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Red Magic 3 review: Great value in a fun phone (Latest version)

The Red Magic 3 is the latest game device from Nubia. This is an absolute animal taking into account the price, which has several "firsts" and generally top-level performance.

The specification sheet received me special attention! To just save your appetite, consider these few points in the context of a sub- $ 500 mobile phone (prices start at $ 479): Snapdragon 855 chipset, 8-12 GB RAM, 5,000mAh battery, first 8K video recording, & # 39; built-in fan, 90Hz refresh frequency, 6.65 inch screen real estate, hardware buttons & & # 39; a dedicated gambler.

First 8K video recording, built-in fan, 90Hz refresh rate

It's crazy value, and many other features make the Red Magic 3 even more attractive to gamers. Compete with the Black Shark 2? Is this a practical device for everyone else? What exactly is the point of all this power?

I will try to answer all the questions and more in this comprehensive Red Magic 3 review.

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About us Red Magic 3 review: This review was written after the device was tested for one week. The device is unlocked and tested on O2's UK network. The Red Magic 3 rating unit was supplied by Nubia.

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The big picture

Red Magic is a slightly less well-known Nubia brand, a Chinese OEM that started out as a ZTE subsidiary.

Red Magic Logo

With more and more manufacturers taking a hint on this kind of device – Xiaomi honor, Asus, Razer, and more – Nubia cut out its work for. Fortunately, it managed to do it pretty well thanks to the impressive performance, a striking design and shoulder buttons. I got the Red Magic Mars And it got some impressive horsepower outside its peers, including the much more expensive Razer 2.

Razer Phone 2 review

Gamblers are definitely a niche, but one manufacturer seems determined to grow. And with this latest entry, Nubia can only generate a few buzz outside the tiny cohort of Android gamers.

What's in the box?

  • charger
  • Phone
  • manual

Red Magic 3 With Box

For such an over-the-phone, the Red Magic 3 doesn't come with any surprises. There is nothing in the box you wouldn't expect, and it's a pity you didn't see a wired headset or similar. Yet, given the generally incredible value offered here, it's fair enough. The presentation is actually very good.


  • 171.7 x 78.5 x 9.7 mm, 215 g
  • Metal construction
  • RGB LED Strip
  • Shoulder buttons
  • Built-in cooling fan
  • Dedicated game mode switch

Nothing about the Red Magic 3's design is boring. It's a very "gamer-fied" design, so you'll probably love or hate it too.

Red Magic 3 Gamer Aesthetic

It feels good, with a stiff weight, thanks in part to the size and partly to the aluminum construction with matt finish. The screen is also large, with a slim side occupancy and a ratio of 80.5 percent. It's not a crazy figure, but playphones can actually benefit from a small boundary.

Red Magic Mars review

As with previous Red Magic devices, the Red Magic 3 & # 39; has a triangular back panel that tapes to a point where you will also find the RGB LED strip. The strip can extract all kinds of neat effects controlled in the settings, although it is not very bright during the day.

The Red Magic 3 is a great piece of phone and a very noticeable pocket bull. It also rocks wild when placed flat on a table, and tends to slip things down.

However, this is not a feature on feature. The design involves the serious cooling down. For the first time in a Nubia phone, we've got a physical fan, which makes the big, supposedly empty space a very logical choice. It also means it's easy to get a good grip on it while playing.

Red Magic 3 Cooling

Also around the back is the jewel-shaped fingerprint sensor, a diamond-shaped camera lens, a bulky vent, the Red Magic logo (Ferrari or MSI), and tons of color accents. On the sides are the shoulder buttons, a switch to enter Game Space, and a pen connector.

Perhaps the most striking thing here is the inclusion of the capacitive "shoulder triggers." I tried these triggers on the Red Magic Mars and found them totally inferior. I am very happy to report that they are now slightly pushed into the side of the Red Magic 3, which greatly improves their usability.

Thanks to the very clever software implementation, the buttons are also surprisingly useful. You can literally save any point on the screen to the shoulder buttons in seconds and save the settings to a per-game basis. Games like Metroid Prime or Mario Sunshine on Dolphin go from frustration exercises to actually playing with those accessible triggers. However, they can still be a little hard to reach, and they are not really under my fingers.

Emulation on Red Magic 3

The large connection for peripherals is on the other side of the phone. This is not the most beautiful thing, but is definitely intriguing. At this time, you can get an "esports" dock that loads and offers extra ports – probably useful to play with a controller. The software also suggests an upcoming "Red Magic Handle" that appears to be a switch style extension to provide more physical buttons. It is many interesting.

