Here’s a phone maker you don’t hear about very often: Nubia. Formerly a subsidiary of ZTE, the now independent company will be releasing the brand new Nubia Red Magic 3 gaming smartphone in Malaysia soon, and it’s a very interesting device.
Not only is it powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, the Red Magic 3 also has a fast 90Hz display, a built-in physical cooling fan (we kid you not), and a RM2,199 price tag. Needless to say, it offers great value for money.
If you’re looking to get the Red Magic 3, here’s what you need to know about Nubia’s latest gaming phone.
As a gaming-centric smartphone, it’s no surprise Nubia put a lot of focus on the Red Magic 3’s cooling performance. As mentioned, complementing the phone’s liquid cooling system is a built-in fan, which should come in handy to cool down the phone in prolonged gaming sessions.
Would it result in noticeably better thermal performance? Well, we’ll have to test it out for ourselves once we have the Red Magic 3 in for review. Chances are, it wouldn’t be game-changing, but we’ll reserve judgment until we’ve tried it out.
Another interesting hardware of the Red Magic 3 is its 90Hz display. It’s a 6.65-inch 2340 x 1080 AMOLED HDR-capable display, and it doesn’t have any notch or hole-punch cutout to distract your viewing experience. Instead, it has small bezels at the top and bottom of the display.
If the OnePlus 7 Pro and Asus ROG Phone‘s 90Hz displays are any indication, the Red Magic 3’s fast display should be very pleasant to use and game on. You’ll definitely notice the difference in fluidity compared to a conventional 60Hz screen.
As mentioned, under the hood of the Red Magic 3 is a fast Snapdragon 855 chipset. It’s the default SoC for flagship smartphones this year, and paired with 8GB of RAM, you won’t have any performance issue with this gaming smartphone.
But the Red Magic 3 won’t be a gaming smartphone if it doesn’t have any gamer-centric feature. Beyond the fast display and built-in fan, this phone also has two capacitive shoulder buttons on the side. In fact, this is very similar to the ROG Phone’s AirTriggers, which will be very useful in shooters like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite.
If there’s any reason to get the Red Magic 3, it would be for these shoulder buttons. Oh, and perhaps for the phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack and huge 5,000mAh battery too – it should be able to return very good battery life.
And then we have the Red Magic 3’s design language. While the front design is relatively conventional, the rear panel looks a lot more aggressive; there’s even an RGB strip to complete the look. It’s unmistakably a gaming smartphone, that’s for sure.
In the camera department, the Red Magic 3 has a 48MP f/1.7 sensor, and…that’s it. In a market dominated by smartphones with multiple camera sensors, it’s interesting how Nubia is sticking with only one camera module for this phone. Then again, it is marketed as a gaming device; it’s inevitable that non-gaming aspects of the Red Magic 3 won’t get as much emphasis.
For selfies, this phone has a 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera.
The Nubia Red Magic 3’s combination of flagship-tier hardware and competitive price tag make it a really compelling high-end smartphone. According to DirectD, the 128GB variant of the phone with 8GB of RAM will be arriving in Malaysia on 21 June for RM2,199.
At this price point, there are not many phones that can match the Red Magic 3’s feature set. Yes, there’s the much more affordable Xiaomi Mi 9, but it doesn’t have a 90Hz display or capacitive shoulder buttons; features that are appreciated by mobile gamers.
As far as 2019 gaming smartphones are concerned, the Red Magic 3 is arguably the most interesting one yet – even in comparison to the Black Shark 2 – thanks to its competitive pricing and good hardware. It’ll be interesting to see how the Red Magic 3 will stack up to future smartphones in this segment, especially once Asus takes the wraps off the ROG Phone 2.