It is very hard to offer a smartphone with either differentiated hardware or even a unique software experience. But it is certainly possible to target a specific segment with a new device. Nubia has done just that with the new Red Magic series aimed at mobile gamers, while also trying to line up a unique hardware experience in the process.
The Red Magic is in my books the most stylish phone I have seen in a long time. It might appear like a special Star Wars edition with the lines and angles at then back trying to recreate design elements that would look at home on a space ship. There are enough red lines, buttons and grooves to turn a few heads.
Then there is a game LED strip at the back which can be customised to blink in different patterns. Even without the style, the phone offers a solid grip that is both reassuring and an advantage when you are gaming.
But then you are not buying this phone for its looks. The USP of this phone has to be its performance powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset yoked with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of dual-lane UFS 2.1 storage. Plus, the phone has three cooling ports as well as extra layers of graphite and a convex-styled back to keep it cool during intense gaming session.
I used the phone for long sessions of Asphalt 8 — pretty much the only game I love — and not once did the phone show a hint of heat. Even with long hours of video streaming the phone was cool. Then I left the phone’s display on overnight at full brightness. Same result. This phone really has an icy temperament.
Also, the processing power of the phone has been tuned for high stress situation and that shows. While most users will encounter this while gaming, even multi tab browsing and multi app usage will not tire this phone.
The Red Magic features a 5.9-inch Full HD display and DTS audio to keep the gamers happy even if they don’t have earphones plugged in.
However, the one issue I have with the phone is the software. Though Android 8.1, the UI somehow feels a bit dated, despite the stylish wallpapers. So we can expect an update or you will be looking for a launcher.
The one big surprise with this phone was the 24MP rear camera. Well, Nubia phones have always had good cameras and the company has pushed those features to this device too. The camera performs pretty well in low light and is quite fast. Also, it comes with the presets that were popular in the Nubia phones, so you can play with light drawings and multiple exposure shots. Also, there is a decent pro-mode.
The Red Magic comes with a 3800 mAh battery that actually lasts a whole day. The fact that this phone does not get hot and thus conserves energy seems to be helping it extend battery life.
Consider the Nubia Red Magic if you are an avid mobile gamer and are sure that is the primary reason you own a smartphone. For others, this is a good phone to consider just because you will certainly stand out in a crowd. The software can be a bit frustrating though, at least till you get an update.