This gaming phone has wild specs for $300 less than Samsung’s flagship

RedMagic’s latest gaming phone features a built-in high-speed fan, under-display front camera, and console-style shoulder triggers. It’s safe to say it’s unlike any mainstream phone in the US market, and unlike other innovative Chinese phones, it actually comes here.

I would expect the RedMagic 7 Pro to post incredible benchmark scores. It uses the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor as other major Android phones, but with two advantages that can make the difference. There’s a 20,000 RPM RGB fan built into the back of the phone, like Razer’s Phone Cooler Chroma, but built in, plus a special “Red Core 1” chip that processes audio, feedback haptics and lighting.

The 6.8-inch, 2400 x 1080 120Hz AMOLED display has an under-screen front camera like the Galaxy Z Fold3 does, meaning there’s no notch or perforation. There is also a fingerprint sensor under the screen. Then on one edge, because it’s a gaming phone, there are shoulder triggers with a 500Hz touch sampling rate.

This photo shows the touch triggers on the left side of the phone. (Photo: Nubia)

All of that takes a lot of power, so the RedMagic 7 Pro has a 5,000mAh dual-cell battery with 65W charging. Among other US-market phones, only the OnePlus 10 Pro is this fast.

RedMagic is a brand of Nubia, which is a spin-off from ZTE, the giant Chinese phone maker. Unlike other innovative Chinese phones like the Oppo Find X5 Pro and Iqoo 9 Pro, the RedMagic 7 will be sold legitimately in the US, meaning it will likely work on T-Mobile when those other phones don’t. will not. (I just installed a software update on the Iqoo 9 Pro and it still won’t stay connected to the network.) Still, I’m a bit concerned about compatibility as RedMagic hasn’t put radio details or the network in its press release or reviewer’s guide.


Do you even play?

The RedMagic 7 Pro is part of a cadre of gaming phones, such as the Asus ROG Phone range, which are popular in Asia but lesser known here. Indeed, for historical reasons, more and more people in Asia who play high-end games are mobile first, rather than console or PC gamers, delivering hours and hours of PUBG Mobile, Genshin Impact or Wild Rift.

But the problem is usually that the gaming focus of these phones tends to overshadow other apps. RedMagic phones are big, very heavy (8.28 ounces for the 7 Pro) and the fan can be noisy. The phones’ cameras have never been among the best in the world, and their Android software is sometimes not fully debugged.

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Obsidian model

The ‘Obsidian’ model shown here skips RGB lighting. (Photo: Nubia)

The RedMagic 7 Pro is available in two models, both on presale on April 22 and on real sale on April 27. The fully-featured $899 “Supernova” model has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage along with rear-mounted RGB. lights; the $799 “Obsidian” base model has 256GB of storage and no RGB lights.

We don’t always review RedMagic phones because they have so few sales in the US market and I’m not a big gamer. But I’ll look at other people’s reviews for this one; Although it’s a niche device, it’s always nice to see phones coming to the US with new ideas.

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