REDMAGIC 7 review: Great performance with latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor

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I’ve had the opportunity to review a couple of RedMagic phones so far, and each iteration proves to be faster than before. If you haven’t heard of RedMagic before, their primary target is mobile gaming, a segment they serve pretty well. That’s not to say their phones aren’t suitable for daily use as well.

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Our REDMAGIC 7 review looks at the latest gaming smartphone from the company, which is almost identical to previous models aside from shipping with the latest Snapdragon processor. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone we reviewed has the following features and specifications:

ModelNX679J (12/256GB model)
Display• 6.8-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED, 20:9 aspect ratio, up to 165Hz refresh rate, up to 720Hz touch sampling rate
• 700 nits max brightness, 4.096 levels of smart brightness
• SGS Certification low blue light for eye comfort
• 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass
• 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut
• 1,000,000:1 (typical) contrast ratio
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, up to 3.0GHz
GPUAdreno
Memory12/16/18GB LPDDR5
Storage128/256GB UFS3.1
Cooling System• Turbo Fan
• Area of Air-duct: 4000mm
• Air Channel with 2 air intakes
• Air Volume: 0.21CFM, 0.295 (MIN. 0.232) CFM
• Type: Centrifugal fan
• Number of fan blades: 59
• Thickness of fan blades: 0.1mm
• Tested life: 30,000 hours
• Speed: 20,000 RPM
• Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
• Weight: 1g
• Vapor Chamber
• High Thermal Conductivity Copper Foil
• Thermal gel
• Cooling Graphite Thermal Pad
• Aviation Grade Aluminum Heat Sink
Rear Camera• Sensors: S5KGW3+HI846+OV02A10
• Resolution: 64MP+8MP+2MP
• Wide Angle: 80°+120°+78°
• Aperture: F1.75+F2.2+F2.4
• Slow Motion: 120fps, 240fps, 480fps, 960fps
• Time-Lapse: Yes
• Video shooting: the rear cameras supports 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 shooting: the front camera supports 1080P/720P at 30fps
Connectivity• SIM: dual SIMSA+NSA: compatible with both standalone and non-standalone modes   
• 5G: NR n41/n78//n77/n38
• 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
SensorsFingerprint, G-sensor, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, Sensor hub
PortsUSB 3.0 Type-C, DP, Dual nano-SIM slot, 3.5mm Audio Jack
Battery4500mAh
Quick Charging• 65W GaN quick charging
Special Functions• Shoulder Trigger Buttons: 500Hz touch sampling rate, dual pressure touch buttons
• RGB light with fully customizable light effects
Operating SystemRedMagic OS 5.0 based on Android 12.0
MaterialMetal middle frame + glass back cover
ColourColor: Obsidian 12+128 / Pulsar 16+256/ Supernova 18+256
Dimensions170.57 x 78.33 x 9.5mm (6.72 x 3.08 x 0.37″)
Weight215g (0.78oz)

What’s in the box

  • REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone
  • USB-C cable
  • Power adapter
  • Clear smartphone case
  • SIM tray ejector
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty information
What's included with the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone
What’s included with the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone.

Design

While the REDMAGIC 6R and 6S Pro took a slightly different design approach, the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone looks very similar to the RedMagic 6.

The back is glossy and largely black and gunmetal. A brushed black stripe runs vertically down the center. Near the top is the triple camera area, stacked vertically, with the triangular LED flash. The REDMAGIC wordmark is sideways in the middle, with the brand’s logo near the bottom. This logo can be lit up using LEDs in the system settings if you wish. The rest of the back has an interesting design motif, with an airflow vent to the right of the camera array (when held vertically).

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 left. The phone also comes with a screen protector, which is pre-installed, and a phone case. Unlike previous REDAMAGIC smartphones, the case is a frosted smoke colour instead of clear. Given we were sent the Obsidian (black) version of the device, it does add to the look of the phone when used.

