Realme and designer Jae-Jung worked together to create the Realme GT2 Explorer Master. It is becoming increasingly challenging to distinguish out in a sea of smartphones with identical aesthetics. Realme has a method up its sleeve for creating distinctive smartphones. To help it stick around, they keep releasing limited edition gadgets with interesting themes and designs.
The fantastic Realme GT Neo3 Naruto Edition that we previously reviewed is now the GT2 Explorer Master. Unfortunately, this phone is only available in mainland China, exactly like the Naruto phone. Let’s start with the unboxing to discover how the newest Realme device compares to the competition.
REALME GT2 Explorer Master Unboxing
Despite the fact that this is a distinctive item, the unwrapping process is not nearly as exciting as the Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition. As soon as the box is opened, the insert, the phone, a pretty nice black TPU case, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and a 100W fast-charging brick are all included.
Advertisement A SPECIAL HARDWARE DESIGN LANGUAGE EFFORTLESSLY MIXES THE OLD AND NEW For the second installment of the Explorer Master series, Realme collaborated with Jae-Jung. The Realme GT2 Explorer Master, in contrast to its predecessor, sports the premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset rather than the mid-range version.
The Travel Trunk form of this smartphone, with its distinctive rear cover design, is, nonetheless, its standout feature. The back is made of vegan leather with corner riveted details and a metal frame that matches the color of the bag, which was inspired by travel luggage from around a century ago. The copper-colored metal frame and corner embellishments, as well as the beige vegan leather, are two of my favorite design elements. Undoubtedly a modern device design that blends the old with the new.
For a device that weighs roughly 195 grams, it feels high-end and well-balanced from an ergonomics perspective. Also available with a glass back are the black or white choices for those who want a more traditional look. The OPPO Reno 8 Pro, which is nearly equal in size to this smartphone but lighter and thinner, might as well be purchased at that moment.
Advertisement THE DESIGN OF THE CAMERA MODULE IS UNIQUE WITHOUT BEING OUTRAGIOUS
The camera module on the back of smartphones is one method used by manufacturers to set them apart from one another. These camera modules have recently grown obscenely huge and gimmicky (we’re looking at you, ZTE Axon 40 Ultra). Realme deserves praise for maintaining the uniqueness while avoiding cartoonishness.
The primary sensor and the other two cameras are located above and below each other on the GT2 Explorer Master. In essence, it appears as though the iPhone 13 series was rotated by around 90 degrees. I do appreciate how the main camera on the module has a greater diameter than the other two cameras. The design’s drawback is that the phone would shake a lot when used without a case on a flat surface.
The remainder of the gear is not particularly original. The volume buttons are on the left rail, and the power button is on the right. The buttons are conveniently located on either side. Accessing the fingerprint scanner, which is positioned a little too low on the display in my opinion, is not simple. The dual SIM card tray, USB-C port, microphone, and speaker grille are all located on the bottom rail. The top speaker grille and second microphone are located on the top rail.
The bezels are quite small and evenly spaced on the front of the device. For the selfie camera, there is a little hole in the center at the top. The gadget has a definite luxury appearance thanks to the flat display and slim bezels.
Advertisement I adore the retro-modern style, and the material selection provides it a great in-hand feel that is free of smudges and fingerprints. When it comes to these cellphones with limited edition designs, Realme keeps pushing the limits, and I support that.
THANKS TO THE SNAPDRAGON 8 GEN 1
3, PERFORMANCE IS ABSOLUTELY TOP-NOTCH.
It has the most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, making it a flagship gadget. For both the CPU and GPU, Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 offers a 30% improvement in power efficiency. However, the 10% performance increase is mostly due to the cores’ higher clock speeds. The most recent chip for the standard 8 Gen 1 chipset comes from TSMC rather than Samsung (still using the 4nm production node).
Advertisement With 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, our review device achieves some remarkable Geekbench 5 results. Some of the best Android performance scores are 3915 for multi-core performance and 1331 for single-core performance. The phone is a beast in terms of sheer performance, and you won’t experience any problems with daily use, including extended sessions playing graphics-intensive games.
