Android Central Verdict
The RedMagic 8S Pro is a value-packed gaming phone with all the latest internals and loads of memory to compute anything and everything, all at once without breaking a sweat. From heavy gaming to productivity, there's nothing this phone can't handle. You get one of the most advanced cooling systems in the mobile phone segment, and superbly responsive shoulder triggers for immersive gaming. The cameras are alright, but the fact that you get a headphone jack and killer battery specs coupled with Dolby DTS:X sound knock it out of the park. The RedMagic 8S Pro is not without flaws, but the biggest question is whether you should buy it or not.
Insanely overpowered SD 8 Gen 2 with Red Core 2 coprocessor
16GB RAM and 512GB internal storage
520Hz shoulder triggers and 960Hz display touch sampling rates
ICE 12 Multidimensional Cooling System includes several layers of cooling mechanisms, including RGB fan
Business casual, sleek design with a touch of customizable RGB
Ultra-crisp 120Hz 1300 nits super bright AMOLED display, unmarred by a notch
Fantastic 6,000mAh battery with 65W wired charging
Stereo speakers with Dolby DTS:X sound and headphone jack
Latest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips
No IP rating or wireless charging
Only one major platform update
Trashy front camera
Squared corners can be a bit uncomfortable after a while
Why you can trust Android Central
Seems like RedMagic has made it a goal to make the most overpowered gaming phone on the market. The brand regularly pushes the limits of what's possible in the best sense, and we have seen it come a long way over the years.
We just saw the redesigned RedMagic 8 Pro hit global markets in January, and there's already a newer, more beefed-up version of the phone available. As I've already tested the 8 Pro, I found it hard to discern the differences between the newer 8S Pro model and its older sibling.
The RedMagic 8S Pro spec sheet is nearly word-for-word identical to the 8 Pro. Only a keen eye would catch the few differences between the two gaming phones. Are there any worthwhile changes in the newer release? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Price and availability
The RedMagic 8S Pro is available in three colors, two of which are solid and one is transparent. There are almost no differences between the Red Magic 8S Pro and the 8 Pro, except for minor tweaks in the design and select memory variations. You get to choose between the Platinum, Aurora, and Midnight colorways.
The Platinum and Aurora RedMagic 8S Pro models come with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the Midnight variant comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
You can purchase the device from Amazon or RedMagic directly. Be prepared to spend $649 on the Midnight finish, $779 on the Platinum option, and $799 on the see-through Aurora variant with maxed-out specs.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Fantastic for gaming and heavy use
There's no beating around the bush; the RedMagic 8S Pro is an absolute champ of a gaming phone. It's a beast for the purpose it was created to fulfill. The phone is equipped with a mighty 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, and the latest version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
This new-fangled variant isn't very different from the silicone in the 8 Pro; it just clocks at an ever so slightly higher speed. That's more than enough speed, power, and space to store and run all your favorite games.
|RedMagic 8S Pro
|RedMagic OS 8.0 based on Android 13
|6.8-inch 120Hz FHD (2480x1116) AMOLED, 400 ppi, 1300 nits, 93.7% screen-to-body ratio, UDC, Gorilla Glass 5
|ICE 12 Cooling System
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Red Core 2 (dedicated gaming chipset)
|256GB/512GB UFS 4.0
|Rear camera 1
|50MP, Samsung GN5, f/1.88 (wide)
|Rear camera 2
|8MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 13mm, 1/4.0", 1.12µm (ultrawide)
|Rear camera 3
|2MP, f/2.4 (macro)
|16MP 2nd generation under-display camera (UDC)
|In-display fingerprint sensor, face unlock
|Dual speakers, Dolby DTS: X Ultra sound, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3 gaming mics
|6,000mAh dual-cell battery, 65W super fast charging
|Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 7 802.11b/g/n/ac/ax/be (Tri-band 2.4G, 5G, 6G), dual SIM, NFC
|163.98 x 76.35 x 9.47mm, 228g
|Platinum, Aurora, and Midnight
|RGB gaming lights, 520Hz shoulder triggers, heart rate detection via fingerprint sensor
What more could you ask from a perfectly capable gaming phone? The RedMagic 8S Pro anticipates your needs and wants and then some. You get highly responsive 520Hz shoulder triggers and a display that's even more responsive, with a 960Hz touch sampling rate. The USB-C port supports DisplayPort connectivity, and you can easily pair your RedMagic phone with the brand's gaming monitor via screen casting.
