REDMAGIC 9 Pro Review | Geek Lifestyle

Estimated read time 10 min read

Recently, we got to test the REDMAGIC 9 Pro, the new flagship gaming phone from ZTE nubia that was launched in the Philippines in March.

While many nubia phones are on the more affordable end of the spectrum, the newest REDMAGIC device is a proper flagship phone, at least when it comes to its internals. That’s because it is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor that’s coupled with 12GB of RAM and a massive 6500mAh battery.

The phone does have a triple camera setup, but the focus here is no doubt gaming performance. In fact, the phone does something unusual compared to other flagship phones as it features an internal fan to help cool the chipset under heavy load. It also comes with gaming-focused features like programmable triggers (reminiscent of the ROG Phone line).

Based on its flagship SoC coupled with its gaming features, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro is certainly promising on paper, but does it deliver in real-world use? Here’s our review.


Before we get into performance though, let’s first explore how the phone looks. The new REDMAGIC phone three color options: Sleek (which comes in black), Snowfall (silver), and Cyclone (featuring a cool transparent black look).

The unit that we tested for review was the Sleek colorway, and its name is definitely a good fit as it looks sleek and rather stylish, with the gaming-inspired design accents still being fairly subtle. This makes it a good match for users who want a unique-looking phone that’s still low-profile.

That’s not to say that it’s a plain-looking phone. After all, the new REDMAGIC flagship features eye-catching lights on the fan (which can be found under the camera module). There’s also a glowing 09 logo on the other side to give it an extra pop.

It’s also worth noting that the REDMAGIC 9 Pro features a rectangular look with flat edges, meaning you can get a nice grip on the phone which is important for gaming.

If there’s one thing that we would’ve liked to be better is its in-hand feel. Make no mistake, this feels comfortable in the hand, though it doesn’t exactly have the same premium feel as other flagships. Of course, this is just a minor thing that should be far from a deal-breaker.

Moving to the front, you can see the phone’s large 6.8-inch AMOLED screen which looks practically bezel-less when combined with its default dark theme and wallpaper.

Overall, the phone’s design is great for those who want a gaming phone that’s still on the sleeker side. Users who want something with a bit more pop can go for the other colorways though as they’re sure to get more attention.

Binge-Watching Factor

Aside from playing games, watching movies and shows is one of the most common things to do on a smartphone that’s not work or communication related. Thankfully for on the go binge-watchers, the new REDMAGIC phone’s 6.8-inch screen is a great partner for film, TV, and anime. this is thanks to the screen having vibrant colors and deep blacks (courtesy of being AMOLED). It’s size is also good as it’s large enough that most users should be satisfied while watching during their daily commute, though you’ll want to bump the brightness up as it’s middle brightness setting might not be enough when outdoors.

For those planning to watch something while outside, headphones are recommended (for the best experience and to not bother other folks). Thankfully, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro is one of the few flagship-level phones that retain the trusty headphone jack. This is a big deal for those like myself who still prefer to have wired headphones.

If you do need to watch something or play a game without headphones, you’ll get a nice audio experience as the phone packs a stereo speaker setup. The phone’s onboard speakers have surprisingly decent audio output that gets fairly loud.

Gaming Performance

Finally, let’s talk about the phone’s capabilities for gaming. As mentioned above, the phone has 12GB of RAM and a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, complete with a cooling fan that promises to keep the phone’s temperature steady when gaming.

It’s also worth mentioning that the phone has programmable triggers on the right side. This is a nice touch for any gaming smartphone as extra control options are invaluable for many games.

The phone also has an extensive gaming mode where you can set the performance of the phone to be as good as possible if you want to run the most demanding games. Though it’s worth noting that the settings here are a bit awkward as the English text seem machine translated. They are still understandable, though that doesn’t exactly scream premium.

With the settings and features out of the way, how is the phone for gaming? Well, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 delivers great gaming performance as expected. The phone can easily run today’s popular MOBAs, and it is one of the few phones to run Call of Duty Mobile at 120 FPS smoothly. That’s because many phones have this feature locked.

As for more demanding games like Genshin Impact, the phone also doesn’t disappoint as it ran the game at 60FPS smoothly, albeit at Medium settings. This is likely down to cooling.

The built-in fan seems to work quite well for MOBAs or FPS games, but for the most demanding titles, it may struggle to keep up, especially if you’re in a marathon gaming session. During our time playing Genshin Impact, the phone got quite warm, though performance wasn’t massively affected from our time with it.

