on, the only other change you may notice is the use of a 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC instead of the top-end 5nm Snapdragon 888. But you still get the latest version of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6 supported, 5G support (a must for future proofing yourself), and the same cameras on the rear.

The battery has been cut slightly by 200mAh, but still retains the incredibly fast 65W wired charging that takes just 33 minutes from flat to full.

Audio sees the drop of a second stereo speaker, but there’s still the same size Samsung-made AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling.

Available RAM tops out at 8GB here, rather than up to 12GB on the Realme GT 5G, but you do get Realme’s Dynamic RAM Expansion to add more RAM by using some of your storage space. This is made possible due to the use of fast storage memory, but I am not sure you’ll really need to activate it. It seems very much a feature that the whole industry will now copy as a way to appeal to a certain subset of users that want to brag about numbers than actual practicality.

Finally, there’s the more important issue that the phone is likely to set you back about £100 less than the Snapdragon 888 model. I say this without distinct clarity because at the time of publishing Realme still isn’t selling either model directly on its own website.

The phone is on there to excite you with slick visuals and enticing text, but the all-important ‘buy now’ section is still not available. Instead, you can buy either of these phones via AliExpress – a method of purchasing that might put some people off. I’ve used AliExpress for many purchases and it’s really as easy as using Amazon, but these phones really need to be made as easy as possible to buy!

Photos

Street Photo mode

The Street Photo is a key feature lacking on the original Realme GT 5G, and one that can allow you to have great fun taking photos when out and about. It allows the capturing of scenes without any delays for autofocus, with automatic adjustment of the settings for the absolute best exposure, day or night.

The manual focus is ideal for capturing movement, and the burst mode will let you go wild with your creativity and then review the results later to pick out the best results.

It’s great fun and will likely prove very popular.

Adjust the focus manually and get ready to shoot

Regular Photos

For the rest of the camera features, the set up is basically identical to the Realme GT 5G with the exception of the selfie-camera, which comes in at 32-megapixels here instead of 16-megapixels.

You can see a range of photos below to show its range, bearing in mind that both phones lack a telephoto camera and so zoomed photos rely on cropping from the main 64-megapixel sensor. It’s perfectly fine in most instances, although pixel peepers will notice a lack of detail if viewing at 100%.

In most instances, photos aren’t viewed at this scale so you’ll be fine until you need to work with the photos for anything professional, compared to the more likely social media usage.

Using the AI enhancements and auto HDR mode, you can just point and shoot and be confident of getting a good photo. In low-light you will need a steady hand, and a steady subject, to avoid blurring but this can’t really be avoided as all the sensors lack optical image stabilisation.

The not too distant relative of this phone, the OnePlus Nord 2, offers a better quality 50-megapixel sensor with OIS that works better in low light, but will cost a fair bit more.

Conclusion

Frankly, there’s no point doing an all-new review after using both the GT Master Edition and GT 5G side-by-side, as the number of differences are very slight.

Ultimately, the Realme GT 5G is the ‘true’ flagship and includes the best overall specification, with the only loss being the Street photo mode (which could potentially appear in a future firmware update if Realme so wishes).

This is a fun way to capture images, including fast-action scenes, and definitely a great new feature that I hope we’ll see on future Realme devices, but is it enough to beat the flagship model?

But, by the same token, with things being so close on the rest of the specs lineup, it does mean you should have no real concern about saving money if you can do without stereo sound (for a lot of people playing audio without the use of headphones isn’t even a consideration) or the same sized battery (and the battery life is pretty similar given the lower power consumption of the Snapdragon 778G chip over 888).

As you can see from my first impressions piece, the benchmarks put the Realme GT 5G ahead, but not by so much that you should write this off if you want to enjoy some gaming sessions, or other processor intensive tasks like video editing. The GT Master Edition will still do all of this, and thanks to the gorgeous 120Hz display, will do so as fluidly as the GT 5G.

