Is the Nubia Red Magic Gaming Phone worth it?


This videos is brought to you by Skillshare If you think “gaming” in the world of personal
computers you get the idea of performance over convenience, of better cooling rather than thinner profiles
and a specific aesthetic, one that, I regularly
poke fun at (from a place of love). The conditions that lead to this marketing
fest are very clear. After computer sales started slipping among
the general public gamers are one of the key demographics that have a reason
for continuing spending more on hardware. The reason while computers stopped selling
to the general public is smartphones, and as that has become the primary mainstream
computing platform gaming variants have started appearing. The things is, they have a very different
marketplace to challenge compared to PCs. Phones are mainstream. There are entire countries skipping the PC
phase entirely and going directly for a phone as the primary and only computing device. In the world of Phones, the most expensive equipment is not powerful
gaming *cought* Oh I got to stop doing that… the most expensive equipment is not powerful
gaming gear but rather luxuriously designed devices. So how is the market experiment of gaming
phones adapting to that reality? The Republic of Gamers Phone basically
mirrors the strategy of charging premium with the Razer Phone 2 not far behind even
though they both are cheaper than some of the crazier mainstream options out there. However Chinese phone giants trying to get
into the game basically go about it from the different angle, trying to aim to deliver
Gaming Phones for a significantly smaller cost. From that school of thought, we get this guy,
the Red magic a “budget” gaming phone from Nubia, an associate
company from Chinese giant ZTE. I have a lot of questions about this. Question 1: What exactly makes a phone a “gaming”
device? The Android hardware market can be hilariously
saturated so brands are desperate for differentiation, but when comparing this phone with my 200 euros daily driver the Xiaomi
Redmi Note 5 some interesting things come to light. The red only has one camera vs the two in
the Xiaomi used for portrait mode and for some weird reason the battery is slightly
less capable. The screen is similar size and resolution
but the step up in price comes with a jump to a significantly more powerful SoC with
a better CPU and GPU, the same one found in a lot of high-end phones paired with 120 GB
of storage and a gargantuan 8 GB of RAM. It´s official. I have a phone with as much RAM as my daily
use laptop. The world has gone insane. Also according to the marketing material,
it boasts of having a more specialized cooling system, which does in my experience keep the
phone at a more manageable temperature during my testing as well as a turbo functionality that exchanges
battery life for better performance and disables your notifications for no distractions. More gaming oriented phones are coming out
with this sort of thing but on this case, it was important enough to get its own dedicated
button, I will leave this on for all tests on this video. Also. It has an RGB strip on the back. Because Gaming. The strip is in the back so you do not see
it while playing, but those around you get notice it and if that is not a statement on
how the gaming aesthetic works I do not know what it is. The full details of the Phone are in the link
in the description. Question 2: is Android at a level where it
can justify gaming specialized hardware? There is a strong reputation of the mobile
gaming market to be hyper-focused on the casual side and a quick look at the top grossing
games on the store seems to confirm that bias. While it is worth noting that several of this
games, as far as know, hoster very passionate dedicated gaming communities very few of these
games could be considered graphical intensive enough to guarantee a “gaming” device. The thing is: the sheer size of the mobile
gaming market naturally distorts a lot of the numbers. There is a rising demand for PC quality games
among more dedicated users which leads to a lot of interesting options. As you are probably aware of both PUBG and
Fortnite have received robust Android version. Ark Survival evolved is another Unreal Engine
4 game that has also received a mobile release. Then there is World of Tanks and World of
Warships, two staples of the free to play model on PC that are also in Android and on
the slower side are graphic adventures like the two releases of Life is Strange. Question 3: Is it worth the money? The Nubia Red Magic is currently available
in Europe for about 450 euros and being someone that does not spend more than 200 euros on
a phone I was struggling to try and get a measurement of its value. So, how about we do the most unfair comparison
ever. What PC could I hypothetically build for the
price of this phone in several regions? Note: I am aware that in many territories
you can buy a used office PC, throw a used GPU and get something good for a fraction
of the price. To keep this comparison “fair” I am using
references prices of only new components. Also, I know you can probably come up with
a more efficient PC for the price, I am referring components that I already have so I can test
properly. Good? Good Let’s start with Europe, or Spain specifically
because is the place I know better. With 450 euros if you cheap out on things like motherboard, case and hard drive and with the leftovers you can almost can almost exactly buy a budget CPU like the Ryzen
2200G, the cheapest 8 GB of RAM and for GPU a nice GTX 1050. In India, the growing market for tech that
