It seems that the parade of phones toting Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 has begun. In addition to the likes of Xiaomi, Vivo, and, soon, OPPO, ZTE’s former subsidiary nubia is also joining the fray with a device that’s built for a very specific use case. Trying to push the boundaries of hardware, the nubia Red Magic 6 brings the first gaming-oriented smartphone of the year and it has brought in Chinese gaming giant Tencent to further cement its place in that market.
Perhaps more than your regular high-end consumer smartphone, gaming smartphones tend to push performance to their limits, or at least that’s the perception that the likes of nubia Red Magic, Xiaomi Black Shark, and ASUS ROG are trying to propagate. Mobile games may be taxing but, compared to their PC or console counterparts, they are designed to be more forgiving on hardware. That said, “console-level graphics” and similar terms are often thrown around and nubia wants everyone to know that the Tencent Red Magic 6 and Red Magic 6 Pro are built to rise to the challenge.
Both phones actually have the same 6.8-inch 2400×1080 screens that boast of a 165Hz refresh rate, currently the fastest in the smartphone market. That, however, might not be the most interesting part about the display. The fact that it has a 500Hz touch sampling rate for single fingers and a 360Hz sampling rate for multi-touch suggests that it will be super responsive, especially for games that rely on speed and accuracy for a crucial victory.
Both are powered by a Snapdragon 888 5G chip with 8GB or 12GB of fast LPPDR5 memory, for the Red Magic 6 and Red Magic 6 Pro, respectively, and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The Red Magic 6 carries a 5,050 mAh battery that supports fast 66W (wired) charging and while the Red Magic 6 Pro only has a 4,500 mAh battery, it compensates with an even faster 150W charging. Unsurprisingly, nubia doesn’t give much attention to the triple camera system with a 64MP main shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2MP macro camera.
Gaming smartphones often run hot and the Red Magic 6 comes with an upgraded ICE 6.0 Cooling System that, yes, still includes that tiny, high-speed turbofan inside. RedMagic OS 4.0, thankfully based on Android 11 already, orchestrates the whole show and can cycle through screen refresh rates, from 60Hz to 165Hz, depending on the context to preserve battery or max out screen smoothness. The Tencent Red Magic 6 series goes on sale on March 11 at 3,799 RMB ($590) for the Red Magic 6 and 4,399 RMB ($680) for the Pro model. Global launch is scheduled for March 16 with details to follow closer to that date.