The fingerprint sensor works just as you expect it to be – it's very fast, though the shape is strange. Of course, you don't miss out on water resistance and wireless charging, but it makes sense to keep the device so affordable. What a little bit more is the lack of NFC.

There is a lot going on in the design department, but there's a good reason for mostly everything here. Whether you like it or not, depends on how you feel about the "game" aesthetics in general. The Red Magic 3 certainly has a somewhat aggressive, futuristic appeal for the right audience.

Red Magic Pin Connector

The Red Magic 3 comes in a black, red or camamo color scheme. The black version is probably the least exaggerated, but it doesn't say much.


  • 6.65 inches
  • 2,340 x 1,080
  • 90Hz refresh rate

The performance is one of the most important aspects of a gambling phone, and thankfully the Red Magic 3 is not disappointing.

Red Magic 3 Screen

For starters, the screen is huge at 6.65 inches. I would have liked to see a less reflective panel on a gambling phone, but the screen becomes very bright, which makes it slightly.

Then there is the 90Hz refresh rate, which is below the Razer's 120Hz refresh rate and equal to that OnePlus 7 Probut above almost every other device. Only a slash of games supports this featureSo your use will be somewhat limited. Still, it's great to have, and looks great when it works. You can find yourself out of the games where it works! The panel is also very sensitive with a 240Hz response rate, which smoothes everything smoothly, including the UI.

In short, combining all of these features results in a very beautiful, colorful and massive image that makes games and media pops. The big size will be for some, but for me it's a big selling point. Screens like this are not only good for games and media, but also for productivity tasks. Typing is easier, and multitasking is also more useful. If you decrease the display size in the settings, you can push a lot of information on the screen.

Red Magic Home Screen

If I had to make a complaint, it was that the round edges cut off a little bit from the onion, which looked uncomfortable.


  • Snapdragon 855
  • Adreno 640
  • 128 / 256GB storage
  • 8 / 12GB RAM
  • Active liquid cooling
  • Internal radiator

See & # 39; n Snapdragon 855 In a device under $ 500, it is remarkable this early in the chip's life cycle (although not unheard of). And what an Snapdragon 855 artist is. I had the privilege of being in the Xiaomi Mi 9, and that device made incredibly short work GameCube emulation by Dolphin – even Wii emulation! It was in a very slim device that wasn't created mainly for gambling.

In the Red Magic 3, it is now supported by 8-12 GB of RAM, liquid cooling, and impressive, a physical fan. In theory, this means we have to look at a crazy show.

Red Magic 3 Fan

The Red Magic 3 is the first actively cooled smartphone, which means it's a fan rather than a static element such as a heat sink. The result should be more stable frame rates, long in gambling sessions, and a lack of heat during play.

The phone looks pretty cool. To push the device with an emulator does not seem to have much extra heat, certainly not enough to feel. This can be helped by the physical space between the back panel and the inside.

You can easily check the temperatures at any time during play. I played Wipeout Pure on PPSSPP with the fan off, and the inside was 32.1C. It is said that the switch does not drastically lower the temperature. You can hear it, but what's cute. Initially I thought the vibration engine had gone crazy!

Red Magic 3 Game Settings

Like a proper gaming computer, Nubia can also change your performance profile at any time during the game, between Automatic, Super Performance, Performance Priority, and other modes. Again, however, I didn't see a difference between them.

For all those features and options, the Red Magic 3's performance doesn't look much better than the Xiaomi Mi 9, which might even be a little smoother when playing Wii games. Indeed, AnTuTu scores are actually slightly higher on the Xiaomi Mi 9, even with the Red Magic 3's fan and show mode enabled.

Red Magic 3 Antutu

The reason for this is for me a mystery. I had good experiences with Red Magic phones increasing performance. For example, the Red Magic Mars performed significantly better than a number of other Snapdragon 845 devices I tested.

Red Magic 3 PUBG

The other disappointment is the lack of expandable storage. While 128-256GB gives you plenty of room to play, it won't hurt for a device built for media use to leave users up.

Regardless, you won't be left on display, and benchmark cement the Red Magic 3 as one of the strongest phones out there. I'm sure you can get even more power out of it, with a little pinch.


  • 48MP behind camera
  • f / 1.79 aperture
  • 8K video recording
  • 16MP front-facing camera

When I got the Red Magic 3 out of the box and saw the single camera lens on the back, I assumed it would be the same old story when it comes to gamblers. Wrong, I assumed no thought or effort went into the camera, so more resources could be directed elsewhere.

