While Nubia has been making smartphones for a while now, their gaming smartphone brand — REDMAGIC — has just celebrated its 4th anniversary. The company boasts several firsts, including:
- REDMAGIC MARS: The world’s first gaming smartphone with Gaming Shoulder Triggers
- REDMAGIC 3S: The world’s first gaming smartphone with Turbo Fan + Liquid Cooling
- REDMAGIC 6: The world’s first gaming smartphone with a 165Hz Gaming Screen
- REDMAGIC 7 PRO: The world’s first gaming smartphone with True Full Screen
Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
I’ve reviewed a few of the REDMAGIC gaming smartphones, and they typically offer great value and performance with flagship specifications. Our REDMAGIC 7 Pro looks at the company’s latest, and the first gaming smartphone that features true full screen gaming with an under-screen front-facing camera. Read on for our full review!
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro gaming smartphone we reviewed has the following specifications:
|Model||NX709J (16/256GB model)|
|Display||• 6.8-inch FHD+ (1080×2400) AMOLED, 20:9 aspect ratio, up to 120Hz refresh rate, up to 960Hz touch sampling rate
• 600 nits max brightness
• SGS Certification low blue light for eye comfort
• Corning Gorilla Glass 5
• 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut
• 1,000,000:1 (typical) contrast ratio
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, up to 3.0GHz|
|GPU||Adreno, Red Core 1 dedicated gaming chip|
|Cooling System||• Turbo Fan
• Air Channel with 2 air intakes
• Air Volume: 0.35 (min 0.28) CFM, 0.295 (MIN. 0.232) CFM
• Type: Centrifugal fan
• Number of fan blades: 59
• Thickness of fan blades: 0.1mm
• Tested life: 30,000 hours
• Speed: 20,000 RPM
• Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
• Vapor Chamber
• High Thermal Conductivity Copper Foil
• Thermal gel
• Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad
• Aviation Grade Aluminum Heat Sink
|Rear Camera||• Sensors: S5KGW3+HI846+OV02A10
• Resolution: 64MP+8MP+2MP
• Wide Angle: 80°+120°+78°
• Aperture: F1.79+F2.2+F2.4
• Slow Motion: 120fps, 240fps, 480fps, 960fps
• Time-Lapse: Yes
• Video shooting: the rear cameras supports 8K resolution at 30fps, 4K at 60fps/30fps, 1080P at 60fps/30fps, 720P at 30fps
|Front Camera||• Megapixels: 16MP
• Pixel Size: 1.12μm
• Aperture: 2.0
• Video shooting: the front camera supports 1080P/720P at 30fps
|Connectivity||• SIM: dual SIMSA+NSA: compatible with both standalone and non-standalone modes
• 5G: NSA n41/n78//n77/n38, SA n41/n78/n1/n77 (3600M-4100M) /n28A/n3/n7/n8/n20/n5
• 2G+3G+4G: GSM 2/3/5/8, WCDMA B1/2/4/5/8/19, CDMA/EVDO BC0/BC1, TD-LTE B34/B38/39/40/41,
• Wi-Fi: WiFi 6 802.11ax ready, 2×2 802.11ac MU-MIMO with DBS support
• Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2, BLE long range
• Positioning: GPS, GLONASS
• NFC: Yes
• HDMI: Yes
|Sensors||Fingerprint, G-sensor, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, Sensor hub|
|Ports||USB 3.0 Type-C, DP, Dual nano-SIM slot, 3.5mm Audio Jack|
|Quick Charging||• 65W GaN quick charging|
|Special Functions||• Shoulder Trigger Buttons: 500Hz touch sampling rate, dual pressure touch buttons\
• Game Space Switch: Toggles special game mode on or off
• RGB light with fully customizable light effects
|Operating System||RedMagic OS 5.0 based on Android 12.0|
|Material||Double-sided glass + metal box / metal box + glass / metal synthetic rear cover|
|Colour||Color: Obsidian 12+128 / Pulsar 16+256/ Supernova 18+256|
|Dimensions||166.27 x 77.1 x 9.98mm (6.54 x 3.03 x 0.39″)|
What’s in the box
- REDMAGIC 7 Pro gaming smartphone
- USB-C cable
- Power adapter
- Clear smartphone case
- SIM tray ejector
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty information
Once again, REDMAGIC has taken a different design approach from its predecessors. While the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone looks very similar to the RedMagic 6, the 7 Pro takes a new approach altogether with flatter side bezels and only a slight bump across the back. It is a bit shorter and less wide than the 7 but is a bit thicker and slightly heavier. The extra 0.7oz of weight adds a nice heft to it and makes the smartphone feel a bit more substantial (not that anything was lacking in the build quality of previous REDMAGIC smartphones I’ve reviewed in the past).
