comscore Nubia Red Magic 3 Review: This is the complete gaming package
Review

Nubia Red Magic 3 Review: This is the complete gaming package

The Nubia Red Magic 3 just launched in India and happens to be the first smartphone with an internal cooling fan. Here's our review of the device.

nubia-red-magic-3-review-bgr-1

Nubia Red Magic 3 4.5 5
BGR Rating :
4.5/5

It is a great time to be a mobile gamer in India, with excellent games gracing our shores and now top of line gaming smartphones. Chinese smartphone company Nubia launched its newest gaming smartphone, the Red Magic 3 in India and it is among the few gaming smartphones that recently launched in India. The Red Magic 3 is a unique gaming smartphone because it is the first smartphone to come with an internal cooling fan. It also happens to be one of the few smartphones that can capture 8K resolution video.

Nubia launched the new smartphone in four RAM and storage variants which include 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM + 256GB storage. We received the 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage variant and here’s our review of the Nubia Red Magic 3.

Nubia Red Magic 3: Design and build

A gaming device has to stand out in the crowd of smartphones, and Nubia does just that with the Red Magic 3. Nubia has used a design principle that is inspired by polygons. It has used lines, triangles, rectangles, pentagons and hexagons as a part of design elements. This gives the smartphone a unique look, and use Red as the highlight with the black body. The rear panel of the device has the RGB LED band between lines with red highlights and the internal fan inlet. The hexagonal fingerprint scanner and the pentagonal camera module help the design cause as well.

On the front end of things, the Nubia Red Magic 3 comes with a tall 6.65-inch FHD+ display that has no bezels on the sides. Along the top and bottom, there are thick bezels to comfortably hold the phone while playing games. The top panel houses the front camera on the left half. The dual-firing front stereo speakers are on top and bottom of the bezels in thin slits. All the panels of the smartphones have functions on the Red Magic 3. The top panel houses the 3.5mm headphone port (big win here) while the bottom has the Type-C port and another speaker grille.

The right panel has the customizable capacitive shoulder triggers along with the fan outlet, volume rocker and the power button. The left panel has the Red Magic Game Space 2.0 toggle button which is red in color and the connectors for the gaming dock, along with the SIM tray which is only capable of holding dual-SIMs. This phone has a smooth matte finish which can make it slippery to hold. But in all, it looks like a gaming device out and out.

Software

The flagship gaming device from Nubia uses the newest Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. Nubia is using the Red Magic OS 2.0 skin on top of the stock Android with its own gaming additions. You get some modification controls for fan speeds, screen recording and notifications features. Besides these small additions, the phone is basically on stock Android. This will go along with stock experience lovers and it works well to avoid bloatware and background apps.

Nubia Red Magic 3: Gaming experience

To begin speaking about the gaming performance of the smartphone, it is essential that we mention the specifications first. The Nubia Red Magic 3 The smartphone boasts flagship-grade hardware, which includes a 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC paired with Adreno 640 GPU. The one I was testing had 8GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage. This is enough to tell any reader that the gaming performance of the device is impeccable. There are no lags and transition between apps is like butter.

Cooling

Cooling becomes quite important, especially when it is about a gaming smartphone. The Nubia Red Magic 3 happens to be the first smartphone in the world to come with an internal cooling fan beside the copper internals and liquid cooling technology. This makes the phone a phenomenal example in managing the heat that is created by the CPU and GPU running over the performance marks.

The fan speeds can even be controlled from the Red Magic Game Space 2.0 settings. It has a maximum RPM of 14,000 and Nubia claims that it can work for 30,000 continuous hours. These are bold claims that we sadly could not test, but the fan did keep the internal cool during long heavy gaming sessions of PUBG Mobile.

Display

On to the visual experience of the Nubia Red Magic 3 features a 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED display that produces crisp images and vibrant colors that is highlighted with support for HDR. On top of that, it comes with a 90Hz refresh rate which makes the display a treat to look at. The smartphone has been my daily display drive for over a week now and I can’t get enough of this display.

