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)

Software

Early version of the OS needs some tweaking before it is ready for the final launch

I was supplied an early production unit of this phone, so the software experience I have experienced is a little more glitchy than what buyers will receive. The first few days of having the phone, I had some serious issues with the Game Space loading up whenever I loaded any other app, I would then have to flip the side switch twice to close it down. However, at the end of August I was advised to update the software to V4.07 and this fixed the issue completely.

This version of the software still has a few issues, for example, when I go into Game Space, I quite frequently have to deal with Chinese text. I have been informed that V4.07 is not the final version that will ship to users, so again, I would expect many minor niggles to be ironed out.

With this not running the final version, it is a little hard to judge the software. The REDMAGIC 6R had quite a few quirks, and the software experience of REDMAGIC phones does appear to be one of the weaker areas for the company. I don't have too much of an issue with it, but it is certainly less refined than some of the more popular brands in Western markets.

Gaming / Fan Noise / Shoulder Triggers

I loved the shoulder triggers on the Black Shark 3 Pro, then the touch-sensitive triggers on the REDMAGIC 6R and therefore, I love them here too. It just makes gaming a little more enjoyable on mobile, helping to minimise how much of the screen you obstruct with your fingers.

The main talking point is the fans. REDMAGIC are the first company to introduce active cooling onto their phones. It sounds like a gimmick, but looking at the thermals from the Wild Life stress test, it does seem to make quite a bit of difference. However, the REDMAGIC 6R seemed happy to hit 59-degrees, and its stability score wasn't that much different to the 6S Pro, and I would imagine it is quite rare that you will push a phone that hard in the real world. So, it is a little difficult to say for certain how much the fans help.

The phone does feel physically less hot to touch, thanks to the fans, so this could make gaming a bit more comfortable for users.

Depending on your tolerance to noise, the fan noise can be quite grating. Similar to laptops, the overall pitch is quite high, so it is not the most pleasant of sounds. It is also surprisingly loud; in a quiet room, the phone can easily be heard at a distance. Thankfully, you have some control over when the fans activate, typically they will auto-activate, but you can disable this and manually enable them from the home screen widget or within Game Space.

Price and Alternative Options

The REDMAGIC 6S Pro comes in three variants:

  • 12+128G Cyborg: £519
  • 16+256G Cyborg: £609
  • 16+256G Ghost: £629

The existing REDMAGIC 6 is £509 with 12+128G.

Your best alternative option is the REDMAGIC 6R which is now just £389 for the 8GB/128GB model.

The ASUS ROG Phone 5 starts at £799.

The Black Shark 4 Pro hasn't come to the UK, and the Black Shark 4 uses the lower specced Snapdragon 870, with the phone costing £429.

The Realme GT with the SD888 and 8GB/128GB is £399, it is probably a better phone for general use than the REDMAGIC 6R, but it has a smaller display and has thermal throttling issues that plagues most SD888 equipped phones.

Overall

The REDMAGIC 6S Pro is without a doubt one of the best gaming phones on the market.

The active cooling of this phone should allow it to offer improved performance for long gaming sessions compared to most, if not all other flagship devices, including gaming focussed phones such as the Asus and Black Shark.

I am not entirely sure what the point of the Snapdragon 888+ is, but it is understandable that a gaming brand has to launch a phone using the latest flagship chipset. REDMAGIC have kept the pricing almost the same so there is no particular reason to opt for the older model in an attempt to get better value for money.

It is also attractively priced compared to the competition. Gaming phones from other brands such as the Asus ROG Phone 5 cost around 50% more. Conversely, you should consider if the additional features of this phone are worth it over the incredibly affordable REDMAGIC 6R, which is currently reduced to £389 for the 8GB/128GB model.

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