The back is mostly matte in finish and largely black and gunmetal. A stylized matte gunmetal stripe runs vertically down the center with a gloss frame around it in sliver, gunmetal, black, and black with a triangle motif. In the middle are two LEDs which can be programmed to display different colours based on different events like notifications. Near the top is the triple camera area with a round LED flash, stacked in a 2 by 2 array. To the right of this (while looking at the back) is the fan exhaust vent. The REDMAGIC wordmark is sideways in the middle, with the brand’s logo near the bottom. This logo can be lit up using LEDs in the system settings if you wish. The rest of the back has an interesting design motif, with an airflow vent to the right of the camera array (when held vertically).
The device’s edges are thicker than past offerings, with more of an iPhone style. The left edge has a physical game lock switch and the fan vent that is typically on this side has been moved to the back of the phone, as aforementioned. The right side houses a fan intake vent, a power button, and two capacitive shoulder buttons. The top of the phone has a 3.5mm audio jack on the right side with a speaker on the left, while the bottom has a USB-C data/power port, the SIM/microSD card slot, and a bottom/side-firing speaker.
The front of the smartphone is pretty basic looking given this is the company’s first with their new UDC (under-display camera) screen. There is no visible camera, nor notch, which is fantastic for gaming but more on that in a bit. The phone also comes with a screen protector, which is pre-installed, and a phone case. REDMAGIC has reverted to the clear case instead of the frosted smoke on the last version.
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro is one of their best-looking phones, in my opinion. While it doesn’t look gamer-ish at a glance, it does still have some subtle gaming features and the added weight just makes it feel more premium. It is comfortable to hold both for regular use and gaming, even with the added weight. Like other REDMAGIC phones to date, the one feature it is still missing is an IP rating, so that is something to keep in mind as you’ll want to be extra careful about not splashing liquid on it or dropping it accidentally in a puddle.
While we were sent the black 256+16GB Obsidian version, the REDMAGIC 7 Pro is also available in a 512+16GB black Supernova version complete with an RGB fan and slightly translucent back.
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro has a 6.8″ FHD (2400×1080) AMOLED screen with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz (down from the 165Hz of the REDMAGIC 7) and up to 960Hz touch sampling rate (up from 720Hz). It also features a maximum brightness of 600 nits (down 100 nits) and 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage. Colours are rich and full as is typically the case with AMOLED screens, the display is visible in practically every lighting condition, and the adjustable refresh rate ensures smooth performance. As for refresh rates, users can toggle between 60, 90, and 120Hz.
The best feature of the REDMAGIC 7 Pro gaming smartphone, aside from its performance, is its UDC display. By placing the front camera under the display, there is no more distracting hole or notch when playing games, offering up more immersive gaming or video-watching experience.
While it is a larger screen and only at a 1080p resolution, text and images are still crisp and clear. As with most phones, you can adjust the font size, enable dark mode, and choose between normal, vivid, natural, P3, or sRGB colour gamuts, and even colour temperature (default, warm, cool, or custom) to suit your preferences. With up to 120Hz refresh rate, scrolling around the main interface is smooth, as is gaming. Of course, using the highest refresh rate option will decrease battery use. On that note, the default refresh rate can be set to 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz with a toggle to show the current refresh rate in the status bar.
