Tech Review: Realme GT Neo 3 150W is a sportscar of a mobile phone

With super-fast charging and graphics; everything about this phone screams fast

By Anirban Bagchi

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Published: Thu 9 Feb 2023, 8:08 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 11:44 PM

The Realme GT Neo 3 150W is a phone in a hurry. It’s almost as if this mobile has a need for speed. And, no, I don’t mean the car racing game, although when it comes to playing such games with fast-paced auto racing action, the 150W is actually the perfect vehicle (pun very much intended).

Now, I have a hunch why this phone is in a hurry and where it is in a hurry to, but I won’t divulge that just yet. Instead, let us look first at how exactly it is in a hurry and what its speedy business is all about.

Everything about the Realme GT Neo 3 150W screams fast. And well it might — from the GT in the name and the livery it comes in to the charging time — not to forget the performance — this phone is built for speed.

For starters, the GT is derived from the world of cars and motor-racing and this theme is then carried forward in the looks department. The 150W comes in three colours — blue, white and black ­ with the first two sporting twin bold racing stripes on the back seemingly lifted straight out of a Grand Tourer racing car you might find competing at Le Mans.

The phone’s speediest feature is the battery-charging time ­— claimed to be the world’s fastest to half charge. The 150W in its name is a nod to its 150-watt charging capability, which loads up the 4500mAH battery to 50 per cent in a mind-numbing five minutes, and to full charge in less than 15.

You see, when you’re running the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, victory is often decided by how small your refueling time is at pit stops. As a ‘GT’ phone, Realme must have been very mindful of this in the Neo 3, making sure that you can never again site “out of battery” as a reason to drop that video call or exit that racing game before the chequered flag.

The quick charging is done in the Rapid Charging setting, during which Realme warns that the phone might “get a little warm” — but what is a fast sports car, or fast phone, without a little heat? If you prefer to leave it in the normal charging setting, though, you still don’t lose much time. Our test piece got to full charge within 30 minutes on normal mode, still way faster than most phones out there.

Battery life is impressive, too. This is not a sports car that burns through fuel a gallon a minute — rather it takes the GT in its name seriously. Grand Tourers are supposed to be speedy mile crunchers, which is what puts the grand in the touring, and, true to form, the GT Neo 3 gives more than two days’ worth of mileage on a full charge, so you can keep playing Need for Speed uninterrupted to your heart’s content.

Speaking of games brings us to the screen. A good gaming phone needs a great screen — and the GT Neo3 does not disappoint. Its 6.7-inch OLED is again fast — it has a 120Hz refresh rate with HDR10+ support, exactly what is required to bring all the graphics and animation to life. The picture quality is vibrant with a 2,412-by-1,080 resolution and 1.07 billion colours.

Good pictures also mark the phone’s cameras. The rear main one is a three-lens set up with a 50MP wide angle, an 8MP ultra-wide angle and a 2MP macro. We had no complaints with the general picture quality, though this is definitely not the best phone camera out there. While the ultra-wide and macro lenses will not sell the phone by themselves, the main 50MP lens returned crisp images in most light and contrast situations. You can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second and 720P slow-motion at 480fps. The front camera, meanwhile, is an adequate 16MP, with clear selfies in every-day usage.

The theme of speed also reflects in the GT Neo 3’s processor — a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 with 5nm chip. It’s not the coveted Snapdragon and not the best on paper, but it is fast. Going by most reports and anecdotal evidence, it even beats some Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones in graphic-heavy tests. Support comes from 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage that is not expandable – which brings me to the gripes.

With no memory card slot, you have make do with the onboard 256GB. There is also no dedicated earphone jack and the supplied earphone has to be plugged into the USB-C socket, so you cannot use it while charging.

All of this, however, is made up for by the Dh1,599 price, making this phone-in-a-hurry worth considering, which brings us to the two original questions: Why is it in a hurry and where is it in a hurry to? Well, it is in a hurry to part you from your cash and its destination is your pocket. Given its combination of features, speed and price, I would not hesitate to be in a hurry to make that deal. For, all things considered, this Realme is indeed the real deal!