Red Magic 3 Camera

The Pixel has a single lens, and it is commonly considered the best camera on the market. The Red Magic 3's camera isn't as good as the Pixel, but it's not a complete no-show either. This is actually a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. I recently tried it in the Realme X and Xiaomi Mi 9, and was very impressed.

Red Magic Camera Shot or Trees

Images are sharp. You can zoom in without losing any quality, and there's a nice contrast and drama for the shots. The fairly wide angle and wide aperture were good additions here – the latter makes it possible to subtract some good depth-of-field effects, even without a deep sensor. The large megapixel score means you can zoom in close and reach it from a distance without having too much data loss, although you need to know what you're doing.

There is also a pro mode, which is becoming increasingly standard.

Red Magic Camera Sample Flower

However, the Red Magic 3's camera does not perform as well as other phones, probably due to the lack of secondary sensor and software. Occasionally I had problems with exposure and automatic focus. Some shots look better in the Search than when they were processed, which was a shame.

The camera user interface is not particularly intuitive, and finding what you're looking for can be difficult. That said, if you dig deep, there are some fun features hidden. Light drawing is basically a long exposure that also captures a short video. I have always loved this feature to honor and Huawei phones, so it's great to see it here. The multi-effect effects are also a good touch, so you can create low images to achieve some artistic results.

The actual stand-up camera feature is support for 8K video recording, which is another industry-first. It's currently in beta, and the camera program recommends using it outside, but it's there. I don't actually have a screen that can show 8K in all its glory, but the output doesn't look very rich in detail, and the frame rate is low.

I would not recommend buying the Red Magic 3 for 8K video unless you have any specific use case. In a mobile phone that has been doing so much, it's just a neat bragging point.

Red Magic 3 Upshot

There is also a super-slow motion setting available, which is always fun to play with and works well in this case. Features like this help to make up for what's missing, such as the deep sensor or any kind of night mode.

Low performance is not here – again we see the strange phenomenon where the preview looks much better than the final result. With the larger aperture and good sensor I expected more. Maybe in a future update.

The camera is not the best out there, but at least in the conversation at this price point

The front camera is much less interesting, but perfectly usable. It is a 16MP shooter that does not have a portrait mode, but also creates beautifully detailed images. Exposure is again a problem. Also, remember to switch off the beauty mode, which is by default – it does strange things to babies! However, even with the beauty off, it still seems to smear my wrinkles.

Red Magic 3 selfie

Apparently the beauty mode is off!

To summarize, the Red Magic 3's camera is not the best out there, but at least in the conversation at this price point. This is not a complete memory, and it is impressive enough on its own.


  • Near stock Android 9.0
  • Dedicated "Game Space"

For all the bombast and excesses in hardware, the Red Magic 3's software is a surprisingly complex issue – what I can only say is a good thing. The experience is pretty close to stock, with the most welcome changes and software here.

I especially like the inclusion of the "Game Space", which is accessible via a switch on the side of the device. It basically puts you in a launcher specifically built for games. This will turn off distracting notifications (if you like) and give you quick and easy access to your games as well as features for features like the radiator.

Red Magic 3 Performance Mode

Games will be filled automatically, and for the most part, the Red Magic gets it right. That said, you can also add them individually if you want.

I really like how easy Game Space makes it to access your favorite games. It has almost a psychological impact on how you approach games on Android. The fact that the game mode is linked to a physical button makes you feel that it is much more likely to take some time out of your busy schedule and choose a game. I'd like to see more features here in the future – maybe the number of hours played on each game, or maybe a social aspect.

During the game in this mode you can turn right from time to time to gain access to settings while playing. There are many useful things here, including quick access to the performance profile, shoulder throttle settings, a standby mode and more. These are good things and make them more attractive than a gaming device.

Red Magic 3 Games Launcher

However, there are one or two typing errors in the software, as well as mistranslations. When I switch to standby mode, the text is in Chinese. I'm also intrigued to know exactly what "Qualitu Priority" can offer me. It's not a stretch of business, but they take off the glare and can irritate those with a tendency to OCD.

I will also be referred not to mention it, once or twice, a program will stop randomly at me, which probably was not due to the RAM. However, these cases were rare and underage, and hopefully they could be smashed into future updates.


