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RedMagic 7 Phone Review: Stunning Design and Powerful Internals

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $629-799
the red magic 7 gaming phone held over snow and a wooden wall
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek

The term “gaming phone” sounds cheesy because, honestly, it is. But really, it just means the device has steller internal components that’ll let you carry out any activity with speed and smoothness. The RedMagic 7 is a gaming phone, yes, but it’s also just a really awesome smartphone for the everyday user.

The RedMagic 7 is the latest gaming smartphone from Nubia, equipped with powerful internals that let you game without lag or an overheated phone. Having previously reviewed the RedMagic 6S Pro, I was stoked to get my hands on the company’s newest model: the RedMagic 7. The 6S Pro was released not too long ago, in late 2021, so it was surprising (but exciting) to hear that RedMagic was already releasing its next smartphone.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the software improvements Nubia made between the 6S Pro and the 7, especially with such a short amount of time between them. Also, the battery life and charging speed on this baby are fantastic. The specs of any RedMagic phone are always impressive, so we’ll start there and move on to everything else I loved about my experience with the RedMagic 7.

Here's What We Like

  • Beautiful irridescent purple design on phone back
  • Games look and feel stunning with high refresh rate
  • Beefy battery and super fast charging

And What We Don't

  • Software is buggy and requires user to make customized changes
  • Playing demanding games at high refresh rate drains battery quickly
  • Lackluster rear and front cameras

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Specs: It Can Handle All Your Demanding Games

The specs of the new RedMagic 7 are pretty impressive. Luckily, those specs translate into incredible performance as well.

  • Display: 6.8 inches AMOLED (2400 x 1080), 700 nits max, 165Hz max refresh rate
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (up to 3.0 GHz)
  • Operating System: RedMagic OS 5.0 based on Android 12.0
  • RAM: 12GB, 16GB, or 18GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Rear Cameras: 64MP, 8MP, 2MP
  • Selfie Camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4500mAh
  • Charging Speed: 65W GaN quick charging
  • Biometrics: In-display fingerprint sensor
  • Headphone Jack: Yep!
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax, 2×2 MU-MIMO

Hardware & Design: This Phone Is Gorgeous

red magic 7 phone greetings screen showing vivid blue color
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek

RedMagic consistently ensures its phones look fantastic, and the design options for the 7 Series is no different. Usually, every RedMagic phone series has some sort of a transparent design where you can see some of the internal components, like the fan spinning with rainbow LED lights, with a few other design options thrown in.

With the 7 Series, there are three different models to choose from. There’s only one RAM/storage configuration for each design, which kind of stinks for customizability, but all options have plenty of RAM and storage. Here’s what each colored design comes with:

  • Obsidian: This dark black design comes with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
  • Pulsar: The iridescent purple design (the model I reviewed) comes with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
  • Supernova: Finally, the semi-transparent design is equipped with 18GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
red magic phone in pulsar color held over a wooden desk
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek

The beautiful iridescent purple and blue combination (pictured above) is just so pretty. A lot of people slap a phone case on as soon as they get a new phone, but the Pulsar design is one you’ll want to show off with a clear case. Luckily, RedMagic includes a clear case for you!

When I first unboxed this phone, I spent way too much time staring at the coloring (like way longer than I’d want to admit). When you tilt the phone, the light reflects off of it differently, actively shifting the blues and purples on the back.

Aside from its stunning design, the RedMagic 7 is also set up for success with its special gaming features. There’s a strong built-in Turbo Fan, shoulder triggers that make playing mobile games super easy, and an included case that feels grippy— precisely what you want in a gaming phone. Plus, there’s a headphone jack, which is perfect for any gamer who regularly uses wired headphones or earbuds.

The Turbo Fan kicks on whenever you start up a game, which helps keep the phone from getting too hot. Then, I mainly used the shoulder triggers while playing Genshin Impact and found them to be highly responsive at the slightest touch. If you want the shoulder triggers to be less sensitive or vibrate less, you can change that in the settings, but more on this later.

Overall, the phone feels great in hand, and it takes a lot to get it to overheat. You have to be playing a game for a while and use the max refresh rate of 165Hz to truly make you think, “Wow, that’s hot. I should take a break .”

The Turbo Fan helps keep the phone cool even during an intensive gaming sesh, and the game audio easily drowns out the sound of the fan, whether you’re using headphones or the phone’s built-in speakers. When using the phone for everyday tasks, like checking email, adding info to my calendar or notes app, or streaming video content, the phone stayed cool and the fan never kicked on.

Unlike many mainstream smartphone brands nowadays, RedMagic still includes a fast-charging block and cable with your RedMagic 7 purchase. When you plug the phone into the charger, you’ll also hear the Turbo Fan automatically kick on to help prevent overheating during fast charging. Then, you also get that clear case I mentioned and, of course, a pin to open your SIM card tray.

