Redmagic 8 Pro offers unbeatable gaming performance for its price. The matte version, starting at $649, provides exceptional value for money, but with some compromises. Although the issues in Redmagic OS have been fixed, the software still needs improvement compared to high-end Android phones.
Before reading the full review, you can familiarize yourself with the detailed ZTE nubia Red Magic 8 Pro specs or watch the video below the article.
- Release date: 2022, December 28
- Colors: Black, Transparent
- Dimensions: 164 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm.
- Weight: 228 g.
- Screen: 6.8" inc, 1116 x 2480, AMOLED
- Camera : Triple, 50MP
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (1x3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3x2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)
- Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM
- Battery: 6000, Li-Po, non-removable - version
- Network: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G
- Operating system: Android 13, Redmagic OS 6
- Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Price and availability
The Redmagic 8 Pro was first introduced in China in December, and will now be available in 44 markets, which includes Peru and Malaysia as new additions. It comes in two variants – a matte back version with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage and a translucent back version with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, along with additional RGB lighting effects. The former is priced at $649 and the latter at $799.
However, connecting the phone is insufficient. Although it works on all US networks, users may face difficulties in getting a stable 5G connection as it does not support Sub6 or mmWave 5G bands.
Even for 4G users, a constant high-speed data connection may not be possible because it does not support Verizon's main band (13) and T-Mobile's band 71, which is needed for remote areas. Despite these limitations, the phone performs well in terms of calling and texting, with clear calls and consistent data speeds while traveling.
The Redmagic 8 Pro bucks the trend of excessive RGB lighting effects in gaming hardware, unlike the Asus ROG 6 Pro, which has very bright RGB effects. The Redmagic 8 Pro only has three small RGB strips, and the transparent Void model has a smaller transparent section on the back.
The phone is slightly smaller than its predecessor, but has the same 6.8-inch screen size due to the reduced bezel size. The black aluminum frame has a more traditional look of an Android phone rather than a gaming device. The matte surface on the back makes it easier to grip.
The triple-camera setup on this year's model sticks out on the back, making it not completely flat. This look is similar to Samsung phones, but may not appeal to everyone.
On the right side of the phone, you'll find the power button, the Game Space toggle, and two touch triggers. The Game Space Switch has a textured red surface that stands out against the black frame and is not easily actuated by mistake.
The top of the phone has two microphones and a headphone jack, while the bottom is equipped with another microphone, a speaker, and a USB-C port. This USB-C port can be used for HDMI output via USB Type-C Alternate Mode, making it a great feature for a gaming phone, especially when connecting to a monitor. Unfortunately, one of the issues with last year's model, which only had one front-facing speaker, remains unresolved in the Redmagic 8 Pro.
However, the phone has very small bezels and it's a compromise between form and function, which isn't a major drawback. The reduced bezel size is achieved by moving the selfie camera below the screen, making it almost invisible and unnoticeable in normal use. The RedMagic 8 Pro represents a major design change compared to previous models.
The Redmagic 8 Pro's Full HD+ AMOLED display has seen some improvements, but it's still quite similar to the Redmagic 7 Pro's screen. The screen size remains unchanged from the previous model, but its proportions are slightly larger.
The resolution has been increased from 1080 x 2400 to 1116 x 2480, which may be a result of the changed aspect ratio. The refresh rate can be set to 120 Hz, 90 Hz or 60 Hz, with the option to save battery life by defaulting to 60 Hz and switching to a higher refresh rate when playing games.
The main difference between the new and old screens is the brightness, which has gone up from 600 to 1300 nits, making it suitable for outdoor use.
Redmagic 8 Pro offers five color modes to choose from: Normal, Vivid, Natural, P3 and sRGB. The default setting is Vivid, which favors rich over lifelike colors and is ideal for gaming, but some users may prefer the more muted tones of Natural mode.
