This obscure smartphone trounces most computers in one important metric

Nubia Red Magic 5S smartphone - $826.99 from AliExpress (opens in new tab)

Nubia Red Magic 5S smartphone - $826.99 from AliExpress (opens in new tab)
(£658.79/AU$1,176.07)
This smartphone from Nubia is the cheapest on the market with a whopping 16GB of RAM - that's more than most PCs! Are we looking a new category of mobile workstation devices?

There are five smartphones right now that have more system memory than most business laptops (opens in new tab) and computers (opens in new tab) out there.

The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (opens in new tab), Nubia Red Magic 5S/5G (opens in new tab), Lenovo Legion Phone Duel (opens in new tab), Asus ROG Phone 3 (opens in new tab) and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (opens in new tab) all have 16GB of RAM, which is an incredible amount, regardless of how you dice it.

All of these models also run on the most powerful mobile processor on the market, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (or its slightly faster iteration, the 865 Plus).

The cheapest among them is the Nubia device, which comes with 256GB onboard storage and is available for only $830 (£658.79/AU$1,176.07) at AliExpress (opens in new tab).

Other than the fact it runs on Android 10 (opens in new tab), it shares a plethora of high-end features with the other 16GB smartphones, such as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G and a screen that goes beyond full HD.

While the gaming community is the primary audience, the explosive performance on offer with these devices could potentially be used as creative mobile workstations (opens in new tab) (in a similar way to gaming laptops (opens in new tab) in the PC market).

What shape would that take? Well, Samsung has been a pioneer in mobile workspaces with Dex and it is likely that others will follow in its footsteps.

Picture this: you connect one cable to your USB monitor (opens in new tab) and it charges your phone, while at the same time displaying the content of the phone’s screen on a much bigger real estate.

Already some of the biggest creative software vendors, most notably Adobe, have started to roll out applications (e.g Adobe Photoshop (opens in new tab) Sketch) that run on Android natively and would benefit from a big screen. From there, the opportunities are endless.

Bear in mind

  • If this product comes from mainland China, it will take a month to arrive in the UK or US (and potentially more). You may be levied an additional tax, either directly or through the courier
  • If you've managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new, let us know and we'll tip our hat to you.
Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.