While it’s not a QHD or higher resolution like some other flagship devices, at this screen size, FHD+ is perfectly acceptable and the lack of a camera pinhole or notch only improves the experience. The usual features like automatic brightness, dark mode, auto-screen rotation, and night light work as one would expect.
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro gaming smartphone runs RedMagic OS 5.0 based on Android 12.0. When setting up the device, it defaults to the older 3-button navigation system, but it is easy enough to switch to the new gesture navigations. The interface is also skinned with custom icons and default widgets for toggling the game fane, reporting daily game time, and even one for measuring your heart rate through the fingerprint scanner. One cool feature about the OS is that it does require you to enter your password every 72 hours for additional security if you have the fingerprint login enabled.
As with previous REDMAGIC devices, the default browser is NextWord Browser which has some features which most users aren’t that familiar with. I think you’re better off ditching it and using Edge, Chrome, or another browser of your choice. Other default apps include the Google suite, Calendar, Clock, Weather, File Manager, Contacts, NotePad, Calculator, and Voice Recorder. Most of these can easily be replaced with the official Google or other apps if you desire.
The one app you will likely use is the Game Space Center. When the dedicated game button is toggled on, the Game Space Center launches. Not only does this give you easy access to installed games, but it lets you customize network settings, anti-mistouch, notifications, and even add plugins to assist with your games. When enabled and in a game, swiping twice from the upper corners will cause an overlay to slide in. This overlay gives you access to performance modes and stats, toggles for the fan, recording, refresh rate, brightness adjustments, and many other toggles to provide distraction-free gaming.
As far as Android updates go, the REDMAGIC 7 Pro is currently updated to the March 2022 security update at the time of this review, so it hasn’t been updated since it was released.
Like its predecessors, the REDMAGIC 7 Pro has top-of-the-line specifications. Like the REDMAGIC 7, the 7 Pro is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processer, and it certainly delivers. Also on board is 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 256 or 512GB of storage space. New to the 7 Pro, however, is the company’s new Red Core 1 dedicated graphic chip.
“Unlike the Snapdragon system-on-a-chip, however, the Red Core 1 is designed to handle mobile gaming functions that aren’t directly related to graphics or higher frame rates. The chip will take responsibility for processing audio, RGB lighting, and haptic feedback, leaving the Snapdragon SOC to handle mobile games, applications, and other tasks.”
Our review unit came with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it handled anything I threw at it with ease.
Games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Diablo Immortal ran smoothly at the 120Hz refresh rate and without issues. This gaming smartphone is also great for Xbox Game Pass games, both touch- and controller-based games. With a bit of configuration, the shoulder buttons are very useful, depending on the game you are playing. Of course, typical tasks like web browsing and other apps ran smoothly, and I didn’t encounter any lag whatsoever.
On the cooling side of things, the internal cooling fan does help. When in gaming mode with the fan spinning, the phone will still get warm, but not overly and not hot to the touch. I did try it with the fan off, and it gets hot depending on what game you are playing, so it is something that you’ll want to enable while gaming. The good news is you can set it up to turn on when you launch a game and turn it off when you’re done. In addition, you can enable the fan while charging for faster charging. One thing I will note, however, is that if you are in a quiet room and you can faintly hear the fan.
For those who are into numbers, I played Diablo Immortal for about an hour with the fan off, then another hour with the fan on after the phone had cooled back down. I used an app called Ampere to measure the temperature of the phone. Without the fan on, I hit 41°C after 30 minutes and about 46°C after an hour. When the phone had cooled back down to a respectable 28°C, I fired up the game again. After half an hour, the REDMAGIC 7 PRO was sitting at 41°C again. After an hour, however, it was still at 41°C. While this might not seem much, every degree helps when gaming for any length of time, not to mention the phone didn’t feel quite as warm as with the fan off.
The REDMAGIC 7 PRO also has an under-screen fingerprint scanner. It works rather well and I didn’t have any issues with it.
