Realme's GT Neo 5 Boasts Some Seriously Fast 240W Charging Speeds

Fast-charging technology has been making significant advances in the past few years. Interestingly, most of the recent advances in fast-charging tech have been restricted to Chinese smartphone companies like Xiaomi and BBK Electronics (the latter owns OPPO, Vivo, and OnePlus), who have invested heavily in developing proprietary fast-charging solutions. For the same reason, charging speeds on "mainstream" brands have largely remained unimpressive over the past few years.

Samsung in particular is significantly slower — only offering up to 45W charging speeds on its flagship smartphones — and Apple, which is yet to breach the 20W charging mark. In comparison, it is not uncommon for even mid-range Chinese smartphones to support 65W or even 80W fast charging. 

In the last few years, the battle for fast charging speeds reached an inflection point after OPPO and Xiaomi waged a battle for the fastest charging speeds and breached the 100W milestone. Today, a handful of smartphones from these companies support 120W and even 150W fast charging, bringing down 0 to 100% charging times to less than 20 minutes.

In 2023, these companies are raising the stakes even higher. In response to Xiaomi's Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, which featured 210W fast charging and a 0-100% charging time of nine minutes, OPPO sub-brand Realme has come up with a new phone that supports a mind-boggling 240W fast charging. The Realme GT Neo 5, as of February 2023, is the fastest-charging smartphone commercially available.

An affordable flagship with a twist

While the Realme GT Neo 5 will mostly be remembered for being a smartphone that has insane charging speeds, the rest of the specs on the device make it a relatively mainstream Android smartphone. Given that it features last year's flagship Qualcomm chip (the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1), the phone could be best described as an affordable flagship smartphone in 2023. Another notable physical attribute of the phone is that it boasts a strip of LEDs on the rear panel that lights up during notifications and calls.

With a 6.74-inch 144Hz OLED panel, the Realme GT Neo 5 is a fairly large phone. However, the large size hasn't really translated into a larger battery size, and the phone scrapes by with a 4600 mAh battery. Interestingly, the company also announced a separate model with a larger 5000 mAh battery, but dials down the charging speeds to "just" 150W. 

Despite the increase in charging speeds over the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, the Realme GT Neo 5 takes the same amount of time as the former, primarily because it has a larger battery compared to the 4300 mAh unit on the Redmi.

Realme GT Neo 5 camera, pricing, and availability

The Realme GT Neo 5 gets a triple rear-facing camera array that uses a 50 MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro sensor. The front-facing selfie camera uses a 16MP Samsung-sourced sensor and is housed within a centrally-located hole punch.

Realme offers the GT Neo 5 in White, Black, and Purple color options, with consumers getting the choice to opt for the larger battery variant (that supports 150W charging), or the smaller battery option (that supports 240W charging). All variants of the phone are China-exclusive as of publishing. 

Prices for the 240W variant start at 3199 yuan ($470) for the 16GB+256GB option, going up to 3499 yuan ($515) for the 16GB+1TB option. The 150W variant is more affordable, with prices starting at 2499 yuan ($368) for the 8GB+256GB option, 2,699 yuan ($400) for the 12GB+256GB variant, and 2,899 yuan ($427) for the 16GB+256GB variant.

While Realme is silent on the possible international availability of the phone, there is a very good chance of the device making an appearance at the 2023 Mobile World Congress. Even if the device gets a wider international launch, including markets like India and parts of Europe, there is very little chance of the phone making it to the U.S. market.