RedMagic 7S Pro gaming phone hands-on: turbofan, activate!

RedMagic 7S Pro gaming phone hands-on: turbofan, activate!
This story is sponsored by nubia. PhoneArena's opinions in this article have not been affected in any way!

Mobile gaming is growing. Steadily, mercilessly, and exponentially. And with the power of today’s smartphones, you can actually get some pretty high quality games in your pocket.

Gamers want hardware controls for more precision, more power to play their games at highest settings, and big screens with stereo speakers to deliver immersive media.

RedMagic is one brand that specializes in meeting gamers’ needs, with top-of-the-line chips, shoulder buttons for extra control, high-tech phone design, and aggressive pricing. And here, we have the RedMagic 7S Pro — the latest and greatest from the company, that’s about to open for pre-orders.

Let’s take a closer look!

RedMagic 7S Pro design and buttons

Having a phone body that’s easy to hold for prolonged periods is pretty huge up there in the gamer phone checklist. And the RedMagic 7S Pro strikes a pretty good balance here.

The sides are flat and thick-ish, ensuring a very easy and secure grip. The back is arched, so the phone feels a bit more ergonomic when pressed against the palm. Also, the rear panel combines finishes — the middle is matte, for a soft touch, and it's surrounded by glossy glass, which sticks to the hand better.

Oh yeah, that glossy glass — it’s transparent, which allows you to peek into the high-tech design underneath. You will quickly notice that the RedMagic 7S Pro has an actual dedicated fan — it’s a 20,000 RPM turbofan that will spin up every time a game is on, and it will even light up with colorful LEDs for extra cool factor (only available on the transparent models, you can turn these off, if you wish).

Of course, you can’t have a gaming phone without those sweet hardware buttons along the right frame (top frame in landscape). They mostly help for FPS games, where you need extra controls at the tip of your fingers while you are running and aiming with your thumbs. But, you can set them up to have plenty of assistive functions across all of your games.

Each game saves unique settings for the shoulder buttons, so you can customize to your heart’s content. And you can really go bonkers with these — you can have the shoulder button trigger a single click somewhere on the screen, or multi-taps, or even whole macros. So it’s worth diving in.

RedMagic 7S Pro screen, sound, hardware

There’s a 6.8-inch screen on the front, which is comfortably big without going over the top. It gives you enough room to fit both thumbs along the sides — for controlling the game — and still have plenty of real estate to actually see the gameplay.

It’s an AMOLED panel that has pretty punchy colors and great contrast. There are multiple color profiles in the settings, so you can go for warm whites with tame colors or full-out AMOLED punchiness with cold hues.

Of course, it can go up to 120 Hz refresh for smooth animations and touch sampling can — apparently — go all the way to 960 Hz, which is pretty crazy. Obviously, we can’t exactly measure that, but the RedMagic 7S Pro does feel very snappy and responsive.

Also, did you notice? No punch hole, no notch, no nothing. That’s because the selfie camera of the RedMagic 7S Pro is hidden under an array of active pixels on the screen. Have to say, this is among the stealthiest implementations of an under-screen camera we’ve seen — we didn’t even notice something was missing.

The two stereo speakers are both shooting off to the sides, so at least there’s no imbalance with one speaker being front-mounted and the other side-mounted. They get quite loud and sound OK. Maybe a bit harsh in the upper mids and without much bass.

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The phone does offer an EQ for fine-tuning within its gaming controls, but we didn’t see a system EQ for when you are not using it in console mode.

The RedMagic 7S Pro is powered by the latest-and-greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. This chip impressed us with its release and while we still have yet to see it get adopted by more Android phones, the implementation here is pretty overkill.

Since the phone has a turbofan that kicks in to keep the processor cool (or cooler than usual), there doesn’t appear to be any throttling going on. Literally — we ran a Wild Life Extreme Stress Test and the RedMagic 7S Pro did not slow down for any one of the 20 loops. Not one! It did get hot, though.

To top it off, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is assisted by a secondary chip — RedMagic’s own Red Core 1. This assisting silicon takes a load off of the Snapdragon’s shoulders by calculating anything relating to sound, haptics, or RGB lighting. Thus, the Snapdragon is free to focus solely on graphics and raw performance.

We gamed a bit on the phone and, obviously, the heat wasn’t an issue here since regular games don’t try to kill your hardware the same way that 3D Mark’s stress test does. Extra points — it does seem to be quite energy-efficient.

RedMagic 7S Pro camera

Obviously, a gaming phone’s focus (a-ha!) is not in the camera department. Still, we have a 64 MP wide-angle, 8 MP ultra-wide angle, and 2 MP macro cameras on the back. The hidden selfie camera on the front has a 16 MP sensor. You can see some samples below:

RedMagic 7S Pro software

The software on board is RedMagic OS 5, which is built on top of Android 12. It feels light despite the fact that, visually, it is quite different from stock Android. There’s even a number of custom gaming-oriented widgets that allow you to control the fan, the display’s refresh rate, and track your gaming time.

The RedMagic 7S Pro has an actual hardware switch on its side that boots up the gaming mode — flick it on and the software changes to a console-like home screen with extra game settings. Here, you will find setups for your buttons, audio EQ, and different performance profiles that will allow you to boost performance or choose to tone it down and conserve battery.

RedMagic 7S Pro pre-orders live soon

The RedMagic 7S Pro pre-orders open today! Anyone interested can pre-register by buying a $1/€1/£1 coupon. On open-sales day — August 9th — that coupon will give you an early bird discount of $30/€30/£30 off.

RedMagic 7S Pro early bird
RedMagic 7S Pro product page

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