The speaker placement on the REDMAGIC 7 Pro, one on the top edge of the display and one on the bottom edge is perfect for landscape gaming (putting the speakers on the left and right side of the device). When holding the phone in landscape orientation, my fingers didn’t cover either of them, allowing for unobstructed audio. The stereo speakers offer pretty loud and clear audio. As expected, there isn’t much bass here as with most phones, but the audio is more than adequate for gaming or watching videos.
The cameras on the REDMAGIC 7 Pro haven’t changed much, if at all, from the REDMAGIC 6/6S Pro and are still pretty decent. The rear-facing camera is a 64MP+8MP+2MP triple camera. The front-facing camera, however, is now a 16MP shooter instead of 8MP. The cameras on this gaming smartphone are decent enough for what most gamers would use it for in default mode. Pictures are pretty clear when viewed on the device and not bad when viewed on a computer. While I didn’t print any, they should be suitable for smaller prints as well. Photos in brighter light turn out better, but night mode isn’t too shabby. The camera also has plenty of features including Star Trail, Star Sky, Electronic Aperture, LightDraw, Slow Motion, MultiExposure, Time-Lapse, Clone, Freeze Frame, Pano, Macro, Portrait, Pro (manual) mode and more.
Camera sample photo gallery
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro offers up Wi-Fi 6 and 5G connectivity. I have a Wi-Fi 6 compatible modem in my house, and the phone is connected to it and operated just fine. With 5G, that is a bit of a different story, but that is due to the coverage in my area. Connectivity and speeds were fine when I was near a 5G tower. The phone fell back to 4G LTE connections with no issues when I wasn’t.
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro has a larger 5000mAh battery, slightly larger than the 4500mAh battery in the 7 but almost the same size as the 5050mAh battery in the 6S Pro. Under normal usage with the 60 or 90Hz refresh rate, it easily lasts a couple of days. When you add in a few hours of gaming at higher refresh rates, it does chew up the battery a bit more. As far as battery drain while gaming when the refresh rate was set to 120Hz, the battery depleted at a rate of just over 15%/hr. Still, with a couple of hours of gaming a day (which ate about 30% of the battery) and a higher refresh rate enabled all the time, I was able to get through the day with battery life to spare.
When you need to recharge the phone, you can get a full charge in just over an hour with the included 30W charger. If you pick up the optional 66W charger, you can cut that down in half.
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro comes with a pre-installed screen protector and a clear phone case. The case itself isn’t much, but it does fit nicely and offers additional protection. The inside is lightly textured, presumably to provide some extra drop protection. It also covers more of the back than some of the previous versions, which adds extra protection. The edges of the case are smooth, but not slippery, and the cutouts are perfectly positioned (as one would expect with an OEM case). Finally, the corners of the case jut out slightly, which adds extra corner protection and helps with gripping the phone while being used in landscape mode.
While we haven’t been able to test them out, there are also several other accessories for the device. These include the REDMAGIC Turbo Cooler to keep your phone even cooler while gaming, the 66W Power Adapter, an E-Sports Handle, tempered glass screen protectors, and a Type-C to Type-C cable with a right angle end.
Starting from US$799 for the 16GB/256GB Obsidian version, the REDMAGIC 7 Pro is a fantastic deal, given the specs and performance. Even $899 for the 16GB/512GB Supernova edition offers excellent value for the price. Again, even if you’re not a gamer, this is a solid-performing device well worth the price with great performance and flagship-level specifications.
Like its predecessors, the REDMAGIC 7 Pro is a solid-performing gaming device with flagship specs, a smooth display, decent battery life, and fast charging. The big update with the 7 Pro over the 7 is higher baseline RAM and storage configurations as well as a slightly larger battery and the UDC display. If you’re a mobile gamer, this device is an excellent choice.
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Last Updated on July 11, 2022.
REDMAGIC 7 Pro
- Solid, updated design
- Fantastic performance
- Smooth 120Hz UDC display with adjustable refresh rate
- Fairly decent camera
- Loud speakers
- Solid battery life
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Phone stays cooler during extended gaming with fan
- Runs on Android 12
- Great Value for the price
- NextWord Browser
- Same camera as previous devices
- Few months slow on Android security updates
- Some stock Android software duplicated