Realme's Galaxy S22 rival runs Snapdragon​ ​8 Gen​ ​1, lands Jan. 4

Realme GT 2 Pro
Realme GT 2 Pro (Image credit: Realme)

Update, December 22 (12:30 pm ET): Realme confirms GT2 Pro design in first official images

What you need to know

  • Realme's 2022 flagship GT 2 series is launching in China on January 4.
  • The GT 2 Pro will be powered by the Snapdragon​ ​8 Gen​ ​1 and make its global debut in Q1 2022.
  • The device has a unique back cover made out of eco-friendly materials and is designed by Naoto​ ​Fukasawa.

In 2021, Realme hit the 100 million phone sales landmark, arriving at the figure faster than any other brand to date. It did so on the back of stellar sales in the budget segment — its devices are among the best budget Android phones — offering a similar caliber of hardware and software as Xiaomi.

Realme releases a lot of devices over the course of the year, but it looks like it is thankfully not going to do that for 2022, instead focusing on a few differentiated devices that stand out in each category. To kick things off, Realme has announced that it will unveil the GT 2 series in China on January 4, with a global launch followed shortly thereafter.

Realme is clearly excited for the GT 2 series, calling it the brand's "most premium​ ​flagship​ ​line-up​ ​ever." That's understandable when you consider that the GT 2 Pro will be powered by Qualcomm's latest 4nm beast, the Snapdragon​ ​8 Gen​ ​1. Realme will be one of the first manufacturers to roll out a device featuring the latest from Qualcomm, narrowly losing out to Xiaomi, who is launching the Xiaomi 12 series a week earlier on December 28.

That said, the GT 2 series sounds intriguing for a few reasons. Obviously, the hardware should be on par with what Samsung will be offering with the Galaxy S22 series, but Realme has turned its attention to design in 2021, rolling out unique devices that stand out from the pack. Earlier in the year, the brand released the Realme GT Master Edition, and it is one of the best-looking devices in the mid-range category.

I didn't get a chance to talk about the Realme GT Master Edition, but the device has a differentiated design that's based off of a Muji suitcase, and it looks rather nice. Realme collaborated with famed industrial designer Naoto​ ​Fukasawa over the GT Master Edition, and the brand has confirmed that it is continuing that collaboration into 2022 with the GT 2 series.

On that front, Realme has shared that the GT 2 series will feature a unique back cover that's made out of eco-friendly materials, so it will be interesting to see how that phone turns out. If it's anywhere as good as the GT Master Edition, we should be in for a treat. As for other details, the phone will feature a wide-angle lens at the back with a 150-degree field of view.

I'll share other details once we get closer to launch, including details on when the GT 2 series will make its way to global markets.

Update, December 22 (12:30 pm ET) ― Realme confirms GT2 Pro design in first official images

While we already had a pretty darn good idea what the GT 2 Pro would look like, the first official photos of the phone confirm the Naoto Fukusawa desgin and the eco-friendly "bio-based polymer design" for the backplate for Realme's newest flagship. Sitting to the side of the three-camera module is a raised section not quite the same size with the Realme branding and the same "Designed by Naoto Fukusawa" as we've already seen on the Realme GT Master Edition. The white looks quite fetching and the super-small Herringbone pattern across the back should provide a wonderful in-hand feel and grip.

January 4 is less than two weeks away, and we can't wait to see the full unveiling of the GT 2 Pro and the rest of the GT 2 line.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.