RedMagic 6 review: Faster, sleeker, and with a smooth 165Hz refresh rate

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Techaeris Rated 9.3/10

It wasn’t so long ago that we took a look at the RedMagic 5S gaming smartphone. A few months later, Nubia is back with an updated version that boasts even better specs and a higher 165Hz refresh rate while remaining relatively affordable.

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Our RedMagic 6 review looks at a gaming smartphone with top-of-the-line internals, a smooth 165Hz refresh rate, and some gaming-centric features. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone we reviewed has the following features and specifications:

ModelNX669J
Display• 6.8-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED, 20:9 aspect ratio, up to 165Hz refresh rate, up to 500Hz single touch and 360Hz multi-touch sampling rate
• 630 nits max brightness
• SGS Certification low blue light for eye comfort
• 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass
• 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut
• 100,000:1 (typical) contrast ratio
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, up to 2.84GHz
GPUAdreno 660
Memory12GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB UFS3.1
Cooling System• 20,000RPM Turbo Fan with 4000mm² air-duct area, increases air heat transfer by up to 500%, tested life 30,000 hours
• Liquid Cooling Pipe
• High Thermal Conductivity Copper Foil
 Thermal gel
• Aviation Grade Aluminum Heat Sink
• Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad
Rear Camera• Sensors: S5KGW3+HI846+OV02A10
• Resolution: 64MP+8MP+2MP
• Wide Angle: 78.3°+120°+78°
• Pixel Size: 0.8μm+1.12μm+1.75μm 
• Aperture: F1.79+F2.2+F2.4
• Slow Motion: 1080P at 240fps, 720P at 480fps
• Time-Lapse: Yes
• Video: 8K resolution at 30fps, 4K at 60fps/30fps, 1080P at 60fps/30fps, 720P at 30fps
Front Camera• Megapixels: 8MP
• Pixel Size: 1.12μm
• Aperture: 2.0
• Video: 1080P/720P at 30fps
Connectivity• SIM: dual SIMSA+NSA: compatible with both standalone and non-standalone modes   
• 5G: NR n41/n78
•2G+3G+4G: GSM 2/3/5/8, WCDMA B1/2/4/5/8/19, CDMA/EVDO BC0/BC1, TD-LTE B34/B38/39/40/41,
FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B20/B12/B17/B18/B19/B26
• Wi-Fi: WiFi 6E 2×2 MIMO 
• Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.1
• Positioning: GPS, GLONASS
• NFC: Yes
• HDMI:Yes
SensorsOn-screen Fingerprint, G-sensor, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, Sensor hub
PortsUSB 3.0 Type-C, Dual nano-SIM slot, 3.5mm Audio Jack
Battery5050mAh
Quick Charging• 30W quick charging, up to 66W quick charging with optional Charger
• Charge 0-100% in 65 minutes with the 30W charger
Special Functions• Shoulder Trigger Buttons: 400Hz touch sampling rate, dual pressure touch buttons
• RGB light with fully customizable light effects
Operating SystemRedMagic OS 4.0 based on Android 11.0
MaterialMetal middle frame + glass back cover
ColorEclipse Black
Dimensions169.86 x 77.19 x 9.7mm (6.68 x 3.03 x 0.38″)
Weight220g (0.78oz)

What’s in the box

  • RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone
  • USB-C cable
  • Power adapter
  • Clear smartphone case
  • SIM tray ejector
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty information
What's included with the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone
What’s included with the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone.

Design

Unlike the RedMagic 5S, which had a bold blue and red colour design, the RedMagic 6 has a more subtle grey finish with red accents, which the company calls Eclipse Black. It still looks pretty sleek and edgy but without being gaudy. If you didn’t know it was a gaming smartphone, you would be forgiven to mistake it as a regular run-of-the-mill smartphone. While the phone does have rounded corners and edges, the long slides of the phone are flattened out, while the shorter edges are grooved inwards.

