nubia red magic 3

Gaming smartphones have led the push towards higher refresh rates in the last year or two, with the feature now available on mainstream flagship devices. But Nubia still thinks there’s room for improvement, as it’s announced the Red Magic 5G.

The latest device in Nubia’s gaming-focused line offers a 144Hz refresh rate that bests the 120Hz rate seen on recent Samsung and Asus phones. Furthermore, the phone also packs frame-rate interpolation tech to artificially boost content to 144 frames per second. Otherwise, the Red Magic 5G offers a 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with slim bezels and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The best gaming phones also feature extra inputs, and the Red Magic 5G features two capacitive shoulder keys akin to the Asus ROG Phone series at first glance. It’s a little disappointing that we don’t see physical buttons here, but it should still be handy for emulators, shooters, and other games. Other gaming additions include “4D vibration,” and a hardware switch to enter gaming mode.

A gaming focus, but what else?

The Nubia Red Magic 5G.

It wouldn’t be a gaming flagship if it didn’t offer flagship silicon, but Nubia has you covered with a Snapdragon 865 chipset featuring NSA/SA 5G capabilities. And the firm has also implemented a fan and liquid cooling of sorts for sustained performance. As for RAM and storage, you’re getting 8/12/16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

The Nubia Red Magic 5G also sports a 4,500mAh battery with 55W charging. In fact, Nubia says 15 minutes of charging will give you 56% capacity, while a full charge only takes 40 minutes.

Red Magic 3S lower half of rear design 16x9
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Don’t expect the most impressive rear camera setup here, but the device features a 64MP main camera (IMX686), an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP macro camera. Selfies are handled by a modest 8MP shooter.

Other notable specs include a dock connection on the side of the phone for accessories, a 3.5mm port, USB-C connectivity, stereo speakers, and Red Magic OS atop Android 10.

Red Magic 5G price

The Red Magic 5G is listed at a starting price of 3,799 yuan (~$544) for the 8GB/128GB model in China. This makes the phone more expensive than the entry-level Black Shark 3 but cheaper than the base Black Shark 3 Pro.

Would you buy a gaming smartphone over a regular flagship? Give us your thoughts below.