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Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro hands-on review: Even more bonkers

The Nubia RedMagic 7 was one of the first smartphones featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system on a chip to debut in the U.S. The Pro variant has now hit the shelves with the same processor, display, and camera, as well as a bunch of internal upgrades to help you game better. If you are someone who is in the market for a gaming smartphone, the RedMagic 7 Pro is here to grab your attention.

RedMagic 7 Pro design: It’s a looker

RedMagic 7 Pro cooling fan running.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

I consider gaming smartphones to push the limits of what a rectangular slab of a smartphone is capable of looking like. The RedMagic 7 Pro is no different.  My unit, dubbed the Supernova, features a transparent design at the back, while the front houses an under-display selfie shooter – both of which make it a unique proposition.

The transparent design at the back isn’t boring. It details the insides to keep things interesting. For instance, you’ll find things like the “20,000 RPM Max fan,” “AirInlet,” battery capacity, and other things printed inside the case. Like the RedMagic 7, the cooling fan is also visible here and the RGB lights kick in when it is turned on.

With a flat frame and a curved back, the RedMagic 7 Pro is easy to hold for everyday tasks as well as gaming. It doesn’t sacrifice functionality or comfort (like a typical gaming phone might) as both go hand in hand.

On the front lies a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate (down from 165Hz on the RedMagic 7) and a 900Hz touch sampling rate (up from 720Hz from the vanilla variant). It has the same FHD+ resolution (1080 x 2400). The display looks even more gorgeous because there is no hole-punch cutout or a notch. The 16MP selfie camera sits inside the display, making it one smooth glass panel without any obstructions.

I enjoyed watching content on the RedMagic 7 Pro. The display is bright and colorful, with good color reproduction, which makes for a satisfying overall experience — whether it be gaming or just browsing through apps or streaming content. It gets bright enough to be viewed comfortably directly under the sun.

Incredible performance

RedMagic 7 Pro with charger and wire kept on table.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The RedMagic 7 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, paired with 16GB/18GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB/512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. While the chipset is flagship-grade, it is known to get a bit warm during intensive tasks.

I ran Battlegrounds Mobile India (PUBG), Call of Duty: Mobile, and Asphalt 9. All of these games ran without any trouble. The smartphone was able to run BGMI at Extreme frame rate with UHD graphics. Not many smartphones are capable of doing it — even the Galaxy S22 Ultra faced hiccups running BGMI.

The gaming features don’t end at the top-of-the-line hardware. Nubia has put a dedicated Red Core 1 gaming chip inside the RedMagic 7 Pro. The chip basically helps to operate mobile gaming functions that aren’t directly related to graphics or higher frame rates like processing audio, RGB lighting, and haptic feedback. The cooling fan, paired with air vents. allowed me to play games for 30 minutes straight without the phone getting considerably warm.

There is also a red-accented switch that turns on the gaming mode, which brings up a carousel of games that you can switch between to select the game you want to play. The shoulder trigger buttons with a 500Hz touch sampling rate can also be configured from this menu.

As Adam Doud explained in his RedMagic 7 review, the shoulder triggers allow you to aim anywhere on the screen by simply dragging a target over the desired control in the game. You get seven different configurations that can be saved for each game. Moreover, there’s a plug-in library that can enhance your gaming experience.

While gaming, you can access the game control panel by swiping in from the bezel in either of the upper corners of the screen. The panel includes screen recorders, performance monitors, and a wealth of other functions. This is one of the most elaborate and feature-rich gaming modes I’ve ever used on a smartphone.

When you have exhausted your 500mAh dual-cell battery, it can be charged with the 65-watt GaN charger, which is bundled inside the box. It can be charged to over 50 percent in under 20 minutes. The charger can also be used to power up laptops, tablets, and battery packs.

The RedMagic 7 Pro runs RedMagic OS 5.0 based on Android 12. It doesn’t come with a whole lot of bloatware and features no app drawer by default. However, there is an option that lets you toggle the app drawer, so you can turn it on if you want apps to be arranged well. You can read Doud’s RedMagic 7 review for a deeper dive into the software.

Not everything is excellent

RedMagic 7 Pro cooling fan running.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

Most gaming phones aimto be a beast in the performance segment with confident hardware, while other things including the camera take a back seat. The RedMagic 7 Pro is no different. The optics seem like an afterthought. And I’ll have to reiterate what we mentioned in our RedMagic 7 review.

The pictures clicked via the 64MP primary camera in daylight are perfectly usable on social media. The camera is adequate in a well-lit environment. However, once the sun goes down or you enter a lowlight environment, it starts struggling. The 8MP ultrawide camera also struggles to capture detailed shots.

While there is no telephoto lens, you get the option to take photos at 2x, 5x, and 10x zoom. But the zoom functionality isn’t up to the task.

The story continues with the front camera. The under-display feature looks good on paper but you are let down by the functionality. The images clicked by the 16MP selfie shooter are noisy and grainy, especially in indoor lighting. I hope Nubia figures out a way to put cameras under the display while also maintaining the quality of photographs.

Overall, the cameras have a lot of room for improvement and I’ve used smartphones with better optics but worse gaming performance in the range.

Pricing and availability

RedMagic 7 Pro kept on its packaging on a table.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The RedMagic 7 Pro is available for order starting April 27 from the official RedMagic website. It will sell all around the world, including much of Europe, North America, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East. The Supernova variant with 18GB RAM and 512GB storage will set you back at $899, while the Obsidian model with 16GB RAM and 256GB memory will cost you $799.

Is the RedMagic 7 Pro any good?

While there are many options at $899 (including the OnePlus 10 Pro, Pixel 6 Pro, and the iPhone 13) for traditional smartphones, there is hardly any gaming-focused smartphone. If you are a mobile gamer who wants to play games at the highest settings without any hiccups, the RedMagic 7 Pro is for you.

Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
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