Realme GT Master Edition review

The Realme GT Master Edition is a less expensive alternative to the main device in the GT series. This comes at the expense of performance, which is why it might not be for everyone.

Realme pulled its punches with the Realme GT Master Edition by including less powerful hardware to compensate for the lower cost. That said, they certainly didn’t skimp on design and display, delivering a phone that is still well worth consideration.

At CES 2019 in January, Xiaomi announced the Realme GT, the successor to the popular Realme 3. Unlike previous editions of the Master series, this one comes with an AI-optimised Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chipset and a powerful 16 MP camera that offers exciting new shooting options.

The Realme GT Master Edition was launched globally with the Realme GT Explorer Master Edition. The difference between them can be found in our Realme GT series explainer, but how does the GT Master Edition perform in day-to-day use?

Realme is a smartphone company that is based in China, and they have recently launched their latest smartphone called the Realme GT Master Edition. This phone has a lot of features that are designed to make it easy for you to take great photos.

The Realme GT Master Edition has a triple camera setup on the back, with two 12MP cameras and one 8MP camera. The front-facing camera also has a 20MP sensor, which is great for taking selfies or group shots.

Design and build

  • Unique suitcase-inspired finish (select models)
  • Headphone jack included
  • No water or dust protection

It’s easy to get carried away with a new phone, but one of the most important aspects of getting the perfect handset is picking the right finish. The Realme GT has a range of options for you – like the grey casing designed by Naoto Fukasawa which also comes with a matching protective cover.

Realme’s newest phone GT Prime 2 is available in a variety of exciting finishes, including a daring one that might be too much for some people. There are also sober options too – white or black smooth finishes.

The Realme GT Master Edition has a height, width and depth of 159.2mm x 73.5mm x 8.0mm, making it one of the most spacious phones in the Realme range – though it’s still a little on the big side and may be hard to use with just one hand.

The volume button on the left, and the power/lock button on the right. On top, you have a charger-port for USB-C, as well as a dual-SIM slot. And finally at the bottom: The headphone jack.

The phone’s super linear speakers are perfect for listening to Hi-Res Audio and the volume is quite loud and punchy. Unfortunately, it sounds a bit tinny in comparison to other devices I’ve tried.

Despite being marketed as a time-saving travel accessory, the Master Edition of the Mi Band lacks any sort of protection from water or dust. That means it’s vulnerable to drops and getting wet in bad weather. The design was supposedly influenced by travelling?


  • Dazzling 120Hz high refresh rate makes the action smoother and the frame rates more stable.
  • Large 6.43in screen
  • Reliable fingerprint sensor

The phone’s sizeable stature pays-off with a 6.43in screen boasting a 91.7% screen-to-body ratio. Realme has used a Full HD+ Super AMOLED panel, which produces bright, colourful images and pleasing contrast for text screens. When you’re using your phone in direct sunlight, you might have trouble seeing. However, usually the content will be visible.

The 180Hz touch sensor on the phone is even quicker to react to your finger movement, making it perfect for mobile gamers. The under-display fingerprint sensor also worked well and was quick and reliable.

If you’re worried about conserving battery life, I’d suggest using the auto select option to power the screen at 60Hz. Alternatively, if you want a better picture quality without sacrificing battery life too dramatically, then 120Hz is the option for you.

Specs and performance

  • Performance lags behind the standard GT
  • Up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage
  • No overheating issues

The biggest difference between the Realme GT and the Master Edition is the chipset. Whereas the GT has a Snapdragon 888, this phone comes with a Snapdragon 778G.

The Snapdragon 778G had previously been seen in the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G and Samsung Galaxy A52, just to name a few models. As such, we saw expected benchmark differences between the chipset and the usual one.

A8X might be a downgrade from the A10, but it’s still more than capable for everyday tasks like web browsing, email and light gaming. If you’re not going to be playing any big-data games on your iPad Pro or transcoding HD footage on your Apple TV 4K Air, then the A8X will serve you just fine. I found regular lag on some apps, like YouTube and Twitch.

The phone is equipped with a Snapdragon chip and either 6GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM. It also offers enough storage, with 256GB in the latter configuration. Of course, there’s no memory card slot, but what it does provide is more than sufficient for my needs.

The phone also features a Vapor Chamber Cooling System, which kept things cool during testing. It was functional with games, performing well and staying stable even during more intensive apps. Lastly, it can quickly charge your smartphone without overheating.