everyone is suddenly referencing in videos for no reason whatsoever, the situation is
a bit more tricky. The Phone has been announced to have a price
under 30 000 rupees which are crazily cheaper than the European price. For India, I tried to match the components
while sacrificing out massively on the case, PSU and HDD and even while being generous
the closest I can get is changing the GPU for a GT 1030 which in some games is only
slightly better than the integrated GPU. Finally, the Phone has not been yet released
for United States let alone Brazil but if you build the GT 1050 PC in Brazil it comes
down to about 2700 Reais or about 2300 reais for the GT 1030. So, if the phone is like 4000 Reais or something,
you will know just how inflated it is. Another note: Both of these possible PCs would
fall into the “budget” range of more mainstream online PC publication, but for the standards
of this channel these are fantastic gaming PCs that can even do virtual reality so… do
keep that in mind. So, how does that compare for games? Let’s take a look. Fortnite is an excellent place to start. The mobile version is still on Beta an only
available on specific phones and while the Red Magic is not exactly on that list I was
able to download it from the Epic website with no problem. The most epic graphical preset is not available
on this phone but on the high preset the game can beautifully maintain the 30 fps lock. Sadly, there is no 60 fps option available. In the corner, I am going to link a Digital
Foundry video that makes a stellar job at explaining what graphical presets do in the
mobile Fortnite version. But in summary, the high preset kills some
of the draw distance of objects and shadows and the grass density at ultra wide 720. Considering that this is a straight port of
the full Fortnite experience that continues to match compatible with other versions that
is nothing short of outstanding for a mobile device considering it does maintain that 30
fps… Although it is worth noting that I was only
able to measure FPS correctly on the lobby before as a match as The benchmarking suite I use, GameBench, requires USB debug access which Fortnite hates so much that it will kick you out as soon as a match starts. On the PC side, we get access to 60 fps at
medium settings for the GT 1030 and high settings for the GTX 1050. Both in 1080. Some drops here or there with better stability
on the GTX 1050. It is worth noting that obviously, the lowest
resolution on the Mobile version is going to be less noticeable on a small screen, but
surprisingly both experiences are comparable. And since I know there will be some question
about this, I have been trying to see if there is anything that can be done graphically on
Fortnite android but if it detects root access it locks itself
out and Epic has been very thorough at removing configuration files as soon as anyone discovers
how to tweak anything so… Yeah. I am still looking into it but it is not easy. Fortnite is notorious for its amazing optimization
which allows it to reach very high settings on something as modest as GT 1030. But PUBG is another story. Its optimization in PC has improved a great
deal but it still has a reputation for being heavier. For example on the GT 1030 full 1030 was not
possible if committed to 60 fps. Setting everything to the lowest and resolution
scaler to 0.7 allows something between 50 and 60 in most instances. The upgrade to the GTX 1050 is a big change
here, allowing for full 1080 with scaling to medium settings. Dropping from the plane always causes a drop
in all versions but once in the ground the same 50 to 55 average is maintained quite
comfortably. As I said, this is a setup that I would be
happy to play every day with. The mobile version, however, is brilliant. Instead of a straight port, the game rebuilt
specifically for Mobile by Tencet and I have talked in the past at length at how crazily
optimized it can be on a variety of phones. On the Red Magic that gave me two options. If you go for the lowest settings the game
allows you to go into 60 fps. It is bizarre to see this level of fluidity
on a game running such a small device. On higher presets the game limits itself to
40 FPS which it can maintain on the highest graphics. While there is still a gap between the graphics
a PC has available versus a phone, the detail of this game is really impressive and it makes
you really wonder what awaits the future of mobile devices. This is also a good moment to point out the
importance of fps locks in mobile. You will notice that most games I will try
today are locked to 30 fps even on a “gaming” phone. This is often done in order to avoid overheating
the CPU and GPU which in mobile devices are not designed to be at full power at all time,
as well as to preserve battery power. While the advertised superior cooling of the
Red Magic does come through as none of the other tests really made it too hot PUBG at
the higher settings started warming it a fair bit. Not enough to burn your hands but enough definitely
be noticeable. Ark has a bit of a reputation for being difficult
to run on anything close to 1080 and the GT 1030 cannot handle the game at all on the
lowest settings but after a reduction in the very unprecise resolution scaler it can handle
it, more or less OK but with plenty of stuttering. The GTX 1050 can do the full resolution lowest
settings at almost 60 fps. But don´t try to increase the settings because
it tanks, quickly. This reputation of ARK lives on the Android
version, this is the only mobile game I tried where I could not get closer to higher settings
but on medium settings and a reduced internal resolution it can maintain its 30 fps cap. It is still impressive that this game can
