Android Central Verdict
The latest internal specs, combined with an excellent active cooling system, make the RedMagic 7S Pro the fastest phone I've ever used. The software has also matured to the point where I could recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new flagship phone.
Incredibly well built
Bright, notchless, AMOLED display
Built-in active cooling
Red Core 1 gaming co-processor
UFS 3.1 storage speeds
Gaming design cues may be polarizing
Cameras are only average
No IP rating
No wireless charging
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Gaming phones are a niche market. You can play every game available in the Google Play store on almost every currently available phone, and even titles like Genshin Impact play "good enough" on mainstream devices like the Galaxy S22.
The key to the success of any gaming phone isn't how well it can play games — and the RedMagic 7S Pro plays them like no other I've ever seen — but how well it can do everything else. Most of us aren't going to buy a separate phone for gaming, and we do plenty more than play games on the one phone we have.
This is how I reviewed the RedMagic 7S Pro — considering the performance in all areas, including the actual software powering it all.
RedMagic 7S Pro: Price and availability
The RedMagic 7S Pro will be released for Western markets on August 9, 2022. There will be what Nubia is calling an "Early Bird Offer" direct from their website from August 2 to August 8, 2022.
The pricing starts at $729/€779/£669 for the Obsidian model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the Mercury and Supernova models with 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage will be priced at $899/€949/£809.
The phone will be available at launch from the company's website, and will be available from Amazon on the August 9 hard-launch date. Additional accessories such as cases, screen protectors, and a stand-alone "Turbo Cooler" will also be available at launch.
RedMagic 7S Pro: Hardware and design
Predictably, the RedMagic 7S Pro looks a lot like the RedMagic 7, and it shares many of the same internal parts. The unit we received for review is the Supernova variant, with 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It also features a semi-transparent design that emphasizes the 20,000 rpm RGB cooling fan and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, paired with Nubia's Red Core 1 gaming co-processor.
All versions of the 7S Pro feature the same Snapdragon SoC and gaming chip, as well as the "Ice 10.0 Multi-dimensional Cooling System," which is a long descriptive name for a forced-air vortex duct active cooling system, which is also a long descriptive name. It has an air inlet, a high-speed fan, and an exhaust duct that forces air across the specially designed cooling chamber.
It works and you can easily see it working when playing intense games by turning the fan off for a few minutes.
In addition, all models come with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, a 6.8-inch 1080x2400 pixel 120Hz AMOLED display, Wi-FI 6, and global 5G support. The full specs follow.
|Category||RedMagic 7S Pro|
|Display||6.8 inches, FHD+, 20:9, 2400x1080, 120Hz, AMOLED, 700 nits|
|Operating System||Android 12, Magic OS 5.5|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|GPU||Magic GPU: Adreno 730 with frame stabilization system|
|Cooling||ICE 10.0 Multi-dimensional Cooling|
|Rear Camera 1||64 MP, f/1.8|
|Rear Camera 2||8 MP, f/2.2|
|Rear Camera 3||2 MP f/2.4|
|Front Camera||8 MP, under display|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GSM/CDMA/LTE/5G, USB-C, HDMI & DisplayPort via USB C|
|Audio||Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, 32-bit/384kHz audio|
|Battery||5,000mAh dual-cell Li-Po|
|Dimensions||166.3 x 77.1 x 10 mm (6.55 x 3.04 x 0.39 inches)|
|Weight||235 grams (8.29 ounces)|
There is a lot to like here. The active cooling system works exactly as described, and while you can hear the fan when it's running on high, it's worth it when you're playing a game. Keeping the SoC cool means it's less apt to throttle and slow down. A drawback is the lack of water resistance, though, because you have open holes and exposed parts under them.
The display is awesome, and while it's listed at 700 nits, it is readable in the July sunshine in the Washington, DC area. It might struggle in Florida or the Sahara, though.
The battery life is good. You can make it last the whole day unless you're sitting around playing games for hours on end, but if it does get low, the included 65watt GaN fast charger will top you up quickly.
Like the RedMagic 7, the display features a 720Hz response rate for touch, with a pair of 520Hz shoulder triggers for gaming. The in-display fingerprint sensor works as advertised and can also measure heart rate.
You'll find a slider on the frame of the device, and while it resembles a mute switch, it's not. Toggling it takes you into Game Space mode, where options for things like screen recording and per-game settings, as well as a full plugin library to help you get gud.
The speakers are plenty loud and besides having support for aptX Bluetooth codecs, it also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
All of these gaming features carry into the look of the phone itself. Our review unit is the Supernova variant, which features a grey and black color palette, complete with transparent sections and a digital camo look for the center insert.
A lot of people are going to love the way it looks, and a lot of people aren't. It's gamey, that's for sure and the audience it's marketed towards will largely appreciate the phone's styling.
RedMagic 7S Pro: Performance
The RedMagic 7S Pro is fast. It is fast when playing games. It is fast when using the browser. It is fast when scrolling through social media. It's always fast.
That doesn't mean there aren't a few issues worth talking about, though, and lets get those out of the way first.
The worldwide edition is a 5G phone, but it is not a US carrier 5G phone. That means it might not have full support to use your carrier's 5G network everywhere.
The phone supports 5G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 41, 77, and 78. AT&T, for example, uses bands 5, 77, 78, 260, and 261. Verizon uses bands 2, 5, 66, 77, 78, 260, and 261. The phone is compatible with some of those bands and should have 5G service in areas where they are in use. (Note: I'm not trying to explain SA/NSA or band designation here. Just compatibility.)
