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ROG Phone 3 too expensive? The Red Magic 5S might be the gaming phone for you.

nubia red magic 5s

Credit: Nubia
  • Nubia has unveiled the Red Magic 5S, an upgraded version of its high-end gaming phone.
  • It boasts an improved cooling system and a larger 16GB of RAM.
  • It’s an answer to new gaming phones from Asus and Lenovo.

ZTE’s Nubia brand isn’t going to sit idly by while the Asus ROG Phone 3 and Lenovo Legion Phone Duel threaten its place in the gaming phone world. The company has introduced the Red Magic 5S, a refinement of the Red Magic 5G from earlier in 2020.

The new model still has its 144Hz, 6.65-inch 1080p AMOLED screen as well as a Snapdragon 865 processor (no 865 Plus here) with 5G data. It should be considerably better-suited to extended gaming sessions, however, thanks to an improved cooling system. Copper foil and silver on the back cover help dissipate more heat, while the air duct area is about 56% larger.  You can even clamp on a box with an 8,000RPM fan to further cool the phone while charging your phone and provide a more convenient headphone jack.

See also: The best phones for gaming you can get

Apart from that, the most conspicuous improvement is an option for a model with 16GB of RAM and slightly upgrade UFS 3.1 storage. You’ll still have a 64MP Sony primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide cam and a 2MP macro sensor. Battery capacity hasn’t increased beyond 4,500mAh, although the 55W fast charging support could help make up for that limitation.

Nubia will start selling the Red Magic 5S in China starting on August 1. An entry version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will start at 3,799 Chinese yuan (~$542), while a top-end variant with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will sell for 4,999 yuan (~$714). An international release is due in September, so don’t despair if you’re eager to try this yourself.

The decision to stick with the regular Snapdragon 865 is an odd one when Asus, Lenovo, and others are moving to the 865 Plus. Given that rivals also have 144Hz displays and 16GB of RAM, there isn’t as much to help the Red Magic 5S stand out. While prices outside of China aren’t available as we write this, Nubia may have to count on value if it wants to offer stiff competition in some parts of the world.



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