Nubia Red Magic: ZTE Answer To Xiaomi's Black Shark Official

Nubia Red Magic rear view

Gaming phone seems to be the latest trend when it comes to Android these days, although it is yet to catch up with the display notch that is currently plaguing the market. Following the launch of Xiaomi's Black Shark last week, ZTE today has unwrapped its first gaming smartphone under its Nubia brand in China to heighten the competition called Red Magic. The phone promise upper-class gaming at a reasonable price.

The Red Magic design language shows it mean business. Covering the back is a triple anodized aviation-grade aluminum with a customizable RGB LED stripe vertically laid at the center. The strip can produce 16.8 Million different colors of lighting effects when the phone is active. ZTE has chosen to use last year Snapdragon 835 processor for its gaming device instead of the newer Snapdragon 845, this does not only affect the CPU but also the graphics in terms of performance considering the old Adreno 540 GPU comes integrated as well.

To minimize heat during heavy gameplay, the Red Magic uses an air-cooling system with nine heat dissipating chambers marked out on the phone aluminium back plate for even heat distribution across the surface. To remind you, the Black Shark uses water-cooling system. There is a dedicated gameboost button at the side of the phone that enables performance mode when pressed.

ZTE Nubia Red Magic front view

The Red Magic features a 6-inch Full HD+ 18:9 display and thankfully there is no notch. The RAM and storage configurations are 6GB+64GB and 8GB+128GB depending on buyer's preference, both models however lacks MicroSD expansion slot. Photography is handled by a 24MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera, the former having an f/1.7 aperture and the later an f/2.0 aperture.

There is a 3.5mm audio jack onboard which should appeal to many. The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box and is backed by a 3800mAh battery.

Nubia Red Magic Specifications

  • 6-inch 2.5D curved glass display with FHD+ (2160x1080) resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 64-bit 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, Adreno 540 GPU
  • 6GB / 8GB RAM
  • 64GB / 128GB built-in storage (non-expandable)
  • 24-megapixel rear camera, f/1.7 aperture, twin-tone LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera, f/2.0 aperture, 76.9-degree wide-angle lens
  • OS: Android 8.1 Oreo, Red Magic OS
  • Fingerprint sensor (rear)
  • DTS Audio, TAS2555 Amplifier
  • Dual SIM
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11ac (dual band + 2x2 MU-MIMO), Bluetooth 5 LE, 4G VoLTE, 3G, GPS/A-GPS + GLONASS, NFC, USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 3800mAh, fast charging
  • Dimensions: 158.1 × 74.9 x 9.5~6.85mm
  • Weight: 185 grams
  • Color(s): Red, Black

The 6GB RAM+64GB storage and 8GB RAM+128GB storage versions are priced at CNY 2499 ($398) and CNY 2999 ($477), respectively. The Red Magic will be available from April 25, pre-order begins today.
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