In my case, T-Mobile uses bands 41, 71, 260, and 261. A quick look shows that there is only one compatible 5G band (n41) and it's not active in my area, so the 7S Pro is an LTE-only phone. If band n71 were supported, I would have excellent and fast 5G coverage. Your mileage will vary unless you live next door to me.
If you're outside the US, you'll have much better 5G support. Our 5G rollout is just as fragmented and bad as the 4G rollout was here in the states. If you're unsure that the 7S Pro supports what you need, call your carrier and they can tell you before you buy the phone.
I also had an issue initially provisioning the phone for the T-Mobile network, but that was quickly resolved by contacting customer support. If you buy the 7S Pro and something network-related is not working correctly, contact your carrier and they should be able to provide a quick fix.
The software is much improved and Magic OS has come a long way since I first looked at the RedMagic 6. There are still plenty of grammatical and spelling errors, but everything is easy to understand; for example, I have seen "continu" in several dialog boxes and instantly knew it meant "continue."
The silver lining here is that the company has promised three full years of support and in the past two weeks I have received two major software updates.
I hate saying this, but I need to address it — Nubia is a division of ZTE and these phones are designed, assembled, and 100% produced in China. ZTE was in hot water with the U.S. over its affiliation with the Chinese government, as well as selling American-made equipment to Iran and North Korea. The company has since been put on probation and restrictions have been lifted.
If you're uncomfortable using a product from a company with this sort of history, this is not the phone for you. I will admit I have some concerns over ZTE's past transgressions at the corporate level, but I see no indication that the 7S Pro is doing anything different than any other phone. And yes, I checked.
Now for the good, and there is a lot of it.
I don't say this because I'm in love with the way Nubia has done Android or because I like things with RGB fans. I say it because this phone is blazin' fast and you can buy it for $729.
The phone does all the same things every other Android phone does, and it does them well. Maybe you don't like the included gallery app or note-taking program (two of the apps I don't particularly like). Both apps are still fully functional and easy to replace with your favorite from the Play Store.
The OS isn't filled with bloat and tweaks like many other phones from China can be, and it feels a lot like the software from a company like OnePlus or Motorola. Most importantly, in the two weeks I've been using it, I have never seen it bog down. I can't say that for any other phone I've ever used.
Just because some folks like to see numbers, I ran a few benchmark tests. These do not tell the real story, and you should never put much stock in what a benchmark app has to say. Have a look, though.
I was most curious about the tweaks and additions to the GPU so I ran 3Dmark first. It has a number there and I am sure it means something to someone, but what's worth seeing is what else is there. The "regular" 3D Mark Wild Life test was maxed out and the application was unable to score the phone, suggesting I run the Extreme test that warns you how most phones can't complete it.
It completed, and the RedMagic 7S Pro scored higher than every single iPhone 12 Pro Max in the application's database. The same goes for every Galaxy S22, and for every other phone it listed. I was unable to pick and choose how it was compared, so I have no idea how the iPhone 13 Pro Max fared against it.
I was able to find out that my phone did better than 80% of all devices, which includes some very crazy and custom devices and software configurations.
Geekbench tells a similar story. The 7S Pro scores higher than every other phone the app lists in both single and multi-core testing.
I still say benchmarks are almost worthless when it comes to knowing how well or how poorly a device will run. For a gaming phone though, I figured people wanted to see some. It's too bad AnTuTu went to the dark side and was pulled from Google Play with all of Cheetah Mobile's other apps. Otherwise, I'd have included it here, too. I have a feeling the results would be similar.
Benchmarks aside, you'll appreciate how well the 7S Pro does anything and everything you ask of it. It has decent cameras, good battery life, acceptable software, and a true active cooling system. It even has a headphone jack.
RedMagic 7S Pro: Competition
The obvious competition is the ASUS ROG 6 Pro. In some ways, the ROG 6 Pro is the better phone. In other ways, the RedMagic 7S Pro is the better phone. This will all come down to personal preference, or possibly benchmark scores if you're into that.
One area where things don't compare is the pricing. The ASUS ROG 6 Pro starts at €1,299 ($1,355) for the single 18GB/512GB variant, which is a good bit higher than the 7S Pro's €949 ($899) price.
Outside of the gamer space, there are plenty of other phones you can buy that are probably fast enough for everyone. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is certainly a fine phone, as is the Pixel 6 Pro. One is more expensive while the other is less expensive, but these models are comparable products with a much better camera, and possibly a better user experience.
RedMagic 7S Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You are really into mobile gaming
- You want one of the fastest phones money can buy
- You want a phone with the very latest components
- You want a flagship phone with a headphone jack
- You want everything above at a great price
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- The camera is what is most important to you
- You need a "waterproof" phone
- You hate big heavy phones
- You want wireless charging
- The looks turn you off
The RedMagic 7S Pro is the first phone from the company that I feel comfortable recommending to "non-gamers." It's crazy fast, has a bright and beautiful display, passable cameras, and a great price.
It's not the phone for everyone. In fact, if I read this review and hadn't tried it, I might think it wasn't a good fit for me — there are no bezels to speak of, I really like wireless charging, and usually prefer smaller phones that fit better in my shirt pocket.
But I did get to try it, and I can say that all the pros far outweigh the cons for me. I still believe I'll keep my current phone for at least another year, but if I were in the market to buy something new, I would definitely have the RedMagic 7S Pro on my radar. It's like nothing I've ever used before.