Tested; REDMAGIC 8 Pro | game beast

With its futuristic fonts, angles, and fan, it’s hard to take the REDMAGIC 8 Pro seriously at first glance. This phone built for video games is nevertheless a monster of power, whose photo quality has improved enormously and which offers unbeatable value for money.

WE love

It has now been four and a half years since the Chinese manufacturer Nubia, a former subsidiary of ZTE, launched the first smartphone designed for video games with the bold bet of including a small fan. So here we are in 2023 with the REDMAGIC 8 Pro which has kept the original concept while smoothing out some flaws.

No doubt when you turn it on, you have in your hands a device first devoted to video games. That’s good, the phone is the favorite console of 52.7% of gamers, according to a recent study. We first smile at the graphics chosen for the REDMAGIC 8 Pro, all in bright colors and square numbers worthy of a computer from the 1980s. In plain view on the home page, we have an icon to start the small fan rotating at 20,000 revolutions per minute to cool the phone during games that are too demanding or ultra-fast charging at 65 watts.

The charger is included, a too rare flower. The battery peaks at 6000 mAh, enough to provide two days of normal use without fear. In a few hours of play or when recharging, we detected some heating of the hull, but nothing excessive.

We have a small red switch on the right side: we activate it and we enter an interface grouping all the games offered on the device, after having been treated to an explosion of laser rays on the screen, as it must.


A menu on the REDMAGIC 8 Pro

The 6.8-inch-diagonal display is super high-caliber, AMOLED at 120Hz refresh rate, 1 billion colors with 400 ppi resolution and a peak 1300 nits. The screen sensitivity is 520 Hz, while almost all phones display rates between 120 and 300 Hz. For action games requiring quick responses, this phone is very agile.

Our benchmarking platform Geekbench 5 has a first surprise in store for us: it’s our first Android phone that shakes the dominance of the iPhone a bit, at least in terms of processor power.

For selfies and video conferencing, there’s a 16 MP front lens hidden under the screen. It gives well-defined images with bright colors, but is not a champion for contrasts. Same observation for the three rear cameras, a 50 MP wide-angle, an 8 MP ultra wide-angle and a 2 MP macro: we have a very satisfactory rendering with good brightness, but rather average contrasts and images faded inside.

Unlocking is done smoothly with the fingerprint reader hidden under the screen or facial recognition.

Let’s not forget the other flower with gamers who are wary of wireless: we kept a 3.5 mm socket.

We love less

The REDMAGIC 8 Pro has been lightened compared to its predecessor, 228 g instead of 238 g, but it remains a somewhat clumsy phone, very square and thicker than average.

We won’t claim to have noticed any glaring differences, but Nubia has chosen to revise certain technical specifications of the previous models downwards. The touch sampling rate has been increased from 960Hz to 520Hz, wide-angle from 68MP to 50MP and the base model’s RAM from 16GB to 12GB.

The overlay for Android 13 developed by Nubia is sloppy in French, while there are some menus in English.

No magnetic charging here, and no water or dust resistance rating.

Its availability in Canada is limited to the Nubia website.

One buys ?

For gaming, the REDMAGIC 8 Pro is arguably the best Android phone on the market, and at a very competitive price. If this use is your main criterion, no doubt, it’s a good choice.

However, it lacks the finish and software additions to compete with higher-end models. His vocation and his looks related to video games will obviously not appeal to everyone.


Maker : Nubia

Price : US$649 (C$869, 12GB+ 256GB Matte model) and US$799 (C$1070, VOID, 16GB+ 512GB model)

Note : 8 out of 10

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