Gaming phones are a niche product, but they have quickly made a name for themselves in the smartphone industry given the insane specs and value for money they offer. This is the case of the ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 gaming phone.
In this article, we’ll list the top eight features that make the Red Magic 7 the best gaming smartphone you can buy right now. We’ll also share some thoughts on its real-world usage, sustained performance, and how it compares to other current flagships.
1. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor
Let’s start with the most important element of any gaming phone: the processor. The Red Magic 7 comes with Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 4nm chip with the Adreno 730 GPU.
When it comes to benchmarks, the device scores an AnTuTu (v9) score of 1056488 and a Geekbench (v5.4.4) score of 3630. But of course, numbers on a screen don’t always translate to actual performance. Fortunately, they do in this case.
As our review of the Red Magic 7 shows, it can easily run any mobile game you throw at it like Genshin Impact, Asphalt 9, Call of Duty, etc. It’s also incredibly stable and doesn’t lag as much despite long play sessions of the most graphically demanding games at max settings.
Compared to regular flagship phones with the same processor such as the Galaxy S22 Ultra, OnePlus 10 Pro and Asus Zenfone 9, the Red Magic 7 is sure to give you a much smoother gaming experience.
2. Improved cooling system
The Red Magic 7’s cooling system has much better specs than its predecessor. The built-in fan is capable of reaching up to 20,000 rpm and is now much quieter thanks to an internal redesign. With the Supernova model, you get the RGB-enabled fan visible from outside the phone’s translucent body.
The device also features a new nine-layer cooling system that ZTE calls ICE 8.0 combined with “advanced heat dissipation materials” and a new rear air duct for air intake. . This improves airflow by 35%.
Thanks to the load separation, the phone can draw power directly from the charger without charging the battery, which reduces heat. All of these efforts combined contribute to higher sustained performance.
3. 165Hz refresh rate with 720Hz touch sampling
Perhaps the most exaggerated feature of the Red Magic 7 is its 165Hz screen refresh rate, which is actually the highest we’ve seen on a smartphone to date. Most high-end mobile games are calibrated to support 120Hz at best, so 165Hz is kind of unnecessary. Also, the higher the refresh rate, the faster you drain your battery.
Luckily, you can lower that refresh rate down to 60Hz if you want. Although the device does not have an LTPO panel, so it cannot automatically lower the refresh rate when watching something static. You are locked to a fixed refresh rate.
The screen has a touch sampling rate of 720Hz, which makes it extremely responsive. You should be able to comfortably play graphically demanding first-person shooters with virtually no lag in response time.
4. Dedicated game mode
Like all gaming phones, the Red Magic 7 comes with a game mode called Game Space that lets you tweak all sorts of in-game settings to control your experience and perform special tasks.
You can control brightness level, turbojet, refresh rate, etc. You can also view your game’s live FPS, CPU and GPU performance, system temperature, share media, block calls and notifications, etc.
5. Up to 18GB RAM
For occasional users, 6 GB of RAM is already more than enough; but for gamers, this is rarely the case. The more graphically demanding games you play, the more RAM you will need to keep them in memory longer.
Unlike its predecessor which is capped at 12GB, the Red Magic 7 goes up to 18GB of RAM on the Supernova variant. If you don’t need that much RAM, you can choose from two other variants: the Obsidian with 12 GB of RAM and the Pulsar with 16 GB of RAM.
6. 500Hz pressure sensitive areas
The Red Magic 7 also comes with two shoulder triggers. These aren’t physical buttons that pop up while you play as you might have seen on other gaming phones; instead, they’re capacitive inputs that act like buttons with an 8ms response time.
To use them, simply assign each trigger to a specific location on your screen (like on game buttons) and you’re good to go. This allows for better controls when using your thumbs as well as your index fingers to play.
7. 65W GaN fast charger included
To power the device’s 4500mAh dual-cell battery, ZTE also includes a 65W GaN (gallium nitride) fast charger in the box; but it is for global version only. The Chinese version of the device instead gets a 120W charger which ZTE claims can take the device from 100% vacuum in 17 minutes.
The reason GaN chargers are a big deal is that they are more conductive, more efficient, and can be made in a smaller form factor than regular chargers. This means they can produce more power, produce less heat, and are also lightweight, making them the ideal material for chargers and chips.
8. Headphone jack
Every gamer knows that wired headphones are better than wireless headphones. And in 2022, when we’ve already started to accept the removal of the headphone jack as the norm, it’s a major relief to see the Red Magic 7 still rocking it.
With a dedicated 3.5mm audio jack, you can be sure you’ll never have to deal with the latency that wireless headphones still suffer from. When it comes to audio quality, latency and reliability, all essential for gamers, wired audio is the right decision.
Pick the Right Android Gaming Phone
Gaming phones like the Red Magic 7 come with impressive specs for the price, but they have to make some inevitable compromises. If you spend most of your time gaming on your phone, the Red Magic 7 is a very compelling choice.
However, if you’re a moderate gamer, you might want to look at the regular flagships instead which come with better cameras, better software, more reliable updates, and better haptic feedback.
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