Then there's the multifaceted ICE 12.0 cooling system, which includes an RGB-laden cooling fan, a 3D vapor chamber cooling, a graphene heat sink, and many more mechanisms that work together to keep the 8S Pro nice and frosty.
The subtle smattering of RGB across the RedMagic 8S Pro's backside isn't as boisterous as it used to be. The cleaner aesthetic is much more appealing to wider audiences beyond the gaming sphere and is appropriate for office use. It helps that you can customize and even completely disable the light strip on the back right out of the Quick Settings menu.
Borrowing a long-time signature move from OnePlus, the RedMagic 8S Pro retains its bright red gaming slider button. Toggling the physical slider launches the gaming mode and opens the gateway to nearly limitless customizability.
You can download and install add-ons and plugins for your games and fiddle with endless options and settings. This is also where you can customize the gaming overlay and access things like crosshair customization.
The phone runs RedMagic OS 8.0, which is based on Android 13. The software has come a long way from the janky mess from five years ago. Everything has been adjusted and optimized to deliver the very best gaming experience, even though there are still a few odd mistranslations found in the English version.
|RedMagic 8S Pro
|RedMagic 8 Pro
|Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
|Geekbench 5.1 (single-core)
|Geekbench 5.1 (multi-core)
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme (score)
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme (FPS)
You'll appreciate the new RedMagic OS 8.0 and its additional useful features, such as the Z-POP button, even if the translations aren't perfect. The theme can be cleaned up and changed to something minimal. The level of personalization available is extensive, from fonts to Material You color schemes and icon shapes.
Naturally, all other apps run smoothly, and multitasking is a dream. There are no lags, no hiccups, and no glitches.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Stunning display with beautiful response
RedMagic adopted a no-holds-barred approach with the 8S Pro. Its display is the cream of the crop, a stunning slab of unmarred glass that has no hideous notch or cutout. How is that possible? It's all thanks to UDC (under-display camera) technology, and nubia/ZTE is leading the industry in that area. It's hard to believe that there is an actual front camera buried under the layer of crispy pixels. This is easily the best UDC I have ever seen.
Apart from the impressively advanced full-screen experience, this beastly RedMagic phone can output one billion colors and has a 120Hz screen refresh rate. The 6.8-inch AMOLED panel is also amazingly bright, with a peak brightness level of 1300 nits. My Pixel 6 looks embarrassing next to that under the bright light of day.
The RedMagic 8S Pro has a screen-to-body ratio of 93.7% and an NTSC color gamut with 10-bit color depth. It has a Full HD+ 2480 x 1116 screen resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. Hardy Gorilla Glass 5 seals the deal, protecting your superb display from the elements.
Such a beautiful glass panel is accompanied by a highly responsive 960Hz touch sampling rate. So, it feels as immersive as it looks.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Impressive audio specs
RedMagic did not neglect the sound system on this spunky device. Smart move since a smartphone built for entertainment needs a solid set of audio specs.
You get stereo speakers with Dolby DTS: X sound on the RedMagic 8S Pro. These really good and get surprisingly loud, without cracking up or distorting noise. Of course, you can always pair some wireless earbuds or headphones for in-ear audio. Heck, the 8S Pro even has a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio playback.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Battery for days
After running heavy tests on the RedMagic 8S Pro for a solid month, I can testify that it has an awesome battery life. The monstrous 6,000mAh lithium-ion cell goes on and on, relentlessly pushing forward and keeping your phone alive. Even with super heavy usage and high brightness levels, the 8S Pro lasts a day and a half to two days. Moderate users can expect to get even more levels of longevity.
RedMagic did not hop on the trend to omit chargers in the box. Generously, the brand throws in a compatible USB-C charger and C-to-C cable in the box. It's a good thing, too, because the phone supports a whopping 65W wired fast charging. Any decent 60W USB-C charger can set you back a neat some. RedMagic gives you one for free — what a win!
