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Nubia Red Magic 5G Phone review

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Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Daniel Osakwe

In 2019, Nubia released the Red Magic 3, a brilliant gaming device that was only average for everyday use. Earlier today, Nubia launched a phone that makes you look twice.

As a 5G smartphone (of course), the Red Magic 5G has Snapdragon 865 chipsets and Adreno 650 graphics processors (the same combination as in the Samsung Galaxy S20), making it the first smartphone in the world with 144Hz screen refresh rates. All that for just over $600 / £550: if you combine those two factors, you get a fairly affordable flagship phone.

This handset includes a host of gamer-friendly features, such as an internal fan and vents on either side of the display, liquid cooling, shoulder buttons for easy game control, and loud dual stereo speakers with RGB backlighting.

At the end of the day, the Red Magic 5G is likely to rank among the top gaming smartphones. Is it truly effective? Moreover, what about during non-gaming times? Let’s get started.

Nubia Red Magic 5: Design

Nubia red magic 5g phone review

It is a big phone. Since the screen is large and bright and the interior is deep, the phone is heavier than most smartphones. For comparison, the larger-screen Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus weighs 186g.

The 5G isn’t very heavy, despite this. When you flip the phone on its side, you will want to feel that it is substantial in your hands, since it is primarily used to play games.

One of the fan vents is located to the right of the power button and two shoulder buttons. On the left edge, you’ll also find a port for a docking station, and Nubia’s dedicated game launcher, Game Space, is a toggle switch.

It has a bottom-mounted speaker. On the side, there is the SIM tray, and on top, there is the charging port. A second speaker appears at the top right of the screen.

Located on the back of the phone is a triple camera setup, including a 64MP main camera, an 8MP wide-angle camera, and a 2MP macro camera. Additional customization options are available, including the Red Magic icon.

In addition to being able to have the strip light up only while gaming, it can also indicate when the phone is charging or when notifications arrive. Lights can be customized (or turned off), so they will not blind you.

Red Magic 5G does not appear sleek, despite its bright red color. The phone leans heavily into the gamer aesthetic, so pulling it from your pocket will definitely draw attention.

Contrary to other smartphones, the Eclipse Black model sounds loud despite its subtlety. On its back are red lines and a giant X mark that distinguishes it. Those who want a conversation starter will not be disappointed, although the design is not for those who want an understated device.

Nubia Red Magic 5G: Display

Nubia red magic

144Hz refresh rates have never been seen on a smartphone before. A phone like the Razer Phone 2 or OnePlus 8 Pro had a 120Hz maximum speed in the past.

As the screen updates more frequently with a higher refresh rate, the image will appear smoother. As a result, the UI scrolls smoothly without wrinkles, and you can play games smoothly (which we’ll discuss later).

Watching videos, browsing the internet, and navigating menus feel as responsive as any other phone we have used.

The display size is 6.65 inches on this device, which has an AMOLED screen. There are three options you can choose from (the other two are DCI-P3 and sRGB). In addition, dark colors stand out well. The dark mode on Android was the most common use for it.

However, the screen isn’t very detailed. The display has a 1080 x 2340 resolution, which is less than Samsung’s Full HD+ display. This translates to 387.5 pixels per inch, which is lower than the OnePlus 7T, though the clarity of information is the same.

Nubia Red Magic 5G: Camera

We’ve seen some less efficient triple-camera setups, but this one consistently produces good results. Sony IMX686 is the sensor on this smartphone, which is the same as the one on the Poco X2. In addition to the 8MP sensor and 2MP macro sensor, it comes with a 120-degree wide-angle or ultra-wide-angle lens.

The images have good clarity, true colors, and a wide dynamic range. A camera adjusts quickly to changes in light level and focuses quickly. Photographs with plenty of detail and soft backgrounds were captured by the portrait mode, while photos were taken after sunset displayed lots of colors.

Also, it can shoot 4K video at 60fps (as well as 1080p at 30 and 60fps and 720p at 30). In one long video, you can easily move between different light levels as the sensors quickly adjust to the light.

In terms of the front camera, the 8MP camera is okay for selfies, but nothing more, as well as the lack of face unlock. This device records video at a resolution of 1080p at 30 frames per second, making it ideal for vlogging or recording short messages to your friends.

While this was true, the camera’s software was far too busy for it to be enjoyable. You’re given too many options when shooting with ‘camera family’ mode. The pro mode, on the other hand, lets you set ISO, focus, and other features while you adjust shutter speed and other things.

Rather than guessing the situation, the Red Magic 5 uses built-in artificial intelligence to adjust the settings based on what you are trying to capture. Most of the time, it worked, but sometimes it was completely off (a chair appeared as an animal, for instance), and sometimes it oversaturated photos, turning a salmon photo into a glowing mess.

Nonetheless, I consider this camera to be an excellent choice for this price, no matter whether you’re shooting stills or videos.

Pros Cons
The shoulder trigger is very useful The screen isn’t the most high-res
Gaming is ideal on 144Hz displays It is difficult to customize the OS
A long-lasting battery Software bugs

The bottom line

A 144Hz screen, a high-end processor, and a mid-range price make the Red Magic 5G a good value.

Due to this combination, your phone will run smoothly both inside and outside of games, so you won’t have to worry about overheating when playing marathons.

With Nubia’s custom shoulder buttons, this gaming launcher gives you an edge over your friends. Additionally, you will have a good camera, long battery life, and loudspeakers.