Nubia’s gaming smartphone brand, Red Magic, has made some really interesting phones over the past couple of years, including the Red Magic 3 and 3S, both of which I reviewed last year. This year, the company came out with the Red Magic 5G, and it’s both very similar and very different from previous Red Magic phones.
On the inside, the Red Magic philosophy is absolutely still here. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, this year bringing 5G to the table, and starting at 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage, performance is still very much a focus. You can crank that up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but I got the base model. Plus, the cooling performance has been improved significantly over the Red Magic 3S, with 56% more heat dissipation area and 30% more airflow.
This year, we’re also getting big news for the display – for the first time in any smartphone, it supports a 144Hz refresh rate. Red Magic was one of the first to implement a 90Hz AMOLED display in its smartphones last year, and now it’s the first to 144Hz, a small step up from the 120Hz other flagships have this year. In exchange, you have to settle for a Full HD+ display, just like last year.
But on the outside, the Red Magic 5G is a big departure from previous phones in the lineup. The all-metal back plate is now glass, and the sharp angles make way for a curved back. The “gamer aesthetic” is now visible through a pattern design under the rear glass, and the RGB light strip is now replaced by a light-up Red Magic logo.
With that being said, the Red Magic 5G is definitely an interesting device. It starts at €579 for the base model, a 100€ increase over last year, but the more expensive model is €649 – a much smaller €50 increase over the previous iteration. Here are our first impressions.