Redmagic 8 Pro runs on Redmagic 6 OS, a user interface built on Android 13 that is clean and simple with tons of customization options. Although some pre-installed apps may have been integrated into the settings, they can be easily uninstalled.
Customization of the operating system is its forte, allowing adjustments to the appearance of app icons, the lock screen, and the Always On display. There are different clock styles to choose from and even the ability to display custom text or looping GIFs on the Always On display.
App shortcuts on the lock screen are limited to Chinese apps like WeChat or Alipay. The option to switch Android themed icons is available, but it only applies to Google apps that supported this feature in Android 12.
The Redmagic 8 Pro does not currently support Google Pay, but there is hope for future support as Nubia added Google Pay support to the Redmagic 7 a few months after its initial release.
Redmagic 8 Pro's most notable software feature is Game Space, which can be launched by toggling the side button. Game Space stores shortcuts for games, as well as tools for adjusting touch sensitivity, frame rate, cooling fans, and shoulder triggers. The app is user friendly and provides easy access to all your games in one place.
The standout feature of this device is the Snapdragon Gen 2 chipset, which offers numerous upgrades over its predecessor. The most notable improvement is the increased ray tracing performance, which is a major advantage for gamers.
The Adreno GPU in the chipset provides a 25% increase in performance and a 40% increase in efficiency compared to the previous model.
With the rise of demanding games, Redmagic 8 Pro is a top choice for gamers who want to enjoy the latest titles. It packs a lot of power and is equipped with a built-in cooling fan that runs up to 20,000 RPM and is pretty quiet.
The phone smoothly maintained 60 FPS for Genshin Impact at max settings and stayed at 120 FPS for Dead Cells. It's impressive that the phone remains cool to the touch during extended gaming sessions.
Despite the oddly placed speakers, the Redmagic 8 Pro boasts remarkable audio quality, the speakers are loud enough to fill a room. Call quality is clear and volume is balanced, ensuring that others in the room won't be able to hear your conversations.
Inside the box you'll find a 65W charger, a USB-C cable, a SIM eject tool, and a lightweight clear plastic case.
The Redmagic 8 Pro is powered by a 6000mAh battery. During a typical day of gaming, calling, and watching videos at 120Hz, the phone lasted a full day and even more.
The Redmagic 8 Pro's fast charging capability ensures that even the most avid mobile gamers won't run into battery issues and can quickly charge the phone to full.
As expected, the Redmagic 8 Pro's cameras aren't its strongest feature. However, the main rear camera has received a significant upgrade compared to last year's model and now features a Samsung GN5 50MP camera, which is the same as the one on the Samsung S22.
For regular daytime shots, the camera performs well enough. In addition to the main camera, there is a 2MP macro lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 16MP selfie camera.
Colors captured by the main camera are slightly dull, but still provide enough detail for everyday photography.
However, the macro camera is a challenge to use. Although it can capture clear photos under ideal conditions, the lack of autofocus often results in blurry photos.
The ultra-wide camera isn't as problematic, but it struggles to capture the same level of dynamic range as the main camera, which isn't always the case.
However, the portrait camera is a big disappointment. Selfies come out soft and washed out, requiring serious editing to improve their appearance. Photos taken in low light conditions are too sharp and look unnatural. While placing the camera below the display can be beneficial for gaming, it results in unimpressive selfies.
Redmagic 8 Pro offers a premium gaming experience with features like triggers and an internal fan. Game Space software is convenient for both serious gamers and streamers. All things considered, the Redmagic 8 Pro is one of the best gaming phones available, and its $649 price tag makes it a fantastic deal.
- Brilliant gaming performance for the price
- Unobtrusive gaming software
- Quiet indoor fan
- Elegant, professional design
- A 120Hz screen is more than enough
- Long battery life
- No software Google PayBuggy
- Unreliable fingerprint sensor
- Terrible selfie camera
ZTE nubia Red Magic 8 Pro video review
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the ZTE nubia Red Magic 8 Pro and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by ZTE.