If you’re reading this Red Magic 7s Pro review, we’re guessing you’re curious about gaming phones. The ROG Phone 6 is currently the very best of the breed and the benchmark we’re currently comparing all gaming phones against. In the past, Red Magic gaming phones have represented the other end of the spectrum, and were synonymous with poorly translated menus and big specs matched with a mediocre user experience. It looks like that’s changing with the Red Magic 7 series, and specifically the latest 7s Pro.
The Red Magic 7 launched in February 2022, and was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Now that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip is powering handsets like the ROG Phone 6, though, Nubia – the maker of the Red Magic series – reckons it’s time for an incremental upgrade.
We’ve been testing out the Red Magic 7s Pro in its highest capacity spec – 512GB storage and 18GB RAM – that’s mighty, outdoing virtually all the competition. The phone features an in-display selfie camera and has a much higher-capacity battery than the vanilla Red Magic 7, however, misses out on a 165Hz high-refresh-rate screen.
As is the case with most gaming phones, the Red Magic 7s Pro’s power is its main selling point, but the in-display selfie camera is also a very cool added extra. Giving you an uninterrupted all-screen view, it’s refreshing in a world of notches and punch hole displays. Matched with a quality AMOLED panel, the Red Magic showcases games and movies beautifully, though isn’t quite as bright as some of its flagship competition.
Powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which is matched with up to 18GB of RAM – on paper, nothing other than the ROG Phone 6 series can compete with the Red Magic’s 7s Pro.
The Red Magic 7s Pro’s gaming edge comes in the form of left and right shoulder triggers, a slider that fires you straight into Game Lobby, where you can see all your titles, and some intense gaming styling that climaxes in an exposed RGB fan.
This fan and the phone’s heat management help things stay cooler than other gaming and non-gaming phones – like the Xiaomi 12 Pro and Black Shark 5 Pro – a boon for gamers.
The Red Magic 7s Pro ships with a large 5,000mAh battery. When we tested the Red Magic 7, it didn’t fare too well with 4,500mAh of juice, but in all our tests, the 7s Pro performed respectably for a gaming phone, especially when the screen refresh rate was set to 60 or 90Hz.
The Red Magic 7s Pro is pricey, but it’s also very cool. While there are some rough edges – a bit of bloatware and a couple of Chinese characters that have made it through to the Themes app, it’s still a more polished phone than the Red Magic 7 was when we tested it.
Ultimately, while the Red Magic 7s Pro isn’t the best gaming phone around, it’s nevertheless a good one that should give folks looking to game on the go plenty to sink their teeth into.
Red Magic 7s Pro price and availability
- Starts from $729 / £669
- Two storage options are available
- Available through Amazon and redmagic.gg
The Red Magic 7s Pro launched globally on 26 July 2022.
The handset starts at $729 / £669 (approximately AU $1,120) – that’s for 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. There is one other configuration available: 18GB / 512GB, which costs $899 / £809 (approximately AU $1,460).
This means whichever option you go for, you’ll be getting huge amounts of storage for the price, given most phones these days ship with 128GB internally.
Comparing the Red Magic 7s Pro’s price to its predecessor, it’s more costly out of the gate – the 512GB 7 Pro costs ($799 / £759). In turn, with the two phones being virtually identical in all other areas, the 7 Pro is a compelling, lower-cost alternative for anyone who doesn’t need the very latest silicon.
If power is your priority, though, £669 for a 256GB Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 phone represents decent value for gamers, and you can pick up the Red Magic 7s Pro at Amazon and on Red Magic’s official site, redmagic.gg.
Red Magic 7s Pro design
- Premium glass and metal
- Heavy and blocky styling
- Comfortable to game on
Just like the first gaming phones, from Asus’s ROG Phone to Xiaomi’s Black Shark, the Red Magic 7s Pro is loud, garish, and loaded with angry-looking design highlights. Our version, which is the Supernova color scheme, even has some camo patterning to make the point – this phone was built for COD stans.
In addition to Supernova, you can pick the Red Magic 7s Pro up in a white Mercury option, which, based on renders, is our favorite, standing out from a sea of black gaming phones. If you pick up the lower-specced, 256GB version, it ships in an Obsidian color with no RGB fan.
The front of the phone is a big flat screen that’s notch-free and looks selfie camera-free too – but it isn’t. The front camera’s hidden underneath the screen, and Red Magic’s implementation of this tech is much better than Samsung’s on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 – you really can’t tell there’s a camera under the display here.
The Red Magic 7s Pro’s sides are flat, stark metal; and the back is curved glass, with a cutout that’s matte metal – that’s the camo part we mentioned. If you stump up for a 512GB version of the phone, you get a window that sits alongside the camera, so you can peek into the fan, which is lit up by LED lights when gaming. Love it or hate it, it’s pretty unique to the Red Magic 7 series.
The phone is bulky at 10mm thick, and weighs a hefty 235g, making it one of the biggest and beefiest options around – roughly the same weight as an iPhone 13 Pro Max. The shape and weight do, however, make it feel like a solid gaming device when held in landscape orientation, so if you like big phones, you’ll likely find it comfortable enough.
