Red Magic 5G is the world’s first gaming smartphone with a 144Hz display

(Image credit: Nubia)

Update (April 14): Added Global pricing

Nubia was one of the first smartphone companies to have a dedicated sub-brand just for gaming smartphones. With the Red Magic 5G, it manages to achieve a couple of feats that no other smartphone can currently boast of.

Red Magic has been known for bold designs, powerful specifications, big, high refresh rate displays, and giant batteries. Even with the bar set so high, the Red Magic 5G improves upon on all those aspects.

Nubia Red Magic 5G specifications

For starters, the Red Magic 5G is one of the world’s first 5G gaming smartphone, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem. Both NSA and SA standards are supported. Unsurprisingly, it is also powered by the Snapdragon 865 (clocked at 2.84GHz) and the Adreno 650 GPU, up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. 

To keep the peak performance sustained, the Red Magic 5G also houses an interesting cooling solution. We’re looking at an actual fan that can spin as fast as 15,000 rpm and covers an area of 40,000 mm². That is further bolstered by an L-shaped cooling chamber that uses a combination of thermal paste, a copper foil, and graphite. There are vents on either side of the phone to assist in air circulation.

Other gaming-centric additions include capacitive shoulder buttons, 4D haptic feedback with a linear vibration motor, and docking pins on the side to connect peripherals such as Ethernet, headphones and charging cables.

(Image credit: Nubia)

The Red Magic 5G is also the first gaming smartphone with a 144Hz refresh rate. It is a 6.65-inch AMOLED panel with a 240Hz touch sampling rate. It uses Goodix’s latest in-display fingerprint scanner too. Moreover, it covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space.

The display is flanked by a pair of front-firing loudspeakers for a stereo sound output. The audio is also DTS X Ultra certified. The 3.5mm headphone jack is also present. As a part of the new Red Magic OS, we also get features such as picture-in-picture, wireless airplay, and game space.

As for the cameras, the Red Magic 5G has three of them on the back. The primary camera is the 64MP f/1.8 Sony IMX686 sensor, followed by an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 2MP macro lens. The selfie shooter also uses an 8MP camera. New shooting modes include anti-shake video recording and a vlog mode.

To keep the gaming sessions going, the Red Magic 5G runs off a 4,500mAh battery. For charging, it supports up to 55W (5.5V, 10A) fast charging, as well as Quick Charge 4.0 and USB PD 3.0. 15-minute top-up is said to fill the battery by 56%, with a full charge taking about 40 minutes.

Red Magic 5G pricing

The phone is currently only available in China, but they did confirm global availability at a later date. Considering that the Red Magic 3 and 3S made their way to India, we are hopeful that the Red Magic 5G will too.

  • 8GB+128GB: CNY 3799 (~Rs 40,000)
  • 12GB+128GB: CNY 4099 (~Rs 43,500) 
  • 12GB+256GB: CNY 4399 (~Rs 46,500)
  • 16GB+256GB: CNY 4999 (~Rs 53,000)

There’s also a special edition with a transparent back which shows off the fan and other components. It is priced slightly higher at CNY 4,599(~Rs 49,000) for the 12GB + 256GB variant, and CNY 5,199(~Rs 55,000) for the top-of-the-line 16GB + 256GB model.  

Update (April 14): European pricing

Two configurations of the Red Magic 5G have made their way to global markets. The 8GB + 128GB variant is priced at $579/€579/£539 and the 12GB + 256GB variant is priced at $649/€649/£599. Colours options are limited to Eclipse Black and Hot Rod Red.

Thanks to Sunny Wang for the translation!

Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.