Nubia Red Magic gaming phone with RGB LED strip, GameBoost button, and Snapdragon 835 launches in India
The gaming phone niche rose to prominence in the Android smartphone market in 2017. The Razer Phone was the first phone to draw attention to itself as a phone for gamers, and it was followed by the Razer Phone 2 this year. Other companies such as Asus, Xiaomi, and Nubia have since entered the gaming phone niche by launching the ROG Phone, Black Shark series, and the Red Magic series respectively. The first modern Android “gaming phone” to arrive in India was the Asus ROG Phone. The Indian launch took place in November at an exceedingly high price of ₹69,990 ($1,002). Now, Nubia, a subsidiary of ZTE, has launched the first-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 835-powered Nubia Red Magic phone in India at a substantially cheaper price (₹29,999).
The Nubia Red Magic launched in India should not be confused with the second-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-powered Nubia Red Magic Mars phone, which launched in China last month. Interestingly, Nubia is promoting the Red Magic as a gaming phone despite the presence of the Snapdragon 835, which is decidedly last-generation at the end of 2018, as the market awaits Snapdragon 855 phones. Technically, this means that the Nubia Red Magic is actually a worse gaming phone than something like the Xiaomi POCO F1 or the Asus ZenFone 5Z in terms of performance, and both phones are actually cheaper. So are there any differentiating features on this particular phone?
Let’s take a look at the specifications of the first-generation Nubia Red Magic:
Nubia Red Magic – Specifications at a glance
|Category||Nubia Red Magic|
|Dimensions and weight||158.1 x 74.9 x 9.5 mm, 185g|
|Software||Stock Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Display||5.99-inch Full HD+ (2160×1080) IPS LCD with 18:9 aspect ratio; 2.5D NEG T2X-1 glass panel|
|RAM and storage||8GB RAM with 128GB UFS 2.1 storage|
|Battery||3,800 mAh; Nubia fast charging; NeoPower 3.0|
|Rear camera||24MP with Samsung 5K2X7SX sensor, 0.9μm pixels, f/1.7 aperture|
|Front camera||8MP with 1.12μm pixels, f/2.0 aperture|
|Ports||USB Type-C port, dual nano-SIM slots, 3.5mm headphone jack|
The Nubia Red Magic looks like a typical gaming phone with a design that is instantly recognizable as a gaming phone. It has a dual air convection cooling system that has three cooling ports, additional layers of graphite, compounded with a convex-style back. Nubia claims that this helps the phone to manage internal temperature while playing resource-intensive games.
The phone also has a dedicated GameBoost button to activate the GameBoost mode. The GameBoost mode is supposed to boost the system performance, and it also enables users to disable incoming calls, messages, and other notifications with a single switch. Notably, the Nubia Red Magic has a 16.8-million color RGB LED strip and an “aviation-grade” aluminium alloy build, at a time when nearly all flagship phones have switched towards glass backs.
Pricing and availability
The Nubia Red Magic is being sold in a single 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant in India. It costs ₹29,999 ($430), and it is now exclusively available via Amazon India. The phone was also launched in Europe earlier this year. In India, it will compete with Snapdragon 845-powered affordable flagship phones such as the Xiaomi POCO F1, Asus ZenFone 5Z, and the OnePlus 6T.
It’s worth noting that the newer Nubia Red Magic phone is available for roughly the same price in China. At this point, it’s unknown whether Nubia intends to bring the newer model to India.