Realme's latest flagship phone apparently feels like paper

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·Senior Editor; Engadget Chinese Editor in Chief
·2-min read
Realme
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  • Naoto Fukasawa
    Japanese industrial designer (1956-)

It was only a matter of time before someone other than Fairphone delivered a sustainability-themed smartphone (which is a good thing, of course). Realme, the sister brand of Oppo and OnePlus, announced that its upcoming flagship GT 2 Pro features an eco-friendly bio-polymer material on its back cover — apparently a first in the mobile industry. Better yet, Realme has once again collaborated with Muji and Infobar series design icon Naoto Fukasawa, who finished the GT 2 Pro's design with a textured paper feel on the body. They call this "Paper Tech Master Design."

Realme GT 2 Pro
Realme GT 2 Pro

This bio-polymer material, supplied by Saudi Arabia's SABIC, is based on paper pulp, and it has obtained International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (or ISCC in short) to prove its environmental friendliness. The Realme GT 2 Pro's packaging also uses much less plastic than its predecessor — from an overall plastic ratio of 21.7 percent down to a mere 0.3 percent.

The phone itself packs some surprises, too. For one, it's one of the first devices to be powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, following the Moto Edge X30. The GT 2 Pro is also the world's first smartphone with a 150-degree ultra-wide camera (most are at around 120 degrees), which offers a unique fisheye camera mode for some fun photography. 

There are also some noteworthy features on the radio side. In Realme's "Antenna Array Matrix System" here, there's the "world's first" ultra-wide-band antenna switching technology, which lets the phone switch to whichever of the 12 antennas has the best signal strength. In addition, this system consists of a symmetrical Wi-Fi antenna which apparently boosts signal stability by up to 20 percent. 

NFC 3 antenna array
NFC 3 antenna array

But the most interesting feature here is perhaps the "360-degree NFC," which is achieved by hooking up the NFC module to the top two cellular antennas as well as its own, thus forming an "NFC 3 antenna array." This allows the upper part of the GT 2 Pro to read NFC on either side, which should make the likes of contactless payment and Bluetooth pairing easier.

For now, the Realme GT 2 Pro is only slated for a China launch at 7:30PM local time (6:30AM ET) on January 4th, 2022, but a company spokesperson confirmed that it will eventually go overseas. Given the brand's track record, this device will likely be competitively priced, but we're just eager to check out Fukasawa's latest mobile design in person — especially the supposedly paper-like texture. Stay tuned for more technical specs, prices and our hands-on.

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