Great gaming hardware with challenging software

A typical gaming phone differentiates itself from different high-performance telephones by together with further gaming-specific options like energetic cooling and shoulder triggers. These are backed up by the newest processors and the quickest shows. The Red Magic 6 has the whole lot you’d count on from a gaming cellphone together with the trade’s first 165Hz show — a big improve from the 144Hz show discovered within the Red Magic 5G. Is it one of the best gaming cellphone to beat? Find out in Android Authority‘s Red Magic 6 assessment.

About this Red Magic 6 assessment: I used the Red Magic 6 for 3 weeks working Android 11 and RedMagic OS 4.0 (construct NX669J_UNCommon_V4.12). The Red Magic 6 assessment unit was supplied to Android Authority by Nubia. The assessment unit was the Chinese model working the worldwide firmware. The CN model doesn’t assist NFC, however the international model does. The CN model has the Tencent Games emblem on the again, however the international model doesn’t. The CN model has a 66W charger within the field, however the international model ships with a 30W charger.

What you have to know concerning the Red Magic 6

Red Magic 6 logo in sunlight

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

  • Red Magic 6 (12GB/128GB, Eclipse Black): $599/€599/£509
  • Red Magic 6 Pro 16GB/256GB, Moon Silver): $699/€699/£599

The Red Magic 6 and Red Magic 6 Pro are the newest gaming telephones from Red Magic — a sub-brand of the Shenzhen-based Nubia.

There are two fashions of the Red Magic 6, the usual model and the Pro model. The latter has extra RAM and extra storage. The Red Magic 6 is available in Eclipse Black with a glass again, whereas the Red Magic 6 Pro is Moon Silver and incorporates aviation-grade aluminum. Other than these variations, the 2 variants are the identical. In the field, you get the cellphone, a 30W charger, and a USB-C to USB-C cable.

Related: The best gaming laptops you can buy right now

The Red Magic 6 and Red Magic 6 Pro will likely be out there globally from April 15, with pre-orders opening on April 9. The telephones will likely be out there in Asia-Pacific areas, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. Its essential opponents are gaming telephones just like the Asus ROG Phone 5 and the Black Shark 4, in addition to reasonably priced flagships just like the OnePlus 9 and Samsung Galaxy S21.

Is the Red Magic 6 good for gaming?

Red Magic 6 bullet force in game

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

The Red Magic 6 ticks all the best bins with regards to gaming. It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, a 6.8-inch Full HD show, and at the very least 12GB of RAM. Plus, there’s a 5,050mAh battery, energetic cooling by way of a built-in fan, capacitive shoulder buttons, and a devoted gaming launcher.

The Red Magic 6 boasts the trade’s first 165Hz show, which raises the Red Magic 6 above each different gaming cellphone on paper. For players, sooner is all the time higher. Along with the excessive refresh fee, the show incorporates 500Hz single-finger contact sampling and 360Hz multi-touch sampling. To defend the show, Nubia makes use of an unspecified grade of Corning Gorilla Glass.

Overall, the AMOLED show is an enormous plus level for this cellphone. The colours are good (it helps HDR 10+, DCI-P3) and the brightness is above common at a peak of 640 nits. Unless you actually squint, you gained’t discover that that is solely an FHD+ panel both. There are additionally settings to regulate the colour gamut and you’ll change between regular, vivid, pure, P3, and sRGB. The default is lots vivid. Personally, I feel that’s the proper alternative.

The Red Magic 6 boasts the trade’s first 165Hz show. For players, sooner is all the time higher.

A 165Hz refresh fee is just not the one trade first for the Red Magic 6. It additionally features a CPHY-DSI interface that connects the Snapdragon 888 to the show. According to Nubia, utilizing CPHY-DSI means the info is distributed twice as quick to the show whereas utilizing much less energy.

To get probably the most from a excessive refresh fee show you have to play video games that assist greater than the usual 60Hz refresh. Not all video games do. Nubia claims there are over 100 video games that assist 165Hz together with Real Racing and Dead Trigger 2, however don’t count on to see a distinction on a regular basis as many video games on the Play Store nonetheless don’t assist larger refresh charges. Also bear in mind to not confuse body fee with refresh fee, as these are two various things. If you need to know extra, then I’ve a video that will help.

