Smartphone review Red Magic 5s - stylish flagship with a gaming accent

 Smartphones, smartphones, smartphones ... eh. It is simply impossible to imagine a modern person without these compact multifunctional devices. In many ways, it is smartphones that shape the world around us, our rhythm of life and way of thinking. Dozens of famous and not so famous brands release hundreds of new devices every month and it would seem that everyone can choose something for themselves that will ideally match their tastes, tasks and preferences.


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s - stylish flagship with a gaming accent

But, alas and ah, everything is far from so simple. It is often difficult to choose a smartphone and you have to focus solely on the price, numbers in the specifications and reviews with reviews (in the hope that they have not been paid from head to toe). Appearance? Don't be ridiculous - all smartphones are now faceless. In the end, it all comes down to the choice of the price category, in which you have to acquire a bunch of unnecessary buns as a "bonus" to the necessary and fundamental parameters. Do you want top-end hardware so that games do not slow down, a dozen running programs and YouTube playing in the background? Pay for a camera that can even shoot TV shows and throw in for the brand name. If you want a large and high-quality screen, hold it, but it has a cutout for the camera, because it's so fashionable. Etc. But everything is not so bad, because there is one niche in the mobile market, very small and therefore hardly noticeable - gaming smartphones. Is it funny? Yes, and this caused only a condescending smile from the author, to a close acquaintance with one device.


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s

Red Magic 5s is a continuation of the line of gaming smartphones from the notorious ZTE company. I remember their smartphones more for the line of “long-playing” devices with powerful batteries, but it turned out that the guys know how to play not only in the budget and middle price segments. Red Magic 5s is not a cheap device, for which, although you have to pay $611 USD, it is still one of the best deals on the market, because for this amount we get:


  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Chipset
  • Graphics Accelerator Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB / 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB permanent memory
  • Display with 144Hz refresh rate
  • Supports 5G and Wi-Fi 6 networks.

In fact, this list is already quite enough to understand that this is a full-fledged flagship smartphone of the end of 2020 and early 2021 at a quite pleasant price. What's the catch? Yes, there is nothing, in fact, it is not here. And now that you are already really interested, let's take a closer look at the smartphone.

Red Magic 5s comes in a stylish box, decorated in the style of classic b / w comics, already hinting at some informality of what is happening. In the package we have a smartphone itself, a power cord, a clip for removing the SIM card tray, a transparent silicone case and a POWER SUPPLY! For the latter, you can immediately put it head and shoulders above all the new products from world brands!


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s


All jokes, but let's talk about the appearance. To be honest, the design of the smartphone is very effective. ZTE has managed to jump over the stage in the design of gaming devices, when they are hung with a bunch of incomprehensible "sevstoperdek" and "highlight" to a laconic, stylish and technological design. The back cover is pleasant to the touch, beautiful and desperately resists being hidden in a case. But, in spite of the fact that it is completely made of high quality aluminum, it is better to cover it with the same complete cover. The middle mirror insert is very fond of prints, like any similar surface. But if it's not a problem for you to wipe it from time to time, rejoice.

Smartphone review Red Magic 5s - stylish flagship with a gaming accent


Above center is a triple unit of cameras with flash located in one line. A slightly unusual solution within the framework of modern design trends, but functionally sound, which will be mentioned later. The main module Sony IMX 686 (64 MP) and the quality of its images does not cause any complaints. Yes, “space zoom” was not delivered, as well as some custom RAW formats, but if you are ready to pay another 20-30 thousand for their availability, why didn't you just do it? If you play around with your local camera settings a little, you can get some really great pictures.

IMage taken by Red magic 5s


The video quality is also very good. I'm not sure about shooting full-fledged series, but a beginner blogger can be the main tool for a long time. Especially for broadcasting.

Two additional modules are more modest: macro objects at 2MP and wide-angle at 8MP. There are no revelations - they just do their job.

In the lower part of the lid, under the very mirrored surface, there is a logo of the Red Magic series, which can be constantly lit or serve as an indicator of certain events. In some situations, a very useful thing. If you are not a fan of such solutions, you can turn it off and no one will ever guess about it.


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s - stylish flagship with a gaming accent



The front side of the smartphone is not as interesting as the back cover or side faces, but we'll get to them later. Most of the space is taken up by a 6.65 ″ AMOLED display. It has small bezels, but no cutouts. Directly above it there is a small 8MP front camera, quite suitable for streaming.

The display resolution is FHD, a pure refresh rate of up to 144Hz with a sampling rate of up to 240Hz, which, in combination with Touch Choreographer technology, can even squeeze a very smooth picture from a jerky picture of a dying mobile game engine. For dynamic online shooters and Battle Royals it will be very important, and for those who just like to kill time playing games - a nice addition.


The color gamut of the display is 100% DCI-P3 and the picture looks very colorful and natural. With the naked eye, it will be very difficult to notice the difference in the picture in comparison with the screens of more expensive devices, and it is not significant at all. In addition, the colors are not overexposed and the load on the eyes, even with the minimum brightness level, is not noticeable. And my eyes are very sensitive, which is why smartphones of the same brand are a nightmare for me in reality (we will not point fingers).

Summing up - the screen is very pleasant, the picture is juicy and close to natural. Even when wearing gloves, the screen responds accurately and without delay. As well as the fingerprint scanner, which is hidden under the screen. Despite my dislike for this technology, it works well. Obviously better than FaceID, but let's not talk about sad things.

Facets are what catches the eye and arouses bewilderment and interest at the same time in Red Magic 5s . For starters, it's worth noting that the smartphone is not perfectly flat - the back cover has a noticeable bulge in the middle part. Just holding the smartphone in your hands you don't notice it, but the eye clings. Take note of this, because it's not just that.