be run in mobile at all and it takes credit for being the only quick-paced game of this
list that natively supports controller, something that is straight up not supported on PUBG
and still on its way for Fortnite but that should
be more common. Some of the bundles of the phone ship with
this controller that is basically a skinned 8bitdo Pro gamepad, which is a good thing
because their controllers are fantastic. Not every game does terrible touch controls
tough, for example: Let’s talk about World of Tanks and World
of Warships. Both of these games are pretty popular staples
of the free to play model on PC and both are pretty easy to get running on low-end PCs
and at the gaming PC I have put together fly. World of Tanks and World of Warships both
achieve something between 50 and 60 fps average on high settings and full 1080 on the GT 1030 and on the GTX 1050 you can easily reach ultra high settings World of Tanks, at least on the HD client,
does have overall lower performance but still manages to do pretty well. How will the phone phare? Now the cool thing is that both of these games
support fully unlocked 60 fps and Red Magic is perfectly capable of keeping that up on
the highest settings, which is again pretty impressive. While the touch controls of a game like Fortnite
are pretty difficult to get used to, the slower long distance fighting off these two games
actually make for pretty solid touch controls, especially on World of Warships, which is
why I could never quite get into this game on PC but I am finding myself trying them
more often in Mobile. Finally, a bit as a bonus, are graphical novels
like life is strange, that on the highest settings on PC can achieve about a 40 FPS
average on the 1030 and an easy 60 fps on the 1050. The mobile version does not have a settings
screen although being an unreal engine game you can sort of edit the configuration files
yourself. On the default preset it can easily maintain
its 30 fps lock. And right here is where I stop the comparison
to address what hopefully some people have already put in comments without watching the
whole video. This comparison is kinda absurd. A full desktop PC is optimized for rendering
power. It is big, bulky and static. This is a phone. A tiny, tiny phone and the mere idea that
we can compare this two devices like I have been doing so far is crazy and a testament
of how much mobile is advancing, especially when comparing the cost of entry in countries
like India. For people who are more traditionally used
to the flexibility of PC and also closer to 30 than to 20, so, basically, me it has been difficult to fully process the
potential of mobile as a serious gaming platform (or the fact that in countries like India
it is the primary gaming platform, the country where this phone comes closer to the equivalent)
but the idea of a gaming phone turns out to be way less absurd than I expected. Maybe there is a future where I can enjoy
both the flexibility of building a PC piece by piece and exploring a library of bombastic
and intense games while also exploring the convenience of mobile experiences. As a closing tough I tried the Final Fantasy
XV pocket edition and I am surprised that how little noise this game made among the
most avid gamer community. This game is basically the same Final Fantasy
XV story but minimized and compressed into a mobile-friendly format but still retaining
a lot of the plot and voice acting and production values of the main entry. I am not a super fan of final fantasy, I have
put a lot of hours on some of its entries, but I could not finish the newer game it was
just too… scattered for me… but ever since I received this phone I find myself playing
the pocket edition more often and that… that is a really weird feeling. Now I am curious to see how the new Elder
Scrolls will do.. or the… mmm… the new Diablo Game? If you actually want to gather the skills to join a team and create a mobile game in a way that does not piss off thousands of people. How about this course on making a 2D Platformer on Unity and PlayMaker with no coding? Or this course on creating your art for a mobile game? The knowledge is out there and Skillshare, this channel’s longtime sponsor is the best place to start learning! Skillshare is an online learning community with over 20,000 classes in design, business, technology and stuff as important as game design. There are some free tutorials to get you started but a Premium Membership gives you access to every premium tutorial on the site, and with the link in the description you get 2 months of Skillshare for free. Act now for this special offer, and start learning today. Thank you to Nubia for actually sending me
a review unit of this device for whatever the heck this video was. They provided lowspecgamer as a discount code
in their website for 30% discount on all accessories for this phone. Thank you to GameBench for their rather complete
benchmarking suite for mobile. I have also left a link to their software
in the description. If you do not have root you need to link it
to desktop app using the usb in debug mode due to limitations in Android but once you do that it
works really well and their free accounts allow 30 minutes of benchmarking per month. And thank you to you for watching or helping
in Patreon. Gaming phones are apparently not such a weird
idea to have. What the fuck right? Do call me when they, like, include a gamepad
or something cause that would actually be much better Quick gaming joke because it is fun hiding these in the part of the video that no one is reaching: Why is Toad invited to every party. Because he is a fun-gi Get it?