The Red Magic 6 is unapologetically a gaming cellphone and as such gaming-centric options are vital. On the aspect of the machine is a small crimson change, which is used to activate Game Space — a devoted gaming UI that provides you quick access to your video games. Game Space additionally offers you controls for the fan, the LED lights, plus it lets you configure the shoulder gaming buttons.

One of the Red Magic 6’s most helpful options is the pair of capacitive shoulder triggers. The intelligent factor about them is that they work virtually any recreation; there isn’t any want for particular variations or further assist from the sport makers. The manner they work is that you may map any level on the display to one of many triggers. These mappings could be saved on a per-game foundation, which means that after you arrange a recreation, the Red Magic 6 will bear in mind the way you need the triggers to behave. In a recreation like Asphalt 9, you press one a part of the display to float and one other to make use of your nitro. With the shoulder triggers, these could be mapped to the left and proper buttons in an effort to play the sport principally with out touching the display.

Also learn: 15 best Android games available right now

As you’d count on from a gaming cellphone, the Red Magic 6 makes use of the newest flagship processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 888. The CPU and GPU are perfect for enjoying the newest processor-intensive video games. I examined out plenty of charting topping hits together with Genshin Impact, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Bullet Force, Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile, and PUBG Mobile. They all carried out admirably.

For those that like benchmarks numbers, the Red Magic 6 maxed out the Sling Shot Extreme check in 3DMark with the app reporting that the “Red Magic 6 is too powerful for this test,” although that is widespread throughout Snapdragon 888-powered gadgets. 3D Mark’s newest check known as Wild Life. The Red Magic 6 scored 5,743 with a median body fee of 34.4fps. For context, these are very related scores to the OnePlus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy S21.

As for uncooked CPU efficiency, the machine scored 1,127 for Geekbench 5’s single-core assessments, and three,627 for its multi-core check. Again, these are in the identical ballpark because the OnePlus 9 and Galaxy S21 sequence.

As an fascinating aspect notice, the Red Magic 5G routinely switched on the fan when working the 3D Mark, regardless that it wasn’t in Game Mode. That doesn’t occur for different apps or video games, which suggests the machine detected the benchmark and reacted accordingly. Personally, I discover that a bit of bit disconcerting.

The function of the built-in energetic cooling is to allow long-term sustained efficiency.

The function of the built-in energetic cooling is to allow long-term sustained efficiency. Its effectiveness was questionable within the Red Magic 5G with solely a marginal enchancment in sustained efficiency with the fan working. However, it appears to be far more useful to the Red Magic 6. I ran Geekbench and obtained the numbers above. I then did some intense 3D gaming for 30 minutes, with out the fan, after which I ran Geekbench once more. I noticed a 30% drop within the Geekbench single-core rating.

After letting the machine cool totally, I did the identical factor once more however with the fan working at max. At the top of the intensive 3D gaming, I noticed a drop of simply 1% with Geekbench. Sustained multi-core efficiency was additionally improved through the use of the fan. Without the fan, I noticed a 9% drop within the multi-core rating, whereas with the fan it was simply 2.5%.

How does the digicam carry out?

Red Magic 6 triple camera

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

Like its predecessor, the Red Magic 6 has a triple digicam setup. Previously Nubia opted for a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor, nevertheless this time the corporate has gone with the Samsung ISOCELL GW3 (the S5KGW3 particularly). The 64MP sensor is joined by an 8MP extremely wide-angle sensor, and a 2MP macro sensor.

The digicam expertise is decidedly common. Overall, the digicam suite on the Red Magic 6 is usable, however photos usually look boring and lack coloration vibrance. If you prioritize gaming over pictures, then you’ll be simply positive.