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The power button sits along the right side next to the volume rocker, and there’s a USB-C port at the base. Unlike the ROG Phone 6, there’s no second USB-C port along the Red Magic 7s Pro’s side, which would have made gaming more comfortable whilst charging. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top side – missing from the likes of the Black Shark 5 – so you can plug in your wired headphones.
The Red Magic 7s Pro’s frame is made from aviation-grade aluminum. As hardy as this may sound, the phone isn’t water or dust-resistant. That being said, it is protected on the front, thanks to a pre-fitted screen protector, and there’s also a case in the box.
On the right side, there are responsive touch-sensitive triggers, which sport a 520Hz touch-sampling rate – up from 500Hz on the Red Magic 7 series, and with a flick of the left-hand slider, you can fire up the Red Magic Gaming Space.
Red Magic 7s Pro display
- Large 6.8-inch screen
- FHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate
- Under-display selfie camera
The Nubia Red Magic 7s Pro’s screen is uninterrupted thanks to a hidden, under-display front camera. In a world of notches and punch holes, there’s a lot to be said for the expansive effect the phone achieves.
The hidden front camera really is invisible, and the only time you’ll spot it is when taking selfies. While the selfies aren’t anything to write home about – more on that later – the all-screen effect is a winner.
Unlike the ROG Phone 6, the Red Magic 7s Pro doesn’t feature a 165Hz refresh rate; instead, topping out at 120Hz. This is still respectable, and many will consider the trade-off a fair one for that under-display front camera.
At the heart of the Magic 7s Pro’s screen is a 6.8-inch panel with a Full HD+ resolution, HDR support and AMOLED technology. Far from the sharpest screen around, it’s competitive for a gaming phone, given games are generally rendered at. Full HD resolution.
With a 700 nits max brightness, the Red Magic 7s Pro doesn’t beam as brightly as other flagships, so some may struggle with outdoor viewing, in sunny environments.
The phone’s touch-sampling rate – how responsive its screen is to the touch – is also very high at up to 960Hz, up from 480Hz on the Red Magic 7 and 7 Pro, so that should improve the feel of fast-paced gaming. There are also plenty of screen modes, so you can customize your visuals to add more pop, or dial saturation back a bit, as desired.
Ultimately, the Red Magic 7s Pro shines when used indoors, and out in overcast environments. Detail is where it needs to be, viewing angles are strong and colors are bold and punchy; with deep darks, and confident, nuanced highlights. We just wish it was a touch brighter.
Red Magic 7s Pro cameras
- 64MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro
- Video capture at up to 8K
- 16MP under-display selfie camera
Nubia isn’t prioritizing the camera specs on the Red Magic 7s Pro, and we wouldn’t expect it to – gaming phones aren’t brilliant camera phones; that’s just the way it is.
The phone’s camera system is spearheaded by a high-resolution 64MP sensor with a wide aperture of f/1.8, though the sensor itself is small for a flagship phone, meaning it’s far from a lowlight champ.
There’s an 8MP ultra-wide camera alongside the primary sensor, with a 13mm focal length and a 1/4-inch sensor. Finally, the main camera mix includes a 2MP fixed-focus macro camera, with an f/2.4 aperture.
Front cameras are arguably more important for gaming phones, but don’t expect miracles from the Red Magic 7s Pro – under-display selfie cameras are never peak-performers when it comes to photo or video quality, and the 7s Pro’s is predictably weak.
Any spec-whisperers reading this review should realize that things look underwhelming on the photography front. But, you never know, Red Magic’s camera software might save the day.
You can get some great pictures from the Red Magic 7s Pro’s main camera, despite its middling specs. It captures photos loaded with punchy colors and respectable amounts of detail. Close-up shots do pull out some pleasing background blur, and there’s a decent portrait mode too for more distanced bokeh, though the phone can’t handle low light scenes with the same confidence.
Across lighting conditions, photo contrast can be a bit high, so detail in the shadows might need to be pulled out in an edit, but we’re happy with how the Red Magic 7s Pro generally handles photos given its midrange camera hardware and the lack of optical image stabilization.
The ultra-wide camera does a fair job of adding extra versatility to the mix. While quality falls behind the main camera, give it a steady hand, and it isn’t a let down until nightfall. The same can’t be said of the macro camera which should be avoided day or night.
The night mode works to great effect on the main camera, however, doesn’t fire up automatically. Forget to turn it on, therefore, and you’ll end up with poor pictures in dimly lit environments. Worse still, it doesn’t work with the ultra-wide camera.
Video captured on the Red Magic 7s Pro looks fine, recorded at up to 8K resolution (30fps) or 4K resolution (60fps). The higher the quality, the less effective the image stabilization, and the video camera struggles with high contrast environments.
While you can eke out great snaps and footage from the 7s Pro, you can pick up significantly more reliable camera phones at half the price – the Realme 9 Pro Plus, for example.
