China-based ZTE subsidiary Nubia has unveiled a new smartphone dubbed “Red Magic” built with gamers in mind.
Last November we reported on Razer’s debut in the smartphone market. Razer was looking to carve a niche into the industry with a phone built for gaming.
Nubia has apparently decided that there is room for two in this niche as the Red Magic will not only be geared for gaming; it has a look that says, “Pick me up and play me. I’m a gaming phone.” Sure, the Razer Phone has the signature glowing Razer logo on the back, but Nubia has gone full-on gamer crazy on the rear of the Red Magic.
The back panel of the phone is not flat. It raises from the edges to the center forming a slight prism shape (Nubia calls it "diamond-cut). Along the ridge of the prism is an RGB strip that can output 16 million colors. Users can customize the color pattern with four different modes in the settings.
A 24-megapixel camera can be found right above a fingerprint sensor near the top on back. The selfie cam on the front is 8MP. It is worth mentioning that from a camera standpoint, the Red Magic has a better configuration than most other smartphones on the market.
It also has four speakers in each corner on the back highlighted in red and adding to that gamer look. The speakers use “smart amplification technology” and a built-in DAC.
A flashy back panel and great cameras are all fine and good, but what a gamer is really going to care about is the specs.
The Red Magic’s 5.99-inch IPS LCD is slightly bigger than the Razer Phone’s, but at a lower resolution (2160x1080 v. 2560x1440). It’s driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 just like its competition, but I find it surprising that Nubia didn’t go with the newer 845 processor.
The high-end model sports 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, but Nubia plans to offer a cheaper 6/64GB configuration. While the phone should have plenty of resources to run even the most demanding of mobile games, there is also a switch on the side of the phone that when toggled will divert more resources to the currently active game. Nubia claims this will reduce load times and increase frame rate and visual fidelity.
It has a 3,800mAh battery giving it a good heft. Under normal usage conditions, a battery that big should last 24-36 hours. However, this is a phone built for gaming, so its “normal” usage is not that of a typical smartphone. Nubia claims that it can keep you playing Arena of Valor for up to 7 hours.
The Red Magic does not have an official release date set. Nubia is launching an IndieGoGo campaign that starts next week on April 26. At that time, early backers can pick up the phone for $399, which is a bargain, as long ad the crowdfunding campaign doesn’t go belly up. You can also enter to win one of five phones Nubia will be giving away on its contest page.