The Nubia Red Magic 3S is set to be launched in Malaysia next month, though no date has been specified just yet. Fortunately for us, we have had access to the phone a little earlier. So I took it for a quick spin to get a few first impressions.
Depending on which colour you pick, it’s very difficult to tell the 3S apart from the standard Red Magic 3. This is simply because there’s nearly nothing that can help you tell the two apart. The model we got our hands on happens to be the flashiest colour option, with red at the top, blue at the bottom, and a gradient in between the two colours in the middle. This colour variation is, as far as I can tell, unique to the Red magic 3S.
Other things on the outside are essentially identical, But I’ll go over it anyway. The 6.65-inch Full HD+ 90Hz display is back, and it’s as snappy as you’d expect. It still keeps a more old-school design of having a forehead and chin. This means there’s no notch getting in the way of your screen. On either end, you’ll find the stereo speakers too, though chances are you’ll be blocking the right side of both when you begin playing games.
This is because on the right side you have capacitive buttons that serve as extra buttons for certain games. On this side you’ll also find the power button and volume rocker, as well as vents for the sophisticated cooling system. The USB-C charging port can be found at the bottom.
At the top is where you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack, which is getting increasingly rare. On the left is a switch that engages the Game Space launcher, which serves as the phone’s dedicated gaming mode. More on this later. There’s also the dock pins for its docking station.
The back of the phone is where the phone is most recognisable. The single 48MP camera comes in a diamond shape, and the fingerprint sensor comes in an irregular hexagon shape. There are bits that has the colour of the opposite side of the phone, which adds to its gaudiness. And right in the middle, there’s what’s called the Aurora band that lights up with the many colours of its namesake when you’re gaming.
On the inside, the Nubia Magic Red 3S comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus, 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. These allow for improved performance, especially where gaming is concerned. It even comes with a fan inside to keep all the components cool.
Back to the Game Space, you can also set up a number of game shortcuts so that you get quick access to them. You can also get temperature readings, GPU and CPU speeds, as well as other options to block messages and calls.
For a phone with only a single camera, the Magic Red 3S has a very good camera. Its single 48MP camera captures details very well, and colours are only very slightly towards the cold side of the spectrum. Its white balance is very aggressive in neutralising ambient light, which can be an issue when you actually want it.
Available for pre-order right now with a starting price tag of RM 2,299 at Red Magic official store on Shopee, the Red Magic 3S works well as a gaming phone, at least in my short time with it. The camera is surprisingly good too. But it remains to be seen if it remains a good device to live with as a daily driver.
Photography by Li Jin Soh.