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Nubia RedMagic 7 review: Great gaming performance with a fair price

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Despite the fact that its predecessor was released in October of last year, the Nubia RedMagic 7 packs a punch with an updated chipset that beats the iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic chip in several ways. However, the software is a disappointment.

Pros

Cons

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Android version: 12, RedMagic OS 5

 

Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)

 

Refresh rate: 60-165Hz

 

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

 

RAM: 12GB, 16GB, 18GB

 

Storage: 128GB, 256GB

 

Rear cameras: 64MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro

 

Front camera: 8MP

 

Battery: 4,500 mAh

 

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:19 (60Hz), 9:59 (90Hz), 9:54 (120Hz), 9:29 (165Hz)

 

Charging: 65W

 

Size: 6.7 x 3 x 0.37 inches

 

Weight: 7.6 ounces

 

Colors: Obsidian, Pulsar, Supernova

As it turns out, CPUs can make or break gaming PCs, and cellphones are no exception. Despite the fact that the RedMagic 7 is only a few months older than the RedMagic 6S Pro, the new model delivers much increased performance thanks to its sparkling new processor.

 

The RedMagic 7’s excellent graphical capabilities and flawless refresh rate are able to bring the mobile gaming experience to a whole new level, thanks to Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU. Nubia’s newest gaming phone, like most things in life, is not without issues. Despite its somewhat reduced battery life, mediocre cameras, and obnoxious software, the RedMagic 7 more than makes up for its flaws with its ability to speed through even the most difficult Android games.

 

In the accompanying RedMagic 7 review, I’ll explore how, despite a few flaws, this device is still a capable gaming phone. If you’re still not convinced after reading this post, take a look at our list of the best gaming phones for more possibilities.

RedMagic 7 review: Performance

 

The internal hardware of the new smartphone does an excellent job. Thanks to Qualcomm’s latest top-of-the-line chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the RedMagic 7 handles any mobile game you can throw at it with relative ease. This gadget has a 3.0GHz processor and a solid combination of RAM and storage, as well as everything you’d expect from a gaming phone, such as a built-in cooling fan and incredibly responsive shoulder triggers.

 

 

When it comes to raw power, the RedMagic 7 holds its own against some of the greatest smartphones on the market, including the iPhone 13. Here’s a closer look at how they stacked up.




 

RedMagic 7

RedMagic 6S Pro

iPhone 13

Geekbench 5 (single / multicore)

1244 / 3852

1130 / 3685

1668 / 4436

3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (Score / FPS)

10,244 / 61

5881 / 35

9331 / 56

3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (Score / FPS)

2557 / 15

1551 / 9

2189 / 13

It’s no surprise that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in the RedMagic 7 is a major upgrade over the Snapdragon 888 Plus featured in its predecessor, the RedMagic 6S Pro. The generational disparity in graphic capabilities between the two phones is immediately obvious, despite the fact that they were released only a few months apart.

 

The RedMagic 7 produced nearly twice as many frames-per-second as the 6S Pro in our graphics benchmarking tests, which were conducted using 3DMark Wild Life. It even outperformed the iPhone 13 with its A15 Bionic processor by a few frames.

 

There aren’t many times in life when you can exclusively attribute a boost in gaming abilities to better equipment. In multiple games of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, though, it was evident that the RedMagic 7’s smooth refresh rate and superior graphic rendering provided me a clear advantage over other players.

 

The device’s highly responsive shoulder triggers on the side are extremely handy in-game, allowing the phone to simulate a gaming gamepad when necessary. This even allowed me to obtain my first-ever ‘Winner winner, chicken meal’ on PUBG, something I never thought I’d be able to do on either a PC or a console.

 

However, Geekbench 5 evaluations revealed that the RedMagic 7 had a long way to go to catch up to Apple’s flagship gadget in terms of sheer computational speed. Even when compared to the RedMagic 6S Pro, the 7 delivered only minor performance increases.

The good news is that throughout your uninterrupted gaming sessions, you won’t have to worry about the gadget overheating. Even after several hours of playing Real Racing 3 and Genshin Impact, the RedMagic 7 remained at a normal temperature. This is made possible by the phone’s built-in cooling fan, which automatically turns on whenever a game is launched.

 

The RGB-clad fan serves a cosmetic as well as a practical purpose, enhancing the phone’s “gaming aesthetic” and providing it with a unique appearance that you’d expect to see on a PC rather than a mobile device. The colorful fan, though, appears to be only visible on the more expensive Supernova model, as far as we can tell.

RedMagic 7 review: Display

While the RedMagic 7’s processor has been upgraded significantly, the display appears to have remained unchanged. Nubia’s latest gaming smartphone appears to have a display that is identical to that of the RedMagic 6 and the 6S Pro. That’s not to say the display isn’t good; in fact, the 6.8-inch AMOLED Full HD panel performed admirably in all of our tests. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” as the adage goes.

 

This is how the display is compared to other phones.

