Gaming phones are a niche product, but they’ve quickly made their name in the smartphone industry given the insane specs and value for money they offer. Such is the case with the ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 gaming phone.
In this article, we’ll list down 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 about its real-world use, sustained performance, and how well it compares with other current flagships.
1. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Processor
Let’s start with the most important thing in any gaming phone: the processor. The Red Magic 7 comes with Qualcomm’s flagship 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip with the Adreno 730 GPU.
Coming to benchmarks, the device records 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 real-world performance. Luckily, they do so 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 throttle as much despite long gaming sessions of the most graphically demanding games in max settings.
Compared to regular flagship phones with the same processor such as the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the OnePlus 10 Pro, and the Asus Zenfone 9, the Red Magic 7 is sure to give you a much smoother gaming experience.
2. Improved Cooling System
The cooling system on the Red Magic 7 has much better specs than its predecessor. The built-in fan is capable of reaching up to 20,000RPM and is now much quieter thanks to an internal redesign. With the Supernova model, you get the RGB-enabled fan visible from the outside of the phone’s translucent body.
The device also features a new nine-layer cooling system that ZTE calls the ICE 8.0 paired with “advanced heat-dissipating materials” and a new air duct on the back for air intake. This helps improve airflow by 35%.
With Charge Separation, the phone can draw power directly from the charger without charging the battery—reducing heat. All these efforts combined contribute to higher sustained performance.
3. 165Hz Refresh Rate With 720Hz Touch Sampling
Perhaps the most overkill feature of the Red Magic 7 is its 165Hz screen refresh rate, which is in fact the highest we’ve seen on any smartphone yet. Most high-end mobile games are calibrated to support 120Hz at best, so 165Hz is a bit unnecessary. Plus, the higher the refresh rate, the quicker you drain your battery.
Fortunately, you can dial down this refresh rate all the way to 60Hz if you want to. Although, the device doesn’t have an LTPO panel, so it can’t automatically bring down the refresh rate when you’re looking at something static. You’re locked at a fixed refresh rate.
The display has a touch sampling rate of 720Hz which makes it extremely responsive. You should be able to comfortably play graphically demanding first-person shooter games with virtually zero delays in response time.
4. Dedicated Gaming Mode
Just like all gaming phones, the Red Magic 7 comes with a gaming mode called Game Space which allows you to tweak all sorts of settings mid-game to control your experience and perform special tasks.
You can control the brightness level, turbofan, refresh rate, and more. You can also visualize the live FPS of your game, CPU and GPU performance, system temperature, share media, block calls and notifications, etc.
5. Up to 18GB RAM
For casual users, 6GB of RAM is already more than enough; but for gamers, that is rarely the case. The more graphically demanding games you play, the more RAM you’ll need to keep them in memory for longer.
Unlike its predecessor that’s capped at 12GB, the Red Magic 7 goes all the way 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 12GB RAM, and the Pulsar with 16GB RAM.
6. 500Hz Pressure Sensitive Zones
The Red Magic 7 also comes with dual shoulder triggers. These aren’t physical buttons that pop up while you’re gaming like you may have seen on other gaming phones; instead, these are capacitive inputs that act as buttons with an 8ms response time.
To use them, simply assign each trigger a specific location on your screen (such as on in-game buttons) and you’re ready to go. This allows for better controls as you’re using your thumbs as well as your index fingers to play.
7. Included 65W GaN Fast Charger
To power the device’s dual-cell 4500mAh battery, ZTE is also including a 65W GaN (Gallium Nitride) fast charger in the box; but that’s for the global version only. The Chinese version of the device gets a 120W charger instead which ZTE claims can take the device from empty to 100% in 17 minutes.
The reason why GaN chargers are a big deal is that they’re more conductive, more efficient, and can be made in a smaller form factor than regular chargers. This means they can output 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 accepting the removal of the headphone jack as a 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 to never have to deal with the latency that wireless headphones still suffer with. 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 on your phone gaming, the Red Magic 7 is a very compelling choice.
However, if you’re a moderate gamer, you might want to look at regular flagships instead that come with better cameras, better software, more reliable updates, and better haptic feedback.
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