ASPECTS OF GAMING AND SHOULDER TRIGGERS Along with some fantastic gaming triggers on the right side of the frame, Realme has included a sophisticated cooling system to the GT2 Explorer Master. I don’t mind that these triggers aren’t indicated like those on the POCO F4 GT or RedMagic 7 series, but some users might. Because they don’t detract from the device’s overall simple appearance, I prefer them to be hidden. Through the Realme GT Mode 3.0’s battery settings, you can access the gaming functions.
Advertisement For the purpose of preserving a constant frame rate during gaming, GT Mode 3.0 essentially optimizes CPU and GPU performance. The in-game overlay is visible with two side swipes. The configuration may then be modified, calls and notifications can be blocked, and your gaming session can be recorded. Other choices for customization include connectivity, battery discharge, and game frame rates.
Additionally, you may assign certain game actions to the shoulder triggers, which is useful for shooting games. They might be useful for steering in racing video games as well. The haptics are excellent—as I’ve mentioned in my past reviews, Chinese-made Android devices are now on par with Apple, Samsung, and Google, and you’ll receive tremendous feedback while gaming.
One of the best displays available is seen on the REALME GT2 Explorer Master.
Advertisement I’ll keep this paragraph brief. simply because the OPPO Reno 8 Pro’s flat 6.7-inch AMOLED display and the GT2 Explorer Master’s are nearly identical. With its small bezels and good brightness specifications, it excels. On a hike near Santa Barbara during the warmest time of the year in the open sun, I had no problems using it.
The display does not offer LTPO-style refresh rate control; instead, it has a 120Hz or 60Hz option, but I doubt many consumers will care given the high cost of this product. The natural color preset was left alone, and I thought the colors were true and bright. You will, in general, adore the display on this smartphone; I know I did during my testing.
ZERO BATTERY ANXIETY WITH SUPERB BATTERY LIFE AND ULTRA-FAST CHARGING
With this device, Realme made no concessions regarding the battery life. Large 5,000mAh battery and 100W UltraDart support are included with the GT2 Explorer Master. What I enjoy about these devices, which are exclusively available in China, is that the US charging brick is really included in the box. Therefore, in contrast to the majority of other worldwide versions that come with Euro charging bricks, it is simple to assess how good the charging brick in the box is.
The GT2 Explorer Master features excellent thermal management for charging thanks to GaN technology. The battery can be fully charged from empty to 100% in just 25 minutes thanks to the 100W brick. Oh, and I found that the Naruto Edition phone’s 160W charger charges the gadgets a little bit quicker!
Despite the lack of wireless charging, I believe that if you become accustomed to these lightning-fast charging rates, you won’t even notice its absence. And the GT2 Explorer Master has great standby discharging. This device can easily last two days for daily use, excluding gaming. Expect to charge it every night if you play video games for more than a few hours a day.
DAY OR NIGHT, REAR CAMERAS GENERATE EXCELLENT RESULTS
In addition to its outstanding design, stunning display, lightning-fast performance, and long battery life, the GT2 Explorer Master has excellent cameras on the back. Two 50MP cameras serve as the primary and ultrawide lenses, and a 3MP microscope camera is a little different.
The main camera has a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor, and the ultrawide has a 50MP 150 FOV sensor. The 3MP microscope camera from the previous year will remain in the 2022 edition. On the front is a 16MP selfie camera, similar to those seen on other OPPO, Vivo, and Realme handsets.
AROUND-VIEW MAIN AND ULTRAWIDE CAMERAS GENERATE GOOD IMAGES
The performance of the main camera is outstanding both inside and outside during the day. Some of the images have a minor softness, but the color science is flawless and neither excessively vivid nor aggressive. These photographs could appear a little flat to those used to Samsung, Google, or Xiaomi devices.
To avoid image distortion, an ultrawide camera crops from the center of the frame. However, if you want to see photographs that are curved all the way around or at the edges, you can activate the fisheye or full barrel views. The photographs have decent amounts of detail and precise colors.
