The Red Magic 5G has 5G connectivity, pairs a Snapdragon 865 chipset with an Adreno 650 graphics processor , and is the world’s first smartphone with a 144Hz refresh rate display. And all that sets you back less than $639: basically, you get flagship specs at a relatively affordable price.
As well as impressive specs, it has an internal fan with vents on either side of the display, liquid cooling, shoulder buttons that make controlling mobile games easier, loud dual stereo speakers, and RGB lighting on the back.
The Red Magic 5G is a chunky phone. It has a big, bright 6.65-inch AMOLED display and a deep body to accommodate all the internals, making it heavier than most handsets. It weighs 218g – as a comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, which has a bigger screen, weighs 186g.
But the Red Magic 5G doesn’t feel too heavy. The whole point of this phone is gaming, and when you’ve flipped it on its side to play games, you’ll want it to feel solid and substantial in the hand, which it does.
The sides of the phone are busy, with two shoulder buttons on the right-hand side alongside a power button, volume rocker, and one of the fan vents. On the left edge, you have the other fan vent, a port for a docking station, and a toggle switch for Game Space, which is Nubia’s dedicated game launcher.
On the bottom, you get one of its speakers, the SIM tray, and a USB-C charging port, while the top of the phone has a welcome headphone jack. The second speaker sits at the top of the screen.
On the back, you have a triple camera setup, with a 64MP main camera as well as an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a 2MP macro camera, all arranged in a vertical line. There’s also a customizable RGB lighting strip and a Red Magic icon.
You can tune the strip to just light up when gaming, but you can have it light up for notifications or when the phone is charging too. The lights are bright, and you get plenty of ways to tweak them to your tastes (or you can just leave them off).
Red Magic 5G leans into the flashy, gamer aesthetic, and it’s definitely a phone that people will want to talk about when you pull it out of your pocket.
The Red Magic 5G’s most unique feature is its 144Hz refresh rate display, the first ever in a smartphone. The previous high was 120Hz, seen on phones such as the Razer Phone 2 and the OnePlus 8 Pro.
A higher refresh rate means the screen updates more often, which should lead to a smoother picture. And it works: you get wrinkle-free scrolling across the UI and silky performance in games.
The 6.65-inch AMOLED display is bright and vibrant. Dark colors are properly dark. But it’s not the most detailed screen, though. Don’t expect Samsung levels of crispness: it’s a Full HD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340, which works out at 387.5 pixels per inch, which is less than phones like the OnePlus 7T.
The Red Magic 5G’s hefty 4,500mAh battery delivers impressive results. Even with a few hours of gaming every day, you can get two full days before reaching for a charger. Likely linked to the phone’s lower resolution, which draws less power to the screen than rival handsets. You’ll be able to play five or six hours straight without needing to charge, which is more than you’ll likely ever need.
The phone doesn’t support wireless charging, but it is compatible with a 55W quick charger, sold separately, which Nubia claims will charge the phone from zero to full in 40 minutes.
The triple camera setup here isn’t the best, but it produces consistently good shots. The main camera is the 64MP Sony IMX686, the same one found in the mid-range Poco X2, and it’s paired with a 2MP macro sensor and an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, which boasts 120-degree field-of-view.
They produce clear shots, with colors true to real life, and images with a wide dynamic range. The camera adjusts quickly to different light levels and focuses in an instant.
Video lookes good too, especially at 4K and 60fps, which the camera can support. During testing clips were smooth, detailed, and again, the sensors quickly adjusted to light, which means you can comfortably film one long video moving between different light levels.
The front camera is just so-so: an 8MP sensor that’s good for selfies, but not much else, and the phone doesn’t support face unlock. It can produce 1080p video at 30fps, which makes it good enough for vlogging or recording messages for your friends.
As you’d expect with its powerful hardware, the Red Magic 5G can handle any game you throw at it on the highest possible settings.
The 144Hz display makes a difference. It’s not life-changing, but the games that support it feel as smooth as anything you’ll experience on your mobile phone.
For the games that don’t support 144Hz, the display – which automatically switches between 144Hz and 90Hz, or can be set to run at 60Hz to save battery – will make the most of them. It matches refresh rate to a game’s frame rate to avoid any stuttering.
The Red Magic 5G has plenty of other ways to improve your gaming hours too, starting with the shoulder buttons. When you turn your phone on its side, they sit at the top left and top right edges of the device, accessible with your index fingers. The shoulder buttons are responsive, and you can switch between three levels of sensitivity if you’re having trouble.
You access all games on the Red Magic 5G through a launcher called Game Space, which you turn on with a physical toggle on the side of the phone.
In-game, you can swipe from the right-hand side of the screen to change all your settings, mute notifications, change the screen refresh rate, turn on 4D Shock, and switch between different CPU and GPU settings. You can force the CPU or GPU into turbo modes.
Red Magic 5G has dual stereo speakers. They don’t produce the cleanest sound, but they are impressively loud.
Overall, the Red Magic 5G feels like a top-tier gaming phone, with rapid performance matched by its world’s-first display. As more games begin to support 144Hz, the argument for buying this will grow stronger for gaming enthusiasts.
While the Red Magic 5G is a treat to use in games, its OS unfortunately lets it down when you’re not playing. It runs RedMagic OS 3.0, based on Android 10.
There’re some problems during yousing smartphone: no way to change the display refresh rate from your notification bar. You can only do that in Game Space. You can’t set the notification bar to show at all times, which is how we usually set our phones up.
Hope in future system updates these things will be fixed.
The Red Magic 5G is a top-tier gaming phone with the world’s first 144Hz refresh rate display. His houlder buttons give you the edge over fellow players, and Nubia’s custom gaming launcher makes starting up games easier than ever. Plus, you’ve got a solid camera, long battery life, and loud speakers on top of all that. You’re also getting top-end specs at a mid-range price.
• 144Hz display is ideal for gaming
• Shoulder triggers are handy
• Impressive battery life
• Screen isn’t the most high-res
• Software bugs
Have a nice shopping with Gearbest!