Review of RedMagic 5G, the first mobile phone with 144Hz screen
RedMagic 5G: is it worth your purchase?
- Spectacular 144Hz refresh rate display
- Extraordinary performance for gamers
- Decent cameras
- Heavy and robust
- Disappointing finger scanner
- Slightly customizable software
The gamers will love the 144Hz screen and the outstanding performance of the RedMagic 5G, but costs recommend it for the average user.
Retail price (RRP)
$ 579 (8GB + 128GB) | $ 649 (12GB + 256GB)
Review of RedMagic 5G, the first mobile phone with 144Hz screen
Nubia is behind RedMagic mobiles, which explains at first why these smartphones have been giving so much to talk about in recent months, especially within the world of gamers and fans of mobile games.
The company is not wasting time, and it is that only in 2019 it released three updates of the same model. It is true that the RedMagic 3S of October did not present too many novelties, but the same cannot be said of the one that concerns us here.
From the outset, the RedMagic 5G has already made history by being the first smartphone to have a screen with a 144Hz refresh rate. If we add its 5G compatibility to that, we have an ideal mobile for the gaming world , and at a great price.
A unique design (although somewhat robust)
We start with the most obvious: its design. The RedMagic 5G is available in three different colors. In my case, I have tried the Pulse model, with a red and green back. I personally prefer monochrome designs, so I go more for the Eclipse Black (black) or the Hot Rod Red (red).
Its large 6.65 ”screen will also catch your attention immediately. It is an OLED panel without a notch , but with very thin bezels. If you think that the bigger the better, you will like its dimensions, but personally I like being able to handle the mobile with one hand and with the RedMagic it is a bit complicated.
It is also a bit disappointing that the screen is not of a higher resolution (2340×1080), although it is important to say that it offers compatibility with the P3 color gamut, ideal for gaming . It is something that we find on more and more mobile phones, but that is not why it is less remarkable.
The sides of this smartphone are also full of surprises. Unlike other more minimalist mobiles, in this one you will find the Game Space slider, the volume and on / off buttons, as well as a jack port and a USB-C charging port.
You’ll also find four speakers, indicating that you can get stereo sound and enjoy it with your gaming experience . On the other hand, you will not find a dedicated button for the fingerprint scanner, since it is embedded in the screen.
As for the cameras, the RedMagic 5G has a main Sony sensor on the rear of 64 MP, which is joined by an 8 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 2 MP macro lens. At the front, instead, we have an 8 MP selfie camera.
We are not going to spend a lot of time analyzing the photographic qualities of this mobile, since it has not been designed for that, but I do want to make clear the pleasant surprise that they have resulted. Cameras are not usually the strong point of gaming mobiles , but in this case there are improvements to be highlighted.
As you can see in the Flickr photo gallery, in general terms the photos in standard mode are full of details and have a good dynamic range. Maybe they look a bit saturated, but in my opinion that helps to achieve that more professional finish.
The colors are quite true to life and the camera is smart enough to adjust to environments with different light levels and to focus the image very quickly.
I am grateful that Nubia has decided to incorporate a Night mode and a Portrait mode, especially since the latter achieves very good results. Instead, I don’t understand why the wide angle lens can only be accessed from PRO mode (although this does not affect your results).
Video recordings are more than decent, especially when shooting 4K at 60fps. The results are surprising especially when taking into account the price of the smartphone and that its target audience is not that of professional videographers.
The front camera, on the other hand, disappoints a bit more. It is true that the selfies are of a fairly good quality, as are the videos, but I would have liked Nubia to have opted for facial recognition, which we do find in cheaper models.
A beast for gamers
Granted: the RedMagic 5G was not intended for photography lovers (even if it gives good results). So who should buy it? If you have been careful, you will have already noticed that it is oriented to the gaming world .
My personal experience playing graphically demanding games has been excellent. Although with its obvious differences, it is not very different from playing any video console, and that is thanks to its screen and internal components.
On the one hand, the advantages that a 144Hz refresh rate display brings to the overall experience seem obvious. If you have been fortunate enough to try the RedMagic 3S 90Hz panel, you should now imagine an even better experience.
It is true, however, that there are still few games that currently offer support for this refresh rate. Some examples are Real Racing 3 or Arena of Valor , with which you will feel that you are more in control of the situation (and that can give you an advantage over other online players ).
On the other hand, the extraordinary Snapdragon 865 chip uses 8 GB or 12 GB RAM (to choose) to create a gaming experience that is difficult to beat. Often 12 GB on a smartphone is too much, but in this case it is appreciated.