  • Clear textures and detail
  • Colours overblown
  • Weak low light photography

Like many other mid-level phones the camera on the Realme GT Master Edition is basically “whatever”

The sensor consists of a 64Mp main camera, with an f/1.8 aperture. Joining it is an 8Mp ultrawide sensor, with a f/2.2 aperture and the module is topped off by a 2Mp macro camera, with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front, there’s also a 32-megapixel hole-punch selfie camera with an f/2.5 aperture (a Sony IMX615 sensor, to be precise).

When it comes to capturing landscapes, objects, and people, the main lens is great. You’ll get quality shots with crisp details and sharp textures. Colors can be more vivid in bright light but this also produces some really striking photos. Pictures end up looking oversaturated, even when you turn off AI and HDR.

Low light performance isn’t the best. Details can become muddled, and colors appear duller. However, there is a night mode that appears to help with this a little bit – but it doesn’t make enough of a difference.

Ultrawide lenses can be great for certain applications but overall it’s not quite in the same league as a pro-grade DSLR. In the case of the S3450, colors are visibly less vibrant and you might sacrifice some detail depending on how close you are to your subject.

The macro function is also difficult to make use of. You can’t tell whether or not you are in the right distance because there’s no indication on the viewfinder. The images that you take might be disappointing.

The front-facing camera is surprisingly good, but could use some work in some areas. Colours look a little overblown and the picture quality is not as sharp as it would be with a good smartphone. As an example, when taking selfies with light directly in front of me, the camera highlights this light which becomes very distracting and difficult to correct.

When shooting with the front camera in portrait mode, artificial bokeh can sometimes miss certain hair and details, blurring them out of the photo.

The Master Edition also touts a dedicated street photography mode – developed in partnership with Ricoh, as well as a ‘street shooting filter’ from Nomo Cam. It is undoubtedly a niche feature, and you’ll likely be hard-pressed to spot differences when comparing shots taken with this mode switched on, versus when it’s off.

For video, the Realme GT Master Edition can shoot in 720p, 1080p or 4K resolution, at up to 60fps. There isn’t any OIS (optical image stabilisation) but the inclusion of EIS (electronic image stabilisation) helps keep videos reasonably smooth, and sound is picked up well from the built-in dual-microphones.

Battery life

  • Respectable longevity
  • 65W fast charging
  • No wireless charging

The Realme GT Master Edition comes with a 4300mAh battery. Different numbers are provided on their website and in the company’s tests, but I found it lasts for just over a day and half under normal use. Internal testing showed impressive results too, with the device lasting 10 hours under general use.

If you’re on the lookout for a phone that charges really fast, this one’s perfect for you. It comes with a 65W charger in the box and fully charges to 100% from 0 in 30 minutes.

As you would expect from a phone of this price, there is no wireless charging support.


  • Realme UI 2.0
  • Easy to use interface
  • Some clutter

The Master Edition comes with Android 11, with Realme UI 2.0 on top. I had an issue with some pre-installed apps that I don’t think many users are actually going to use; they include PUBG and So Loop. Fortunately, you can uninstall these, if you want more room for your own apps.

As Android skins go, it’s not too bad. It might not be as clean as Oppo’s, but depending on your Android experience you should be able to deal with it pretty well.

There’s a whole section for digital wellbeing, where you can pause apps and limit them to specific time blocks. You can also switch your phone interface to have a bedtime mode with a greyscale screen and the do not disturb function. There’s also Headspace which will remind you if you’re using your phone whilst walking to stay aware.

Price and availability

Realme’s GT Master Edition phone is competitively priced and will set you back £274.76/US$399. Its specs are pretty decent: the basic model comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which is a good deal for the price. The cost for the model I tested is still very good, at £304.95/US$449.

For comparison, a vanilla Realme GT costs £473.76/US$599. If you don’t want the hassle of importing it, it’s also available from some other retail chains such as AliExpress and Amazon UK and US.

If you’re looking for a cheaper phone with similar performance, it’s worth considering something like the Poco X3 Pro. It offers a big battery and lots of storage for the price. There are some trade-offs, like having slower charging speeds and worse cameras, but it’s still worth looking into.

Another important thing to remember is that, since the original Realme GT has been out longer, the price has fallen and these days is only slightly more expensive than other flagship devices with similar specs. In this article, we present five of the top budget models from different brands that are worth taking a look at.


From the same company that brought you the selfie expert with software for all your selfies, meet Realme’s newest GT Master Edition. It retains all the great features of its predecessor in a new, unique design and includes a headphone jack.

The performance downgrade and less appealing camera set this phone back a little. The lower starting price doesn’t really make up for it, though. I’ve now been using this AI writer for a while and it’s proven to be much more economical (compared to cheaper counterparts) and its performance is better than the latter.

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