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nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro review: The best gaming phone just got better

The best gaming phone just leveled up
By Roland Udvarlaki July 27, 2022, 2:00 pm
nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro back panel Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow

Updated July 28 2022: REDMAGIC reached out to us to clarify that its devices receive updates every two months, in the first six months. After half a year, the smartphones are updated every three months. Regarding security, REDMAGIC says that it's maintaining its devices for 1.5-2 years, and devices will generally receive one major OS update.

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro is the latest flagship gaming smartphone from nubia’s lineup, and it’s the highest specced model to this date. It succeeds the nubia REDMAGIC 7 Pro, which was announced in April, 2022. The new REDMAGIC 7S Pro is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, 12/18GB of RAM, and 256/512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It has a 6.8-inch AMOLED, 120Hz high refresh rate display, a triple camera setup on the back, an under-display selfie shooter, and 65W fast-wired charging.

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Like its predecessor, it comes with fancy RGB lights on the back, a dedicated Red Core 1 chip, and the ICE 10.0 Multi-Dimensional Cooling system that improves the thermals. There’s also a 20,000 rpm High-speed Turbofan to keep the temperatures down while gaming and fast-charging.

Before we go any further, note that nubia sent us the Obsidian model of the REDMAGIC 7S Pro with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for testing. This review will be based on using that model, although the one with more memory and storage capacity features the same hardware otherwise.

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro

The best gaming phone just leveled up

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro is an excellent smartphone, and one of the best and most affordable gaming devices in 2022. It features an enormous, responsive display with a high refresh rate, the latest and most powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, and insanely fast charging speeds. It performs excellently under load and is one of the best devices you can consider if you want to level up your gaming.

Rating: 4/5

Pros

  • Premium feel and design
  • Flagship specifications
  • Excellent gaming features
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • All-day battery life and fast charging

Cons

  • Camera is great in great lighting conditions, but falls short in low-light and at night
  • System is missing Android 12 features
  • The speakers could have been better
  • No IP water or dust resistance
CONTENTS CLOSE

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Price & Availability

REDMAGIC S7 Pro
From left to right: Supernova, Obsidian, Mercury
Source: REDMAGIC
Color, RAM & StoragePrice (USD)Price (GBP)Price (EUR)
Obsidian, 12GB + 256GB$729£669€779
Supernova, 18GB + 512GB$899£809€949
Mercury, 18GB + 512GB$899£809€949

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro is available to order from August 9, 2022 on the official REDMAGIC website and Amazon. The company also has an early bird offer running from August 2 to August 8, 2022. You can buy a coupon for only $1, and get $30 off of your purchase.

The REDMAGIC 7S Pro will be available in the following regions:

  • North America: Canada and the United States.
  • Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Portugal, Finland, Romania, France, Slovakia, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta.
  • The UK
  • Asia Pacific: Hong Kong (China SAR), Indonesia, Macau (China SAR), Philippines, Singapore.
  • Middle East: Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
  • Latin America: Mexico and Chile

What's in the box

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro box contents include a 65W power adapter, silicone case, red USB-C to USB-C cable and a SIM ejector pin Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow

The REDMAGIC 7S Pro comes in a grey, gamer-y box with some anime characters on the side that matches the brand’s style and design. Inside the box, you get the phone, a red USB-C to USB-C cable, a SIM ejector pin, and a small box containing a transparent silicone case. You’ll also find that nubia is one of the few companies left providing a fast 65W power adapter. This is excellent since the charger can top you up in just over half an hour from 0%.

You get all of the must-have accessories inside the box

There’s nothing else in the box besides the usual paperwork and warranty information. However, I find it important to tell you that the phone comes with a pre-applied screen protector, which means that you don’t necessarily have to go out of your way and buy a case and screen protector right away, or before ordering the phone. Bonus points for that.

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Design

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro camera layout and back panel reflections Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow
  • Large, premium, and sturdy feel
  • Great gaming aesthetics and colors
  • Hard to use one-handed
  • RGB lights on the back catch a lot of attention

The design of the REDMAGIC 7S Pro is essentially the same as the REDMAGIC 7 Pro series. The device received minor adjustments to its dimensions, but it features the same chassis on the outside with some minor tweaks. The Obsidian Black looks fantastic in all lighting conditions, but it only shows off its true color in brightly lit and sunny environments. When viewed outside in the sun, the edge of the island will change colors based on how you hold the phone, and if this doesn’t shout gamer, I don’t know what does.

The phone is enormous, and very wide, and it’s not the best experience for trying to use it one-handed when out and about, but it comes in handy when rotating it to landscape to play games. Fortunately, the device isn’t too slippery and never fell out of my hands, but I opted to use the provided case for peace of mind.

