Gaming smartphones are a dime a dozen these days, save for the flagship segment. Earlier this year, REDMAGIC, a sub-brand of ZTE has released the REDMAGIC 8 Pro in Malaysia. This flagship-tier gaming smartphone boasts the latest and most powerful hardware in this generation.
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REDMAGIC 8 Pro – Specifications
|REDMAGIC 8 Pro
|164 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm
|CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
GPU: Adreno 740
|12GB / 16GB
|256 / 512GB
1116 x 2480 pixels
|16 MP, f/2.0
|Main Camera: 50 MP, f/1.9, PDAF
Ultrawide Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2
Macro Camera: 2 MP, f/2.4
|Battery and Charging
65W wired charging
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7, tri-band
|On-screen fingerprint reader, face unlock
What’s In The Box?
- REDMAGIC 8 Pro
- Protective case
- USB Type-C to Type-C charging cable
- 65W charger
The REDMAGIC 8 Pro adopts a sci-fi inspired design and comes in three variants: Matte (12GB+256GB), Void (16GB+512GB), and Titanium (16GB+512GB). Our review unit is the Matte version, which adopts a more subdued matte black colourway. If you want more bling and RGB goodness, you will have to fork out more for the Void (black) and Titanium (white) variants, which not only has better specs, but also adopts a more futuristic design at the back.
At the back, you can find the triple camera arranged at the top-center, along with some futuristic word marks and lines in gloss finish. The right side of the phone houses the power button, the “Game Space” switch, shoulder haptic buttons and an air vent. Yes, this smartphone has active cooling (more on this later).
On the left, you will find the second air vent and volume rockers. The top of the phone houses the left channel speaker and headphone jack, while the bottom completes the I/O with a USB Type-C charging port, SIM tray, and the right channel speaker.
The REDMAGIC 8 Pro is equipped with a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a notch-less design. The front facing camera is hidden under the display, allowing for a true full screen gaming experience.
It boasts a resolution of 1116 x 2480 pixels with a 120Hz refresh rate, which while not as sharp as other flagship smartphones in the market, does make it easier to run at higher frame rates.
If you are not pixel-peeping, the display is fairly sharp, and colours are excellent. At its highest frame rate, visuals look smooth and fluid, and swipes and gestures feel responsive.
The REDMAGIC 8 Pro performs well in the audio department. The side firing speakers offer decent stereo separation and can get very loud. At maximum volume, the midrange has more presence, while the treble is more subdued. Mid-bass extension is also excellent, with a decent thump at the lower registers.
However, as a gaming phone, the position of the left speaker could be better, as it could be covered by my left palm while gaming. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is great for gamers who want minimal audio latency for more fast paced games.
Just like other gaming smartphones in this price segment, the camera on the REDMAGIC 8 Pro is useable, but not stellar. The 50MP main camera can take decent photos under good lighting conditions, but starts to struggle in low-light. Portrait performance is just okay at detecting the subject from the background. The ultrawide and macro cameras can come in handy when needed, but I wouldn’t use it unless necessary.
The selfie camera is however, not great. The results looked quite soft, and there is noticeable noise even under moderate lighting.
|CPU Single Core – 1,348
CPU Multi-Core – 4,979
GPU – 6,643
|3DMark Wild Life
|PCMark Work 3.0
Overall performance is quite good, as expected from the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile chip. I find the 12GB+256GB variant to be quite sufficient for most users, unless you have a huge game and app library to make use of the 512GB storage found on the Void and Titanium variants
The REDMAGIC 8 Pro performs well in our suite of gaming tests. It easily handles the most popular games, such as Genshin Impact, PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at their highest settings.
Turning on the “Game Space” switch opens a gaming console like interface for users to access their game library, and fine-tune the settings via ENERGY CUBE. Users can also map the shoulder haptic buttons for each game, however there are no presets available for quick setup. The software suite also feels buggy in some instances, such the ENERGY CUBE not showing up after swiping the top right corner.
The REDMAGIC 8 Pro is one of the very few phones to have an active cooling system built in. While most gaming smartphone brands have active cooling fan attachments to help dissipate the heat, the REDMAGIC keeps the heat at bay via a built-in cooling fan, wicking hot air out of the two air vents.
This results in excellent thermal performance, and only gets slightly warm during long gaming sessions using the ‘balanced’ profile. Of course, to maximise cooling performance using the ‘rise’ profile, you can also buy the REDMAGIC Magnet Cooler 4 for RM109.
The battery life department is another win for the REDMAGIC 8 Pro. It has a large 6,000mAh battery with 65W fast charging. Using the Work 3.0 Battery Test, it managed to last 16 hours and 37 minutes on a full charge, which is nothing short of excellent.
I could get it to last for more than 2 days under moderate use, and barely eek out 3 days if used conservatively.
3.75 / 5The REDMAGIC 8 Pro offers solid gaming performance, but the software suite could use some polishing.
For RM3,699, the REDMAGIC 8 Pro is RM100 more expensive than its main competitor, the ROG Phone 7. However, you get a slightly larger screen and active cooling for long gaming hours. On the flip side, the camera performance is modest at best, and its software suite is not as polished, making it less appealing for mainstream consumers.
All in all, the REDMAGIC 8 Pro is a breath of fresh air in the flagship gaming segment, and is a solid contender against the long dominant ROG Phone series. For more information about the REDMAGIC 8 Pro, please visit the official product page here.