See additionally: The best budget camera phones you can buy

However, the true subject with the Red Magic 6’s digicam suite is Red Magic’s digicam app. To begin, the UI lacks an apparent toggle to change to ultra-wide mode. This is an odd omission, contemplating the ultra-wide mode makes use of its personal sensor and lens. Instead, the ultra-wide toggle is hidden away within the Pro mode. This was the identical with the Red Magic 5G, and it’s weird that it hasn’t been addressed but. It’s particularly odd as a result of Nubia did embody a toggle for zoom (as much as 10x) regardless that there isn’t a devoted telephoto lens — it’s all simply digital zoom. You can try the zoom ends in the comparability gallery under.

Macro mode can also be squirreled away, this time beneath the Family sub-menu. The macro digicam itself doesn’t have autofocus and the decision means picture element gained’t maintain up in case you crop in. Elsewhere within the Family part, additionally, you will discover different digicam features like MultiExposure, LightDraw, Star Trail, Time Lapse, Panoramic, Clone, and far more.

The Red Magic 6 contains assist for 8K video recording at 30fps, in addition to 4K or 1080p at as much as 60fps. You can decide between H.264, H.265, and HDR10 for the encoder.

If you prioritize gaming over pictures, then the Red Magic 6 digicam will likely be positive. For everybody else, it is decidedly common.

The entrance digicam is an affordable 8MP shooter. Portrait mode is offered, however it doesn’t really add a blurred background so it’s pointless. There’s additionally a magnificence mode, although most will need to maintain this disabled as a result of aggressive smoothing utilized to pores and skin.

If you need to see the photographs above at their full decision then yow will discover them here.

How is the battery life?

Red Magic 6 asphalt 9 menu

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

To assist players get probably the most on-screen time, Nubia has included a 5,050mAh battery, plus fast charging. The cellphone helps charging as much as 66W, however solely a 30W charger is included within the field. According to Nubia, you may cost the Red Magic 6 from Zero to 100% in 43 minutes utilizing a 66W charger. Using the provided 30W charger I used to be capable of cost from 1% to 100% in a single hour. The battery reached 50% in 22 minutes and 80% in 36 minutes.

If you need greater than 30W charging then any high-power USB-C PD, and even higher nonetheless USB-C PD PPS charger will work. I examined it on my PinePower Desktop charger, which helps 60W USB-C PD, and the machine began charging at 33W. For the complete 66W you’ll need a USB-C PD PPS charger.

Related: The best phone charging accessories

I examined enjoying 3D video games, since that’s the complete level of the Red Magic 6, and I discovered that you’re going to get round 4 hours of gaming from one cost. That is 25% per hour. If you’re a heavy gamer it’s price noting this quantity. At the opposite finish of the size, you may watch 19 hours of YouTube on one cost.

Assuming your common day isn’t just about gaming then you’re going to get a full day trip of the battery, however simply regulate the battery stage in case you do indulge in additional than an hour or two of 3D mayhem.

What concerning the software?

Red Magic 6 always on display

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

The software is the weakest factor concerning the Red Magic 6. But let’s begin with the positives.

Red Magic OS 4.Zero relies on Android 11, so you might be getting the newest model of Android on the time of the machine’s launch. The Red Magic OS 4.Zero pores and skin has plenty of options to assist the gaming hardware. I’ve already talked about the devoted Game Space and the shoulder triggers. However, there may be additionally assist for recording video clips throughout gameplay, manually setting the display refresh fee (60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, and 165Hz), configuring the sunshine strip on the again of the machine, and a aspect menu with fast entry to numerous instruments and apps.

Google’s apps and providers are totally supported on the Red Magic 6 and also you get the Play Store, YouTube, Chrome, Photos, Google Drive, and Gmail all pre-installed. Besides Google’s app, you get a small number of instruments and utilities like a file supervisor, clock, calculator, and so on. All the traditional stuff. Overall the extent of bloat is low with the one superfluous app promoting Nubia’s equipment for the Red Magic sequence.

Red Magic 6 in hand launcher

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

One of my gripes concerning the Red Magic 5G was that you simply couldn’t management the fan exterior of Game Space — now you may! Thank you, Nubia. Also, there was beforehand no solution to present the battery share subsequent to the battery icon. Again, fastened. But it isn’t all roses and candy lavender.