  • 5,000mAh
  • 27W fast charger

Like everything else on the hardware front, Nubia went all in the battery. 5,000mAh is significantly larger than most flagship, and of course a great blessing to any avid gamer. I had absolutely no problem with battery life, and managed to print in extensive gambling sessions and watch lots of YouTube before running out of juice. The standby time is also phenomenal. If it is your secondary device, you can leave it for days and still have many left in the tank.

Red Magic 3 USB-C

It may fall slightly short of its full potential. Using two full days of average heavy use, used by the Red Magic 3 is a stretch, probably due to the massive screen and refresh rate. Unlike the Razer 2 or OnePlus 7 Pro, I can't lower the refresh rate when it's not being used. Still, it reaches 9 hours of screen-up as an average, which is really there with some of the best.

Also, finishing the package is a very welcome 27W fast charger, so you can fill the battery just over an hour.


  • Double forward speakers
  • headphone
  • 4D intelligent vibration

With crazy footage and performance, Nubia is wise not to drop the ball with sound. Fortunately, the two things an audiophile is looking for in a smartphone are present and correct: dual front speakers and a headphone jack.

Red Magic 3 Headphone Jack

These speakers are a bit on the slender side, meaning you won't necessarily get the same performance as the Razer 2. Personally, I feel it can do with just a little more bass, but it's still very good. The stereo separation can help you better orientate yourself in a fight, and can also make a big difference when you look at Netflix. That said, who sees Netflix on a smartphone without headphones?

"4D Intelligent Vibration" completes the package, making sure you feel more immersive in the game and what's going on around you. It's a feature we've seen in some play guides, but not one that is particularly entangled. Games need to actively support the feature, and now the only thing it does PUBG, Knife Off, Asphalt 9, and QQ Speed.

The stereo separation can help you better orientate yourself in a fire

It's nice to have it anyway, and the haptic feedback on typing or receiving notifications is actually very enjoyable. It's a small quality of life that I personally appreciate.

Red Magic 3 specifications

chipset Snapdragon 855
Adreno 640
RAM 8-12GB
Save 128-256GB
Not changeable
performance 6.65 inches AMOLED
90Hz refresh rate
Gorilla Glass unspecified
Behind camera 48MP
F / 1.79 diaphragm
Sony IMX586 sensor
8K video recording (beta)
Front camera 16MP
software Android 9.0
Game Space Off
battery 5,000mAh
27W fast charger
audio Dual front-firing speakers

Value for money

  • Red Magic 3 8GB RAM / 128GB Save – Black – $ 479/479 euros
  • Red Magic 3 12GB RAM / 256GB Storage – Camo – TBA

Almost impeccable, the Red Magic 3 is extremely good value for money at $ 479 or 479 euros. I was impressed with finding a Snapdragon 855 in a device, it's affordable, but also a 48MP camera, a built-in fan, up to 12GB of RAM and shoulder buttons? This places the Red Magic 3 firmly in the "crazy value" area (it's a magical place filled with Pocophones and Kindle Brande).

Of course there is a competition out there. In particular, the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 come in at about 450 euros or $ 479 (although prices vary widely) and offers the same Snapdragon 855 and more crazy gamer aesthetics. But for all its value, the Red Magic 3 can certainly be the edge. For a very similar price, you get physical buttons, a larger screen, a larger battery, fan and liquid cooling, and the 48MP camera sensor.

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Compared to the Asus ROG or the Razer 2, the Red Magic 3 leagues are present. They are the last phones, but even at the time of this writing, they charged much more for then-equivalent specifications.

In fact, if Nubia has made a non-play version of this phone and has retained the same specifications – perhaps in a secondary lens in exchange for cooling the fan, it & # 39; s 39, a great popular profession.

Red Magic 3 Review: The verdict

Finally, the Red Magic 3 is a brilliant player and represents incredible value. It impressed me enough that I told my wife about it (my wife didn't care about phones, she was bored).

It's not perfect. The lack of NFC will hurt many, the ankle lenses leave another impressive camera. There is occasionally a lack of Polish in the UI, and performance – while wonderful – is not significantly better than other devices with similar specifications. The appearance will definitely be unpleasant for some users and the size alone will in some cases be a transaction breaker.

Red Magic 3 Gaming

As a whole, the Red Magic 3 is a good package and a fun phone. Gamers will get a kick out of it, that is what really matters at the end of the day. It's not for everyone, but it's sure to find an audience. And the audience will probably be delighted with the Red Magic 3.

This includes our Red Magic 3 review. Let us know your thoughts on this phone!