Asian phone brands have a habit of releasing “special” themed variants of existing smartphones. Old folks and cynics, like me, would dismiss these releases as fanciful cash grabs, but there’s no denying that there are indeed fans eating these things. And so over the past few years, we’ve seen the Blackpink edition of the Samsung Galaxy A80, the Gundam Wing-themed OPPO Reno Ace 2, the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 edition, and now, a Realme GT Neo 2 on the most famous Japanese manga theme of all time. : Dragon Ball Z.
The reason I’m cynical about these themed phones is that they’re often just a new coat of paint on an existing phone. Yes, there’s usually fancy-themed packaging and accessories, but beyond that, the second you turn on the phone, the experience is exactly the same as using the standard version of this same device.
The only exception is the Cyberpunk 2077 OnePlus 8T, which actually got a completely new body design that offered a different grip feeling and, in my opinion, looks better than the generic-looking standard 8T. OnePlus has also given this device a very custom UI with custom icons, wallpapers, and sound effects that feel noticeably different from the standard OxygenOS.
This new Realme device, officially named the Realme GT Neo 2 Dragonball Limited Edition, is little more than just a new paint job, in that Realme has given the phone a custom home screen and custom icon design. app, but it doesn’t go as far as what OnePlus did. Let’s take a look at the packaging and the user interface.
Realme GT Neo 2 Dragonball Limited Edition: Specifications
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About this practice: Realme sent the device to me for testing and review. Realme had no input in this article.
The Realme GT Neo 2 has packaging that should excite most Dragonball Z fans. It has a splashy design with three versions of the main character Son Goku at different stages of his Super Saiyan transformation, and the artwork has a matte texture slightly raised above the cardboard box. If you run your finger through, say, Goku’s hair or fist, you can feel him very slightly protruding from the box.
The cover side of the box has more artwork of Goku, pasted over Realme’s “Dare to Leap” slogan.
On the other side of the box is a Dragonball scout, which the characters use to search for the mythic balls that can grant wishes.
Open the box lid and we’re greeted with more artwork inside the box. This one is a comic panel showing Goku battling four of his greatest enemies: Vegeta, Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu.
As usual with Realme/OnePlus/OPPO phones, once you open the top cover, there is yet another cardboard flap covering the phone. Usually, it’s inside this flap that you’ll find the paperwork that no one bothers to read, such as packaging and warranty information. In OnePlus devices, this is also where you will find these Never Settle stickers. Here in this Dragonball edition package you get a “trading card” with Shenlong (at least in my package, I don’t know if there are other versions), and four sticker sheets with Dragonball characters.
It should be noted that all characters here are from the Dragonball Z version of the manga/anime, with no reference to the new Dragonball Super or Dragonball GT. It’s a little ironic that a phone named GT doesn’t refer to the GT series, but as most Dragonball fans know, Dragonball GT isn’t considered canon because it wasn’t written by series creator Akira Toriyama.
The sleeve also has artwork on both sides.
Finally we come to the phone, which is wrapped in the usual plastic sleeve in a plastic case. Below is a soft TPU phone case which unfortunately has no theme at all, it’s just a genetic gray case, with a 65W fast charging brick, USB-C cable and a SIM card eject tool which has four stars Dragon ball design.
The front of the phone looks like any other recent Android smartphone: it has a 6.6-inch curved OLED display with a small hole-punch housing a 16MP selfie camera. Out back though, we get that new paint job.
The coating on the glass back gives the phone a matte feel in the hand. The two vertical accents you see running across the phone, along with the Kanji character (it’s the “Go” part of Goku’s name) are just a different color overlay, there’s no texture difference. In the hand, this phone looks like the standard Realme GT Neo 2.
Booting up the phone, I was disappointed to see that the boot process looked like any other generic Realme device – the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 Edition I mentioned earlier had a custom boot animation. But once we get to the home screen, we see that the phone has custom wallpaper and app icon themes.
There are only three Dragonball wallpapers to choose from, and all three feature the main character Goku. It’s confusing why the phone didn’t include more artwork or wallpaper. The app icon skin has that heavily cartoonish aesthetic with a bit of a 3D effect – so it’s the opposite of Google’s “flat” design philosophy. For third party apps, the phone will also add an orange border with a bit of a 3D effect, as can be seen in the Google Drive and Google Chrome app icons, which I loaded aside because the phone is not Comes with Google apps out of the box (this is normal for devices shipped to China).
Here’s a better look at the three Dragonball Z wallpapers:
But really, that’s about it when it comes to Dragonball-themed customization. Once you skip past the home screen, all first-party Realme apps open to look like they always have. And the settings panel looks like the settings panel of any other recent Realme phone. I was disappointed to see that the phone doesn’t even include custom sound effects. I thought for sure that there would be audio taken from the anime for ringtones and notification tones, but no, all the sound effects here are just standard Realme UI ones.
So, like I said, it’s a bit more than just a lazy paint job, but it’s not quite as thorough as what OnePlus did with its Cyberpunk 2077 device.
But I guess that’s good because unlike, say, Samsung’s custom-themed phones that see a significant price increase, the Realme GT Neo 2 Dragonball Limited Edition is still very affordable. In China, it sells for 2699 yuan, or about $420. For that price, you get a 120Hz OLED display, Snapdragon 870 SoC, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, stereo speakers, and a big 5,000mAh battery. The standard Realme GT Neo 2 sells for 2499 Yuan, which converts to ~$393, so you’re not paying a hefty premium, making it a pretty viable option for a color variant in case you don’t like it. the standard colors.
The camera system is decent for the price (but mediocre judging by my flagship usage standards): it’s made up of a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP macro sensor . I’m currently stuck in quarantine so can’t really get the camera out for real testing, but from what I’ve seen so far I wouldn’t expect much. It’s a serviceable camera.
But ultimately, the Realme GT Neo 2 Dragonball Limited Edition will have major appeal as Dragonball Z is one of the most beloved manga/anime in pop culture. This device therefore has value as a collector’s item. The device is currently only available in China, but it is rumored that it might also see a limited release in other regions like India. We’ll be taking a closer look at the Realme GT Neo 2 in the near future, so stay tuned for that.