Display & Performance: Looks and Feels Great

Luckily, the fun doesn’t stop with the phone’s brilliant design. The 6.8-inch AMOLED display is just as gorgeous, with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, a max refresh rate of 165Hz, and a touch sampling rate of up to 720Hz (multi-touch).

The phone I use day-in, day-out is the Samsung S21 Ultra, so I’m used to a pretty awesome display (6.8-inch, 2400 x 1080, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz refresh rate) when I stream content on my phone from Netflix or YouTube. When I was using the RedMagic 7 instead to stream my favorite media, I didn’t notice much difference. The clarity and vividness I want when I’m streaming videos were all there with the RedMagic 7.

red magic phone in pulsar color held over snow
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek

My favorite feature of the RedMagic 7’s display is its fast refresh rate. Scrolling through my Twitter and Instagram feeds felt incredibly smooth, and the phone screen was super responsive, registering taps immediately. Smooth scrolling does wonders for your eyes, and I certainly felt that with this smartphone.

Also, switching between refresh rates is as easy as turning your flashlight on. You can switch between various refresh rates (60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, and 165Hz) through your pull-down menu at the top of the phone. Because a higher refresh rate is more demanding on your phone (especially your battery), it’s nice that it’s so easy to swap back and forth.

genshin impact game displayed on the red magic 7 gaming phone
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek

Just like with the media I streamed, the games I played looked great on the RedMagic 7. Genshin Impact (Android/iOS) is a particularly demanding game, even on the best phones, and it looked fantastic. The colors were bright, and moving around in the game felt buttery smooth. The phone’s internal components handled the game well too, but more on that later.

As you’d expect, playing Genshin Impact with a refresh rate of 165Hz drains the battery much faster than if you were to only use the phone for texts, phone calls, social media, and the internet. When I used the phone on a typical day, where I might only play a mobile game for an hour or so at night, the battery would last me all day and even partway through the next day.

Even if you’re a mobile gamer who plays more than a few hours of demanding games like Genshin Impact or ARK: Survival Evolved (Android/iOS), charging speed with the included charger is so fast you probably won’t ever run into a dying phone. If you play games throughout the day, you might need to make sure you have the charger on you, but with its fast charging capabilities, you’ll get more than enough battery in only 15 minutes.

Software: Still Not My Favorite

In my review of RedMagic’s previous smartphone, the 6S Pro, I had significant issues with the software. It was buggy and clunky out of the box, and took a lot of tweaking the software settings to get it where I wanted it. Even then, there was still a major feature I couldn’t change: switching the language to English on the gaming features overlay. I couldn’t tell what was happening when I opened up a game, and I couldn’t change settings within the gaming overlay because I couldn’t read the menus.

Luckily, this issue is fixed with the RedMagic 7. Everything displays in my native language, which is incredibly helpful for understanding what’s kicking on when the phone goes into game mode and changing the settings to fit my play style.

While the software of the RedMagic 7 still isn’t my favorite, it’s an improvement over the 6S Pro because of the language issue. Since this is a gaming phone and a huge component of the software is the gaming overlay, not being able to understand the features being launched and the features I could enable was a massive hindrance to my overall experience.

There are still a few things you’ll have to change right out of the box, just like with the 6S Pro, including enabling the app drawer and disabling the photo watermark. Thankfully, every issue I encountered was able to be updated to my liking.

While certain facets of the software have the user in mind, like the special gaming features, it seems like other parts of the user experience were simply forgotten or thought to be unimportant.

For example, most smartphones tend to have an app drawer set up when you first turn on the phone; the RedMagic 7 doesn’t. Instead, you have to long-press on an open part of the phone, select Settings > Home Screen Style, and then swap out the Standard view for the Drawer view.

All images on the RedMagic 7 are automatically watermarked until you specifically turn that feature off in your camera app. Switching off this feature only removes the watermark from photos you take with your external cameras. For screenshots, you’ll need to disable the watermark feature in your phone’s main settings.

Additionally, the default mobile browser was awful and plagued with random consumer ads. When I opened up the browser later on to test it again, I didn’t see many ads at all. There was a software update in between the two experiences, so it’s possible that the number of ads was decreased in that update. Most people end up switching their default smartphone browser anyway, so this wasn’t a huge deal for me. But if you don’t have plans to switch, this will probably bother you.

But the lack of an app drawer and RedMagic watermark on photos? Pretty annoying. Although the user can change many features and settings of the RedMagic 7, they should just be enabled the first time the phone turns on. No one wants a RedMagic watermark on their images, and most people will probably want an app drawer (or at least a way to search all of their apps easily).

Cameras: Passable, but Not Stunning

Considering that Nubia prioritized gaming for the RedMagic 7 rather than photography, I was impressed with the beefiness of the cameras. With a gaming phone, you’re never going to get super impressive cameras because so much money and energy goes into other, more important aspects of the phone specific to gaming.