The back, as mentioned, is largely grey and silver in colour. A black stripe runs vertically down the center. Near the top is the triple camera area, stacked vertically. Below this is a triangular LED flash, which actually fits the design rather well. The RedMagic wordmark is sideways in the middle, with the brand’s logo in red near the bottom. On our review unit, the words “Powered by Nubia” are to the left and the numbers 06 to the right. When held in landscape mode, the Nubia mention is at the top with the numbers on the bottom. Just above and below these are a thin red line, angled for added detail.

The back of the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone
The back of the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone.

The device’s left edge has a physical game lock switch, a fan vent, and a volume rocker. The right side houses another fan vent, the power button, and two capacitive shoulder buttons. The top of the phone has a 3.5mm audio jack on the left side, while the bottom has a USB-C data/power port, the SIM/microSD card slot, and a bottom/side-firing speaker.

The front of the smartphone is pretty basic, with a speaker grille along the top and a front-facing camera towards the right. The phone also comes with a screen protector, which is pre-installed.

Overall, the RedMagic 6 is a nice-looking phone, sleek and slightly edgy without going overboard. It is comfortable to hold both for regular use and gaming. However, the one thing it is missing is an IP rating, so that is something to keep in mind as you’ll want to be extra careful about not splashing liquid on it or dropping it accidentally in a puddle.

Display

Perhaps the best feature of the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone, aside from its performance, is its display. The display itself is a 6.8-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio, up to 165Hz refresh rate, and up to 500Hz single touch and 360Hz multi-touch sampling rate. It also boasts 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut coverage, 630 nits max brightness, and is SGS Certified for low blue light for eye comfort.

As is the case with AMOLED displays, this one is bright with vivid colours, as well as being crisp and clear. You can choose between Normal, Vivid, Natural, P3 Color Gamut, and sRGB Color Gamut modes to suit your colour preferences in the settings. Users can also set the colour temperature between default, warm, cool, or custom.

With up to 165Hz refresh rate, scrolling around the main interface is smooth, as is gaming. Of course, using the highest refresh rate option will decrease battery use. On that note, the default refresh rate can be set to 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or 165Hz with a toggle to show the current refresh rate in the status bar.

The display on the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone
The display on the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone.

While it’s not a QHD or higher resolution like some other flagship devices, at this screen size, FHD+ is perfectly acceptable. The usual suspects like automatic brightness, dark mode, auto-screen rotation, and night light work as one would expect.

Software

On the operating side of things, the RedMagic 6 runs Android 11 with Red Magic OS v4.0 on top of it. As a result, the icons are themed in red, black, and various shades of grey. There are a few proprietary apps as well, which include Always On Display, File Manager, Calendar, Clock, Gallery, Camera, EternDevice (for RedMagic accessories), Notepad, Recorder, Settings, and Transfer. Interestingly enough, the device uses the stock Google messages app. Of course, the usual Google Apps are installed alongside the NextWord Browser, which is set to default instead of Google Chrome. As it runs Android, you have full access to the Google Play store and all the apps and games.

When the physical game lock switch is toggled on, the RedMagic game interface launches if you aren’t already in a game. The main screen shows tiles of installed games, lets you toggle the Turbofan and RGB LED Strip, access external devices, and view various game stats and settings. These states include daily and weekly stats for how much time you spent playing games. On the settings side, you can set up your record settings, network speed settings, and general settings like RGB lights, locking brightness, floating windows, edge false-touch prevention, and more. It’s a pretty simple interface, with a sleek gaming look and feel to it, and it’s pretty straightforward to use. When in a game, you can swipe left from the right side, and a quick settings overlay slides into place with various toggleable options.

One thing I will mention, however, is that it is a bit behind on security updates. At the time of this review, the RedMagic 6 was running the March security update.

Performance

Gaming smartphones often offer up top-of-the-line specifications, and the RedMagic 6 is no different. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC and an Adreno 660 GPU, this smartphone has 12GB LPDDR5 memory and 128GB of UFS3.1 storage. As one would expect, coupled with the higher refresh rate, apps and games launch quickly, run smoothly, and look fantastic. g

The on-screen fingerprint scanner seemed more reliable than what I remember on the RedMagic 5S and I had no issues with it.

Sound Quality

The RedMagic 6 has pretty decent sound with its dual stereo speakers. The phone does pump out quite a bit of volume without distorting it at higher volume levels. Positional audio is important while gaming, and like its predecessor, you do have a pretty decent sense of what direction sounds like footsteps or bullets are coming from.

