Nubia Redmagic 6R Review – A great affordable Snapdragon 888 gaming phone & good alternative vs Black Shark 4 or Realme GT

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Nubia Red Magic 6R Review Rating

Summary

The Nubia Red Magic 6R is attractively priced, being one of the cheapest SD888 phones on the market. It offers outstanding performance thanks to the chipset and no obvious thermal throttling. The shoulder buttons are also excellent. However, the Red Magic UI needs work, and both the camera and battery performance are not the best. Overall, the phone is a good recommendation for someone strictly looking for a gaming phone, rather than general use.

Overall
80%
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  • Overall - 80%
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Pros

  • Superb value for money
  • Shoulder buttons are fantastic and a great feature vs none gaming phones
  • Extremely high performance with little to no thermal throttling

Cons

  • Not the best camera & poor camera UI
  • Runs very hot under load
  • Reasonably poor battery

RedMagic launched their new gaming focussed 6-series phones back in March. This month they added to this range with the 6R, which arrives at a lower price with a few cutbacks from the other models.

One of the stands out features of this phone is the 400Hz built-in should trigger buttons allowing you to map button presses to the shoulder.

Specification

  • Display: 6.67-inch AMOLED FHD+, 144Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • RAM & Storage: 8GB LPDDR5 & 128GB UFS3.1 (review sample) or 12GB/256GB option
  • Rear Camera:
    • 64MP Sony IMX682, f/1.8
    • 8MP f/2.2, ultra-wide
    • 5MP f/2.4 macro
    • 2MP f/2.4 depth
  • Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 4200mAh with 30W charging
  • RRP: £429 for the base model

Nubia RedMagic 6R vs 6 vs 6 Pro

The latest Red Magic phones come in three variants, with this being the most affordable. All the phones use the SD888 chipset and have 400Hz built-in should trigger buttons.

The Red Magic 6 and 6 Pro appear to be identical in the UK, but the Pro model gets 16 GB LPDDR5 and 256 GB UFS3.1. The Chinese Pro model has 120W charging but a smaller battery.

The UK models both have 5050mAh with 66W quick charging

Both these phones have a 6.8-inch 165Hz display with sampling rates of 500Hz single touch and 360Hz multi-touch.

The more affordable Nubia Red Magic 6R drops the spec a small amount with:

  • Smaller display with a slower refresh rate
  • Slightly different camera set up that is technically better, switching from a Samsung senor to the Sony sensor
  • Loses a stereo speaker
  • Smaller 4200mAh with slower 30W charging

So, you don't lose out on much, but gamers will definitely appreciate the larger display with a faster refresh rate and bigger battery on the other models.

Nubia Red Magic 6R vs Realme GT & Black Shark 4

As soon as I looked at the spec and price of this phone, it immediately reminded me of the Realme GT which I reviewed recently and the Black Shark 4 (which I have not used). The three phones launch at a similar price of £429 for the Red Magic and Black Shark 4 while the Realme GT is 449 Euros

Each phone has its advantages and disadvantages

The Black Shark 4 has a better spec than the Red Magic 6R for most things, apart from it uses the Snapdragon 870, which is a slower chipset based on last years SD865 and also has a lower specced camera. However, it has the same sized display vs the Redmagic but with a faster refresh rate, pop up shoulder buttons, a larger battery and faster charging. It only has USB-C 2.0, so you won't be able to pair it up with a monitor in the same way as the Red Magic.

For the Red Magic 6R you have a larger display than the Realme with a faster refresh rate and the included touch-sensitive shoulder triggers. The USB port is USB-3.0 and display port compatible. This will likely make this more appealing to people specifically wanting a gaming phone. It also has a better 64MP camera sensor vs the Black Shark

The Realme GT has a larger battery with faster charging and also has a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is also slightly cheaper vs the other two while also looking more attractive and having a superior build quality. So this phone will be more appealing to general users wanting a great phone at a bargain price.  

Design & Display

The overall design and build quality is much more like a mid-range phone rather than a phone with a flagship Qualcomm chipset. I don't regard this as a particularly bad thing, this is an affordable phone, after all, and they need to cut costs somewhere.

The display uses a dewdrop notch, and there is a moderately large bezel making it look a little dated in the quick-moving world of phones. The bezel is probably the same size as the Realme GT, and the notification bar by default blacks out, so the end result is something quite similar.

The display itself is good, it looks fantastic when indoors playing games, and you can switch between the different refresh rates allowing you to extend the battery life or favour the ultra-fast interface. One issue I had was outdoor screen brightness, especially in the photo app, it was significantly worse than my OPPO Find X3 Neo.

One thing that stands out with this phone is the touch-sensitive shoulder buttons. They are easy to miss at first, the paint on the phone goes from shiny to a brushed/matte look, nothing else really distinguishes it from the rest of the phone. It is a less impressive solution than the physical buttons on the Black Shark 4.

The rear of the phone is plastic, so it feels a little cheap, but other than that has no negative consequences and will be more smash resistant than a glass back.

The rear casing also has a variety of angular graphics giving it that gamer look, and the phone comes with a clear plastic case which should offer reasonable protection.

There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, this has become the norm for a lot of phones nowadays but I would have thought it would be something that is included on a affordable gaming focussed phone.

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