Nubia red Magic Review: A Dark Horse

In recent years, the popularity of smartphones has enabled the mobile e-sports industry to develop rapidly. In the past 2017, this industry has shown a trend of a blowout. According to the ‘2017 Global Mobile Game Industry White Paper’ data, China is the world’s largest mobile game market, with an annual revenue of about 93 billion yuan ($13.59 billion) and the domestic mobile game MAU (monthly capacity) up to 598 million yuan ($87.37 million).

Why is the mobile e-sports industry growing so fast? The answer can be roughly divided into two aspects. First, the large-scale development of smartphones has driven the development of mobile games. Second, mobile games have the advantages of light operation, low threshold, and fragmentation. These two points made the size of the mobile e-sports market in 2017 exceed the end-game market for the first time.

In such a market environment, game smartphones came into being, and Nubia became one of the pioneers. In April, the Nubia Red Magic (aka Nubia Red Dev) game phone was released. It is the first game phone in the Chinese smartphone market with e-sports as its selling point. Its appearance has a very strong e-sports style. The more eye-catching is the 16.8 million color RGB light strip on the back and the 6-inch screen on the front. It is equipped with a Snapdragon 835 SoC that is paired with up to 8GB of memory.

Also Check: Nubia Red Magic Deal

From the appearance and configuration point of view, the Nubia Red Magic game phone is very independent in the market today. But what a gamer performance it provides?

Nubia Red Magic Appearance

Initially, the Nubia Red Magic was launched in two colors of the ochre black and the flame red. But at the beginning of August, at China Joy, the company announced the textured variant as well. There are two memory combinations, including the 6+64GB and 8+128GB models. We are reviewing the latter.

The packaging is black. There is only the Red Magic logo in the middle.

Nubia Red Magic

As usual, the back side of the package carries the main parameters of the phone.

Nubia Red Magic

As we said, the front side of the Nubia Red Magic carries a 6.0-inch full-screen with a 1080P resolution as well as an 18:9 aspect ratio. This is the current trend in the smartphone market. As it is equivalent to the traditional 5.5-inch screen, the single-hand operations are not a problem at all.

On the forehead, we can see the front camera sensor, the earpiece, and the light/distance sensor.

Nubia Red Magic

To come in with an outstanding and genuine full-screen appearance, there is no button on the front.

The Nubia Red Magic uses the X style back panel, using the diamond cutting technology. It uses a 6-series aviation aluminum alloy material, just like a space warship. The red holes in the four corners of the fuselage are the grills for air ventilation and for the speaker.

Nubia Red MagicIn order to deal with heat dissipation, the Nubia Red Magic added three wind troughs to increase air exchange by 73%. At the same time, this is the first time in the smartphones market to use the internal and external air convection cooling system. Inside the phone, the Red Magic uses a three-layer graphite fit. It is designed to fully utilize heat dissipation.

In addition to the cooling air trough, the back of the phone has a flash, a hexagonal camera, a hexagonal fingerprint button, and a colorful light strip.

Nubia Red Magic

There are also the Red Magic and Nubia logos along with a 16.8 million color RGB strip.

Though the screen size is 6 inches, due to the 18:9 aspect ratio, it has a traditional 5.5-inch grip.

Plus, the corners are rounded. As we said, the back uses a 6 series of aviation aluminum alloy material, adding special materials and sandblasting technology. So it is more delicate and softer than the ordinary materials. Our protagonist is full of suppleness, while the radiation emissivity increased by 64%.

The red magic mobile phone’s four corners of the fuselage transition round, the back uses 6 series of aviation aluminum alloy material, adding special materials and sandblasting technology, it is more delicate and softer than the ordinary material, full of suppleness, while the radiation emissivity increased by 64%.

The USB Type-C interface is placed on the bottom along with a microphone hole.

Nubia Red Magic

The top side carries a 3.5mm audio jack and a noise reduction microphone.

Nubia Red Magic

The power key and the volume rocker are on the left side. There is also the special ‘sports button.’

On the opposite side, we can find the dual-SIM card slot.

At last, the box also includes a charging head supporting up to 17.5W power output.

Nubia Red Magic

Nubia Red Magic Performance

Probably one of the most disappointing features of the Nubia Red Magic is its processor. The phone is packed with a previous-generation Snapdragon 835 chip. Of course, it yields the current flagship chip of Qualcomm a lot. But we should also mention this is a very powerful SoC that has managed to appear on laptops as well. The SND835 adopts a 10nm process node, has an excellent power control and maintains stable performance.


In AnTuTu, the Nubia Red Magic scores about 210K. So it’s better than the current pseudo-flagship chip in face of the Snapdragon 710.


The single-core score of the Nubia Red Magic phone is 1928, and the multi-core score is 6693. Thanks to the 8GB of memory, it can be more advantageous in multi-software operation.

Nubia Red Magic


The PCMark score is more inclined to daily use, while the Red Magic’s 7149 points are enough for the daily use of heavy users.

Nubia Red Magic


The continuous reading speed is around 740MB/s, which is a standard UFS2.1 performance.

Nubia Red Magic Game Experience

We guess you are more interested in the game performance rather than in anything else.

