Nubia, a brand owned by Chinese telecom firm ZTE, upgraded its gaming phone series with the new Red Magic 7S and 7S Pro on Monday. The new models introduce one of the fastest gaming frame rates and a virtual host for streaming as the brand looks to establish itself as a high-end gaming phone maker. 

Why it matters: In an effort to differentiate itself from other gaming phone makers, the new Red Magic models come with special tech to increase gaming frames per second to offer a smoother experience.

  • Such a feature is a notable attraction for gamers as similar tech has been widely adopted on gaming computers.
  • The phone also comes with a built-in virtual host for mobile gaming streamers, catering to the growing mobile game streaming market.

Details: The Red Magic 7S series’ gaming features are powered by Qualcomm’s latest high-end processor, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and Nubia worked with a partner to develop the Red Core 1 chip for additional display features. The standard version has up to 16GB RAM and 512 GB storage, while the Pro has options for 18 GB RAM and 1 TB storage.

  • Red Magic 7S and 7S Pro both feature 6.8-inch AMOLED displays with 387 pixels per inch (PPI) density, helping to deliver detailed imagery. But the standard version has a better display in terms of refresh rate and maximum brightness, which could be an important selling point for players not willing to spend extra for a Pro. 
  • The Red Magic 7S’s display has a refresh rate of 165 Hz and features 700 nits maximum brightness, while the Pro version only has a 120 Hz refresh rate and 600 nits maximum brightness.
  • The new 7S series phones are both built with Red Core 1 processors which are developed by Nubia and a Shanghai-based chip design firm Shanghai Awinic Technology.
  • The chip was first introduced into the 7 series in February, enabling gaming features such as vibration feedback, customizable touch control, and the ability for lights on the device to sparkle in sync with songs. The 7S Pro has a larger 5000mAh battery with 135W speed charging support, while the standard comes with a 4500mAh one, supporting 120W speed charging.
  • The Red Magic 7S comes in two designs while the 7S Pro has four, including a Transformer’s Bumblebee limited edition. Pricing for the new phones ranges from RMB 3,999 ($594) to RMB 7,499 ($1,113) depending on storage and RAM choices.

Context: Nubia introduced the gaming phone series Red Magic in 2018, six years after the brand was first established.

  • Red Magic and gaming giant Tencent reached strategic partnerships (in Chinese) to ensure optimized gameplay on the former’s phones in 2021.
  • At the release event on Monday, Nubia also revealed that the Red Magic series is currently the top-selling high-end gaming phone (priced over RMB 4,000) in the world, accounting for 51% of the overall market in the first quarter of this year. Asus’s ROG and the Xiaomi and Tencent-backed Black Shark took 36% and 12% of the market, respectively.

Ward Zhou is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. He covers stories about industry of digital content, hardware, and anything geek. Reach him via ward.zhou[a] or Twitter @zhounanyu.