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ZTE Nubia Red Magic


ZTE Nubia Red Magic
ZTE Nubia Red Magic (Nubia Series)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998) 8 x 2.5 GHz, Kryo 280
Graphics adapter
8 GB 
6.00 inch 18:9, 2106 x 1080 pixel 394 PPI, glossy: yes
128 GB eMMC
Card Reader: undefined, Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/), Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.5 x 158.1 x 74.9 ( = 0.37 x 6.22 x 2.95 in)
3800 mAh
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Primary Camera: 24 MPix
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix
185 g ( = 6.53 oz / 0.41 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)



Average Score: 69.25% - average
Average of 8 scores (from 9 reviews)
price: 70%, performance: 75%, features: - %, display: 85% mobility: 85%, workmanship: 75%, ergonomy: - %, emissions: - %

Reviews for the ZTE Nubia Red Magic

75% Nubia Red Magic review: A phone fast at running games but that is all
Source: India Today English version
Therefore, it becomes difficult to recommend the Nubia Red Magic over the others. Maybe the Red Magic Mars with a Snapdragon 845 and capacitive touch triggers should have been the phone Nubia should have brought to India at this stage. Nonetheless, It’s a good start for Nubia and I expect them to compete with the established ones more aggressively.
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 01/15/2019
Rating: Total score: 75%
Nubia Red Magic Mars hands-on: Best budget gaming phone?
Source: Android Authority English version
That’s it for now! We’re looking forward to giving the Red Magic Mars a much longer look in a full review very soon, but for now, be sure to let us know what you think of Nubia’s latest.
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 01/09/2019
70% Nubia Red Magic Review
Source: NDTV Gadgets English version
We think the Nubia Red Magic will appeal to people who want to show off. You can certainly play games very well, but that doesn't make this phone better than other options at its price level. That's primarily because the processor is now almost two generations behind the curve, and we think a lot of people appreciate dual cameras on a premium device. As for the LED strip and styling, we don't see much value in them. Sure, they look good, but they serve no purpose and in some ways are actually detrimental to the overall usage experience.
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 01/07/2019
Rating: Total score: 70% price: 70% performance: 80% display: 90% mobility: 90% workmanship: 70%
61% ZTE Nubia Red Magic Review
Source: Think Digit English version
As much as the design would have you believe you’re holding a gaming smartphone, the performance would leave a lot to be desired. While the phone is built to look like a through and through gaming phone what with RBG lights and air vents, the phone shows its true self when you are actually playing a game. Unless you are buying this phone to play low-end games, this won’t really cut it. In fact, phones like the Poco F1 and the Asus Zenfone 5z and even the Nokia 7 Plus handles gaming much better. If you are planning to spend Rs 29,999 on a phone to play games, there are much better options to go for, just that they won’t be as good looking.
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 01/02/2019
Rating: Total score: 61%
60% ZTE Nubia Red Magic review: Gamers weapon of choice
Source: Gadgets Now English version
At the price of Rs 29,999, the smartphone offers good value ..
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 12/19/2018
Rating: Total score: 60%

Foreign Reviews

70% Nubia Red Magic: lo smartphone da gaming che non vi svuoterà il portafoglio
Source: Italian IT→EN version
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 10/28/2018
Rating: Total score: 70%
78% Nubia Red Magic: La Recensione Dello Smartphone Gaming
Source: Italian IT→EN version
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 10/19/2018
Rating: Total score: 78%
70% Test du Nubia Red Magic : le smartphone gaming sans se ruiner
Source: French FR→EN version
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 10/24/2018
Rating: Total score: 70%
70% Test Du Nubia Red Magic : Les Led Rendent Tout Plus Puissant... Ou Pas
Source: Frandroid French FR→EN version
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 09/29/2018
Rating: Total score: 70% performance: 70% display: 80% mobility: 80% workmanship: 80%


Model: Gaming, a whole new era created by our generation. Parents use to try keep their kids away from their screens, but now they are in our pockets and there is no escape from them. We used to check / test gaming laptops, trying to figure out which has the best design and specs and now today the same applies to smartphones.