So overall, the Realme GT 5G is the better offering at a higher price, but the GT Master Edition an extremely close second. Check the specs comparison and make up your mind, but Realme has your back whatever model you choose.

Pricing and Availability

Other colour variants

The Realme GT Master Edition is available in three variants: Voyager Grey (as featured here), Luna White and Daybreak Blue.

The full details of pricing for the UK is still to be confirmed, with the pricing only given in US Dollars at its recent launch event:

  • 6GB+128GB $399 (£290 approx)
  • 8GB+256GB $449 (£330 approx)
  • Prices before any promotions – which Realme has announced as just $299 from August 23rd on AliExpress for the 6+128GB variant!

Key Specifications

Realme GT 5GRealme GT Master Edition 5G
Size/Weight158.5 x 73.3 x 8.4mm (Racing Yellow 9.1mm)
186g (Racing Yellow 186.5g)
159.2 x 73.5 x 8.0mm
(Naoto Fukasawa edition 8.7mm)
174g (Naoto Fukasawa edition 180g)
Screen6.43-inch AMOLED (Samsung)
FHD+ 1080×2400 pixels
120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate
In-glass fingerprint reader
6.43-inch AMOLED (Samsung)
FHD+ 1080×2400 pixels
120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate
In-glass fingerprint reader
AudioDolby Atmos Stereo SoundMono sound (down firing)
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5nm) 5G
Max freq 2.84GHz
Adreno 660 GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G (6nm) 5G
Max freq 2.4GHz
Adreno 642L GPU
RAM8GB or 12GB LPDDR5 Quad Chanel
(now with Dynamic RAM Expansion)
8GB + 3 or 5GB Dynamic RAM Expansion
Storage128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1128GB or 256GB
Camera (front)Punch-hole 16MP Fixed Focus
(f/2.5 78 degree Field-of-View)
Video: 1080p 30fps with EIS
32MP Fixed Focus, Sony IMX615
(f/2.45 85 degree Field-of-View)
Video: 1080p 30fps with EIS
Camera (rear)Primary: 64MP (f/1.8) Sony IMX682 (1 – 5x Zoom)
Ultra-wide: 8MP (f/2.3) 119 degree FoV
Macro: 2MP (f/2.4)
Video: 4K/60 Primary Camera
Video: 1080p/30 Ultra-Wide
Primary: 64MP (f/1.8), Sony IMX682 (1-5x Zoom)
Ultra-wide: 8MP (f/2.3) 119 degree FoV
Macro: 2MP (f/2.4)
Video: 4K/30 1080p/60 Primary Camera

Video: 1080p/30 Ultra-Wide
ConnectivityDual band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
5G NR (SA & NSA) Sub 6
4G+ with VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
USB-C
Dual band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
5G NR (SA & NSA) Sub 6
4G+ with VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWiFi
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
USB-C
Battery4,500mAh
65W fast-charging (0-100% 35 minutes)
4,300mAh
65W fast-charging (0-100% in 33 minutes)
Other3.5mm headphone socket
Protective case (clear)
Factory fitted screen protector
Dual SIM (Dual Standby)
Stainless Steel Vapour Cooling
3.5mm headphone socket
Protective case (clear)
Factory fitted screen protector
Dual SIM (Dual Standby)
Five-layer cooling system with large heatsink area
New Street Photography mode
Price£385-£515 (Approximate)
Pricing based on Euro prices and subject to change
£290-330 (Approximate)
Pricing based on US Dollar prices and subject to change
More information

Realme GT Master Edition

£290-330 (Approx)
8.9

Features

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Camera

8.0/10

Value

9.7/10

Pros

  • Great screen with 120Hz and enhanced auto brightness
  • Excellent street photo mode, plus good all-round performance
  • Fast 65W charging and a decent size battery
  • Great 5G performance and Wi-Fi 6 support

Cons

  • Lack of stereo audio compared to Realme GT
  • No telephoto camera
  • Might be hard to source in UK initially

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