I often see new Android phones launched in China, and I wish I could test them—they often feature fresh designs, gorgeous features, and incredible cameras, but rarely launch outside of Asia.
That’s okay though, because they’re usually very high-end and I’ll never be able to afford them. However, a new Realme phone has been announced that I would definitely consider if it goes on sale elsewhere – a very rare stance for me.
This is the Realme GT Neo 3 that was teased earlier this year – it’s a follow-up to the GT Neo 2 I tested, but since it wasn’t available in many regions, we’ve never done a full review. That’s why I expected the GT Neo 3 will be hard to come by.
But the GT Neo 3 ticks many of my “must buy boxes” and I can’t help but get excited.
Great budget features that caught my eye
Tom’s Android Wish List
Affordable Price: ✔️
Great main camera: ✔️
Fast charging: ✔️
Interesting design: ✔️
Small or Medium: ❌
The flagship feature of the Realme GT Neo 3 is that it charges at 150W, which is by far the fastest we’ve seen in any smartphone. Realme says the phone charges to 50 percent in just five minutes, which means it’ll be fully charged for the duration of my morning toast.
I love fast-charging phones—I keep forgetting to power my devices until five minutes before heading out, so the ability to get a ton of juice right away is great.
Another feature I like here is the main camera, which is a snapper using Sony’s 50MP IMX766 sensor. I tested this on the Realme 9 Pro Plus and found it to be great – I’d even say it’s one of the best sensors available to mobile manufacturers right now.
This Sony Exmor sensor is large, making it ideal for low-light and night photography. With the Pro Plus, I can take iPhone-quality night shots on an affordable Android device. The size also makes photos bright and colorful—now, when I see a phone with this camera, I’m always excited to test it out.
This is another Realme GT phone that continues the brand’s tradition of quirky designs, this time bringing back the racing flair of the original Realme GT and Neo 2. They’re yellow and green, but it’s a blue phone – as you probably already know from the pictures.
#realmeGTNEO3 restores 50% battery capacity in 5 minutes. What else can you do in 5 minutes? pic.twitter.com/BueeO4ObusMarch 22, 2022
I’m a big fan of affordable phones – my three favorites I’ve tested, the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, Motorola Edge and Realme GT, are all mid-range or budget devices, and I think those market tiers are more interesting than the premium ones and more competitive.
Well, the Realme GT Neo 3 is priced at just CNY 2,699 – which translates to around $420/£320/AU$570. There’s also a version with 80W charging for 1,999 yuan, or about $320, £240, AU$430 – 80W charging feels weird, but when 150W is on the table, it’s fine.
That price would make the GT Neo 3 half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S22, a phone with a bigger screen, cooler design and faster charging. It’s great, it’s good, and it’s affordable – I love it.
If I have one note about the Neo 3, it’s the screen size – while 6.7 inches is great for gaming or watching movies, I love my cute, easy-to-grip compact phones, or at least those that can be hovered over The phone is about 6.2-6.4 inches.
The phone has some other cool-sounding stuff too – it has the Dimensity 8100 chipset, which sounds like an impressive mid-range chip, and the screen is AMOLED with a 120Hz refresh rate.
According to Realme, the phone will be coming to Europe “soon”, but I personally don’t think it’s coming to the UK, where I live – and even if it is, I don’t think the 150W version will.
I’d be happy to be surprised if this thing showed up in my lap. I’m not holding my breath, but either way this sounds like a cool device.