Introduction and specs
Realme is once again trying to stand out from the crowd with funky new design, deliver yet another of its Master series phones. The Realme GT2 Explorer Master is the most powerful phone yet to be adorned by a design co-created with a famous designer only this time the maker signed up Jae-Jung rather than Naoto Fukasawa. And unlike the GT Explorer Master, the GT2 Explorer Master is the company’s most powerful phone yet instead of an upper mid-ranger.
The “Travel Trunk” design means that this isn’t just another boring bar phone, but its internals are also largely impressive. Not only is the phone running the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, but it’s also equipped with an advanced cooling system. Judging by our previous experience with Realme’s phones running the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, we feel quite optimistic about this.
Furthermore, the GT2 Explorer Master has two touch-sensitive areas on the right side of the frame aiming to appeal to gamers as much as it does to fashionistas. They are not marked, so the areas remain inconspicuous, which is great as it doesn’t ruin the overall design and symmetry. And that’s on top of the advanced gaming-related features under the Realme GT Mode 3.0.
Realme GT2 Explorer Master specs at a glance:
- Body: 161.3×74.3×8.2mm, 195g; glass or vegan leather back, glass front, aluminum side frame.
- Display: 6.70″ OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 393ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
- Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12, Realme UI 3.0.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, multi-directional PDAF, OIS; Ultrawide angle: 50 MP, f/2.2, 15mm, 150˚; Microscopic: 3 MP, f/3.3, (microscope), AF, 40x magnification.
- Front camera: 16MP, f/2.5.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 100W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; stereo speakers.
Photography capabilities aren’t neglected, although it’s the one area where this phone doesn’t bring the best from Realme. The camera setup is almost identical to the GT2 Pro’s, with Sony’s 50MP IMX766 sensor in the lead, accompanied by another 50MP sensor behind a 150-degree FoV ultrawide lens. The 3MP microscopic camera is also carried over – it may hav limited impact on the overall imaging prowess, but enables some cool uses.
Another major upgrade over the original Explorer Master from last year and the GT2 Pro from this one is the charging. The GT2 Explorer Master is powered by a big 5,000 mAh battery supporting 100W fast charging and Realme says it needs less than 30 minutes for a full charge. The new GaN materials used for the battery tech ensure a longer life span, but more on that in the following pages.
The really bad news is this phone will be limited to the Chinese market. So acquiring one outside the country will be troublesome, not to mention that you’ll have to live with the limitation of software not tailored to your market even if the Google Suite is easily enabled.
Still, we believe the GT2 Explorer Master is an exciting device, not least because it’s the first Realme phone with the updated Plus version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, so we are curious what the maker made of it.
Unboxing the Realme GT2 Explorer Master
The Realme GT2 Explorer Master comes in a pretty big box. It contains all the usual user manuals, a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging and data transfer, the appropriate 65W charger and a nice-looking gray silicone case for extra protection.
Better yet, the case provides nice grip and doesn’t feel as cheap as most of the other cases OEMs bundle with their phones. In other words it can be a long-term solution rather than a stopgap until you order something better.