The Realme GT3, the latest smartphone that has me wondering if phones can ever charge at fast, becomes officially announced today at MWC Barcelona. It supports 240W SuperVOOC charging, which Realme says can fully fill its 4,600mAh battery in just nine and a half minutes.
The Realme GT3 is available in select markets starting at $649 for a version with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. It will be available to buy internationally in May and June this year, Realme vice president of global marketing Chase Xu confirmed in a Q&A session after the event.
Well, I say “announced” but in reality the phone has been available in China for a few weeks now as the Realme GT Neo 5. Realme is a smartphone manufacturer that sits under the umbrella of BBK Electronics alongside OnePlus and Oppo, the latter of which incidentally announced a 240W proof of concept charging technology at MWC last year.
Fully charged in nine and a half minutes
If 240W fast charging sounds fast, that’s because it is. Realme says it represents “the highest possible charging speed for Type-C” (which makes sense given the latest charging standards from the USB Implementers Forum). It is faster than the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition capable of 210W and 150W charging found in OnePlus devices like the 10T. But it may not be at the top for long. Xiaomi’s Redmi sub-brand is working hard to beat Realme’s 240W fast charging speeds, if a new 300W fast charging proof of concept it just announced is anything to go by.
But while 240W is a really big number, the phone’s charging speeds aren’t an order of magnitude faster than what we’ve seen with previous fast-charging phones. Realme says the GT3 can charge to 100 percent in nine and a half minutes, but keep in mind that the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition can charge its (admittedly smaller) 4,300 mAh battery to 100 percent in just about nine minutes with 210 W fast charging. And even fast-charging the OnePlus 10T at 150W can charge its 4,800mAh battery to 100 per cent in less than 20 minutes.
But more convincing is what a fast charge can achieve. Realme advertises that, for example, a 30-second charge of the GT3 is enough for a two-hour conversation, three hours of music listening, or 40 minutes of video streaming. If your phone has ever almost died on an important work call, you know the value of a quick recharge.
While 240W fast charging may bring to mind worrying levels of heat, Realme claims the GT3’s battery should still carry 80 percent of its maximum capacity after 1,600 charge cycles. That’s the same as what Oppo claims its 150W SuperVOOC charging is capable of and exceeds the 1,000 charge cycles the EU wants to mandate that devices must offer as a minimum. Realme says it has taken several steps to protect the health of the device’s battery by, for example, intelligently limiting the maximum charge level to 80 percent when the device is charged overnight or separating the three 100W charging chipsets. places to minimize heat dissipation.
Aside from its charging technology, the Realme GT3 also has a neat little RGB lighting rectangle on the back. It’s called the “Pulse Interface,” and it can light up in dozens of different colors to indicate things like low battery, notify you of an incoming call, or serve as a countdown timer for a timed camera -intake.
Elsewhere, if the GT Neo 5 is anything to go by, the GT3 is probably more of a typical Android handset. The GT Neo 5 is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and has a 6.74-inch 144Hz 1240p display. There are three cameras on the back: a 50-megapixel main camera, an eight-megapixel ultra-wide and a two-megapixel macro. And in China, at least, you’ll need to opt for the version of the phone with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage to get the 240W charging speed; otherwise you “only” get 150W fast charging.