The Nubia Red Magic Mars is one of those surprise gems [hands-on]

Mobile’s presence during CES 2019 might’ve been the lightest we’ve seen in years, but there were still a few surprises that managed to stand out. The Nubia Red Magic Mars was one of them! Even though the ZTE off-shoot has never been one to test the US waters, the Nubia Red Magic Mars aims to make a splash not only for its gaming centric prowess, but also for its killer price point of $399 when it launches later this month via direct sales.

A design fitting for a mobile gamer

We’ll have to admit, the first thing to draw us to the Nubia Red Magic Mars is its aggressive looking design. A unique look that doesn’t necessarily follow the glass meets metal constructions that have dominated the scene, it instead is fashion from anodized aluminum chassis that’s flaunting one geometric looking pattern that catches the eye. Supplementing its gamer-centric design, it features a liquid cooling design to boost CPU and GPU performance – while the LED strip on the back can be customized to your particular taste.

Another interesting aspect of the design is that it features a gaming mode that can be activated by the switch on its left side – essentially locking the phone into whatever game you’re playing, while dismissing any and all notifications so you’re not disturbed. Furthermore, it features two touch sensitive “shoulder” buttons on its right edge that can be programmed to perform whatever function you want in a game. To do this, all that’s needed is to place the corresponding overlaying controls over the on-screen buttons in the game.

Last year’s Snapdragon

Powering the Nubia Red Magic Mars is Qualcomm’s flagship chipset from last year, the Snapdragon 845 processor coupled with either 6, 8, or 10GB of RAM – those options attached with storage capacities of 64, 128, and 256GB capacities. Sure, it’s not the latest piece of silicon that Qualcomm announced a month ago, but the Snapdragon 845 is still quite a formidable chip for all intents and purposes. In our short hands-on time, we were able to see it play some graphics heavy games without showing any sort of indication it was struggling.

Killer price point that should spark interest

As we mentioned already, the Nubia Red Magic Mars is coming here to the US through direct sales with a satisfying $399 price point. We presume that’s for the base model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. That’s not too shabby considering its killer design and generous gaming features. Indeed, just about every flagship can be classified as a gaming-centric device thanks in part to their incredible performance, but the Nubia Red Magic Mars really accentuates its gaming emphasis a lot more. This one shouldn’t go under the radar when it launches here stateside, so we’re curious to see how Nubia will tackle getting the word out!


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