The back of the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone
The back of the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone.

Overall, the REDMAGIC 7, like previous iterations, is still a nice-looking phone, sleek and slightly edgy without going overboard. It is comfortable to hold both for regular use and gaming. The one feature it is still 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.

While we were sent the black Obsidian version, the REDMAGIC 7 is also available in a multicolour Pulsar version and a black Supernova version complete with an RGB fan and translucent back.

Display

The REDMAGIC 7 has a 6.8″ FHD (2400×1080) AMOLED screen with a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz and up to 720Hz touch sampling rate. It also features a maximum brightness of 700 nits and 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage. These specs sound great on paper for gamers, and the display does deliver. Colours are rich and full, the display is visible in practically every lighting condition, and the adjustable refresh rate ensures smooth performance. As for refresh rate, users can toggle between 60, 90, 120, and 165Hz.

Perhaps the best feature of the REDMAGIC 7 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 720Hz single touch and 600Hz multi-touch sampling rate (both bumps over the 6S Pro). It also boasts 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut coverage, 700 nits max brightness, and is SGS Certified for low blue light for eye comfort.

While it is a larger screen and only at a 1080p resolution, text and images are still crisp and clear. As with most phones, you can adjust the font size, enable dark mode, and choose between normal, vivid, natural, P3, or sRGB colour gamuts, and even colour temperature (default, warm, cool, or custom) to suit your preferences. As is the case with AMOLED displays, this one is bright with vivid colours, as well as being crisp and clear.

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 7 gaming smartphone
The display on the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone with default wallpaper.

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

Software

The REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone runs RedMagic OS 5.0 based on Android 12.0. When setting up the device, it defaults to the older 3-button navigation system, but it is easy enough to switch to the new gesture navigations. The interface is also skinned with custom icons and default widgets for toggling the game fane, reporting daily game time, and even one for measuring your heart rate through the fingerprint scanner. One cool feature about the OS is that it does require you to enter your password every 72 hours for additional security if you have the fingerprint login enabled.

As with previous REDMAGIC devices, the default browser is NextWord Browser which has some features which most users aren’t that familiar with. I think you’re better off ditching it and using Edge, Chrome, or another browser of your choice. Other default apps include the Google suite, Calendar, Clock, Weather, File Manager, Contacts, NotePad, Calculator, and Voice Recorder. Most of these can easily be replaced with the official Google or other apps if you desire.

The one app you will likely use is the Game Space Center. When the dedicated game button is toggled on, the Game Space Center launches. Not only does this give you easy access to installed games, but it lets you customize network settings, anti-mistouch, notifications, and even add plugins to assist with your games. When enabled and in a game, swiping twice from the upper corners will cause an overlay to slide in. This overlay gives you access to performance modes and stats, toggles for the fan, recording, refresh rate, brightness adjustments, and many other toggles to provide distraction-free gaming.

As far as Android updates go, the REDMAGIC 7 is currently updated to the January 2022 security update at the time of this review, so it hasn’t been updated since it was released.

Performance

If you’re marketing a phone as a gaming device, you need top-of-the-line specifications. The REDMAGIC 7 is the first we’ve reviewed with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processer, and it certainly delivers. Also on board is 12 or 6GB of LPDDR5RAM, and 128 or 256GB of storage space. Our review unit came with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it handled anything I threw at it with ease.

The fan vents on the back and left edge of the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone
The fan vents on the back and left edge of the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone.

Games like Call of Duty: Mobile ran smoothly at the 165Hz refresh rate and without issues. The REDMAGIC is also great for Xbox Game Pass games, both touch- and controller-based games. With a bit of configuration, the shoulder buttons are useful, depending on the game you are playing. Of course, typical tasks like web browsing and other apps ran smoothly, and I didn’t encounter any lag whatsoever.

