The gaming smartphone market is still a niche demographic, but it’s become an increasingly powerful one. The 2019 arrival of the Red Magic 3 sets the bar high for all contenders with its reasonable price point, impressive specs, and a bevy of extra features.
We were excited about the arrival of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, but we weren’t prepared to see it arrive on a sub-$500 device so soon. However, an affordable Snapdragon 855 offering isn’t the only first the Red Magic 3 brings to the table. Packed on board is an internal cooling fan, the first we’ve seen on a smartphone and perfectly suited for keeping this superpowered baby chill on long gaming sessions or show binging. The device also sports 8K recording and a 90Hz refresh rate.
The Red Magic 3 sets the bar high for gaming smartphones.
The device offers a sharp display, crisp graphics, snappy interface, and a screen big enough to bring your digital adventures to life.
Pulling no punches, the physical aesthetic of the Red Magic 3 calls to mind the stylings of high-end gaming PCs. Unlike those hulking bedroom or office fixtures, this striking mobile entertainment center is readily accessible wherever you are. It’s truly strange times when this is a selling point, but the 3.5mm headphone jack ensures you can dive into full immersion with whatever audio equipment you have on hand, and the capacitive shoulder buttons make any control scheme easily adaptable.
The Red Magic 3 is clearly built with gamers in mind, and the available peripherals speak to that. An “esports” dock snaps conveniently to the smartphone, providing a charge in addition to keeping the device propped in an easily playable position. This dock also has additional ports handy for controllers.
What’s even more interesting is the hints we’ve heard of an upcoming “Red Magic Handle,” which appears to provide Switch-style physical buttons on the go.
What’s under the hood, though?
Down to the nitty-gritty. In our extended review of the device, we described it as an “absolute beast” for its price range, and that holds true.
The Red Magic 3 sports a Snapdragon 855 chipset powered by 8-12GB of RAM. These components are kept nice and frosty thanks to an active liquid cooling system and a physical internal fan for extended play sessions. The battery is a 5,000mAh offering that can fully recharge in a little over an hour, thanks to the 18W charger that comes with the device. On the software side, the Red Magic 3 cruises along on Android 9.0. Internal memory, 128-256GB.
In full gaming mode, these specs and battery give you 5 hours of crystal clear, high-powered gaming. When not on a virtual binge, you still have enough fuel to last all day long and into the next in times of typical use.
Bring your digital adventures to life!
In our review, one of the few alleged “drawbacks” pointed out include the device’s expansive screen real estate, which some users might consider too big. However, if you’re in the market for a gaming smartphone, there’s little chance you’re looking for something small. The 6.65-inch AMOLED screen is just right for anyone used to a larger device. It’s still pretty slim too, with a matte-finished aluminum build clocking in at 171.7 x 78.5 x 9.7mm, 215g.
Concessions frequently have to be made in design, so after experiencing all of this power, display, and affordability, we expected the Red Magic 3 to skimp in the camera department. Not so.
The Red Magic 3 sports a 48MP f/1.76 aperture rear camera capable of 8K video capture and a 16MP front-facing camera, making it a competitive offering on the photography side as well. Unless you’re a professional photographer — who would probably be better off with a dedicated camera anyway — you’ll get everything you need from the Red Magic 3 in terms of color balance, sharpness, and contrast. The stock camera software also comes with a variety of extra features including Long Exposure, Multi Exposure, and Slo-Mo.
We expected the Red Magic 3 to skimp in the camera department. Nope.
The Red Magic 3 is a profoundly solid device impressive both inside and beyond its price range, bringing competitive specs and gamer-tailored extras to a growing demographic of users. If you’re ready to stop settling for lackluster mobile gaming and overpaying for specs, grab your Red Magic 3 by clicking the button below!