Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro review: the one to beat for smartphone gaming

Chinese smartphone manufacturer has gone all out with its latest mobile gaming device

The Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro functions just as well as a standard smartphone, handling calls, messages and social media apps with ease. Photo: Nubia
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

While Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi — the world’s top-selling smartphones in 2021 — duke it out over who can deliver the best and most complete smartphone, there’s another battle slowly gaining prominence. It’s the tussle for best mobile gaming experience. And right at the heart of this is Nubia.

Through its gaming-focused RedMagic brand, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has quickly become the go-to device for gamers. You might not have heard of it, but Nubia RedMagic is causing waves on the mobile eSports scene. And its latest edition is pushing the limits of what’s possible in the world of smartphone gaming.

The Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro looks and feels superb. It’s a tall, dark and handsome device that comes with signature flair. Flip the front-facing, crystal clear AMOLED screen over and it reveals its gaming aesthetics. There’s a see-through panel that shows the hardware and cooling system inside. What it doesn’t show is the dedicated gaming chip — Red Core 1 for those that like to talk technical — which is what powers its games.

The Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro gaming smartphone runs on Android 12. Photo: Nubia

It runs on Android 12, but comes with a custom twist. Flick the little red switch on the side and the whole handset rumbles and glows into action as the Games Hub fires up. This is where you can quickly and easily jump into your library of games, and where the RedMagic 7 Pro outstrips the competition.

The Full HD screen really makes games pop. It doesn’t have any iPhone-style notches on it, so you can see everything as intended. Holding it horizontally reveals the wonderfully integrated touch-sensitive triggers that make it more akin to an intuitive, mobile console experience. This means that popular games such as Fortnite, League of Legends and Apex Legends are a joy to play. Such is the slickness of the delivery, that I managed to win my first try at PUBG — the popular online shooter game — with relative ease.

Anyone that has played games on a phone for any length of time will attest that handsets usually start to burn up after a while. This is something that the Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro has addressed in dramatic fashion. The cooling system embodies the whole smartphone, which means besides the PC gaming style turbofan you can see on the back, you also get an inlet and outlet so the cold air duct can be pulled in and pushed out. Which makes it ideal for long journeys where gaming or watching movies can help you pass the hours.

There are no notches on the screen, and you can see everything as intended. Photo: Nubia

Sure, it functions just as well as a standard smartphone too. It can handle calls, messages and social media apps with ease. It might not have wireless charging, which is quickly becoming the industry standard, but it has the lightning-fast Quick Charge 5 tech from Qualcomm, which means it can be fully charged in no time. Its camera is no slouch either. There’s a number of options to create bespoke snaps with either the 64MP+8MP rear camera or the 16MP selfie camera.

However, you have to be careful where you carry the RedMagic 7 Pro, as the aforementioned air duct is prone to letting in liquids.

But as a gaming device, the line between full-fledged mobile console and smartphone has never been closer. The look and feel of the RedMagic 7 Pro is genuinely impressive and it makes playing games a joy. Will you likely swap it for your tried-and-tested handset from the big three? That’s a tough call as it’s much bulkier and heavier than other devices.

But in terms of gaming prowess, it's untouchable right now. For something so fun, it takes its entertainment incredibly serious. From keeping your hands cool with the fan and venting, to the games hub switch and 120 FPS display that makes games run without a hitch, it really does go all out. The Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro is the challenger to beat when it comes to smartphone gaming.

Updated: July 14, 2022, 5:42 AM