For starters, you may’t change the default launcher. While for some folks that’s irrelevant, for others it’s a deal-breaker. Changing the launcher is likely one of the elementary freedoms that Android customers have in comparison with iOS customers. It additionally implies that Speed Test G gained’t run on the Red Magic 6, which is a disgrace because it may have been one of many quickest telephones of 2021.

The inclusion of a 165Hz show is an enormous plus for the Red Magic 6, and the flexibility to manually change between refresh charges is nice. Nubia claims that the software permits for adaptive adjustment among the many 4 completely different ranges, however I didn’t see it occurring. For some motive the setting is saved beneath a sub-menu referred to as Smart recreation, not the core displany menu. It’s an identical case for the 165Hz setting, which is accessed by way of a notification drawer toggle. It’s all very complicated.

Red Magic’s observe file with updates is not nice and Red Magic OS 4.Zero nonetheless wants quite a lot of work.

There can also be the query of updates. I’ve all the time been involved concerning the quantity and frequency of safety updates from Nubia. Looking again on the Red Magic 3S and the Red Magic 5G, they did get some updates. The final one was November 2020, when each gadgets obtained patched. I’m scripting this in April 2021. As far as I can see, not one of the earlier gadgets ever obtained a significant Android replace. My guess is that the Red Magic 6 will stay solely on Android 11.

And then there are the bugs. Let me begin by saying that I obtained my assessment unit earlier than the machine goes on sale globally and that Nubia is upfront that the software in my check unit isn’t the ultimate construct. Despite this, primarily based on my expertise with different Red Magic telephones, I’ve a nagging general impression that the ultimate model may very well be equally unstable and inconsistent.

The Red Magic 6’s software is best than on earlier iterations of this sequence, and gaming-specific options like Game Space and the customizable triggers earn it some bonus factors. However, in case you’re in search of a cellphone that provides an ideal pores and skin for day-to-day use, then the Red Magic 6 isn’t the cellphone for you.

Anything else?

Red Magic 6 fingerprint reader

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

  • Under-display fingerprint reader: To be blunt, the under-display fingerprint reader on the RedMagic 5G was horrible. However, the completely happy information is that the reader on the Red Magic 6 is nice. No points, no issues, no frustration. It simply works!
  • Audio: The Red Magic 6 has two audio system, providing a real stereo expertise. The earpiece doubles as a speaker, it’s front-firing. It is joined by a downward-firing speaker on the underside. The excellent news is that there’s a headphone jack. It is on the highest edge. I examined the stereo separation utilizing a kind of check movies on YouTube that performs music via the left after which proper speaker, and I used to be impressed. This implies that in case you watch YouTube or Netflix whereas holding the machine in your hand, it is best to take pleasure in some good stereo results. But, as is commonly the case, utilizing headphones might be extra well mannered, and can ship one of the best general expertise.
  • No IP ranking: Don’t take this cellphone for a dip because it doesn’t have an official IP ranking for water and mud safety. This is pretty widespread for gaming telephones, however there are some telephones on the $600 mark that do have official safety scores.
  • Wi-Fi 6E: The Red Magic 6 helps Wi-Fi 6E — the newest and quickest Wi-Fi customary and has entry to the 6GHz spectrum. This is nice information for players who need the quickest connections and is a uncommon function at this worth level.

Red Magic 6 specs

  RedMagic 6
Display AMOLED 6.Eight inches Full HD+ @165Hz
SoC Snapdragon 888
GPU Adreno 660
Storage 128GB/256 GB UFS3.1
Cameras Rear Cameras:
64MP essential
8MP Wide-angle
2MP Macro

Front Camera:
8MP selfie

8K @30fps, 1080p/4K @60fps

Battery 5050mAh
60W fast charging supported, 30W charger included
Sensors Fingerprint, G-sensor, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, Sensor hub
Network 5G: NR n41/n78
2G: GSM 2/3/5/8
3G: WCDMA B1/2/4/5/6/8/9/19
4G: TD-LTE B34/B38/39/40/41
4G: FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B66
Connectivity WiFi 6 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5.1
SIM Dual nano-SIM
Software RedMagic OS 4.Zero primarily based on Android 11.0
Dimensions and weight Height: 169.86mm
Width: 77.19mm
Depth: 9.7mm
Weight: 220g
Colors Eclipse Black (Standard) or Moon Silver (Pro)

Value and competitors

Red Magic 6 Red Magic 6

The Red Magic 6 builds on the gaming cellphone traditions of its predecessors and it does all of it for lower than $600. The Snapdragon 888 is nice, plus you get a 165Hz show, energetic cooling, at the very least 12GB of RAM, and hardware shoulder buttons.

