Over the past weeks, we have taken a look at some of the gaming phones that are currently out on the market right now. Since there's already a trend going on, we figured 'why stop', here's another challenger joining the gaming phone race and we think this might be the fastest horse of the bunch. This is our take on the Nubia Redmagic 7S Pro.
As always, let’s start with the design. The phone sports a mechanised design which kinda seems like the go-to aesthetics for making gaming phones nowadays, however on Redmagic phones you get neat little design details featuring the various specifications of the phone. This design might not be for everyone but we like it.
On the right side of the phone, you get volume and power buttons along with touch triggers and an exhaust vent for the built-in RGB fan. Following which on the left side you simply get a physical switch to turn on Redmagic OS's Game Space for dedicated features and controls in games. We'll get the utility of these shortly.
On the top and bottom, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a type-C port for charging along with stereo side-firing speakers. The audio experience is one of the areas that can be improved upon with high, mids and lows all sounding very hollow and muddy at any volume so we especially don't recommend playing rhythm games on it. And on top of that, the fan also runs pretty loud which will hinder the listening experience so make full use of the 3.5mm jack if you can.
On the front, the phone is equipped with a 6.8" FHD+ AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and like most phones, the refresh rate is variable to help save on battery life. While the audio aspect is lacking and leaves you wanting more, the display fares better with punchy, vibrant colours and goes up to 600 nits brightness, more than sufficient for use outdoors.
For camera setup, it's equipped with a 64MP f/1.8 Main, an 8MP f/2.2 Ultrawide, a 2MP f/2.4 macro and a 16MP front camera. The photos are well, fine? The phone saturates the photos quite a bit and processing artefacts are very noticeable. You really need sufficient lighting to bring the most out of the sensors and the results are just okay-looking shots. The phone also takes videos at up to 8K 30fps. Nothing noteworthy here and since camera performance won't be a huge factor of consideration for people looking at gaming phones, let's move on and talk about the hardware and gaming performances.
Having been in the gaming smartphone market for quite a few years now, Nubia is no slouch when it comes to chasing the latest hardware for their Redmagic phones, and it shows with the 7S Pro being powered by the newer Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SOC with 18GB RAM and 512GB of storage. If that sounds familiar to you, it's almost the same specs as the ROG Phone 6 Pro we reviewed before. The extra "plus" does make a difference with higher Geekbench and 3D Mark numbers. In Wild Life Extreme, the 7S Pro also ranks higher than the ROG Phone 6 Pro and the Black Shark 5 Pro, pretty neat.
Performance-wise, the higher clock speeds of the 8+ Gen 1 will translate to a better gaming experience compared to the 8 Gen 1. Over sustained hour-long gaming sessions of Pokemon Unite, Call of Duty Mobile and Diablo Immortals in the highest settings, the 7S Pro barely broke a sweat maintaining a consistent 60 FPS without throttling.
It will, however, get slightly warm to the touch after a while, but it's easily remedied by turning on the built-in fan to dissipate all the heat, pretty impressive considering it’s all built into the phone. So in terms of gaming performance, you definitely get what you paid for and then some.
Redmagic OS's Game Space also has a bunch of neat little features you can use to enhance your gaming experience such as customising trigger buttons, screen recording, sound equalisation, note taking and quick access to apps like Telegram, Whatsapp, Discord and Chrome with picture-in-picture, very handy if you want to look up information while staying on your game.
The only nitpick we have with it is that there are no fan speed settings which is kind of a bummer as the fan does get very loud and distracting so it would’ve been good to be able to turn it down without switching it off completely.
With a beefy 5000mAh battery, it doesn't fall short of expectation with about a days worth of battery life, if you game constantly on high settings you will deplete the battery within 2 to 3 hours but with the included 65W charging adaptor your phone will be up and running again in about 30 to 40 minutes.
Speaking of charging, could we also just mention that the power adaptor and charging cable are actually type C to C? Oppo, Vivo, take notes. While it would be nice to have a type A to C adapter as well, this is still a step in the right direction so Nubia, kudos for that!
The global version of the Redmagic 7S Pro is available on Redmagic's website at US$899 for the Mercury or Supernova version, in other words, the white or black version. There is also a 12GB RAM with 256GB storage Obsidian version at a slightly cheaper price of US$729.
Now, the burning question, "should I buy the 7S Pro?" With that price point, the 7S Pro places itself right beside the BlackShark 5 Pro and in terms of specs, it goes toe to toe with the ROG Phone 6 Pro if not better. So it all comes down to what you want and what each individual phone can give you. Do you want the good built-in speaker that the Blackshark has? The reliability behind the ROG branding? Or the overall value for money that Redmagic gives you?
It's kinda like choosing a starter pokemon now, thus our question back to you would be, "will you choose the 7S Pro over the other two?" Let us know!