Exploring the Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro: Most Powerful Smartphone?

Today, we will explore the all-new Red Magic 8S Pro, a fresh gaming smartphone featuring exciting new technology. The tagline for this gaming smartphone is “Join the Winner’s Circle,” where everyone will presumably showcase their exceptional PUBG skills. However, the standout feature of the Red Magic 8S Pro is its powerful brain – it runs on a specially overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which, let’s admit, was already impressive.

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Dimensions76.35 x 163.98 x 8.9 mm
Weight228 g
System on Chip (SoC)Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (SM8550-AB)
CPU1x 3.32 GHz Cortex-X3, 2x 2.8 GHz Cortex-A715,
2x 2.8 GHz Cortex-A710, 3x 2.0 GHz Cortex-A710
GPUQualcomm Adreno 740, 680 MHz
RAM8 GB, 12 GB, 16 GB 4266 MHz
Storage128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
Display6.8 in, AMOLED, 1116 x 2480 pixels, 30 bit
Battery6000 mAh, Li-Polymer
Operating System (OS)Red Magic OS 8.0 (Android 13)
Other Namesnubia Red Magic 8S Pro, nubia Red Magic8S Pro
Specification Overview of Red Magic 8S Pro

Design of Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro

Red Magic 8S Pro

Let’s discuss the design of the Red Magic 8S Pro. It’s an absolute slab, resembling a solid brick with no curves in sight. The device features a massive 6.8-inch display with slim bezels, making it visually appealing.

Changing to a lighter wallpaper allows for a clearer view of the screen without significant bezels. The Red Magic 8S Pro, despite its hard edges and corners, maintains a slender profile, making it comfortable to hold.

The device feels substantial and well-constructed, boasting an aluminum frame and a metal back. It comes in three design options: black, silver, or transparent. I have the silver model, and the brushed metal finish exudes a smart and sophisticated look. It stands out with its unique aesthetics, a refreshing change from overly flashy gaming smartphones.

The shiny surface tends to pick up fingerprints and smudges easily, so regular cleaning may be necessary. Additionally, the device incorporates subtle RGB lighting, which is not overly conspicuous unless you’re in a dark environment.

Furthermore, the Red Magic 8S Pro is built with Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the display. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an IP rating for water and dust resistance, which is unsurprising given its numerous exposed vents.

REDMAGIC Operating System

Red Magic 8S Pro

The software on the Red Magic 8S Pro runs Android 13 with the Red Magic OS layered on top. Fortunately, the Red Magic Launcher doesn’t heavily modify stock Android. You’ll still find the Apps Tray for organizing your applications and the Google Discover feed. Notably, you can access the notification bar and quick toggles from anywhere on the screen.

You’ll notice changes in the overall appearance of Android, particularly the gamified app icons. The Red Magic OS includes specific game-related widgets for adjusting the refresh rate, enabling the cooling fan, and changing the cooling mode. The Red Magic 8S Pro’s UI allows for extensive customization, including animations, wallpapers, icons, and the illuminated light strip, which can even serve as a notification indicator. You can also customize the sound effects when the fan starts.

If you’re inclined, you can further tweak the interface according to your preferences. Alternatively, you can add your own sounds. When you’re ready for some mobile gaming, activate Game Space by flipping the red switch.

Game Space

Red Magic 8S Pro

The Game Space serves as a hub for all your gaming activities. You can quickly access your downloaded games and adjust game settings here. You can see how much time you’ve spent playing these games and customize various settings, down to the wallpaper. However, you can’t modify settings while playing a game.

Inside Game Space, you can interact with Maura, Red Magic’s anime mascot. You can take pretend photos with Maura, have her strike various poses, and even make her stand on her head. There’s also a feature where Maura can wish you a happy birthday.

Let’s now enter a game, like Genshin Impact. While in the game, you can swipe to bring out the Red Magic Game Toolbar, which provides various features. You can block notifications, boost screen brightness, monitor CPU and GPU performance, and even record your gameplay. There’s more hidden under the toolbar, including the ability to toggle performance modes. For demanding games like Genshin Impact, you can choose the high-performance mode, while for simpler games like Wordle, you can opt for the eco mode.

Haptic Triggers

To begin, activate the triggers. After that, drag and drop the icons to specify which on-screen buttons you want to connect to the triggers. Besides the single-tap option, there are other choices available.

For example, with a quick tap on the left shoulder button, a special attack is performed. Similarly, tapping the right shoulder button executes a normal attack. These shoulder triggers have a response rate of 520 Hertz and function well. A quick tap results in instant action.

When you use these triggers, you’ll experience general haptic feedback from the system, and the haptic feedback in general works effectively with supported games. The screen is highly responsive, with a touch sampling rate of 960 Hertz. You can also manually adjust sensitivity in the game settings.

Display and Audio of ZTE Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro

Red Magic 8S Pro

The display is a 6.8-inch AMOLED panel with a 20:9 aspect ratio, typical for a gaming smartphone. It boasts a 2480 x 1116 pixel resolution, ensuring a sharp and clear visual experience. This screen is considered a full-view display because it lacks a notch or any camera openings, providing an uninterrupted view when gaming. They achieved this by placing the selfie camera under the display, and the implementation is so well done that you need to crank up the brightness and squint to even notice it. It’s a bit like those classic Magic Eye paintings that require careful observation.