The Obsidian Black looks fantastic in all lighting conditions, but it only shows off its true color in brightly lit and sunny environments

The phone is also on the heavy side, and it weighs 235 grams, which is more than your typical smartphone by about 20-40 grams, depending on the model and size. While the weight is something you can get used to, it’s also worth keeping in mind that the 5,000 mAh battery, cooling fan, and all that power make this a rather thick phone. It measures 9.98mm, and putting on the provided silicone case will make it ever so slightly thicker. As someone who is used to thick phones, this is a non-issue, but if you’re just getting into the world of gaming smartphones, it’s something to keep in mind.

Next up, let’s finally talk about those fancy RGB lights on the back. They’re easily noticeable when inside or in dimly lit environments, but don’t expect to grab a lot of attention if you’re out on a bright day. The lights are bright and visible inside, but hardly noticeable when outside.

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Specifications

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, coupled with 12/18GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256/512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The Snapdragon chips allows nubia to have clock speeds up to 3.2GHz, and the CPU and GPU efficiency is increased by up to 30%, while the GPU speeds are up by 10%.

Additionally, the REDMAGIC 7S Pro comes with a unique Red Core 1 inside. This extra chip handles all the RGB lighting, haptic feedback, and other tasks that lets the Qualcomm chip provide the maximum performance without an issue.

As with the standard REDMAGIC 7 Pro, we wish there was a faster storage option, a hybrid NVMe SSD configuration, however, we never felt the UFS 3.1 storage to be an issue, and loading was always butter smooth and fast. The storage kept up, and the memory was able to hold multiple apps open in the background without ever needing to reload them.

Categorynubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro
Operating SystemAndroid 12 & REDMAGIC OS 5.5
Display6.8", 20:9 aspect ratio, 2,400 x 1,080 (387 ppi) resolution, 120hz refresh rate, AMOLED Display, up to 960Hz Touch Sampling Rate
Processor- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
- Red Core 1 (for audio, RGB lighting, and haptic feedback processing)
Memory12/18GB
Storage- Obsidian 256GB
- Supernova/Mercury 512GB
UFS 3.1
Expandable StorageNone
Triggers520Hz touchpad dual shoulder triggers
Rear Primary Camera64MP wide, ƒ/1.8 aperture, 1/1.97", 0.7μ pixel, 26mm focal length
Rear Ultra-wide Camera8MP, ƒ/1.8 aperture, 120º field of view, 1.4.0", 1.12μ pixel, 13mm focal length
Rear Macro Camera2MP, ƒ/2.4 aperture, 1/5.0", 1.75μ pixel
Front Under-Display Camera16MP, ƒ/2.0 aperture, 1.12μ
SecurityUnder display, Optical fingerprint sensor
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC
PortsUSB 3.0 Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery5,000mAh, 65W wired charging (EU/US/UK/GL)
Water ResistanceNone
MaterialsAviation Aluminum Middle Frame, glass front and back
Dimensions6.54 x 3.03 x 0.39 inches (166.27 x 77.1 x 9.98mm)
Weight8.29 oz (235 g)
ColorsSupernova (Transparent), Mercury (White/Transparent), Obsidian (Black)
Release DateAugust 9 2022
PriceStarting at $729

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Display

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro display sunlight visibility Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow
  • 6.8-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz
  • 600-nits peak brightness
  • Immersive experience without a notch or camera cutout

In a world where 165Hz refresh rate on gaming smartphones is a thing, it might look a bit disappointing to see only 120Hz on the nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro. However, let’s not forget that refresh rate alone doesn’t make a phone enjoyable, and the software and optimization matter just as much, if not more.

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro has an enormous 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 2,400 x 1,080 resolution. It has up to 960Hz multi-finger touch sampling rate, DC dimming, and 120Hz refresh rate for that buttery smooth experience. The high touch sampling rate can be turned on in settings, and it makes fast-paced games perform more responsive. The viewing angles are great, and the panel can be further customized in the settings to suit your color preferences. I found the panel generally accurate and spot on, using the Natural Mode setting, and it didn’t induce any headaches or eye pain even when gaming for longer periods.

The phone comes with an up to 600-nits panel. It’s good enough to use in most environments, but I wish it was brighter when I went outside to game for half an hour on a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon. The image was hard to see in direct sunlight, but it was more than usable when I got into the shades.

Overall, the display was more than enjoyable, but if you often go out to play with friends or on your own, you might want to avoid brightly lit environments. Besides that, the display panel is spot on, and it’s plenty large and colorful to make all those details pop with gaming or multitasking.

