The Chinese smartphone launched its global version at the end of February with little difference, making it an interesting option for those who want to play a lot of games. And it still has a nice set of cameras as a bonus, and even if it’s not its main recommendation, it works very satisfactorily.
But it’s not all good news on the device: the battery is tiny, insufficient for a full day of matches on COD Mobile, PUBG or Free Fire. Even so, it’s still a solid choice for those focused on agile performance. See our full Redmagic 7 review below.
Design and Construction
The design of the Redmagic 7 follows the style of a gaming phone and is visually full of details. There are three LEDs on the back that can be programmed to light up in a few different ways. Two of them are concentrated, close to the side, while the third is the company logo.
The back of the device still has the camera module, centralized and with three vertical lenses, in addition to air inlets for the cooling system. The output is on the right, where the central on/off switch and haptic trigger are still located.
The second cooling system air inlet is on the left. There, you’ll still find switches for silent mode and volume buttons. The headphone jack is at the top, while the chip drawer, USB-C port and a sound output are at the bottom.
On the front, in addition to the 6.8-inch screen, there are small, uncut bezels for the front camera and other sensors. Everything is on a very small edge, and the selfie sensor is very glued to the top of the device. This avoids distractions during the game, ensuring excellent frontal fun.
The Redmagic 7 features aerospace aluminum on the sides and glass on the front and back. It already comes with a drop-proof case in the box. There is no information about water and dust resistance, but considering the cooling system, it is better to keep the device away from liquids.
Redmagic 7’s screen is perfect for gamers. Enough size to provide comfort in terms of grip and usability. And, for screens smaller than 7 inches, Full HD resolution ensures enough pixel density to avoid aliasing or visible dots.
The front area is almost 84% occupied, the screen is free of distractions and offers a 20:9 aspect ratio that most Android games have adapted to. Additionally, the refresh rate can be set up to 165 Hz, with 60 Hz, 90 Hz and 120 Hz options.
Of course, the maximum frequency is higher than what all games currently offer, and even 120 Hz is only supported by some games. But it’s always good to have this option, because the device’s proposal is to provide a good experience to gamers. If any game in the near future supports so many frame updates, Redmagic 7 will be ready.
It also has nothing to complain about in terms of color and shine. AMOLED panels offer good contrast, deep blacks, vibrant colors and excellent visibility even in outdoor sunlight.
Configuration and Performance
Gaming phones often have the best hardware at launch to appeal to their target audience. In this sense, the Redmagic 7 leaves nothing to be desired, as in addition to having the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the most powerful chip for an Android device, it also has the option of a lot of memory.
There are only three versions of the global model, 12GB, 16GB or 18GB. I tested the middle model, but even the cheapest model already has enough memory to not disappoint any user.
The device is very fast in all tasks, including heavy camera usage, games and lots of apps open at the same time. I never had any problems with suffocation or sluggishness.
And there’s an important difference: the cooling system draws in cooler air outside the unit from the side and back, vents the inside, and vents warm air from the right side. This prevents the phone from getting too hot when it requires a lot of work, including gaming or even video recording or editing.
Of course, this is not a perfect system. Cooling won’t be as effective if it’s hot. Even so, it protects against overheating and speed drops for quite a while. In addition to not making it difficult to handle the device, it also manages to maintain acceptable temperatures.
Redmagic 5.0’s interface is more intuitive to use, and I think it’s a little better than MIUI 12 in that regard. The problem is that with so many tweaks available, you can get lost with so many screens and menu items. In addition, some are not translated, and Portuguese items are mixed with English items.
Interestingly, even with so much customization, the phone has more advanced features like wireless charging or desktop mode. It’s an excellent device for those who don’t care about these things.
Triggers must be enabled for each game and mapped to achieve desired controller functionality. To do this, simply click and drag the “L” or “R” to the location of the shortcut you want to use on the capacitive button.
To unlock Redmagic 7 you can use the fingerprint reader under the screen which is very fast and accurate. Also, it has an always-on option to keep the clock and battery level on the screen at all times.
The Redmagic 7’s triple camera combo is perfect for a phone whose main goal is to give gamers a good experience. Photos are of good quality, and more intricate details are recorded well in well-lit environments, even with the acceptable 5x digital zoom.