One thing I’ve noticed is that the images consistently turn out well whether it’s day or night. These are not at the Pixel level, but they are excellent for social networking. The camera setup on the back receives a respectable B-minus from me. See how the outcomes compare to the competition by seeing the images in our Flickr Gallery.
The front camera makes for excellent, albeit slightly soft, selfies. The photos have good dynamic range and depth, but it takes practice to get the lighting exposure on the subject’s face just right. The camera app’s zoom is only a 2X digital zoom, so keep that in mind.
Finally, it will take some practice to capture good photographs with the 3MP microscope camera. If you intend to frequently use the microscope camera, I highly recommend using a tripod. For the price of the smartphone at retail, the GT2 Explorer Master offers a fantastic camera system overall.
GOOD SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE, BUT WITH SOME CAUTIONS
Realme UI 3.0 is installed on top of Android 12 on the Realme GT2 Explorer Master. Since this is a China-only smartphone, no Google services or apps are available. Fortunately, I have a few Realme/OPPO devices around. So, in order to run Google services and/or apps on the GT2 Explorer Master, I utilized a fairly well-known hack. I just started copying the apps and settings from the OPPO handset to the Realme GT2 Explorer Master by using the Clone Phone software on my OPPO Reno 8 Pro.
I was able to use the GT2 Explorer Master as a worldwide version Realme smartphone in about five minutes. I would estimate that during the review period, I encountered around one entirely in Chinese snag per day, but aside from that, I had no problems utilizing this device on a daily basis.
4 All Google services and applications operate without any problems. On this smartphone, Netflix even functions! Therefore, I advise having another OPPO or Realme device on hand if you plan to import and use this device.
REALME GT2 Explorer Master’s speakers are loud and clear.
There are two speakers on the Realme GT2 Explorer Master, one on the bottom and one on top. Both speakers have their own grilles and deliver powerful, clear audio. The bottom-firing speaker grille shouldn’t be blocked, though, is the only restriction.
If you don’t push the volume slider all the way up, there is good clarity for vocals and mid-tones in the overall stereo sound. I would say that you get a nice audio system for streaming and gaming for a phone that costs around 550 Euros.
CONNECTIVITY IS SURPRISELY GOOD FOR A SMARTPHONE USED ONLY IN CHINA
On the T-Mobile network here in Southern California, I experienced no connectivity issues at all with the GT2 Explorer Master. My best assumption is that the Oppo gadget uses a Dimensity processor, while this one has a Qualcomm one.
However, I was unable to receive a 5G signal and could not even locate a manual option to enable it in settings. The 4G LTE speeds were terrible but on pace with what I get on my Google and Samsung smartphones. NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi6, Screen Cast, Multi-Screen Connect, and even Car Connect (although it is China-specific) are available in addition to the cellular and data connectivity options on this smartphone.
The only options for Tap to Pay on this smartphone are Wallet and AliPay, and there is no way to add Google Pay as a preferred method in the Settings panel, thus I would advise against using it. With the exception of that glitch, you should be able to use this smartphone just like any other Realme device with a Global version.
IS THE REALME GT2 EXPLORER MASTER A GOOD INVESTMENT?
To begin with, this device is only available in mainland China. There are several software restrictions for seamless everyday use, even though it functions perfectly in the USA thanks to the Phone Clone app on another OPPO/Realme smartphone. Tap to Pay with NFC is one of the major problems. If you want to use this as a backup device outside of China, this is a wonderful option. You might also choose to utilize it exclusively as a gaming system. But if you want to use it as your everyday driver, you might have to make a few compromises, and I doubt everyone would be ready to do that.
On the other hand, if you choose to get the Realme GT2 Explorer Master, you will receive a stunning phone with excellent performance, a lovely display, an amazing battery life with 100W charging, and a strong camera setup. This is arguably one of the lowest-priced Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices available right now if you can put up with the software peculiarities.