RedMagic 8S Pro: Strictly average photography
Photography is never the strong suit of a dedicated gaming phone, but fortunately, the RedMagic 8S Pro doesn't completely suck at capturing photos or videos. The 50MP main camera captures pretty good images and footage with sufficient lighting. The results drop in quality in low to poor lighting conditions, even with the night mode.
The RedMagic 8S Pro uses the exact same sensors as the RedMagic 8 Pro. You can check out the sample images in my review for your reference.
As you would expect, though, the front camera that's buried under layers of pixels and clever UDC tech is just awful. The over-processed look is at least five to eight years behind the selfie standards of today. However, you probably won't care much about the cameras if the 8S Pro is just for gaming.
RedMagic 8S Pro: What could be better
As I established, the front camera is garbage. This isn't the end of the world for a dedicated, over-the-top gaming phone. What does grind my gears is the lack of an IP rating. Unlike the latest gaming phones from ASUS, the RedMagic 8S Pro is not waterproof or dustproof. The presence of moving parts like a physical fan makes it even more susceptible to damage compared to a regular Android phone.
I also wish that the 8S Pro featured wireless charging or a clever solution like the secondary USB-C port on the side of many ASUS phones. The current placement of the singular Type-C port on the RedMagic 8S Pro makes it hard to charge and play games simultaneously.
Speaking of trouble while gaming, the square corners of the 8S Pro get very uncomfortable and start to pinch after a while. This is far from ergonomic and certainly not the ideal state of being when gaming on a mobile phone for a few hours on end.
Lastly, RedMagic only promises one major Android update and about a year and a half to two years of security updates for its phones. Most users will prioritize this above all other drawbacks, as they should. After spending a good chunk of money on the RedMagic 8S Pro, you'd want to hang on to it for at least two years.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Competition
ASUS slays every other device with the indomitable ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. This is the ultimate gaming phone in every way and has the craziest specifications. It easily defeats the RedMagic 8S Pro in terms of sheer power and capability but loses out in the price category. You'll need to spend anywhere near $1,400 or more to get your hands on the Phone 7 Ultimate.
The brand's own RedMagic 8 Pro is a great alternative to the newer RedMagic 8S Pro. As a rule of thumb, any company's older products become cheaper following new releases. In this case, however, RedMagic unlisted the RedMagic 8 Pro from its own store as well as Amazon. You cannot buy the older model — which would have been cheaper — even if you wanted to, which sucks because it's almost exactly the same thing but with a slightly different design. However, if you can find it, the 8 Pro is definitely one to consider.
Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra is another fine alternative that's powered by an equally jacked-up Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The S23 Ultra has countless merits and a few minor demerits, but it's a good purchase overall. Then again, it will never be as cheap as the RedMagic 8S Pro, while it's the top dog in the Android space.
RedMagic 8S Pro: Should you get it?
You should buy this if...
- You want the best memory options
- You need the most powerful Snapdragon processor
- You value built-in shoulder triggers for gaming
- You want an audio port
- You need stellar battery and charging specs
- You desire a notch-less display
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You depend on an IP rating
- You need something that'll get more than one platform update
- You highly prioritize front and rear camera quality
Whether or not you should buy the RedMagic 8S Pro depends on a number of factors. What's your budget like? Are you looking for a dedicated gaming phone solely for that singular purpose? Do you care about photography?
If you're strapped for cash and want unbridled power, the RedMagic 8S Pro is a fine choice. It has all the right specs for snappy gaming on the go. However, if you value camera quality and plan on using the device as your primary phone, you should consider alternative choices.
The RedMagic 8S Pro does not have any sort of water or dustproofing. That does not bode well for its fan vent and transparent plastic back since dirt gets inside. And it's really hard to imagine walking in the rain with such an expensive phone in your pocket, knowing full well that it could be fried into oblivion by the time you get to a dry spot.
You know who should buy this phone? Maybe someone who is an enthusiast, doesn't care about cameras, thinks wireless charging is a gimmick, and doesn't really give a hoot about waterproof rating. The first few things are plausible, but I'm not so sure about that last one.
Magic and might
The RedMagic 8S Pro is bold, powerful, and affordable. Finding such beefed-up specs at such an agreeable price point is hard. This could be your new gaming companion if you need a dedicated gaming phone.