On the other hand, the ultrawide is worth it, especially outdoors. There are very few cell phones with good cameras in the wild, and this is no exception. However, the photos are satisfactory, considering that the device’s proposal is not to offer a high quality camera.
The macro camera is also very good. But it highlights a feature that other manufacturers could adopt: the focus assistant. A sort of magnifying glass appeared on the screen, which formed a red outline when the focus was close, and a green outline when the focus was on an area of the image.
To use the macro, you need to unlock your phone, otherwise the Camera Home mode that includes this option will not appear.
To complete the analysis of the main scene of photography, we have night mode and portrait mode. The first one even helps in some cases, but not every low light photo will improve. For its part, the background blur is as powerful as a phone, but without the focus on photography.
Like the other sensors, the front has a decent record. In some cases, it can get the white balance wrong, but overall it managed to capture a good image with a lot of detail on the face.
The rear camera can record videos up to 8K at 30fps, but remains full HD by default. Its resolution is good for internet video and, in addition to color accuracy, stabilization is one of its strong points.
The front is not as stable as the main one, but it records in Full HD with the same quality as the rear.
The audio is stereo and accessible, but it has its limitations. Due to the space and size of the speakers, the phone prioritizes media. This produces a deep sound, especially in songs with more emphasis on treble or bass.
You can clearly hear sounds from videos, audio from social networks, and more. But to listen to music or even in games for better results, it is recommended to use headphones, you can use a P2 connector or bluetooth.
Battery and Charging
With a large 4,500mAh battery and cooling system, you can’t expect great usage time. Redmagic 7 didn’t disappoint, but it probably won’t have a full day for its target audience: gamers.
In the Netflix video playback test, the device consumed 21% of the battery in 3 hours with the screen at 50% brightness. This is not a bad result, but it does mean that this type of usage is estimated at just 14.3 hours. It doesn’t even require a lot of hardware.
As for my actual usage tests with the default 90 Hz refresh rate, the device charged 60% in 8 hours of use, just under half of the screen’s active state. The average consumption is 5% per hour, which is enough for a whole day.
However, it is worth mentioning that in games, the average consumption is higher. Also, increasing the screen refresh rate can increase hourly consumption by up to 0.5%. That said, I found it difficult for any player to extract more than a day’s worth of content without plugging in Redmagic 7.
At least the device comes with a 65W charger in the box, which can charge the entire battery in less than 1 hour. Get 60% more power from the wall in just 15 minutes.
There are several high-end phones on the market, but since the Redmagic 7’s focus is on the gaming audience, I’m going to limit my list of direct competitors to models in this category.
Then we have Asus’ ROG Phone 5s in Brazil with the Snapdragon 888+, a chip that predates the Nubia telephony platform. The Taiwanese company has yet to release its 2022 console model, but the 5s is currently available for an official price of around R$4,400 in Brazil.
Another option is to look for another top model that can handle games well even without the extra features. So you can pick up the iPhone 13 for around R$5,600; for the Galaxy S22, around R$5,400; or the Motorola Edge 30 Pro for around R$5,900.
Nubia Redmagic 7: is it worth it?
If you are interested in buying a high-end gaming phone, betting on the Redmagic 7 could be a good option. The device runs any game available on the Google Play Store without being affected, and manages to maintain a stable temperature satisfactorily.
The tactile triggers are a nice bonus, although it’s a common feature on these devices. But some models can do without that extra or even built-in cooling, as was the case with the ROG Phone 5s. So pretty much any good phone can be a gamer with good accessories.
An unexpected plus point for taking high quality photos in most situations. I was impressed with some of the photos I took with Redmagic 7.
We have our biggest weakness: the battery. The charging time is very short, which can guarantee a full day of gaming, but also a number of functions such as cooling system, rear LED and always-on display must be considered. At least the charging speed is pretty fast, making up for those who have a plug all the time.
Another negative point is to buy only through imports. Of course, not everyone bothers to buy in a Chinese store and wait for the device to arrive here, but there are other issues to consider. For example, technical assistance and support.
You can pay around R$3,500 for such an advanced 12/128GB version of a smartphone. But remember to add shipping and taxes to your account, the final amount can exceed R$ 6,000. So it’s up to you to decide if you can be taxed at a lower rate, which could end up paying off.