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Red Magic 7s Pro performance and specs
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 power
- 12-18GB RAM
- 256-512GB storage
The Nubia Red Magic 7s Pro flexes its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip both on the outside and in, with the Qualcomm chipset branding etched into the back of the phone, giving you a suggestive peek under the hood. As with the ROG Phone 6 and Red Magic 7, modern-day games playback fast and furiously.
When we put the phone through the Geekbench 5 benchmark test, it returned a multi-core score of 4,131, versus the Red Magic 7’s 3,600. 3D Mark scores were also strong, with a Wildlife Extreme benchmark score of 2,763, giving our champ, the ROG Phone 6, a run for its money.
With such a prominent fan around the back, illuminated by RGB lights, you’d expect the Red Magic 7s Pro to keep its cool – and it does for the most part. Restoring a 20GB WhatsApp backup or playing 30 minutes of Injustice 2 or Call of Duty at maxed-out settings certainly got it warm, but even without the fan, it didn’t heat up as much as some alternatives, like the Black Shark 5.
Fire up the fan, and you’ll be able to game a little cooler, with our tests showing a 2º C drop in temperature after having the fan on for ten minutes at max settings. That doesn’t sound like much, but considering heat management is already pretty good on the Red Magic 7s Pro, it could help keep frame rates that bit more stable.
Red Magic 7s Pro software
Red Magic 7s Pro software
- Android 12 software
- Red Magic UI feels relatively stock
- Fewer issues than on past-gen devices
The Red Magic 7s Pro runs Android 12, with Nubia’s latest gaming UI, Redmagic OS 5.5. When compared to the Red Magic 7, which we tested in June, the interface has been polished with tighter translations. There are still issues if you scratch the surface though.
In the image above, you can see the keyboard, and below it, the background – in this case, the apps tray. We pointed this exact quirk out when we reviewed the Red Magic 7.
If you can get past a few UI niggles though, app support is great, and the phone feels relatively stock – but more Android 10 stock than Android 12 stock, as Material You and other Android 12 highlights are missing.
Nubia does pre-load a bunch of widgets to help you quickly access gaming-focused features on the 7s Pro. The pre-deployed ones on our handset were fan speed control, a heart rate monitor by way of the fingerprint scanner, and a gameplay clock, so you can see how many hours you’re spending in virtual worlds.
When you’ve fired up a game, the Red Magic 7s Pro’s gaming enhancer adds more granular control over your system than non-gaming phones might. It goes without saying, you can manipulate obvious elements like fan control and switch between power-saving and performance modes.
You can also take things a step further though – map the L and R shoulder buttons, so you can swipe, tap, or tap different parts of them to activate different commands. There’s also scope to disable charging when plugged into power, allowing for extended gaming sessions while reducing heat build-up and putting unnecessary strain on the battery. The gaming enhancements available are extensive.
Red Magic 7s Pro battery life
- 5,000mAh battery is competitive
- Makes it through a full day with light gaming
- Fast 65W charging helpful for a quick top-up
Despite not getting the massive 6,000mAh capacity battery Asus ROG Phones have, the Red Magic 7s Pro still offers a respectably-sized battery and more mAh (milliampere hours) than the Black Shark 5 and Red Magic 7.
The phone’s 5,000mAh cell will get you through a day comfortably if you have the fan off, the screen set to 60Hz or 90Hz, and use the phone liberally for messaging, photo taking, and a spot of gaming.
Working through basic tasks, the Red Magic 7s Pro depleted 60 percent in 15 hours and 14 minutes at 60Hz, while at 120Hz, it took 11 hours 26 minutes. This highlights how big a difference screen refresh rate can make to battery life, and given the phone lacks auto-refresh-rate, owners should be on top of switching settings manually if battery life is a concern.
The phone charges up quickly with fast 65W charging, which powers up in a little over half an hour. There’s no wireless charging, as is the case with most gaming phones, though reverse charging is supported.
Red Magic 7s Pro review score card
|Design||The Red Magic 7s Pro looks like a gaming phone through and through, but if that works for you, you’ll likely love what it’s got to offer.||4/5|
|Display||While it misses out on a 165Hz refres rate and high max brightness, the Red Magic 7s Pro’s under-display front camera is a novel highlight, and the screen quality is strong.||4/5|
|Performance||With cutting-edge Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 power and up to 18GB RAM, the Red Magic 7s Pro represents the most powerful Android set up currently available.||5/5|
|Camera||You aren’t buying a gaming phone for the camera, but the primary snapper on the Red Magic 7s Pro does a decent job, even if the ultra-wide, macro and selfie cameras are frequently underwhelming.||2.5/5|
|Battery||With a 5,000mAh battery capacity, the Red Magic 7s Pro gets you through a full day, especially if you dial the screen refresh rate to 60 or 90hz – and the fast charging is handy too.||4/5|
|Software||Running Android 12 with Red Magic OS over the top, while far from perfect, the series is slowly improving on the software front, and Red Magic’s gaming enhancements are also impressive.||3.5/5|
|Value||You’ll struggle to get a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 smartphone in the West for less than the Red Magic 7s Pro, even though you can get better camera phones at half the price.||4/5|
Should you buy the Red Magic 7s Pro?
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