Initial Verdict: Our unboxing of the realme GT Master Edition shows that the brand has a very promising offering to the Philippines soon. The Voyager Grey colorway has one of the best back panel designs we have seen to date, and it takes fantastic photos on top of that.
Omnivision OV64B main cam produces good results
Unique and durable build (for the Voyager Grey colorway)
Very capable Snapdragon 778G processor
Ultra-wide-angle camera has edge softness
No dedicated telephoto camera
No stereo speakers
realme GT Master Edition Specs
- Snapdragon 778G processor
- 8GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
- 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 120hz refresh rate, support for HDR10+ and DCI-P3
- 64-megapixel f/1.8 OV64B main camera with PDAF, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera
- 32-megapixel selfie camera
- 4G, 5G
- WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, in-display fingerprint scanner
- 4300mAh battery
- 65w fast charging
- Android 11, realme UI 2.0
While we still don’t know if the realme GT is arriving in the Philippines, at least one GT-branded phone will be landing on our shores, in the form of the upper mid-range Master Edition. The realme GT Master Edition slots in between the 8 Pro and X50 Pro, with the brand positioning the device as a street-photography powerhouse.
Packaging and contents
Unlike previous realme phones, the GT Master Edition has a long black box that is adorned with white text and patterned stripes. We like this new packaging approach, as realme gives further emphasis to the GT series as its premium line.
Inside the box, you get the phone itself, SIM ejector tool, documentation, USB-C cable, 65w SuperDART charger, and a silicone case that has a unique texture mimicking premium hardshell luggage.
While the GT Master Edition comes in two colors, you’ll probably lean towards the Voyager Grey colorway more because of its unique design. Aside from using vegan leather that appears to be more durable against scratches than the usual glass back, it has that same textured design as the silicone case that reminds us a lot of high-end, hard shell luggage. This back panel design makes it a few mm thicker and a few grams heavier than the glass-backed variant, but we gladly take that compromise if it results in a design that’s more rugged and more aesthetically interesting compared to the typical designs you see nowadays.
There’s plenty of nice visual elements at the rear of the phone: there’s the metallic silver realme branding with the signature of the phone’s designer Naoto Fukasawa, who has done plenty of work with iconic brands like MUJI and Herman Miller to name a few. The textured back panel approximates the look of premium hardshell luggage, and the vegan leather feels premium and sturdy to the touch. There’s a gigantic three-camera module on the rear.
The button and port layout are typical of what you see on a realme device: volume controls and SIM tray on the left side, power button on the right side, and USB-C port, headphone jack, and loudspeaker at the bottom. We noticed that the GT Master Edition’s USB-C port is not compatible with some devices like USB-C ANC earphones and that you will need to manually enable USB OTG if you want to use USB-C flash drives or dongles.
Display and speakers
While it also uses a Full HD+ AMOLED panel with 120hz refresh rate, the GT Master Edition has a slightly bigger panel than its more expensive, Snapdragon 888-powered sibling. In addition to that, the GT Master Edition also has an Adaptive Refresh Rate feature that dynamically adjusts refresh rate depending on the app you are using for better power efficiency.
It also has a DC Dimming feature (found on the Labs section of the settings app) that improves how the AMOLED panel handles low brightness levels, along with a 360hz touch response rate for smoother touchscreen interaction, especially with games.
As an upper mid-range device, it’s underwhelming that the GT Master Edition only comes with a single speaker–a number of its rivals and even more affordable offerings have stereo speakers as a standard feature.
The GT Master Edition is geared towards photography, and realme stuffs a triple camera setup at the camera module to help you with that. The triple cameras are made up of a 64-megapixel OmniVision OV64B main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and 2-megapixel macro camera. People might get turned off with realme’s decision to use an OmniVision sensor on the main camera instead of a Sony sensor, but initial photos we shot using the GT Master Edition show that they are just as good as a similar Sony sensor like the IMX 682.
While the GT Master Edition uses an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera that is very common with a number of mid-range smartphones, we noticed that it gets good detail in the center–at the expense of softness in the corners. This is the best possible approach realme can do to make the most out of an 8-megapixel snapper.
As a phone marketed towards street photographers, the GT Master edition has a Street Photography Mode that tweaks the camera software for run-and-gun shooting, along with filter presets to closely mimic the feel of film.
We will be taking more photos using the GT Master Edition before we give our final say on its camera performance in our full review, so stay tuned for that.
Powering the GT Master Edition is a Snapdragon 778G processor that is paired with 8GB RAM LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. The Snapdragon 778G is a variation of the Snapdragon 780G that uses a 6nm process instead of a 5nm process and offers a similar core configuration to the Snapdragon 888.
Both the Snapdragon 778G and 780G are described to be lightweight versions of Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, inheriting features like upgradable drivers, native triple ISP support (where you can use three cameras all at the same time), and a FastConnect 6900 chip that brings Snapdragon Sound, Bluetooth 5.2, and WiFi 6E.
We did use the GT Master Edition to play Genshin Impact at the maximum possible graphics, and it manages to keep up nicely–though the phone did become warm after over 10 minutes of gameplay. Lowering the graphics settings made the thermals more stable. Stay tuned to our full review for our verdict on the GT Master Edition’s performance.
Keeping the lights on is a 4300mAh battery with support for realme’s 65w wired charging.
Wrap up and early verdict
To conclude our unboxing of the realme GT Master Edition, the brand has a very promising upper mid-range offering in the Philippines–as long as it has the right price. The OmniVision main camera does snap good photos, and the Snapdragon 778G processor does hold true to its promise of being a lightweight Snapdragon 888.
We also love how realme went for an unconventional design approach for the Voyager Grey color, making the GT Master Edition a fresh sight for those who are too bored of all the glass-backed phones in the market right now.
realme GT Master Edition Unboxing Price
realme has yet to reveal the official price of the GT Master Edition in the Philippines, but we do think that it should be priced at around Php 22k if we base it on its SRP in China.