Gaming phones are a newer niche for Android devices, and Nubia is one of the companies running headlong into this fledgling field. This past May, we took a look at the Red Magic 5, and we did not come away impressed thanks to numerous bugs and compromises. Now that the Red Magic 5S is here, and we can say for certain that features like internal cooling and a high refresh rate come at a cost: the Red Magic 5S is good for gaming but not much else.
The Red Magic 5 isn't a complete wash—its gaming-centric features and performance help to even out the device's lack of polish.
The Red Magic 5G came out 4 months ago as Nubia's first 5G gaming phone. Today, the ZTE spin-off is at it yet again with a small iteration on the Red Magic 5G — the Red Magic 5S is available for pre-order right now.
Nubia is following up on the apparent success of the Red Magic 5G with the same formula it used last year: an incrementally improved "S" bump. The new Red Magic 5S packs most of the same specs with a few tweaks like faster shoulder trigger polling, better cooling, and faster storage. It's China-only for now, but a global release is planned for September.
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If you've never heard of a Red Magic smartphone, we're not surprised: the gaming-focused sub-brand of Nubia (itself a sub-brand of ZTE) doesn't have a lot of name recognition in America, or really anywhere. But this isn't the first time we've reviewed a Red Magic phone, and I've got something of a soft spot in my heart for last year's Red Magic 3S. As an everyday smartphone, it really wasn't fantastic, but its largely stock Android software and strong gaming performance at a seriously low price made it an attractive option as a dedicated gaming phone, for people who want such a thing (and I'm not sure how many such people there are).
Nubia’s last flagship is barely a few months old, but that's not stopping the Chinese company from adding a new high-end handset to its gaming-focused Red Magic line. Keeping up with the growing trend of 5G-enabled phones, Nubia has announced the Red Magic 5G for its home market with standout features like an air-cooling system and a high-refresh-rate screen.
The Red Magic Mars from Nubia was only unveiled at CES in January this year, but the Chinese OEM has already taken the wraps off its successor. The Mars didn't fare so well in our review last month, but that's old news now. The Red Magic 3 is here with an improved spec sheet and looks that scream "I'm a gaming phone" even more so than before.
Remember the days when you could use any high-end smartphone to play games? Yeah, it seems like a lifetime ago. Now, you obviously need one of these glowing "gaming phones" to play PUBG or Fortnite. There's a new one available today—the Nubia Red Magic Mars that launched in limited numbers last year is available for purchase. It offers a lot of powerful hardware for the price, but it does have an... interesting aesthetic.
ZTE sub-brand Nubia is practically unknown in the West, so it will be surprising to many to see this impressive looking gaming phone launched by the Chinese firm. The Red Magic has been designed from the ground up with advanced gamers in mind. It has an ergonomic anodized aluminum chassis, an air convection cooling system, and that all-important LED light strip on the back.