 

 

RedMagic 7 (Vivid / Natural)

RedMagic 6S Pro (Vivid / Natural)

iPhone 13

sRGB (%)

214 / 114

171 / 119

110

DCI-P3 (%)

152 / 81

121 / 84

78

Delta-E

0.39 / 0.31

0.29 / 0.24

0.26

Brightness (nits)

700

696

795

 

As you can see, the difference in brightness between the RedMagic 7 and the 6S Pro displays was tiny, to the point of being non-existent. The most recent model also had a lower Delta-E color accuracy score, where 0 represents perfect color fidelity, albeit this is unlikely to be perceptible to the human eye.

 

While the RedMagic 7’s display allows you to change the refresh rate on the fly, the procedure is manual, which means you’ll have to go into your phone’s settings every time you want to move between 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or 165Hz. With the Game Space shortcut, you can modify it on the go (where you can also adjust a bunch of other gaming-specific settings). The option to modify the refresh rate at will is still really beneficial, because it means that you can save battery life by dialing down the display anytime you’re in the mood for some web surfing.

 

 

RedMagic 7 review: Battery life and charging

In terms of battery life, the RedMagic 7 lasts roughly 10 hours in our tests, depending on the refresh rate you select on the display. (In the Tom’s Guide battery life test, we set a phone’s display brightness to 150 nits and then tell it to reload web pages indefinitely over a cellular connection until it dies.) The RedMagic 7’s runtime is nearly the same as the iPhone 13’s, as shown in our comparison table below, however we couldn’t help but observe that these statistics are almost three hours less than the RedMagic 6S Pro’s.


Even if the latest model has a more energy-efficient 4nm processor, the RedMagic 7’s operating time is hampered by the fact that its battery capacity is just 4,500 mAh, compared to the 5,050 mAh of its predecessor.



 

RedMagic 7 (60Hz / 90Hz / 120Hz / 165Hz)

RedMagic 6S Pro (60Hz / 90Hz / 120Hz / 165Hz)

iPhone 13

Battery life (Hrs:Mins)

10:19 / 9:59 / 9:54 / 9:29

13:13 / 12:40 / 12:41 / 12:50

10:33

Recharge percentage (15 mins)

60

18

26

Recharge percentage (30 minutes)

95

33

51

Still, the RedMagic 7’s charging speed more than compensates for its lack of battery life. We were amazed by how rapidly we were able to charge the phone, reaching 95 percent battery capacity in just 30 minutes using the provided 65W charger. This is a much-welcomed improvement over the previous model’s charging difficulties, which limited it to a 33 percent charge in half an hour.

 

It’s worth noting that charging the phone with anything other than the phone’s native USB-C cord was a pain. I decided to save myself the trouble of seeking for the RedMagic 7’s native 65W charger by putting the phone into a random 20W Apple USB-C charger I had laying around the home.

 

I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the phone’s battery was still at 0% when I returned several hours later. I dug out the phone’s native charger after a brief panic attack spurred by the fear that I had somehow ruined the review device, and was happy to discover that it booted up in under a minute. While this may come as no surprise given that I attempted to replace a 65W charger with a 20W one, it seemed strange that the Apple cord failed to charge the phone for such a long time.

 

RedMagic 7 review: Cameras, software and other features

 

Cameras: For a brand new phone with a 165Hz display and a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, Nubia had to make certain compromises in order to keep the phone inexpensive. Unfortunately for photographers, most of these compromises appear to have had an impact on the phone’s camera system.

The cameras on the RedMagic 7 appear to do the bare minimum, like they did on its predecessors. Its 64MP back and 8MP front lenses fall short of modern smartphone camera expectations, creating shots that don’t do the device’s display credit. Without the natural tones found on an iPhone or Pixel, colours are plain boring. The focus is rather soft, and some of our test shots had slightly blurred edges.

 

It doesn’t get any better with the 8MP ultrawide camera. The 2MP macro sensor was nearly impossible to use because it couldn’t focus the camera enough to capture a quality photo most of the time. The front-facing 8MP camera takes photographs with way too much facial smoothing, however you can turn it off in the settings. In our tests, the selfies taken by the RedMagic 7 were also underexposed, unless in the most optimal lighting situations. With the best camera phones, this isn’t always the case.

 

Software: As annoying as the cameras were, the RedMagic operating system, which runs on top of Android 12, irritated me even more. The pre-installed phone themes are a little cheesy, and the user interface’s occasional mistranslations can be a pain to deal with (something we noted even back on the RedMagic 6 last year).

While the RedMagic’s gaming mode feature is great for fast switching between different programmes and settings, it’s also highly confusing and difficult to navigate and manage.

 

RedMagic 7 review: Verdict

 

If you’re searching for a phone that can handle any mobile game you can throw at it, the RedMagic 7 is a terrific choice. If you’re already familiar with RedMagic phones and are considering upgrading to the 7, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU will make the upgrade well worth your time.

 

Despite its shorter battery life, the RedMagic 7 is remarkably quick to charge, which will come in handy if you prefer to play for long periods of time. And if you can get past the phone’s clumsy user interface and lackluster camera system, it’s a fantastic device.

 

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