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Cameras

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro camera layout and back panel reflections Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow
  • Great daytime image quality
  • Low-light, macro, and night photography could be better
  • Portrait and selfies are decent in good lighting conditions

Gaming phones usually don’t prioritize cameras, and as a result, they usually end up pretty bad. In the case of the REDMAGIC 7S Pro, it’s surprisingly good, but only when there is plenty of light. The camera’s performance is nearly identical to the one we’ve seen on the REDMAGIC 7 Pro, and the phone also packs the same entire setup on the front and back.

Unfortunately, there’s still no telephoto sensor to be found, and we only have a primary shooter, an ultrawide, and a 2MP macro sensor for close-up objects. The ultrawide shots also lack dynamic range and tend to be less colorful than the primary camera.

In good lighting conditions, the detail, contrast, exposure, and colors are usually pretty good, but all change drastically when the sun goes down. The dedicated Night Mode feature does help brighten things up a little, but the results aren’t exactly great. The colors are washed out in low light and at night, and the sharpness also takes a hit. There’s also a lot of noise, and focusing can be challenging.

The macro shots and portraits are great when there’s plenty of light, but this, too goes downhill in low light.

The selfie camera isn’t great either. In brightly lit environments, the colors are washed out, the sharpness is non-existent, and it lacks a lot of detail. In normal lighting conditions, it’s actually not too bad, and it’s more than usable, but that story once again changes in dimly lit environments where it’s not great.

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Camera samples

Daytime

Selfie

Portrait & Macro

Low-light

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Software

  • The software is getting better, but it’s still not customizable and problem-free
  • Excellent gaming features and controls
  • Limited customizability

The review sample provided by nubia was running the pre-released firmware version, which contained bugs. We have reached out to nubia with feedback and will update this article once we hear back from the company.

The REDMAGIC 7S Pro is running REDMAGIC OS 5.5, based on Android 12. My review unit was also on the June 1st security patch. If the past is any indication, this phone will not be getting regular updates like other flagship smartphones from well-known manufacturers, which brings me to my first issue.

The REDMAGIC 7S Pro has excellent and powerful hardware, but the pre-released software still has some bugs and issues that need to be ironed out.

The REDMAGIC 7S Pro has excellent and powerful hardware, but the pre-released software still has some bugs and issues that need to be ironed out. Given that this is a flagship smartphone from a well-known company, I’d expect regular and up-to-date security patches and more frequent OS updates.

The one frustrating issue I encountered was with the display. The brightness slider was constantly going up and down. It’s worth noting that I was using a pre-released device and software, and it may be fixed by the time the device becomes available, but as it stands, the brightness went all the way down randomly when I was in brightly lit places.

That’s not all; the phone is based on Android 12, but Material You is nowhere to be found, and the launcher and built-in themes don’t allow me to express my gamer side. While the phone feels relatively stock, it’s missing basic Android 12 features. I hope this can be fixed later, as I would love to see a more personalized device, without requiring to download a third-party launcher. Gamers also like to change more than just the wallpaper and lock screen, and having the option to change icons, UI colors (using the Material You theming engine), and more would be beneficial in the long run.

Besides the missing Android 12 functions, the phone packs a lot of features, including the option to control and turn on the fan, customize the lights on the back, and even a gimmicky heart-rate sensor built into the fingerprint sensor. The primary reason why I’m calling this a gimmick, is because it’s not accurate when compared to an Apple Watch, or an actual heart rate measurement tool. I wouldn’t rely on this, but it could be a neat party trick to get things moving.

Overall, the software was a mixed bag, but I experienced fewer issues than I did on the REDMAGIC 7 Pro. The phone felt smooth and fluid most of the time, and the 120Hz display was always a pleasure to use. Bugs that existed on the nubia REDMAGIC 7 Pro are gone and as a result, I had a lot more fun using this phone for gaming, working, and scrolling away.

Gaming & Game Space features

The gaming performance of the 7S Pro is mind-blowing, and if you’re looking for the best possible gaming experience on a smartphone, then this is it. Games have never been as smooth as on the REDMAGIC, and this new model once again proves that gaming phones have a market for hardcore gamers. Those who strive for the highest FPS counters that money can get will love this phone.

Those who strive for the highest FPS counters that money can get will love this phone.

The handset also has Game Space built-in, including resource monitoring, changing display profiles to enhance the color and vibrancy of the panel in certain titles, various plugins, and many other options for setting up the 520Hz dual shoulder triggers. Adding games to Game Space is easy, and accessing the settings while playing was only a swipe away. There are a lot of neat and cool features built-in, most of which will come in handy for gamers and those who want full control over how the games are displayed and played.