Still, this is worth noting. While you can get impressive performance from the phone, do take note that it can run hot even with the fan on full blast. This means you may want to turn the settings down a bit if you’re planning to play for hours.

Geek Photoshoot Capabilities

The new REDMAGIC phone packs an interesting 50MP main + 50MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + triple rear camera setup along with a 16MP front camera. Its rear shooter setup is interesting as, while it lacks a telephoto camera that’s common in other flagships, its ultrawide is a 50MP shooter while other flagships typically have ultrawide cameras with lower megapixel counts. Of course, megapixels aren’t everything, so it’s still important to see how well that camera performs.

Before we get into that specific camera, let’s first take a look at how the main camera performs.

The main 50MP camera is pretty solid as its photos in daytime have good quality overall given how natural they look. The shots above are taken in slightly overcast conditions, and the images show that, meaning that the image processing doesn’t punch up the colors too much.

At night, the 50MP main camera also works well when using the built-in Night Mode feature. Even in extreme low-light conditions, you should still get surprisingly bright photos.

Of course, the tradeoff here is that the images do look too vibrant, with colors not exactly being natural. Though that’s par for the course with Night Mode in most phones.

One thing to take note of is that taking photos is a bit slow, even when using auto mode in daytime. Not excruciatingly slow mind you, but noticeable enough that you might not be able to snap many photos quickly say if you’re taking shots of a moving object.

Moving on the 50MP ultrawide, the photos that the camera takes are great in daytime, though they do look dimmer than shots taken with the main camera. As for low-light photos, the results are also good when using Night Mode, with shots even having a bit more natural than the main shooter shots.

Even though the main and ultrawide cameras are both 50MP, there is still a noticeable difference in quality, though the ultrawide still holds up well, especially compared to ultrawides in other phones.

As for the 2MP macro camera, this one performs as you’d expect it to. It’s not particularly impressive, but it can take decent zoomed-in photos while outdoors.

Finally, we move on to the 16MP front camera. For selfies, the front shooter performs well as it takes shots that should satisfy most users. Though take note that the beautification filter is on by default, and it is a bit too strong by default so you’ll want to turn it down (or turn it off entirely).

Everyday Reliability

With its good gaming performance, it should follow that the REDMAGIC 9 Pro is also a reliable device for everyday use. Yes, that is indeed the case as the phone runs smoothly and is reliable as a daily driver.

Thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, it should also have enough power to run more demanding workloads. Plus, while the phone did get warm while playing demanding games, it did not get warm while we tested it out for everyday tasks.

While performance for daily use is excellent, we would like to see the UI get some improvements. It’s a perfectly fine UI, but again, the awkward English translations do make for an experience that’s not exactly the best. On the flip side, there’s not a lot of bloatware here, to the point that it used default Google apps for most things. Yes, you won’t find a third-party app store here (which is quite annoying given how pretty much everyone uses the Play Store).

What’s also great is battery life. Thanks to the phone’s massive 6500mAh battery, it’s easily an all-day device, even when gaming. The exception is if you keep the fan running while gaming. During these situations, you’ll notice that the battery gets drained quicker than expected. Still, this shouldn’t be a big issue for most users.

If you do need to charge, the new REDMAGIC phone has a 80W wired fast charging, meaning it can get up to 100% quite fast. Plus, a top-up of a few minutes will give you hours of use.

Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict

The new REDMAGIC gaming phone is definitely no slouch when it comes to gaming as it can run practically all of today’s games on Android at higher framerates. It’s also a reliable daily driver with a nice display and pretty good cameras, even with the lack of a telephoto shooter. Plus, it has the looks of a gaming phone while still being sleek.

So, is the REDMAGIC 9 Pro the phone for you with its PHP 46,999 starting price? Well if your priority is gaming above all else and you’re willing to manage settings when playing demanding titles (given that the phone can run warm), it might be worth considering, especially given how other Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 devices can be more expensive.

REDMAGIC 9 Pro specs:

  • 6.8-inch (1116 x 2480) AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor
  • Adreno 750 GPU
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main + 50MP ultrawide + 2MP macro +triple rear camera setup
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • 5G, LTE
  • Under Display Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct
  • 6500mAh battery with 80W wired Fast charging
  • Android 14 with Redmagic OS 9
  • Prices:
    • 12GB RAM + 256GB ROM: PHP 46,999
    • 16GB RAM + 512GB ROM: PHP 56,999

The post REDMAGIC 9 Pro Review | Geek Lifestyle appeared first on UnGeek.

You May Also Like

More From Author