The bottom edge of the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone
The bottom edge of the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone.

However, as with the RedMagic 5S, it is easy to cover the bottom/right side speaker when gaming with your hand. This does impact sound somewhat as it either muffles it or stifles it completely. It’d be nice to see a bottom speaker, much like the top, on the front of the display.

For those wanting better sound, this smartphone is one of the few that still includes a 3.5mm audio jack.

Camera

Even though the main 64MP camera sensor changed from the Sony IMX686 the 5S had to an S5KGW3, the photo quality is still pretty decent. The RedMagic 6 also has 8MP and 2MP camera options with a wide-angle lens. The better the light, the better the photo is, which is usually the case with most phones, but I was even impressed with the night mode quality. While it’s not the best camera out there, it is pretty decent and should serve most user needs.

The camera app comes with a few different modes, including the default mode, Pro, video, Night, and Portrait. Various other options are available, including MultiExposure, LightDraw, Electronic Aperture, Star Trail, Trajectory, DNG, Clone, Time-Lapse, Slow Motion, Pano, Macro, Zoom Blur, Art Camera, ID Photo, Phantom, and Freeze Frame. There are plenty of filters in the default mode as well, including Old Film, LOMO, Fish Eye, Cyberpunk, and more.

Reception/Call Quality

The RedMagic 6 supports 5G. Depending on your area, 5G coverage may be spotty or non-existent. It is just starting to roll out in my area, so it was really hit and miss. That being said, I was able to get over 200Mbps download on 5G at one point, and when not on 5G, LTE speeds were just fine. As for call reception, I didn’t have any issues during the couple of calls I made and took while using the device.

Battery Life

As far as batteries go, the RedMagic 6 has one of the bigger ones at 5050mAh. When used for gaming with the 165Hz refresh rate set, I was able to get about 4 hours of Call of Duty: Mobile and some other basic tasks like web browsing, email, and the like. Bump it down to 90Hz, and you do get a few more hours out of it. When not gaming, one can easily get a full day on a single charge with between 30-40% battery left.

If you run low during the day, the RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone will fully charge in just over an hour with the included 30W charger. For faster charging, you can also pick up a 66W version which should cut this charge time in half.

Accessories

The RedMagic 6 comes with a screen protector pre-installed (yay!) and a clear phone case. The case itself isn’t much and has a huge cutout in the middle of the back, but it does fit nicely and offers additional protection. The inside is lightly textured, presumably to offer some extra drop protection. The edges of the case are slightly frosted for added grip, and the cutouts are (as one would hope with an OEM case) well position. Finally, the corners of the case jut out slightly, which adds extra corner protection and helps with gripping the phone while being used in landscape mode.

The RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone inside the included phone case
The RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone inside the included phone case.

While we were unable to test them out, there are also several other accessories for the device. These include the Pro Handle, Pro Handle Protective Case, Ice Dock, Tempered-glass Screen Protector, Type-C to Type-C 6A USB Cable, a slightly better protective case, Gaming Dock, and even Cyberpods (earbuds).

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$599, the RedMagic 6 is a great value given the specs, performance, and display alone. Even if you don’t use it as a gaming phone, it does offer a better bang for your buck than most flagship Android devices on the market today.

Wrap-up

Like its predecessor, the RedMagic 5S is a decent phone with flagship specs and an affordable price point. With better specs and a higher refresh rate, this phone will chew through any game or app you can throw at it.

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Last Updated on June 25, 2021.

RedMagic 6

US$599.99

Deisgn

9.5/10

Display

9.5/10

Software

9.0/10

Performance

10.0/10

Sound quality

9.0/10

Camera

9.0/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.0/10

Battery

9.0/10

Accessories

8.5/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Sleek design
  • Great performance
  • Smooth 165Hz display
  • Fairly decent camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Gaming-centric features
  • Runs Android 11
  • Affordably priced

Needs work

  • One speaker gets covered by hand in landscape mode
  • A few months behind on Android security updates
RedMagic 6 gaming smartphone
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