Realme GT3 review
Design and build
Unlike its predecessor, the Realme GT3 only comes in glass, so there's no more paper-like surface option this time around, which is a disappointment because we kind of liked the GT2's quirky design. Anyway, the GT3 adopts the usual glass sandwich construction with a plastic frame in the middle, holding the two glass sheets together. There's no Gorilla Glass protection this year, and Realme only cites "glass" in its specs. There's no ingress protection either, which is a slight misstep given that many competitors do have some sort of protection against water and dust.
The overall design is a big departure from the GT series in the past, and it reminds us of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra due to the camera island design. On the GT3, however, it's not a whole glass piece. Instead, the camera sits inside glass rings placed on a blocky metal piece, which sticks out just a little. The camera bump itself is placed on a big glass piece that lays flush with the rest of the back. That piece houses the LED lighting, which in turn surrounds a small window-like element that shows the Snapdragon logo under the right angle and lighting conditions. We discuss the LED lighting and the related features in the software section.
It's definitely an interesting take on modern smartphone design, as it's usually the case with Realme, and we like it for the most part. It looks balanced and not too crazy. We feel like most people will find it neutral, at the very least.
The rest of the glass back is covered in a frosted, silky-smooth finish that feels great to the touch, but it's a nightmare to hold onto. The phone is extremely slippery and both the Pulse White and the Booster Black colors are identical to the touch. The good news is that there's no room for fingerprints. The surface doesn't allow smudges to stick to, and it remains squeaky clean at all times.
The back sheet is slightly curved to the sides and forms a barely noticeable ridge with the side frame. The same cannot be said about the front glass panel, which seamlessly transitions into the side frame.
Speaking of the side frame, we have the power button sitting on the right side and the two volume buttons on the opposite side of the frame. Due to this peculiarity, those not accustomed to this configuration might often make accidental screenshots when locking the screen.
The top and bottom parts of the frame are slightly indented, with the former housing an IR blaster and a small opening for the echo chamber (for the top speaker), whereas the bottom is home to the SIM card tray, the main speaker grille and the USB-C connector.
Going back to the front, we see the tiny centered punch-hole for the selfie camera and the thin, symmetrical bezels all around. Well, the bottom one is ever so slightly thicker, but not enough to ruin the symmetry. The bezels are definitely one of the thinnest around.
The under-display fingerprint placement is once again an issue - it's placed too close to the bottom edge and requires some awkward thumb gymnastics to unlock the phone when holding it with one hand.
Overall, we liked the new GT3 design as it's surprisingly light for a 6.74-inch smartphone with a glass build. It weighs just a gram shy of 200g, and we were pleasantly surprised by the minimally protruding camera bump too. However, we would have greatly appreciated the extra peace of mind of having a Gorilla Glass layer and any level of official ingress protection, as these are commonly found in the same price bracket. And although very pleasant to touch and resistant to smudges, the frosted surface is extremely slippery.
- 29 Mar 2023
Exactly. I come from One Plus, I only recently gave Pixel a chance again. It is a great device. Smooth. Amazing pictures, no lag whatsoever and then BAM. Plugging in to the charger I know I am going to have to wait 1 HR plus. The only time I ever se...
- 28 Mar 2023
How can I flash the global rom? Will doing this give me reception if the china room gave me no 5G?
- 28 Mar 2023