The Red Magic 6 isn’t the one gaming cellphone available on the market, there are others. This contains the present king, the Asus ROG Phone 5. The two gadgets have related options just like the Snapdragon 888, superior cooling options, and excessive refresh fee shows. The ROG Phone presents as much as 512GB of storage, and as much as 18GB of RAM, plus one of many largest batteries available on the market at 6,000mAh. There are literally three completely different fashions within the ROG 5 Phone lineup: the Asus ROG Phone 5, the ROG Phone 5 Pro, and the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. All three share the identical entrance display and shoulder buttons (Air Triggers 5), with minor spec boosts for RAM and storage as you progress up the ladder.

If you aren’t impressed by shoulder triggers and energetic cooling, however you continue to desire a machine with the newest Snapdragon processor and a excessive refresh fee show then you’ve got fairly a number of choices together with the OnePlus 9, which has a set 120Hz show, or the OnePlus 9 Pro, which has an adaptive 120Hz show. Both gadgets have the Snapdragon 888 and are available with as much as 12GB of RAM.

Also learn: The best phones for gaming

If you don’t just like the look of the OnePlus 9 sequence, then what concerning the Samsung Galaxy S21 range? All the S21 fashions have adaptive 120Hz shows and at the very least 8GB of RAM, with the top-of-the-line mannequin, the Galaxy S21 Ultra, that includes a 6.8-inch AMOLED WQHD+ show at 120Hz with as much as 16GB of RAM.

But allow us to not overlook the worth variations. The Asus, OnePlus, and Samsung gadgets I discussed are considerably costlier than the Red Magic 6. This will certainly be a big issue for many individuals when attempting to decide on. Are the weaknesses of the Red Magic 6 acceptable contemplating the worth? Or to place it the opposite manner round, are the upper costs of the competitors justifiable? That will all depend upon how a lot you need energy on a funds over different flagship qualities equivalent to a succesful digicam system and a high quality software expertise.

Red Magic 6 assessment: The verdict

Red Magic 6 fortnite

Credit: Gary Sims / Android Authority

There are plenty of constructive issues to say concerning the Red Magic 6. The trade’s first 165Hz show means the Red Magic 6 is at the very least one step forward of the competitors. The energetic cooling has moved from simply being a gimmick or advertising trick to one thing really helpful. Then on prime of that, you’ve got the Snapdragon 888, the gaming triggers, a big battery with quick charging, 8K video, a headphone jack, and naturally assist for 5G (sub-6GHz solely).

While the digicam is boring and common, the audio setup is nice and there’s a headphone jack, one thing that may not be taken with no consideration and an actual boon for players. The battery is an efficient measurement, however heavy gaming can use it up rapidly. Thankfully the quick charging will assist there.

If the lure of gaming triggers, energetic cooling, the worth, and a 165Hz show outweighs your issues over safety updates then the Red Magic 6 may very well be the cellphone for you.

But, a smartphone wants good software to enhance the hardware. The Red Magic 6 doesn’t allow you to change the launcher, one thing I think about a breach of contract between Android OEMs and Android customers. It’s additionally buggy and stuffed with inconsistencies. And then there’s a fear over software updates and future upgrades.

These unfavourable factors should be tempered by the worth. At $599 for the bottom mannequin, you might be getting quite a lot of cellphone for lower than you’d pay for a ROG Phone 5, Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9, Xiaomi Mi 11, or simply about any Snapdragon 888 phone. So, if the lure of gaming triggers, energetic cooling, a 165Hz show, and the modest worth outweighs issues over safety and the potential of an Android improve, and also you don’t thoughts combating via UI points and dwelling with a mediocre digicam, then the Red Magic 6 may very well be the gaming cellphone for you.

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