China's Realme will make its foray into Europe's high-end handset market next month with its most expensive device to date, the company's chief executive told Reuters, as the company looks to expand beyond its budget offerings and sell 50% more smartphones globally this year.

Realme has surpassed the industry's six largest smartphone brands in less than three years, the fastest in the market.

The Shenzhen-based company has established a strong presence in global markets, climbing into the top five positions in 21 markets and gaining momentum in the race for 5G smartphone dominance.

In the third quarter of last year, Realme was the fastest growing 5G Android smartphone brand globally, with an annual growth rate of 831 percent.

The company is one of several Chinese handset makers that have been aggressively pursuing global market share from Huawei Technologies, after ramped-up U.S. sanctions wreaked havoc on Huawei's supply chains and forced the former top smartphone maker to backtrack.

Realme founder and CEO Sky Li said the company plans to begin selling its premium GT 2 Pro phone in Europe in February for $700-$800.

This is nearly double the suggested retail price of 349 euros ($395) for the GT Master Edition it currently sells on Amazon and comparable to the prices of other high-end smartphones from market leaders Apple and Samsung.

In China, Realme recently unveiled the GT 2. It is the company's latest premium flagship series, which they are elevating to showcase their own innovations.

Realme said the GT 2 Series is co-designed by former MUJI collaborator Naoto Fukasawa and features the "world's first bio-based eco-friendly polymer smartphone design," dubbed The Paper Tech Master Design.

As a result of the pandemic's impact on economic conditions, demand for smartphones has slowed and consumers are delaying upgrades, but Realme, as the world's fastest growing smartphone company, can buck that trend, Li added.

According to Counterpoint Research, Europe's smartphone market generated $80.65 billion in revenue in the first 11 months of 2021, with high-end devices accounting for $55.56 billion of that total.

Based on research by IDC, the European market was comparable to the U.S. in the first three quarters of 2021 in terms of smartphone revenue, but lagged behind China.

Realme was spun off from Chinese smartphone maker Oppo in 2018, and as of end-September was the world's sixth-largest smartphone seller, according to Counterpoint, with strong sales in India, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Analyst firm Canalys said the company's smartphone shipments increased from 19.5 million units in 2020 to 24.2 million units in 2021.