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Redmagic 8S Pro review: Gaming excellence

Redmagic 8S Pro review: Gaming excellence

Redmagic 8S Pro

Redmagic is far from a household name in this part of the world. But if you're into mobile gaming, don't sleep on the Redmagic 8S Pro. It's right up there with more well-known gaming smartphones like Asus' ROG Phone series in features and performance. You can also buy gaming accessories from Redmagic to enhance your gaming experience. But more importantly, the pricing is pretty competitive for what you can.

Quick specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 16GB system memory and 512GB storage
  • 6.8-inch AMOLED screen (2,480 x 1,116 pixels, 120Hz)
  • 50MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera and 2MP macro camera
  • 6000mAh battery

With its square corners, flat display and brushed silver finish — the base 256GB variant comes in black, while the 512GB model I tested also has an Aurora version with a transparent glass back — the Redmagic 8S Pro is a shiny slab of a phone, kinda like some older Sony smartphones. At 228g, it's hefty, but it does have a huge 6.8-inch AMOLED screen. This display is bright at up to 1,300 nits. But there's no HDR support in Netflix. More importantly for gamers, it has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. You may also not notice it at first, but the 16MP selfie camera is the under-display type that's practically invisible when not in use. As a result, this display, especially with the thin bezels, is great for gaming. But the in-display fingerprint sensor can be temperamental at times, and would take a couple of tries to accept my fingerprint.

Redmagic 8S Pro
The red switch toggles the phone's game mode, while the black area here is the touch-sensitive shoulder trigger. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Like other gaming phones, the Redmagic 8S Pro has touch-sensitive shoulder triggers that can be mapped to your game controls. They are very responsive, with LEDs at the back of the phone that flash when you tap these triggers. There's also a physical red switch that activates Game Space, the phone's game mode. From this interface, you can go straight into your games, as well as adjust settings, like performance, screen, network, and more. You can also summon up the in-game settings overlay by swiping from the sides. It has handy shortcuts for functions like screen recording, or adding a crosshair to help with aiming. Shoutout also to the speakers, which are great for a smartphone, with solid bass that make for a very immersive experience. However, the cameras are nothing to shout about.

Redmagic 8S Pro
The in-game settings overlay comes up when you swipe from the sides in landscape orientation. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

With its flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and ample memory, the Redmagic 8S Pro excels in games. Its Geekbench 6 scores (2,110 for single, and 5,689 for multi-core) are the highest I have tested for an Android phone this year, and actually edge out the Asus ROG Phone 7. Expect smooth, and stable performance without thermal throttling. In fact, the Redmagic maintained its performance level 99.5% of the time in 3DMark's Wild Life Extreme stress test. Temperatures did peak higher at 51 degrees Celsius compared with 47 degrees for the Asus. But you can be assured of top-tier gaming performance on this phone. With its 6,000mAh battery, the Redmagic 8S Pro also has better battery stamina than most phones. But the Asus ROG Phone 7 (12hr 38min) did much better in PCMark's battery test than the Redmagic (9hr 50min). You also get 65W fast charging, like the Asus.

Redmagic has also created gaming accessories for its phone. They include a gamepad (S$112.90) that attaches to the sides for a more tactile experience, as well as a cooling fan (S$60.90) that clips to the back of the phone. I didn't test them, but these accessories should also work with smartphones from other brands. As for the non-gaming part, Redmagic's software is fairly vanilla. The cameras are decent (the selfie camera is the weakest of the lot), but not flagship-worthy. However, the Redmagic 8S Pro really shines as a gaming smartphone. Buy it from Redmagic at S$1,089 for the 16GB+512GB model, and S$909 for the 12GB+256GB model.

See Also
Jabra Elite 8 Active

Note: Review unit provided by Redmagic.

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