100 comments

  1. Some observations:

    Yes, this comparison is absurd. There is no real way to make an apples to apples comparison between a phone at a PC. This is acknowledged at the end of the video but I expect a lot of people to jump to comment before watching the full video. The point I am trying to make is that the heavier side of Android game is actually evolving faster than I expected and that a "gaming phone" is not as absurd as I originally though… especially on countries outside the developed world.

  2. El movil gaming perfecto es el que
    Presenta una ventaja en cuanto a videojuegos competitivos en cuanto a hz o tiempo de respuesta y da un rendimiento adecuado a la pantalla en resolución y fluidez con el hardware mas potente en el momento y da el espacio justo para almacenar muchas cosas

  3. Cheap gaming in India is still a dream come true. Even thinking of buying a entry level gaming laptop(coz why not) will still set you back by like 75-85k rupees(about 1000 dollars)

  4. DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE! When Redmagic launched their original campaign on indiegogo I backed it and became and early beta tester. Nubia/Redmagic are horrible about updates. It's been 6-7 months since we have gotten an update, and they are horrible about telling their testers anything. I also get horrible reception in one of the most populated areas of the U.S.

  5. mobile gaming is just not meant for shooters as we can see, the touch controls (excluding how annoying they are and how massively "inferior" to kb+mouse you also lose screen by your own fingers so.. sure it runs and all of that but the controls just cant compare) oh and ik you can add controllers to some phones and if you have a lil xbox controlled with bluethoot.. might be a great idea… so my 2 cents for mobiles, while making them a full dedicated gaming device might not work as good as a full dedicated pc (the experience is ANOTHER UNIVERSE) gaming on your daily device with a proper controller addon (like the n swich) hey.. it has future even for shooters, actually casual, puzzle or really, games that do not require controls so much, 10/10 because the main issue is that, hardware perf is a cheap excuse, pc gaming existed in 2005 and new phones outperform 2005 hardware… but the flexibility and comodity of a controller….

  6. Really appreciate the effort you put into your videos!

    Don't know if your making anymore trash top videos but I love the series!

  7. Argentina: PC? Why use that, when you can get an overpriced computer that can’t even run some modern games AND phones that suck!

  8. Todavia estoy esperando a que saquen un movil dual boot con android y windows 10, con un m3 o un ryzen y 8GB de RAM y en vez de la hd 615, una vega de amd o una nvidia mx… Movil gamer para mi es uno capaz de mover gta 5, o juegos AAA, no los mismos juegos de siempre, un poquito mejor… Y la k1 o la x1 no valen, son ARM

  9. Curses upon the smartphone. Many websites and software are changing to accomodate smartphones and thus harming the PC experience.