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s


On the upper edge, in addition to the microphone hole and the antenna risks, we are greeted by the first surprise - 3.5 mm Jack. Wow. I didn't expect to see it in 2021 in a smartphone. This is very nice, considering that whatever you say, the sound from wired headphones is the sound from wired headphones. And nobody canceled other ways of using the connector. An external microphone can also be connected via USB, but it may be busy. Conveniently.

Smartphone review Red Magic 5s

The left side, another microphone, a ventilation grill (no, it's not a speaker), a strange red switch and an equally strange connector. Well, in fact, there is nothing strange here, if you remember that our smartphone, whatever one may say, belongs to the gaming class. The connector serves to connect additional branded accessories, which, if interesting, it is better to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer's website - the set is quite interesting.

With the red switch, everything is more interesting - it is responsible for quickly launching Game Boost mode. This mode is one of the features of RedMagic OS. It fixes the frequencies of the processor and graphics core at the maximum values ​​and activates active cooling. The small ledge is his fault. In the bowels of the smartphone, not far from the camera block, there is a small fan surrounded by a network of heat-conducting elements covering the entire element base. I was able to hear his work only in complete silence (I tried very hard), under normal conditions his work is invisible. The same cannot be said about the throttling tests - the influence of the fan is quite noticeable in them.


Start test Red Magic 5s


On the bottom there is a USB Type-C, a tray for two nano-SIM and stereo speakers. Stop, you tell me, where is the second one? And it is located above the display and serves as a spoken one. It is worth noting that such an arrangement of them is very successful, because with any grip you do not overlap them and you get a clear, high-quality sound.


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s


Both the effects in games and the music sound juicy, loud and with all the nuances you can expect to hear. Especially the quality of the local speakers and the sound system as a whole is noticeable when playing movies with high-quality audio tracks. Like an expensive soundbar turned on at a low volume. And this is a very nice bonus.

Smartphone review Red Magic 5s

On the right side in the center there is a volume control swing and a lock / power button for the smartphone - during the game, you will definitely not accidentally press it. There are two touch triggers along the edges - again, do not forget that the smartphone is a gaming one and such additional physical elements will be extremely useful. Not everyone has separate gamepads for smartphones, and mobile gaming is limited not only to games from the Play Market. They are very convenient to use, especially when you get used to their presence.

And that's all for the outside of the smartphone. Wow. It seems that they started with the fact that smartphones are all the same, and ended up with almost three sheets of text for a banal inspection. This is how Red Magic 5s is - you really want to consider and study it. This is the first reaction to a smartphone. He's unusual and stylish. Not a lurid toy, but a curious device that clearly conceals much more than it might seem at first glance. Now let's get to the hardware part.


Smartphone review Red Magic 5s

As stated earlier, the heart of the Red Magic 5s is the Snapdragon 865, one of the fastest mobile processors available today. As a result, the smartphone has access to all the nice features of the latest revisions of this chip, including advanced mechanisms for working with machine learning and artificial intelligence systems. This will slightly affect the performance in games, but it will significantly affect the overall speed of work and the quality of photos.

Synthetic tests clearly state the high performance of the Red Magic 5s. Any daily load is not a problem at all for it, and even with the simultaneous operation of several heavy applications, you will not notice any jams.


Geekbench Score

Despite the impressive specifications, the smartphone holds a charge very well. Here I immediately remembered those same ZTE Volt who lived for weeks. A local 4500 mAh battery with active use of the Internet, watching videos (at least an hour and a half), playing (2-2.5 hours) and listening to music (3-4 hours) could hold out for two days. In our world, when everyone lives from outlet to outlet, it's very cool.

It's just as cool that the manufacturer did not skimp on the 18W power supply included, which raises the charge to 100% in less than an hour and a half. If you wish, you can buy a 55W unit, which, apparently, will charge the smartphone in less than 30 minutes (but this is not certain).

I couldn't find a game that could somehow load Red Magic 5s. PUBG Mobile? At maximum settings, it seemed that the smartphone did not even strain.

Not optimized, albeit beautiful, Black Desert? With local performance headroom, even its engine manages to run smoothly.

However, there is one thought. Not mobile games alone! Cloud gaming services, although they do not always work perfectly, are gaining momentum, and as I see it, this is one of the possible applications for such gaming smartphones. To do this, Red Magic 5s has everything it needs, including support for 5G mobile networks (sooner or later we will see them in our immense one) and fast Wi-Fi 6. And you know, it's amazing, but when you use a fast and smartphone prepared for games, then you start to enjoy them. A smooth picture, drops in frames of which help to compensate for a high-quality screen and software, convenient control due to touch triggers, excellent sound and tangible vibration feedback (yes, it is here and no worse than the on-board DualShock). At some point you even forget

Speaking of software, if you are seriously interested in mobile games (and there are quite a few of those people, believe me) or even plan to build an esports or styrmer career, then the local operating system is a real godsend. Game Space is a unique program that will store information about all your games, help you share the brightest moments, flexibly adjust many parameters, turn off notifications and much more. Active players will surely find it very useful.


Instead of a conclusion, let's abstract a little from mobile games. For them, Red Magic 5s suits perfectly, but this smartphone may be of interest to many. The reason is simple: for a more than adequate price, you get a device with flagship hardware, without overpaying for features that are interesting, at best, to 5% of users. All the gaming capabilities of the smartphone, in this case, are a very pleasant bonus, which also does not affect the price.

In fact, the Red Magic 5s has no worthy competitors in its price range, and in the niche of gaming smartphones it stands out due to its pleasing design, attention to detail and firmware.







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