Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition Unboxing: An Android phone wrapped in a ninja scroll
Earlier this year, Realme launched a Dragonball Z-themed variant of the Realme GT Neo 2 phone, and now the Realme GT Neo 3 has also got the manga/anime-themed variant treatment. This time the manga/anime is Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, which ran from 1999 to 2014.
Other than a new backside paint job, a themed UI and a really cool packaging, the Naruto Edition is identical to the standard model, so this article will focus solely on the unboxing experience and quick look at the UI. You can check out our Realme GT Neo 3 review to learn more about how the phone performs overall.
Realme GT Neo 3: Specifications
|Specification||Realme GT Neo 3|
|Dimensions & Weight||
|RAM & Storage||
|Battery & Charging||
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner|
|Front Camera(s)||16MP, f/2.45|
|Software||Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12|
About this article: Realme sent my colleague Rich Woods and me each a unit of the Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition. Realme did not have any input in this article.
Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition: What’s in the bo.. uh, what’s in the scroll?
I have been vocal in my critique of unnecessary phone variants that are often just a new paint job (like the “Product Red” iPhones or Olympic Edition Galaxy S devices). To me, brands have to put more effort than just slapping a logo or a new color, and this Naruto edition gets off to a good start with an unusual packaging: it comes in a package that looks like a giant ninja scroll that can be seen in the manga/anime.
This packaging is mostly made of plastic and rubber, with the burgundy flap made of faux leather. The outside of the scroll has a nice inscribed logo that adds to the feeling like some effort has been made to manufacture this thing.
There’s a buckle that unravels the scroll. I thought this was how the phone would be revealed like I’d unravel to find the phone wrapped inside. But nope — the scroll is purely decoration, it just unfolds looking like a dinner table placemat. Instead, one end of the core opens up like a drawer to reveal the phone box.
The box is covered by a cardboard sleeve housing a warranty paper and a SIM ejector tool that’s also Naruto-themed.
Lift the cardboard flap and the phone is inside, along with a transparent silicon case, a 150W charging brick, and a USB-C cable. The silicon case is a generic one with no special design, but the charging brick gets an orange paint job to match the back of the phone, which has been painted to look like the titular character Naruto’s outfit.
In promotional images, there appears to be a Naruto-themed portable battery along with some stickers included with the package; but neither my colleague Rich nor I got them — the photo below shows everything that was included in our packages. Perhaps we did not get the final retail unit? I have reached out to Realme but have not heard back. I’ll update this article if/when I do.
The visually striking “metallic” camera module appears to be just a paint job over the original phone’s glass camera module — despite the visuals depicting bolts and etching, there is no texture that can be felt by the finger.
The only textured part of the phone’s back that you can feel by touch are the three “whiskers” on each side, right underneath the camera module — this is referencing the same marks on the main character’s face (I am not familiar with the story of Naruto, but a Google search shows these are not whiskers, but in fact “marks created by a mystical nine-tailed fox”).
Boot up the phone and you’ll go through the exact same setup screens like any other Realme phone, but once you get to the home screen, you see Realme has designed a themed UI with Naruto wallpapers and themed icons. The icons have a very manga look, which is cool, but makes the phone screen look very busy. If you like the wallpapers, themed UI, and icons irrespective of that, you can download them for your phone right away.
Other than the themed icons and Naruto wallpapers (there are just three new in total), the rest of the software appears identical to Realme UI. Jump into settings, and the page looks exactly the same, likewise with the camera app. Also worth mentioning that, because this phone is only released in China, for now, there are no Google apps that come out of the box, but they can be installed easily directly from Realme’s app store or a trusted third-party source.
That’s about it as far as what sets this phone apart from the normal version of the Realme GT Neo 3. Everything else, from the Dimensity 8100 5G SoC to the “triple” lens camera array — I put quote marks in the word triple because one of the three lenses is a useless 2MP sensor so really just look at the camera system as a dual-camera system covering wide and ultra-wide. The display looks good, charging is insanely fast, and so on — it’s the same phone as the regular Realme GT Neo 3.
Priced at CNY 2,799 ($415) in China (this phone is only sold in China for now), it’s a really fair price for a phone that should appeal to fans of Naruto or collectors in general. There’s no word on if and when this special edition makes its way out of China.