  10. Have you tried Rules Of Survival? It’s another battle royale, but it was originally developed for mobile, but got a pc port several months back. It has graphics settings both on pc and mobile, so I highly suggest you try testing it on your pc

  11. Android-x86 brother! Really great PC port of Android and there are other derivatives based off it as well and would've made for an even better comparison but good video regardless as always

  12. Well, for the price of that phone i got a acer nitro 5 and there was spare money to buy some games….
    Not to mention in that laptop i can play any game since 1980 for pc, android, psx, snes, psp, wiiu, wii, ps2, things that those gaming phones wont do
    Yeah unfair, but well, yeah that is possible to think of.

  13. 8:55 Es posible modificarlo graficamente el Fortnite en Android con GLtools pero necesitas rootearlo con Magisk, ponerlo en Core Only Mode y usar las opciones de Magisk Hide para esconder la deteccion del Root

    Edit: De hecho tambien podes usar GlTools para hacer que el Fortnite corra en un dispositivo no compatible (siempre y cuando el cpu sea de arquitectura ARM64)

  14. I live in Brazil and can confirm that hardware here is expensive af.
    I traded a lung for a 1060 cuz it was way cheaper than buying.
    Half the oxygen, but double the frames.
    100% worth it.

  15. 10 years back i played java ports of first doom. It's ~20 years between releases
    8 years – second doom. ~15 years
    5 years – GTA San Andreas. 9 years
    And now games released on mobile and pc simultaneously

  16. Here in Brasil ps4 was launhed at rs4000 (1000usd) back then. Minimal salary is ~250usd. Then a bunch of youtubers yell "buy 1080s or nothing" and we're like "yea right, I gonna go with pentium's integrated graf". Ryzen 2200 (yes 22*) is about 150usd btw before anyone asks

  17. proud owner of this beast, currently the new version is the 7th most powerful device in the world, with 10 gigs of ram, destroying a lot of high end phones for a fraction of the price. that's why i bought mine, a lot of headroom before needing an upgrade with 8gigs of ram. mine is currently the 57th most powerful and i paid 330 eur for it brand new.

  18. One of the greatest strengths of mobile gaming is emulation. My Galaxy S7 is also a Megadrive, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, and a PSP. Yes the touch controls aren't great for fighters or platformers but they tend to work just fine with the roleplaying games that are my focus for gaming on the go. A cheap bluetooth controller gives me access to all the other genres

  19. Hey man, things got a little better here in Brazil!

    Now it´s possible to build a Ryzen 5 2600, GTX 1060 or RX 580 and 16GBs RAM with 1tb for about 3300 Reais! ( New parts btw )

  20. I bet that right now there are people already programming for android using an android phone. Everything from writing the code to compilation to putting it up for distribution somewhere. Phones are really just tiny low power computers at this point. They might not be 8K capable super computers, but they are definitely a self contained ecosystem.

  21. Your wasting your money with a GTX 1059, if this were really a low spec gamer channel, he would use an rx570, 43% more performance for $30 less

  22. The price difference between a RX570 and GTX1050 is quite little here, I'm not sure about other countries, it would be a much better card imho.

  23. Yes, new parts for computers in Brazil are very expensive.

    That's why the market for used pc components in Brazil is very big.

    My pc was almost whole assembled with used parts

    Motherboard H81 LGA 1150

    I5-2400

    16GB DDR3

    GTX 1050 TI

    Corsair CX 600M 80+ Plus Bronze

    500 GB Hard Drive

    All this setup along with the cabinet and fans cost me around 800.00

    Something like 310.00

    The only parts that were bought new were one hard drive

    1 Terabyte

    What cost me 20 €

    So my entire setup cost something like 330.00

    Yes Brazil suffers from the high taxation of the government but I think with a little research for used parts you can assemble a cheap configuration.

  24. Well the gtx 1050 in the philippines is worth 131 usd
    And in online shops you can even find excellent video cards lower than 100 $

  25. And now, the 2nd version of that phone has a fan inside it! Imagine that! 😀 Finally getting some fans in them phones. XD

  26. In the case of pc's using a gt 1030 it might be better to just use integrated ryzen and either spend the money on dual channel ram or a ryzen 5.

  27. 13:48 Nvidia has just released a budget graphics card named gt 1050 which gives double the performance of a gt 1030.

  28. the gt 1030 is on par with the integrated graphics, or atleast almost so just getting better stuff for the parts u went cheap on would prolly net better results in the long run

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