The display remains clear even when viewed from an angle. When gaming, you won’t notice the camera at all. In my experience, I didn’t see it during gaming or while watching Netflix. The rest of the screen is equally impressive—it’s bright and vibrant, making it suitable for outdoor gaming unless you’re in extremely bright conditions.

The screen also supports a 120Hz refresh rate, providing a smooth gaming experience. While it’s not as fast as some rivals, like the Rog Phone 7 Ultimate with its 165Hz refresh rate, it’s still quite smooth and satisfactory for most users.

As for the audio, the Red Magic 8S Pro features stereo speakers with full DTS X Ultra support. The audio is powerful and loud, although the clarity could be better. It offers a reasonably stereo speaker experience, even though the speakers don’t directly face you. If you want a more immersive stereo effect, there are options available. You have an enhanced headphone jack at the top, which seems to work like any other headphone jack. Additionally, there’s Bluetooth 5.3 support for wireless headphones or speakers.

Geekbench Benchmarks

Many top gaming smartphones in 2023 ran on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, including the Red Magic 8S Pro. It’s like an upgraded version of the original Gen 2, with a higher clock speed for the prime core at 3.36 gigahertz and improvements to the Adreno GPU.

Red Magic 8S Pro: Geekbench Benchmarks

The Upper model comes with a massive 16GB of RAM, while the base model has 12GB. In Geekbench tests, it scored 1731 for single-core performance, not too impressive, but its multi-core score of 5712 beats other Gen 2 phones, including Samsung’s similarly overclocked S23 devices. The Red Magic 8S Pro performed brilliantly in gaming tests, maintaining a stable frame rate even with the graphics settings maxed out in Genshin Impact, thanks in part to the maximum performance mode.

ICE 12.0 Cooling System: Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro

Red Magic 8S Pro: Cooling

When you set the performance mode to the maximum in the game settings, it’s important to ensure that the Red Magic 8S Pro stays cool during extended gaming sessions. Nubia has upgraded the cooling system to Ice 12.0. This new system features a fresh duct structure and a graphene layer beneath the display to help maintain performance when the phone is charging. It largely remains similar to the previous system, including an internal fan capable of reaching 20,000 RPM, with input and output vents. Additionally, there’s a sizable vapor chamber and copper components.

While the back of the phone may become slightly warm when running Genshin Impact at maximum graphics settings for an hour or two, it’s nothing that significantly affects performance. The fan is impressively quiet, and you can only hear it when there’s no ambient noise, and you’ve turned the phone’s volume all the way down. It’s exceptionally quiet compared to some older gaming phones. The only situation where it might slightly disturb someone is if you’re gaming in bed next to a very light sleeper who’s sensitive to background noise.

Battery Life

The Red Magic 8S Pro comes with a massive 6,000 milliamp-hour battery, similar to its predecessor. You can enjoy approximately four to five hours of continuous Genshin Impact gameplay, even on maximum performance settings, before the fully charged Red Magic 8S Pro needs a recharge. If you’re playing less demanding games like Call of Duty or PUBG, you can expect even more hours of gameplay.

Charging the Red Magic 8S Pro while playing Genshin Impact is not recommended, as it could affect your gaming experience. However, with games like Call of Duty or PUBG, it’s not as inconvenient because you don’t necessarily need the device on maximum performance settings.

Unfortunately, the USB charging port is located at the bottom, so if you’re charging and gaming simultaneously, you’ll need to adjust your hand positioning for the cable to fit comfortably. As for storage, you can choose from 256GB or 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, but there’s no option for microSD expansion, leaving room for only a couple of SIM cards in the SIM tray.

Camera Setup

Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro: camera setup

The camera setup on the Red Magic 8S Pro consists of three lenses, with a 50-megapixel Samsung GN5 sensor leading the way. The camera app offers a pro mode for those who want to tinker with settings and shoot in raw format. Additionally, you have AI features and a couple of extra camera modes, including a night mode for long-exposure shots and a portrait mode to create a pleasing background blur.

In the video modes, you can record at up to 8K resolution, thanks to the capable Snapdragon chipset. However, when using the in-display selfie camera, there are some limitations. The image clarity is somewhat lacking, and video quality tops out at full HD resolution. This results in slightly muted visuals, which might not be a bad thing when capturing images of faces.

Conclusion on Nubia Red Magoc 8S Pro

Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro

In a nutshell, the Red Magic 8S Pro is a powerful device, perfect for those who love gaming for extended periods, particularly Genshin Impact enthusiasts. It packs impressive technology with very few compromises. However, the camera performance isn’t outstanding, but honestly, no one’s purchasing this device for its camera capabilities. People choose it because it’s a robust and cost-effective gaming phone compared to alternatives like the Asus Rog Phone.

Nubia Red Magic 8S Pro

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