We’ve been seeing special editions of smartphones in press releases and presentation videos over the past few years, but most of the time they didn’t make it to the Romanian market. But it looks like Realme has found a stock of units for the Dragon Ball Z version of the new top mid-range GT Neo 3T to allocate to Romanian stores, and the result seems to be an interesting combination of one of the most beloved Japanese cartoon series with a high-performance smartphone and a pretty good price for what it offers.
Realme GT Neo 3T Dragon Ball Z Edition bundle offers lots of “goodies” for cartoon fans
Half of the Realme GT Neo 3T experience is the bundle that comes with the case, decorated in the colours of the costume of the main character from the Dragon Ball series, Goku. The case is decorated with various variations of the famous character on all sides, and even inside on the “ceiling” of the case. Then, the cardboard envelope that usually houses the manuals and warranty includes another cartoon-inspired design, and inside are four sheets of Dragon Ball character stickers, as well as a cardboard card themed to the launch of this phone. The whole thing looks like a collector’s edition of a video game.
Also in the box are the phone’s accessories, an 80W charger with a USB-C charging cable on both ends, a SIM key with the Dragon Ball Z logo, and… a grey silicone case. Here I didn’t really understand the reason for the case not being a transparent one, especially since we’re dealing with a phone whose case is pretty much the most interesting thing, and the major difference from the “standard” edition of the phone. This would be about the weakest point of the package.
The phone itself looks great, and will certainly be loved by Dragon Ball fans. It predominantly uses orange to cover much of the matte-textured plastic cover and camera island, with blue used only for accents on the sides. Of course, the kanji symbol on Goku’s costume is also in pride of place, opposite the camera on the right side. Even though the texture is matte and repels fingerprints, there are a few reflective design stripes that give the phone a more modern look. This I think will please even those who aren’t necessarily fans of the designs, as the combination of orange and blue is very unique for a smartphone.
The metal frame of the phone is blue, the only other orange accent is the power button. The screen is flat, much to the delight of many, and is covered with a plastic wrap.
We’ve seen the screen on this phone on other models as well
I’ve already seen enough smartphones of certain brands to see that many of them kind of “borrow” components from each other. The 6.67″ screen on the Realme GT Neo 3T is similar to the one on the previously tested GT Neo 3, with an OLED panel, Full HD resolution and refresh rate at 120 Hz. This is a very capable and bright screen, the only thing it lacks compared to flagships in the €1,000+ area is the variable refresh rate. The software drops between 120-90-60 and 30 Hz, depending on the application, but can’t take values in between.
However, I wasn’t expecting a screen with the latest technology from a 2,500 lei phone.
Performance is on par with high-end phones of 1-2 years ago
I found the Realme GT Neo 3 impressive due to the fact that its Mediatek Dimensity 8100 MAX processor managed to stand up well when it comes to sustained performance, and I expected an alternative model of it to offer something similar. However, that’s not the case. If the GT Neo 3 was an easy model to recommend especially for those who will stress their phone constantly, the new Realme GT Neo 3T Dragon Ball Edition is just a “regular” phone.
Probably part of the “fault” is the Snapdragon 870 processor, which is part of an older generation, with 7nm architecture and the most powerful core frequency of over 3 GHz. Thus, in the 3DMark “stress” test it managed to stay just over 60% of its original performance. Such performance is achieved by even the most powerful flagship models, so it’s not out of the ordinary, but I was hoping for something similar with the “standard” GT Neo 3. Even so, the phone is more than capable of running the latest mobile games even on high settings, and the 120Hz display will certainly be appreciated by gamers.
- AnTuTu – 717.901
- GeekBench – Single-Core: 994 / Multi-Core: 2,639
- 3DMark Wild Life Extreme – 1.237
- 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test – Best loop score: 1,239 / Lowest loop score: 811 / Stability: 65%
- PCMark – 13.413
Realme GT Neo 3T’s battery life is within expectations, and very fast charging
Already battery life is no longer a major issue for many phones on the market. The Realme GT Neo 3T manages to provide enough power from its 5,000 mAh battery for about two days of battery life at normal usage levels, without non-stop gaming, or filming and photography. Even with more complex activities, it can deliver a full day’s intense activity on a single charge. And if you do manage to discharge it, you get very fast charging at 80W, which fully powers the phone in about half an hour.
Software contains custom Dragon Ball Z elements
A less obvious part of the “Dragon Ball Z” package is the software experience, which comes with an exclusive theme over the usual Realme UI. Thus, we get an icon pack that “draws” most apps in cartoon-like orange outline tones, a selection of Dragon Ball character backgrounds, and some special animations when connecting a fast charger or moving into “GT” performance mode. They’re a bit “childish” for my taste, but for a child or even an adult who is a fan of the series, these decorations will probably enrich the experience of using a special edition phone.
Otherwise, the user experience is similar to the Realme UI on other devices, and even Oppo’s ColorOS, as they have similar underpinnings. As we’ve come to expect from Realme, we have a few pre-installed apps in addition to the company’s or Google’s own, such as Facebook, Amazon, TikTok, Booking, LinkedIn and ShareIt. Some are apps you’d download anyway, others, are a bit more niche. Still, at €500, you’d think your phone wouldn’t include “ads” in the menus like the really cheap ones do. We don’t have any information about the support period of the Realme GT Neo 3T, but we can assume that it will get at least two system updates, so probably until Android 14.
And in the fingerprint and speaker department, the Realme GT Neo 3T performs like the company’s other models, with a very fast optical sensor built into the screen and decent, but not impressive, speakers. The call speaker is thus boosted for stereo playback, but the sound isn’t rich or bass-heavy like other flagships on the market. In its price range, however, it’s within expectations.
The camera is no different from other phones in this price range
The Realme GT Neo 3T isn’t a very “original” phone when it comes to the camera either. We’ve seen this three-sensor setup on other models as well. We have a 64-megapixel main camera, along with an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 2-megapixel macro.
As expected, the main camera pulls the weight of the system back, with good daytime and decent nighttime images. It would have helped optical stabilization for nighttime captures, especially for zoom shots, which are taken by crop on the sensor. The ultra-wide camera is slow at night and captures little detail in daylight, mainly because of the resolution. The dynamic range isn’t very wide either. The macro camera is only useful in very bright light, and this camera seems to be a bit “extra”. The same effect could have been achieved with an ultrawide camera with focus, even at a higher resolution.
Those who choose this smartphone model probably won’t do it for the camera, but what it offers isn’t exactly to be ignored either. The only thing I could fault this camera system for is that it doesn’t break out of the typical for this price range.
The Realme GT Neo 3T Dragon Ball Z Edition bundle is more than just a smartphone in a special edition. It could be a special gift for a fan of the series, or a novelty model for those who are bored of white, black or grey phones. The fact that it’s not a hugely expensive smartphone helps in the choice decision, as in this price range pretty much all devices offer similar capabilities, but only this one comes with a special color and Dragon Ball Z “goodies” in the package.