You will notice that the fan starts up when playing, especially if they are very demanding titles, but do not panic. It is for one thing: to prevent the smartphone from overheating and ensure a more pleasant experience.
You can, if you prefer, change the settings in the Game Space, which you can access with the slider on the left side. From there you can configure your mobile to avoid any distraction when playing and enhance your gaming experience .
I have already mentioned some of the internal components in the previous section, to which we must add an Adreno 650 graphics card and a storage capacity to choose between 128 GB and 256 GB, expandable with a microSD card.
While my statement that the RedMagic 5G’s performance is excellent might suffice, it is worth taking a look at the results of the benchmarking tests we have subjected it to.
In this graph, you can see the comparison of this Nubia model with other gaming mobiles , whether from the same company or others such as Asus or Xiaomi. The RedMagic 5G is clearly the winner in all categories.
Battery life and connectivity
You will also be interested to know if the battery is up to it. After all, you don’t want it to run out after just a few minutes of play. The RedMagic 5G comes with a 4500 mAh capacity battery, which promises a lot.
The results do not disappoint when you use a refresh rate of 60Hz or 90Hz, but instead it falls a bit short with 144Hz, something that is to be expected and despite the fact that Nubia has clearly made some improvements in the software .
According to Geekbench 4, the battery has a life of 8 hours and 26 minutes. Although this is only true if you subject it to intense games without stopping (wasn’t that what you wanted it for?), An average use of the mobile will not last you for much longer either.
The RedMagic 5G supports 55W fast charging, although don’t expect to be able to benefit from this with the charger that comes in the box, which is 18W. With this, you will be able to charge 35% of the battery from 0% in half an hour.
Also, don’t expect to be able to use a wireless charger to recharge this smartphone . Personally, it is not something that bothers me too much, because I still use the traditional cable charger whenever I can, but it never hurts to have that possibility.
On the other hand, and as you may have guessed from its name, the RedMagic 5G is compatible with the latest generation of mobile telephony. I have not been able to test it, but when it reaches its potential, I am sure that the owners of this smartphone will be able to benefit. For now, with a fairly powerful Wi-Fi connection you will have more than enough.
The RedMagic 5G comes with the Red Magic OS installed on Android 10. At the moment the version for Android 11 is not available, but this is neither surprising nor backwards. The Nubia skin remains in its line, although with some changes.
To my liking, Apple’s operating system is light years away from any Android, but Nubia’s is particularly backward when compared to iOS. Its gesture navigation system is not too intuitive, especially since it is such a large mobile.
I would have preferred that there was not so much input bloatware and that you could not install another launcher other than the default one. The camera app is a bit chaotic, while the embedded finger scanner doesn’t always work well.
Price and availability
Despite all the cons, the great advantages of RedMagic 5G make it hard to believe that it only costs € 579. This price is for the model of 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The 8GB + 128GB model costs € 599 and the 12GB + 256GB model costs € 649.
All three models are available through the RedMagic website , although you should know that not all combinations are possible. That is, some colors are only available with some RAM capacity and some ROM capacity.
It is worth comparing it with other high-end gaming terminals , such as the Excellent Review of the Asus ZenFone 6 or the Razer Phone 2 . To tell the truth, there are few differences compared to these two models, so it will all be a matter of your budget.
It is undeniable that RedMagic 5G is one of the best gaming games on the market. Its 144Hz refresh rate screen and stereo speakers are everything for an excellent gaming experience, and its performance doesn’t disappoint either.
It is clear that the target audience for this smartphone is mobile game lovers, but the fact that the cameras of the RedMagic 3S have been improved already says a lot in favor of a mobile that could also be liked by the mainstream public .
Personally, I am not a fan of its design, since I prefer the most elegant and light phones like the Sony Xperia 1 II , and I would also have preferred a more worked software . However, it is difficult not to recommend it to gamers considering its attractive price.
- Operating system: Android 10 with Red Magic OS 3.1
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
- Graphics card: Adreno 650
- RAM memory: 8 GB | 12 GB
- Storage: 128 GB | 256 GB
- Display: 6.65-inch AMOLED (1080 x 2340, 19.4: 9, 144Hz)
- Rear camera: 64 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP triple camera
- Front camera: 8 MP camera
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, NFC, USB-C port, finger scanner, 5G
- Battery: 4500 mAh (55W fast charge)
- Dimensions: 168.6 x 78 x 9.8 mm
- Weight: 218g