The built-in fan can spin at 20,000 RPM, and while it’s rather loud while in use, it can help bring down the temperatures quickly in just a few minutes. The fan can also turn on while fast-charging the phone at 65W, which is especially helpful for increasing the battery's lifespan. If you’re conscious and want to try keeping your battery in the best shape and condition, you’ll also be glad to know that “Charge Separation” is still here. For those unaware, this feature lets you plug your phone into a power source, and power it off of it. This way, the phone will not rely on the battery; its main power source will be the power adapter. There are many more settings for changing the color of the RGB lights on the back, and these can be customized for charging, incoming calls, notifications, alarms, and more.

Haptics

The haptics on the REDMAGIC 7S Pro is just as good as it was on the REDMAGIC 7 Pro, and it made games feel more immersive. The haptics can make or break a phone, and I’m really happy to confirm that it’s more than enjoyable on the 7S Pro.

Speakers

The speakers, on the other hand, deserve their own section, and unfortunately, it’s not because they’re so amazing. In fact, it’s the opposite. The speakers are usable and can be enjoyable when playing games or watching movies and videos at medium volumes, but I expected a lot more punch and bass out of them on maximum volume.

It also doesn’t help that the bottom-firing speaker is much louder than the one in the earpiece. The unbalanced speaker will hopefully be fixed, but it’s worth noting that a similar issue was present in the REDMAGIC 7 Pro. While you can enjoy listening to music, there’s a 3.5 mm headphone jack for a reason, and I’d recommend investing in wired or wireless Bluetooth earbuds instead.

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Battery life

  • The battery can last for a full day with light gaming, or 2-days on a single charge with medium use
  • Can game for long hours on a single charge, and charge separation is great to protect the battery from overheating
  • 65W fast wired charging speed is still insanely fast

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro might not be a battery champion when compared to a few other recent gaming smartphones, but it still comes with a respectable capacity. It has a 5,000 mAh battery, and it supports the fast 65W charging technology that was also supported on the REDMAGIC 7 Pro.

I’ve used the device only with 120Hz enabled the moment I took it out of the box, and I was able to make it through a full day on a single charge, even when I used Google Maps for 2 hours to navigate, 1-hour of social media, and 1.5 hours of playing games. I’ve also used the camera on the side, and made a few calls to family and friends. By the end of the day, I was still at 45%, and I wasn’t in a rush to put the phone on charge, since it can top up in just about 37 minutes (from 0%).

I was able to make it to the next day on multiple occasions on a single charge, and the REDMAGIC 7S Pro, once again, completely changed my habit of how often I was charging my smartphone. The fast charging is a game changer, and I only put it on a quick 20-minute charge when the battery was at 45%. I only charged it up when I planned to go out, and even then, a quick 15-minute charge was able to juice the phone over 80%.

Unfortunately, there’s still no wireless charging on the REDMAGIC 7S Pro, but given how fast the wired charging speeds are, that’s something that I’m willing to accept and live with.

REDMAGIC 7S Pro: Should I buy it?

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro back panel Source: Roland Udvarlaki, Pocketnow

Buy it if…

  • You want one of the best-performing gaming smartphones
  • You want to take your gaming to the next level with RGB lights, a fan, and shoulder triggers
  • The battery life is important, and fast-charging is a must-have
  • You don’t want to take a lot of photos, especially at night or in low-light
  • You need all the performance you can get under four figures

Don't buy it if…

  • You don’t play a lot of games
  • You want a phone that you can use with one hand
  • Water and dust resistance are a must-have

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro feels like a minor improvement over the REDMAGIC 7 Pro, and the “S” branding makes a lot of sense here. It received a slightly better cooling system, an even more powerful chipset, and some software enhancements, but it’s still very much the same device.

That being said, there are a few notable improvements on the software side, and I’ve encountered fewer issues this time, and it’s clear that nubia is trying to solve the problems.

I’m also happy to see that the price has remained the same, and it’s still one of the most affordable and accessible gaming smartphones on the market. There are many other gaming phones, such as the ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro, but it also costs flagship smartphone prices, and adding an extra $200 might not be worth it, depending on what kind of user you are.

If you’re looking for a powerful and long-lasting gaming device that is also an excellent smartphone for multitasking, scrolling away on social media, and taking pictures every once in a while, then the nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro is undoubtedly an excellent device.

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro

nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro

The best gaming phone just leveled up

The nubia REDMAGIC 7S Pro is an excellent smartphone, and one of the best and most affordable gaming devices in 2022. It features an enormous, responsive display with a high refresh rate, the latest and most powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, and insanely fast charging speeds. It performs excellently under load and is one of the best devices you can consider if you want to level up your gaming.

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