The primary rear camera has a 64MP resolution, which is on par with many smartphones on the market right now that aren’t major flagships. Without changing any settings, the RedMagic 7’s primary camera was able to take the photo below, blurring out the background and focusing on my adorable cat’s face.

There’s also an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro sensor, but honestly, the 64MP primary camera is the only one worth using. I found that the ultra-wide lens makes photos blurry; you’re better off trading a smaller field of view for a less-blurry subject. Similarly, the lenses that help you get a closer look at items by zooming end up producing a photo that lacks crisp defining lines. You can look at the pictures of the pens in the gallery below to see the difference between the primary lens, the zoomed lenses, and the ultra-wide lens.

photo of black cat taken from the main rear camera of the red magic 7 gaming phone
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek

The 8MP selfie camera gets the job done, but it’s not pretty. Compared to the 40MP selfie camera on my Samsung S21 Ultra, the RedMagic 7’s selfie camera was kind of wimpy. If you’re going to take a selfie with the RedMagic 7, do it outside or somewhere else with good lighting. You’ll need it.

If you’re after a smartphone that can take the prettiest of pictures, you’re looking at an expensive flagship from a big brand (Samsung, Apple, or Google) with a higher MP lens and higher aperture. But if you’re cool with some decent-looking pictures to send friends and family, you’re set with the RedMagic 7. And even if you regularly post photos to social media, the RedMagic 7 takes photos of a high enough quality that your Instagram feed wouldn’t take a huge hit.

Gaming Features: As You’d Expect, Awesome!

Above all else, the RedMagic 7 is a gaming smartphone, so of course, I had to test out some of its gaming-specific features. I mainly played two games to test everything out: Genshin Impact and Call of Duty: Mobile.

As I mentioned in my review of the RedMagic 6S Pro, it’s possible that I’m just a master of Call of Duty: Mobile (Android/iOS). Chances are, the high refresh rate, shoulder triggers, and glorious display all play a part in my awesomeness, but I killed it (pun intended) when I played this game for the first time on both the RedMagic 6S Pro and Samsung S21 Ultra. Playing Call of Duty: Mobile on the RedMagic 7 was an equally rewarding experience, and the game mechanics felt super smooth.

game settings menu overlay on top of genshin impact on red magic 7 phone

Then, the shoulder triggers were the absolute best when playing Genshin Impact! You can customize the shoulder triggers to suit the game you’re playing. With this game, I set my left shoulder trigger to automate running by moving the cursor to where I usually needed to tap on the screen. Doing this made playing the game more immersive and enjoyable because I only had to worry about rotating the screen instead of also controlling forward movement.

With mobile gaming, audio is another crucial factor to consider. I love that the RedMagic 7 has an audio jack, so you can hook up wired headphones or earbuds for a more direct and less laggy connection. If you want to play audio through the phone’s speakers, it’s on par with other smartphones out there. The audio sounded clear, not too tinny, and made video streaming and gaming a viable option without headphones.

If you swipe like you normally would to exit a game, it’ll open up the gaming menu where you can personalize your gaming experience. Here are a few of the features you can customize in this neat gaming section of the RedMagic 7:

  • Touch Sampling Rate (toggle between 360Hz and 720Hz sampling rates)
  • Sensitivity
  • Smoothness
  • Edge Accidental Touch Protection
  • Game Performance Mode (toggle between Eco, Balance, and Rise)
  • Aiming Assist
  • Custom Macros
  • Shoulder Triggers (position, vibration level, touch sensitivity)

Conclusion: A Solid Phone, Especially For Gamers

I feel like “gaming phones” get a bad rap because the term implies that only mobile gamers can benefit from the phone or that other features are overlooked in favor of gaming features. This is true with some gaming phones; even with the 6S Pro from RedMagic, it felt like the software was an afterthought. The RedMagic 7, however, gives gaming phones a good name.

This phone looks great, feels great, and I’d highly recommend it even if you only play casual mobile games like Candy Crush. If you consistently play more demanding games, like Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact, or ARK: Survival Evolved, then the RedMagic 7 is a quality investment. You won’t be sorry.

To be honest, even if you’re the type of person who never plays mobile games, the RedMagic 7 is still a great phone. It has a snappy CPU, long battery life, fast charging speed, a buttery smooth refresh rate, and a great display. Oh, and really beautiful designs, just in case I didn’t mention that ten times already.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $629-799

Here’s What We Like

  • Beautiful irridescent purple design on phone back
  • Games look and feel stunning with high refresh rate
  • Beefy battery and super fast charging

And What We Don't

  • Software is buggy and requires user to make customized changes
  • Playing demanding games at high refresh rate drains battery quickly
  • Lackluster rear and front cameras

Sarah Chaney Sarah Chaney
Sarah Chaney is a professional freelance writer for Review Geek, Android Authority, MakeUseOf, and other great websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Creative Writing concentration. Her degree, paired with her almost two years of professionally writing for websites, helps her write content that is engaging, yet informative. She enjoys covering anything Android, video game, or tech related. Read Full Bio »