Realme’s Naruto special edition phone is absolutely glorious | Tech Rasta


Tech brands don’t usually launch special edition products, but Realme has done just that with its Realme x Naruto version of the GT Neo 3 smartphone. Naruto, if you’re not familiar with the name, is a famous Japanese fantasy manga series that also became a popular anime series that tells the adventures of a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki. Realme is a relatively young smartphone brand, founded in 2018, in the same family as Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus.

The back of the Realme x Naruto GT Neo 3.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

This is an unexpected collaboration, and while Realme has some experience in creating interesting special edition smartphones, it goes way beyond what it has done before. You know when a company has done it right because the words “carefully created” come to mind when you unpack it and explore it more deeply. That’s exactly what you have to say the moment you see the Realme x Naruto GT Neo 3.

The screen of the Realme x Naruto GT Neo 3 shows the wallpaper.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It comes in a large cardboard container with some simple branding on the outside, a subtle introduction to the kit inside. Realme says it opted for cardboard so it’s easier to recycle, but it’s questionable whether it’ll end up in the the box and wow moment Arrival, because inside the foam compartment sits a rendition of the Ninja Scrolls from the series.

Made of green and burgundy synthetic leather with Realme x Naruto branding on it, it will impress when you first see it. Take it out and you’ll be instantly blown away by its size. It’s a 13″ x 5″ cylinder and it’s quite heavy, so it feels really fleshed out. The immediate temptation is to use the straps to unwind the reels, but don’t. They’re purely for decoration, and the way you actually get into the reels is by pulling off one of the end caps.

The felt-lined interior has a slide-out tray where you’ll find the GT Neo 3. Don’t ignore the documentation though, because inside you’ll find a custom SIM removal tool shaped like the hometown of the Naruto Konoha Hidden Leaf symbol. At this point, you reach the star of the show—the phone itself.

While the phone is technically identical to any other GT Neo 3, the exterior has been given the full Naruto treatment. The camera module is designed on Naruto’s headband, again with a hidden leaf symbol and more Realme x Naruto branding, while the body is a dreamy bright orange with red swirls taken from the back of Naruto’s costume.

Most impressive is the mix of textures and finishes. The metal camera module’s rivets look like you should be able to feel them, but it’s actually a neat 3D effect because the surface is completely smooth. The shiny orange part catches the light and stands out against the matte black body, while the three polished lines below the camera module stand out slightly. It all comes together beautifully and is beautifully shaped and instantly recognisable as a Naruto-inspired device.

The camera module of the Realme x Naruto GT Neo 3.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Back in the box, inside is a TPU case with a slightly tinted finish to protect the phone, and a custom version of the Realme 150W SuperDart charging block in orange and black. Open the phone and there are three specially designed Naruto wallpapers to choose from, and the user interface is also filled with Naruto icons. Charge the phone, and the accompanying screen animations get the Naruto treatment as well. It’s a comprehensive, yes, carefully created A special edition smartphone celebrating a very famous comic book character.

How about the GT Neo 3? The phone features a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 processor and 12GB of RAM, as well as a triple-lens camera on the back. The module contains a 50MP main camera, an 8MP wide-angle camera, and a 2MP macro camera. The battery charges using Realme’s fast SuperDart charging, going from zero to 100% capacity in an incredible 14 minutes in our most recent test.

Sounds good, right? Any ardent Naruto fan will be wondering how to get one of these beautiful phones, but unfortunately, it won’t be easy. The Realme x Naruto GT Neo 3 was only released in China, so you’ll have to rely on the import service to get it. Locally, it cost the equivalent of $415 and only 5,000 were produced.

The phone doesn’t have Google Mobile Services installed out of the box, and while there are ways around this, hardware differences may mean it won’t connect to local 4G or 5G networks as efficiently as a locally-bought phone.

What does it mean? Anyone not in China should see it as a cool collectible to show off and show off their rights, not a replacement for their existing phone. Realme’s excellent work on the Naruto special edition GT Neo 3 has us looking forward to any future special edition phones from the brand, and hopefully a wider release once it launches.

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