When it comes to mobile gaming, the Redmagic lineup has always been a force to be reckoned with, consistently delivering the highest-end specifications without pushing prices up too high. However, in recent years, Redmagic has also gone toe-to-toe with non-gaming phones, bringing industry-leading tech like an under-display camera, super-fast charging, and advanced cooling. Enter the Redmagic 8 Pro, a phone that is unsurprisingly fantastic for gaming, but great at everything else, too.
Spec it up
For those unfamiliar with Redmagic, the following list of flagship specs may come at a surprise given the relatively low price. But no, you’re not reading them wrong, the Redmagic 8 Pro does indeed boast: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU with Adreno 740 GPU, 12/16 GB RAM, 256/512 GB of storage, a 6.8″ 2480×1116 AMOLED screen running at 120 Hz with 1300 nits of peak brightness, and a 6,000 mAh battery which charges at 65 W (leading to a full recharge time of fewer than 45 minutes).
The flagship features don’t end there, however, as the Redmagic 8 Pro also has an under-display selfie camera that becomes almost invisible when not in use, as well as an under-display fingerprint sensor. It also has three rear cameras, supporting wide, ultrawide, and macro modes.
Then there are the features that gamers will really appreciate. First, the headphone jack, which Redmagic phones still have! Then there are the stereo speakers, for those who aren’t using headphones. Next up is the “ICE 11.0 Cooling System,” which helps to keep temperatures low and performance high. Wi-Fi 7 is also supported, future-proofing the phone for faster connections. Last, but by no means least, are the shoulder buttons, which are a game-changer for first-person shooters and racing games.
The design of the Redmagic 8 Pro is my favorite yet. I’ve been using the “Matte” version and I love how subdued the style is. While there is the “Void” variant to satisfy those hungry for a gamer-y aesthetic, Matte is more my style.
The incredible AMOLED screen packs a punch when the phone is turned on for the first time. There is minimal bezel and no camera cut-out tainting the look, leading to a flawless finish that is a pleasure to view.
Unfortunately, the software experience has been a little janky for me, with the phone crashing a few times when navigating menus. However, I’ve never had a crash happen in-game and, as of a recent update, the crashing rate has been reduced significantly. Hopefully that can be fully ironed out with future support.
While competitors like the Apple iPhone 14 opt for simplicity with limited features, the Redmagic 8 Pro does the exact opposite, giving users everything. Users will want to set aside time to properly navigate the settings menus and get the phone set up exactly how they want it. More advanced Android users may like this, but those new to the mobile gaming scene may feel a little overwhelmed.
Once the Redmagic 8 Pro is set up and ready to game, however, the phone comes into its own.
Whether I was playing Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Genshin Impact, or streaming PC games using the Moonlight app, the Redmagic 8 Pro never skipped a beat. While this is largely due to the CPU and GPU combo, some credit has to be given to the phone’s unique cooling system, which prevented the phone from becoming uncomfortably warm. Even after multiple hours of gaming, the phone was only slightly warm to the touch, which is a real achievement.
As a gaming phone, the Redmagic 8 Pro is almost boring in how it absolutely decimates benchmarks and dominates with smoothness. For the mobile gamer, this is a dream machine, especially with those impressive shoulder buttons.
The optional “Game Space” returns and is jam-packed full of features that can be enabled or disabled to provide the most optimal and efficient gaming experience. I mostly just fiddled with fan speeds and refresh rates here, but there is plenty of potential for more advanced customization.
The other stuff
When it’s time to put the games away and get back to real life, the Redmagic 8 Pro still delivers a flagship experience with its fantastic screen, snappy speed as it moves between apps, and long battery life with fast recharging. However, there is one area where this phone stumbles: the front-facing camera.
While the back cameras work perfectly fine and rival most other sub-$700 phones, the front-facing camera leaves a lot to be desired. This is likely because it is an under-display camera, but it’s still worth noting how poor quality the selfies are. If you’re into your selfies, this may well be a dealbreaker, but for everyone else, it’s probably a very minor negative.
Redmagic 8 Pro review samples provided by Nubia.
Coming at $649 for the Matte (12/256) and $799 for the Void (16/512), the Redmagic 8 Pro offers killer value for the performance on offer. For mobile gamers looking at top-tier phones, who don’t mind dealing with a little bit of software jank and a poor front-facing camera, this device is an incredible win that delivers a huge number of flagship features without the flagship pricing.