Nubia Red Magic 5G Review: The Best Mobile for Gaming?

Nubia Red Magic 5G Review: The Best Mobile for Gaming?

Not every phone is meant for gaming. Nubia opted to fill this gap by providing a gaming phone at a reasonable price. Starting at $579, the Red Magic 5G is making headlines worldwide as one of the best gaming phones on the market. If you're a gaming fanatic, you’ll want to know what this phone offers and if it lives up to the hype. Well, here’s a closer look at the features and specifications of the Nubia Red Magic 5G smartphone.

Nubia Red Magic 5G: Key Features

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G octa-core 2.84GHz processor

  • 6.65-inch FHD, AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz

  • A choice of 8Gb or 12GB RAM

  • Storage of 128GB or 256GB, expandable

  • Triple-lens camera with a 64MP main camera

  • 8MP front camera

  • 4500mAh battery

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Nubia Red Magic 5G: Design and Display

The phone’s display is large, measuring 6.65 x 3.08 x 0.40 inches. The front and back panels of glass sandwich a metal frame, with the backside gently curved. You get a triple-lens camera, a big 5G logo, and a prominent X across the back. A strip of breathing LED lighting runs down to the logo at the bottom of the phone. You can customize the LED to light up when you get notifications or pulse along as you play games.

At the top edge of the Red Magic 5G, you get a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. At the bottom, there's a USB-C charging port, dual-SIM slot, and speaker. On the right, you get touch-sensitive triggers, a volume, and a power button. The phone has grilles on both sides to let hot air out, a feature that comes in handy when playing resource-hungry games.

You need to be careful when handling the phone though since it's quite slippery. While the phone comes with a screen protector already installed, you’ll need to buy your own case separately. The Red Magic 5G comes in eye-catching color combinations, which is a welcome diversion from conventional phones. There's a choice of Hot Rod Red, Eclipse Black, and Pulse (a blend of metallic red and blue).

The huge 6.65-inch AMOLED display screen features a 144Hz refresh rate, and it's probably the first smartphone to accomplish that. The fast refresh rate ensures smooth gaming, especially in fast action games. You can also choose the 60Hz or 90Hz refresh rates to conserve battery.

Screen resolution comes in at an unusual number: 2340 x 1080. Despite that, it's quite sharp, with amazing color accuracy, making it pleasant to look at. However, there seems to be an issue with the fingerprint sensor, which took several attempts to unlock.

Note that the phone has extra vents to support the cooling system. This means that using the phone around wet stuff (like the bathroom or kitchen) is a no-no.

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Nubia Red Magic 5G: Performance

Red Magic 5G uses the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G octa-core 2.84Hz processor, giving it plenty of power to handle just about any game. It’s the same chipset found in Samsung S20 Plus and is expected to feature in many flagship phones this year.

You can choose the 8GB RAM, 128GB (UFS 3.0) storage at $579, or upgrade to the 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage at an additional cost of $70 to pay $649. With such top-notch specs, you can expect the phone to tackle any heavy-duty tasks without breaking a sweat. The big RAM ensures the phone is capable of holding several applications, including games, in memory. This means you can jump from one game or app to another at lightning speeds.

Given the phone’s performance, we can confidently say that it can keep up with premium, high-end phones like iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, but at half the price.

Nubia Red Magic 5G: Battery

The phone ships with a 4500mAh battery, enough to handle all the tasks, plus games, and still save some juice at the end of the day. On normal use, you can expect the phone to last more than a day and a half. However, some settings can drain the battery faster. For instance, switching the screen refresh rate from the default 90Hz to 144Hz puts a substantial amount of pressure on the battery. Still, in this setting, you can get a cool five hours on full-time gaming sessions.

When it's low on juice, you can recharge it with an 18W charger that’s supplied. It also supports a 55W charger (sold separately), that can charge it from zero to 100 percent in just 35 minutes! 


The Red Magic 5G is a gaming phone, which means it ships with a dedicated launcher for games, dubbed Game Space. There’s a switch on the side of the phone, which, when flipped, displays a collection of your games.

If you swipe in from the right edge, you get a panel with options to customize your chosen game, such as record videos, take snapshots, boost CPU and GPU performance, change the screen refresh rate, etc.

The touch-sensitive shoulder buttons are a delight to use. You can map these buttons to suit your preferences and specific game configurations. The cooling system is autonomous and decides when to turn on and how fast to spin, based on the phone’s temperature. On intense gaming, the phone may feel warm. It never got to the point of being uncomfortably warm.

When it comes to audio, the phone offers stereo sound. But, you may want to use quality headphones for a better experience. The phone vibrates when playing, making the game more immersive. Sadly, support for this feature is only limited to certain games.

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Nubia Red Magic 5G: Cameras

The Red Magic 5G is integrated with a triple-camera stack, sitting flush on the back. You get a 64MP primary lens, with an ultra-wide 8MP lens and a 2MP macro lens. At the front, you get an 8MP selfie camera. All lenses have an f/2.0 aperture.

Generally, the camera's performance is average, and to get the best shots, you will need good light. Photos taken in low light were of poor quality, with lots of noise distortion. Most images lacked the fine detail you’d expect from cameras on high-end phones.


Overall, the Red Magic 5G smartphone is great in performance when it comes to gaming. If you're a serious gamer, you’ll find this phone quite powerful. The battery life is also great, meaning you can enjoy your game all day without recharging every few hours.

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