What changed over time is hardware. Current hardware has become mainstream and therefore it is hard to find a very distinguishing device from others in the market. The term differentiation could only be supported by design, led lightning etc.

Now, what I have is ZTE's newest device, Nubia Red Magic. For some ZTE was going to bankrupt due to some issues with US authorities, luckily they are back with an interesting device for your eyes.

As I mentioned earlier, hardware became so common that we see the same chips on every other phone. ZTE preferred to use a Snapdragon 835, a chip from last year. However, there is one difference: It is a overclocked version, which is cool. Equipped with 8 GB of RAM it delivers a proper performance for gaming. But it is not the hardware that makes the difference here, it is the design. The Nubia Red Magic has a cool led panel on its back. Does it make a huge difference? Of course not and it actually adds a small bump on the back. Because of that it is better to place screen looking down on flat surfaces.

So why is the Nubia Red Magic an interesting device? Sure there are competitors like Razer Phone 2 or Asus ROG Phone. The trick is the pricing. While both Razer and Asus cost about 700-900$, Nubia is tagged almost half of the price. Maybe they could have picked a better screen since you won't be always in dark places, but I see it as a trade off.

Software is specially changed for gaming needs. A few animations have been added to give you the real gaming experience. The led can be configured for different needs. The device comes with a cooling mechanism, but I am not sure how effective it is. It still gets warm a bit.

My overall experience is why not? I mean if you are looking for a new device and want to have something cool, shiny with a led on its back the Nubia Red Magic is a go. If you are looking for a cheap gaming phone that will still deliver the Nubia Red Magic is still a go. The main difference compared to all other high-end devices is that with the gaming phones cooling becomes a factor. No matter how long you play, the device has to be kept cool most times. Nubia seems to manage this somehow. Still, it is better to check additional benchmarks. As I said, software is optimized and modified for gameplay, therefore you get stable FPS values during current popular games and with additional software updates it shouldn't be a problem for future games as well.

My only concern about this device is the chip. Since it is from last year (yes it is a bit overclocked, but still) I am not sure how long it will stay current and when you will need a new device.

All being said, if you are serious about mobile gaming (not laptops of course) and care about your budget the ZTE Nubia Red Magic is a good alternative that you should consider.

Hands-on article by Ümit Yılmaz Güneş

Qualcomm Adreno 540: Integrated graphics card in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. Slighly optimized architecture compared to the Adreno 530 but with higher clock speed due to the new 10 nm process. In the beginning of 2017 one of the fastest graphics cards for Android based smartphones.

Non demanding games should be playable with these graphics cards.

» Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Graphics Cards and the corresponding Benchmark List.

SD 835: High-End SoC for smartphones that was introduced in early 2017 and manufactured in 10 nm LPE FinFET at Samsung. Integrates 4x Kryo 280 at 2.45 GHz (max) for performance and 4x Kryo 280 at 1.9 GHz (max) for efficiency. Furthermore offers an X16 LTE modem, ac-WiFi and a dual-channel 32-Bit 1866 MHz LPDDR4x memory controller. » Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Processsors.


It is a very small display format for smartphones. You should by no means be mis-sighted and you will generally see very little on the screen and only have a small resolution available. In return, the device should be very small and handy.

» To find out how fine a display is, see our DPI List.


ZTE is short for Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company Limited, which was founded in China in 1985 and is partly state-owned. ZTE's core business is wireless, optical transmission, data transmission equipment, telecommunications software and cell phones, USB sticks, routers and tablets.

69.25%: This rating is poor. More than three quarters of the models are rated better. That is rather not a purchase recommendation. Even if verbal ratings in this area do not sound that bad ("sufficient" or "satisfactory"), they are usually euphemisms that disguise a classification as a below-average laptop.

» Further information can be found in our Notebook Purchase Guide.


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Current Prices
Stefan Hinum (Update: 2018-10-29)