Gaming smartphones are currently in a strange position in the market. On the one hand, there are affordable devices like Honor Play with a small set of gaming functions. On the other hand, we have the powerful flagships Asus ROG Phone and Razer Phone 2.
Some of them have additional hardware components and accessories to improve gameplay and speed. Others are trying to get out of the narrow niche of gaming devices and enter the elite of smartphones at Android.
Affiliated with Chinese manufacturer ZTE, Nubia also unveiled its gaming machine Nubia Red Magic early last year. A year later, he is replaced by Nubia Red Magic Mars.
Appearance and game features
If you are familiar with the original model Red Magic, then Red Magic Mars will sound familiar to you. Their design has a lot in common, like a hexagonal camera module, a polygonal fingerprint scanner and a long LED strip in the middle on the back of the case.
There are black, red, and a color called camouflage, which is what I covered in this review. All three have red and black edging options around the body. In this case, the phone has gray spots and an X-shaped figure on the back.
A gaming smartphone should not only look beautiful, but also have high performance. Red Magic Mars has three configurations, in all cases on the Snapdragon 845 processor. The base model received 6/64 GB, the average 8/128 GB, the maximum version called Conqueror – 10/256 GB.
There are new gaming functionalities like a hybrid cooling system. Here, air and liquid are used so that the device does not get too hot and works smoothly during long games.
Nubia has added triggers after Asus, but in this case they are capacitive. It takes more time to appreciate their merits, but now we can say that you can assign different actions to these triggers for different games.
There is an engine for dynamic response, a built-in ability to change voices in network chats, a physical switch for switching to game mode.
On top of the system Android 9.0, the RedMagic OS shell is installed. In it, you can browse your game library in one place and change settings to optimize performance.
Additionally, you can buy a gamepad. It is similar to the Nintendo Switch JoyCon controller.
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Should you buy?
Despite all the functionality, is this a good gaming machine? Looking at the specs, we have a promising device. For example, a 3800 mAh battery. For a gaming model, this is not so much, but still, compared to other devices on Android at this price, this is a good size.
There's also a headphone jack so you don't have to use an adapter or wireless headphones. In terms of audio, DTS 7.1 and 3D surround sound are supported.
However, the disadvantages are the screen and cameras. This applies a 6-inch panel LCD with no notch at 1080 x 2160. It's not too bad, but you won't get the deep blacks and rich colors of the panels AMOLED / OLED competing smartphones. There is also no 120Hz refresh rate like on the Razer Phone 2.
The main camera is 16 megapixel with f / 1.8 aperture and phase detection autofocus. Front camera 8 MP f / 2.0. They are far from the best cameras in smartphones, but to what extent, tests should show.
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Price and availability
Finding this device on sale should be easier than a year ago. The device will be marketed in Europe and North America. On the official website of Nubia, sales will begin on January 31 at a price of $ 399 (28,000 rubles). European prices have not yet been announced, but sales will start at the same time.
Many gaming smartphones cost twice as much, so Nubia Red Magic Mars has every chance to attract the attention of buyers.