nubia Red Magic 3s review


The number of mobile phones geared towards the mobile gaming market is increasing gradually in response to the demand for quality mobile games. It all started with the Razer Phone,, and even though it wasn’t exactly a success, it inspired a series of gaming phone releases in the last couple of years. The nubia Red Magic 3s is the latest of these to be released.

ZTE nubia Red Magic 3s review

Sure, it may not have all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a flagship phone. There’s just the one camera on its back, and there is no wireless charging, no fancy under-display fingerprint scanner tech, no serious attempt at maximizing screen-to-body ratio, or any crazy fast charging solution. Instead, the Red Magic 3s is laser focused on delivering what gamers allegedly expect from a phone – a flashy design complete with RGB lights, a top-of-the-line chipset and a built-in vapor chamber and a cooling fan to help deliver great sustained performance.

ZTE nubia Red Magic 3s

  • Body: 171.7 x 78.5 x 9.7 mm, 215 grams, Corning Gorilla Glass 4 front, metal unibody.
  • Display: 6.65″ AMOLED, 1080 x 2340px resolution; 19.5:9 aspect ratio; 388ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855+ (7 nm); Octa-core (1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485); Adreno 640 (700 MHz).
  • Memory: 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB.
  • OS: Android 9.0 (Pie); Redmagic 2.0
  • Rear camera: Main: 48MP, f/1.7, 1/2″, 0.8µm pixel size; PDAF; 4320p@15fps, 2160p@30/60fps video recording. h264/h265 and 10bit HDR recording options
  • Front camera: 16MP, f/2.0, 2.0µm; 1080p@30fps video recording.
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh, 18W fast charging.
  • Misc: Game mode slider, stereo loudspeakers with DTS:X, rear-mounted fingerprint reader, shoulder triggers (hardware controls for games), USB-C 3.1 connector, customizable 16.8 million color RGB strip on the back, build-in cooling fan, available in Black, Red, Camouflage, Red/Blue.

We should not forget the high-refresh-rate 90Hz OLED screen and the humongous 5,000 mAh battery that can last you a busy full day even with a couple of gaming sessions squeezed-in here and there.

ZTE nubia Red Magic 3s review

For a more immersive gaming experience, the phone also boasts big stereo loudspeakers and touch-capacitive triggers on the side frame that work great with first-person shooters and racing games.

So are those features enough to compensate for the lack of more versatile camera setup on the back and the absence of a convenient under-display fingerprint reader? And does it pose a considerable upgrade over its predecessor, the nubia Red Magic 3, or is it just a hardware refresh with the slightly more powerful chipset? Let’s try to answer these in the following pages.

Unboxing the nubia Red Magic 3s

The phone comes in a simplistic and slim black packaging containing the usual user manuals, an 18W-capable charging brick and a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and data transfer. The cable itself is red to go with the phone’s paint job.

ZTE nubia Red Magic 3s review

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