As the gaming culture is becoming popular in India with multiple gaming competitions happening across the national and global level, there are only a few smartphone players trying their hands specifically on making dedicated gaming smartphones. Among them, there are brands like Asus, Xiaomi, Razer and now Nubia has also unveiled its latest smartphone which claims to be the new gaming beast.The new Red Magic 3 boasts several features that are claimed to be the world’s first such as 8K video recording, built-in fan, 90Hz refresh rate. It comes in two storage variants, 8GB RAM+128GB internal storage and 12GB RAM+256GB configuration — priced at Rs 35,999 and Rs 46,999 respectively. We tested the 8GB RAM+256GB storage variant (that comes in a combination of black and red colour) to know how appealing the device can be for gamers and here’s how it fared during our review.
The smartphone with a massive and hefty look comes with a 6.65-inch display. It has metallic built with a matte finish along with slim side bezels and an 80.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. Upfront, there is a selfie camera on the left. A headphone jack is placed on the top edge, dual front-facing stereo speakers at the bottom along with USB Type-C port. The SIM card tray is on the left side with dock pin, game mic and game boost mode button. The volume keys and the power button is placed on the right side. It has a triangular back panel that tapers to a point, where users will also find the RGB LED strip. The strip can pull off all kinds of neat effects controlled in the settings, though it isn’t particularly bright during the day. The fingerprint sensor is placed below the rear camera in a diamond shape cutout with flash on the top. You will find the brand logo at the bottom. The device isn’t that heavy but one can comfortably hold the device only using with both the hands. The feel and texture make the device look premium and has a somewhat futuristic appeal for the right audience.
Red Magic 3’s 6.65-inch display sports a full HD+ HDR AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The screen size is beautifully huge for gamers. The plus point is that the display is protected by a layer of 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. One of the USP of the device is the 90Hz refresh rate that Asus ROG and OnePlus 7 Pro users will also find it in their device. Most phones have a 60Hz refresh rate, where the screen refreshes 60 times every second. With a 90Hz refresh rate, that jumps to up to 90 times a second. That, in turn, means smoother interactions in just about every app as the screen dynamically changes the refresh rate, as well as better gameplay. In Red Magic 3 only a few games actually support this feature. The device runs Google’s Android 9.0 Pie operating system (OS) and the user interface was mind-blowing.
The device runs Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset that almost every other flagship smartphones in 2019 are using, which is applaudable to get it at this price range, which can be paired with up to 12GB RAM (We tested 8GGB RAM variant). But as it’s a gaming-centric device, there’s more to performance than chipset and RAM. It is the first smartphone in the world to use a fan-based cooling solution along with the liquid cooling system. The vents, placed in between the rear camera and fingerprint sensor, suck in air and throw it out to keep the temperatures under control for uninterrupted gaming sessions. We experienced heat from the device while gaming rigorously, but turning the fan to Turbo mode cooled down the device, which is very interesting. These passive cooling systems typically contain a heat pipe with a liquid inside that helps keep the CPU cool, features a state-of-the-art liquid cooling technology with an internal turbo fan. The 4D Vibration completes the package as it delivers better vibration feedback response. The device includes a fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and the ambient light sensor. The device has a dedicated Game Space, which can be accessed by the Switch button. Game Space is a gaming-focused dashboard that organizes and quick-launch games, fine-tune performance settings and fan speeds, monitor temperature and usage stats in real time, block notifications for uninterrupted gaming, record in-game videos. The fingerprint sensor, as well as the face unlock worked perfectly well. No lag was found even after running multiple apps in the background which also included heavy games such as Asphalt 9 and PUBG.
On the camera front, the device sports a single 48MP Sony IMX586 rear sensor with f/1.7 aperture that is capable of recording 8K resolution videos at 30fps. The pictures clicked in the daylight delivered vibrant colours and lots of details. However, in certain situations, the sensor lacked to manage exposure and it lacks a secondary camera option. Pictures clicked in the low-light condition were not up to the mark as it lacked detail as we found that the preview on the camera was better than the final result. On the front, there is a 16MP selfie shooter with f/2.0 aperture and 2.0-micron pixel size. The performance of selfie shooter was decent. Red Magic 3 is the first smartphone camera capable of recording videos in 8K resolution and 1920 fps super slo-mo recording — the ability to shoot slow-mo clips. We found the video performance of the smartphone to be good. However, we feel that expecting great results from this camera may disappoint you.
With 5,000mAh massive battery, Red Magic 3 seems perfect for hardcore gamers as it is a basic need for a gaming-centric smartphone. If you compare it with Asus gaming smartphone ROG phone, priced at Rs 69,999, it had 4,000mAh battery whereas this device has more than that at just almost half price. On normal use, which included light games, video streaming, 5G, music, the phone lasted around two days. While playing heavy games, it lasted for a day. The device also supports up to 27W quick charging. If took only an hour for us to charge the device.
There are few things which one may feel missing in this device such as lack of water resistance and wireless charging. However, we think that the device isn’t outstanding but can give a tough competition to other gaming-centric smartphones. Also, at this price point, the device features more pros than cons.