1.      RGB light strip

The Red Magic game phone has a 16.8 million color RGB light strip on the back. As we all know, RGB lighting effects have a close relationship with eSports.

Nubia Red Magic

When you start the game, watch movies, and listen to music, you will be prompted to flash. Especially when playing games or listening to music, you can change the lighting effect with the sound effect. It looks amazing.

You can turn on/off this effect in the settings. There are four effects.

2.      Dedicated button

There is a button on the right side of the phone. It is called ‘the competitive button.’ It can be turned on or off. When it is turned on, it can activate the super performance mode, lock the navigation keys, limit other software speeds, and block some content that affects the game.

In addition to these, the Nubia Red Magic has also made many optimizations, such as in-depth cooperation with game makers, running the game smart operating system, and the NeoSmartAI engine.

3.      Game experience

The game test was done through two much popular games, namely Honor of Kings and PLAYERUNKNOWN.

As for the former game, during the game, the frame rate was over 60fps. Even if the multiplayer is synchronized, there is no frame drop, and the GameBench test is stable at 60 frames.

Nubia Red Magic

When testing the phone via the second game, under the full special effect, the game frame rate is stable at 40 frames. It can be seen that even if it is running for a long time, the frame rate is still stable and smooth. However, it does not reach 60 frames, because the game has not yet opened higher frame rate.

Nubia Red Magic

4.      Temperature test

The Nubia Red Magic has multiple air ducts that can increase air exchange by 73%. The inside of the phone uses a 3-layer graphite laminate, which provides a 117% increase in heat dissipation compared to single-layer graphite. We used the second game to test the temperature control.

Nubia Red Magic

When the phone is in the standby mode, the temperature is 27 degrees. After playing the game for 30 minutes, the temperature reaches 37 degrees. When leaving the game, after 3 minutes, the temperature returns to the normal state. The increase in the number of fans and the 3-layer graphite fit are still very effective for the heat dissipation.

Nubia Red Magic Nubia Red Magic

Nubia Red Magic Battery

There is a 3800mAh battery under the hood. Thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835’s 10nm process technology, it has very good power consumption.

When testing the endurance of the Nubia Red Magic for online video playing, the volume was at 40% and the brightness was at 50%. The remaining power was 88%. After 30 minutes, it was dropped to 84%.

As for the battery drainage when playing games, the remaining power was 93% when we started the test. After 30 minutes of plating the Honor of Kings, it was dropped to 82%.

When testing the Nubia Red Magic via PCMark test, the volume was at 30%, the brightness at 30%, WiFi was connected, and there was no SIM card inserted.

Nubia Red Magic Nubia Red Magic

The benchmark shows 13 hours.

As we said at the beginning of the article, the Nubia Red Magic comes with a standard 5V3.5A power adapter that supports 17.5W fast charge. Starting at 5%, it took 110 minutes to fully charge the phone.

Nubia Red Magic

Nubia Red Magic Camera

The photographing is not the most attractive part of this review, as the Nubia Red Magic sports a 24MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. But it uses a NeoVision 7.0 technology, which makes the photos way better.

Nubia Red Magic

Daytime samples

Due to the large sensor and the NeoVision7.0 technology, the Nubia Red Magic takes great photos when there is a sufficient light. Many details can be clearly seen even after zooming in.

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Nighttime samples

The built-in NeoVision 7.0 guarantees a sufficient amount of light at night. As you can see from the photos below, the transition between the upper and lower boundaries is natural.

Nubia Red Magic Nubia Red Magic Nubia Red Magic

Under a variety of lights, the performance of the Nubia Red Magic is also satisfactory, without exposure and glare.


The Nubia Red Magic is equipped with an 8MP front lens. When the beauty is turned on, the character’s skin is softened and the brightness is improved. It looks more delicate and natural.

Nubia Red Magic

The Final Words

As we saw, the Nubia Red Magic is capable of providing smooth and stable performance, though it is packed with an outdated chip. But if not looking at the chip model, we can say it’s quite sufficient what’s under the hood. At the same time, the phone comes with a large memory that is what we need for multitasking.

The appearance of the Nubia Red Magic is a separate topic of conversation. It comes with a great cooling system, which is one of the most important features of any game product. Plus, there is an RGB strip that flashes according to the audio.

Finally, let’s talk about the price. The Nubia Red Magic 6GB memory version is priced at 2499 yuan ($365), and the 8GB memory version is 2999 yuan ($438). This may sound a bit higher when recalling its processor. But seems we have convinced you this is not the case of a newer chip only. As for the game smartphone, the Nubia Red Magic is excellent. And it can maintain a stable game performance mainly due to system optimization.


Argam Artashyan

Back in 2010, he was dismissed from his position as a lecturer at the university. This made him get another job at his friend’s digital marketing company as a blog writer. After a few years, when he was thinking the article writing is his mission, Google pushed the Panda update and affected the company and websites he was working at. (Un)fortunately and surprisingly, he got an offer to head a large knitting factory. In 2016, he got his Ph.D. and resumed teaching at the University … and writing tech-related articles following his passion.

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