REDMAGIC 6S Pro Review – This Snapdragon 888+ phone could be a better buy than the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro

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REDMAGIC 6S Pro Review Rating

Summary

If you are a keen gamer wanting the most powerful phone possible then the REDMAGIC 6S Pro is a perfect choice. The gaming-centric features are genuinely useful, the fan appears to tame the heat from the SD888+ better than other gaming phones making this a superior solution for gamers that like long sessions.

Overall
78%
78%
  • Overall - 78%
    78%

Pros

  • Integrated fans help with temperatures and thermal throttling
  • Should triggers are genuinely useful for keen gamers
  • Better value for money than the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro

Cons

  • SD888+ is barely any different from the SD888
  • So-so camera performance
  • Fan noise can be annoying (but you can switch it off)

If you see this review anywhere other than mightygadget.co.uk it has been scraped/stolen.

The REDMAGIC 6S Pro is one of the first phones to be announced with the brand-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+, and it will likely beat the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro for commercial availability.

The phone is essentially the same as the REDMAGIC 6 that launched back in March of this year, the main difference being the shift from the Snapdragon 888 to the Snapdragon 888+. They have then improved the multi-finger touch sampling from 360Hz to 720Hz and increased the shoulder button speed from 400Hz to 450Hz.

So, not much has changed, but REDMAGIC has, thankfully not increased the price massively. The new REDMAGIC 6S Pro will be available for £519, including 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and £10 more than the existing REDMAGIC 6. There are also a variety of discounts to be had if you order before the final launch.

Specification

  • Display:
    • 165Hz 6.8″ FHD+ E-Sport Ultra-Smooth Display
    • 720Hz Multi-finger Touch Sampling
    • 700 nits max brightness
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+
  • RAM & Storage: Eclipse Black 12+128 (review sample) /Transparent 16+256
  • Rear Camera:
    • 64MP Samsung ISOCELL GW3, f/1.8
    • 8MP f/2.2, ultra-wide
    • 2MP Macro
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, f/2.0
  • Battery: 5050 mAh with 66W charging
  • RRP: £519 for base model

Design & Display

This phone has a 6.8-inch display standing at 169.9mm tall, making it one of the largest phones on the market. There is no notch or punch hole, you have an old-fashioned bezel giving you an uninterrupted display ideal for gaming. The ZTE Axon 30 has a larger 6.9-inch display but notchless, and zero-bezel design means it is just 0.2mm taller.

Therefore, the phone is quite unwieldy for things like one-handed use, but the overall size is great for gaming.

The stand out feature of the flagship REDMAGIC phones is the inclusion of a built-in cooling fan which will automatically activate under a variety of scenarios, but mainly for gaming. On the edges of the phone, towards the top, are two air vents.

Similar to the 6R, you have the touch-sensitive shoulder triggers which can be used to map various functions to while gaming.

This phone also has a side switch that loads up the Game Space, providing you a variety of gaming orientated features.

On the top of the phone, you have a 3.5mm headphone jack giving you access to affordable and low latency earphones, perfect for gaming.

Camera

The camera specification is identical to the REDMAGIC 6, but strangely not quite as good as the more affordable REDMAGIC 6R

This uses the 64MP Samsung ISOCELL GW3, whereas the 6R uses the 64MP Sony IMX682. The Sony has a slightly larger sensor size, and from previous reviews I find that Sony generally performs a bit better than Samsung.

It is not a huge difference, though, and if you are the sort of person that is bothered about a 1/1.97″ sensor vs 1/1.73″ I would expect a gaming phone is not on your shortlist anyway.

Ignoring the spec, the performance is adequate. In good light, you can take decent quality photos that appear to have quite accurate neutral colour tones compared to some of the exaggerated colours other brands have.

Low light performance will be your main issue, which is true for most phones that are not specifically marketing the camera as the main selling point.

Camera Samples

Performance

I have done a more detailed post on the performance of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ vs Snapdragon 888.

The Snapdragon 888+ offers barely any difference in specification compared to the SD888, just a 5.5% increase on the Cortex X1 frequencies and then a claimed 20% improvement in AI performance. Therefore, as you would expect, the overall performance of this phone is not that different to the Snapdragon 888 I tested on the REDMAGIC 6R.

In fact, in 3DMark Wild Life, the score was a touch lower, however, it is small enough to be insignificant, and it is quite likely the score will improve once REGMAGIC releases the final version of their software.

Thermal Throttling – Does the fan make a difference?

The REDMAGIC 6R was the first Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 equipped phone I have tried that managed to sustain high scores on the 3DMark Wild Life stress test throughout the full test.

With a stability score of 94.6% it comfortably outclassed all other phones I have tried. This seems to be due to REGMAGIC allowing it to run a lot hotter, with peak temperatures of 59-degrees vs 41-degrees of the OnePlus 9 Pro.

So, does the fan on the REDMAGIC 6S Pro make a difference? Yes, it does.

This phone achieved a stability score of 99.1%, with the peak temperature hitting a more reasonable 51-degrees.

Looking at the official benchmark results, the REDMAGIC 6 achieved a similar stability. Both of these phones outperform other gaming focussed phones such as the Black Shark 4 Pro and Asus ROG Phone 5, which have 97% and 90% stability scores, respectively. Of course, you may also achieve a similar result by using one of the attachable cooling fans Black Shark or Asus sell, but that's an additional expense and added bulk.

Battery

Similar to the REDMAGIC 6R, I had issues getting the PC Mark Battery 3.0 test to complete properly. I think it is because the phones force a pop up at 20%, causing the test to terminate.

While PC Mark didn't give me an official time, it looks like the test terminated at 9 hours 20 mins which are not great, but about what I would have expected a flagship gaming phone to offer. This is also around 1 hour longer than the REDMAGIC 6R.

In general, the battery is OK, and I would say the increased battery capacity is one of the main reasons why I'd opt for this phone over the 6R.

Page 2 covers Software, gaming and fan noise, price and alternative options, plus my overall opinion.

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