Gaming mode

The Nubia like most of the gaming smartphones of the day comes with its own toggle button that transforms the smartphone into a dedicated gaming device without any distractions. The gaming mode called Red Magic Game Space 2.0 comes with options to map the customizable capacitive shoulder triggers to the game, turn of 4D shock which help identify different directions in the game through vibration. It displays all the pertinent information about the present state of the smartphone and helps bring all the important functions at your fingertips including no messages and brightness of the display. Even the fingerprint sensor on the back can be customized as a button for a game.

Users can even overclock the device from the settings in the Red Magic Game Space 2.0. It comes with different options and the most powerful setting happens to be the ‘Super Performance Mode’ which puts the CPU and GPU in an overdrive. I tested PUBG Mobile on this mode with the custom setting of 60FPS and Ultra HD settings and the phone ran the game without even overheating. The heat dissipation is so efficient that the back of the phone does not even feel warm most of the times.

I ran  PUBG Mobile, FIFA Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, Modern Combat 5, and Call of Duty: Mobile all on the maximum possible graphics settings. All the games ran in the best conditions possible and the phone didn’t even stutter when I swapped games continuously just for the heck of it. The best part is that the consistency of the FPS that the phone happens to handle, which is unforeseen.

Nubia Red Magic 3: Performance

I think it is pretty clear that the smartphone has excellent performance when it comes to handling games. Hence it is rather pointless to contemplate it is capable of handling run of the mill apps. Moving on to the optical capability of the smartphone, it was rather surprising to see it sport a single lens on the rear. In the day and age when dual-cameras have become the norm, this seems like a bold step from Nubia. But it does not disappoint at all.

The rear camera is alone 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor with and f/1.7 aperture lens on top of it. It captures impressive visuals in terms of still photos and has great depth sensing capabilities. But the real game changer is the 8K video recording mode. Nubia suggests using this mode outdoors for the best result and boy is it impressive. True, it does gobble up space like Pac-Man eating bits.

On the front, the smartphone has a 16-megapixel f/2.0 which captures impressive images, though tends to soften the features of the face more than I would like it to. And this would happen even of the ‘Pretty’ mode was cranked fully down.

Battery life

Moving on to what really matters, which is the battery backup. The Nubia Red Magic 3 is efficient when it comes to battery backup. The 5,000mAh battery is great when not playing games. But with the 90FPS mode turned on and the cooling fan running, battery tends to run out after a few hours of gaming. But that would only be required when playing extremely graphic intense games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile. The rest of the time with these features turned off the battery backup is impressive. But what really alleviates any battery concerns is that the smartphone comes with 27W Fast Charging adapter which charges the smartphone from zero to max in a mere 1 hour 15 minutes time.

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Verdict

Let me say this outright, the Nubia Red Magic 3 is the most complete gaming smartphone that I have used yet. I like the design and looks, especially the RGB LED strip. Besides top-notch specifications, you also get one of the most efficient cooling systems. This helps to keep the thermal levels at low, even after intense gaming sessions.

The Red Magic 3 offers excellent auxiliary gaming controls that essentially defines it as a gaming device. And to top it all it has great battery backup and charging options. Considering the pricing, this is definitely one of the best gaming smartphones that you can buy in India, period. Highly recommended.

Features Asus ROG Phone Xiaomi Black Shark 2 nubia Red Magic 3
Display 6-inch full HD+, 18:9 aspect ratio 6.39-inch full HD+ display, 19.5:9 aspect ratio-2160×1080 pixels 6.65-inch full HD+
OS Android 8.1 Oreo Android 9.0 Pie Android 9 Pie
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC
Internal Memory 8GB RAM with 512GB storage 6GB RAM with 128GB storage 6GB RAM + 64GB storage
Rear Camera 12MP + 8MP Dual cameras – 48MP + 12MP 48MP
Front Camera 8MP 20MP 16MP
Battery Capacity 4,000mAh 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Price Rs 69,999 Rs 39,999 Rs 35,999
  • Published Date: June 17, 2019 8:21 PM IST
  • Updated Date: June 18, 2019 1:13 AM IST


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