On the cooling side of things, the internal cooling fan does help. When in gaming mode with the fan spinning, the phone will still get warm, but not overly and not hot to the touch. I did try it with the fan off, and it gets hot depending on what game you are playing, so it is something that you’ll want to enable while gaming. The good news is you can set it up to turn on when you launch a game and turn it off when you’re done. In addition, you can enable the fan while charging for faster charging. One thing I will note, however, is that if you are in a quiet room and you can faintly hear the fan.

The REDMAGIC 7 also has an under-screen fingerprint scanner. It works rather well and I didn’t have any issues with it.

Sound Quality

The speaker placement on the REDMAGIC 7, one on the front left of the display and one on the right edge near the top, is perfect for landscape gaming. The stereo speakers offer pretty loud and clear audio. As expected, there isn’t much bass here as with most phones, but the audio is more than adequate for gaming or watching videos.

Camera

The cameras on the REDMAGIC 7 haven’t changed from the REDMAGIC 6/6S Pro and are still pretty decent. The rear-facing camera is a 64MP+8MP+2MP triple camera. The front-facing is an 8MP shooter. The cameras on this gaming smartphone are decent enough for what most gamers would use it for in default mode. Pictures are pretty clear when viewed on the device and not bad when viewed on a computer. While I didn’t print any, they should be suitable for smaller prints as well. Photos in brighter light turn out better, but night mode isn’t too shabby. The camera also has plenty of features including Star Trail, Star Sky, Electronic Aperture, LightDraw, Slow Motion, MultiExposure, Time-Lapse, Clone, Freeze Frame, Pano, Macro, Portrait, Pro (manual) mode and more.

Reception/Call Quality

The REDMAGIC 7 offers up Wi-Fi 6 and 5G connectivity. I have a Wi-Fi 6 compatible modem in my house, and the phone is connected to it and operated just fine. With 5G, that is a bit of a different story, but that is due to the coverage in my area. Connectivity and speeds were fine when I was near a 5G tower. The phone fell back to 4G LTE connections with no issues when I wasn’t.

Battery Life

The REDMAGIC 7 has a large 4500mAh battery, slightly smaller than the 5050mAh battery in the 6S Pro. Under normal usage with the 60 or 90Hz refresh rate, it easily lasts a couple of days. When you add in a few hours of gaming at higher refresh rates, it does chew up the battery a bit more. As far as battery drain while gaming, when the refresh rate was set to 120Hz, the battery depleted at a rate of just over 15%/hr. The higher 165Hz refresh rate climbed slightly to just over 20%/hr. Still, with a couple of hours of gaming a day and a higher refresh rate enabled all the time, I was able to get through the day with battery life to spare.

When you need to recharge the phone, you can get a full charge in just over an hour with the included 30W charger. If you pick up the optional 66W charger, you can cut that down in half.

The back of the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone with the included case
The back of the REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone with the included case.

Accessories

The REDMAGIC 7 comes with a pre-installed screen protector and a clear, smokey phone case. The case itself isn’t much, but it does fit nicely and offers additional protection. The inside is lightly textured, presumably to provide some extra drop protection. It also covers more of the back than some of the previous versions, which adds extra protection. The edges of the case are slightly frosted for added grip, and the cutouts are perfectly positioned (as one would hope with an OEM case). My only complaint about the case is that I was unable to use a couple of headsets with it as the 3.5mm cutout wasn’t big enough for the sheathing around the 3.5mm jack, and they were pretty slim. 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.

While we were unable to test them out, there are also several other accessories for the device. These include the REDMAGIC Turbo Cooler to keep your phone even cooler while gaming, the 66W Power Adapter, an E-Sports Handle, tempered glass screen protectors, and a Type-C to Type-C cable with a right angle end.

Price/Value

Starting from US$629 for the 12GB/128GB Obsidian version, the REDMAGIC 7 is a fantastic deal, given the specs and performance. Even $729 for the 16GB/256GB Pulsar or $799 for the 18GB/256GB Supernova edition offers excellent value for the price. Again, even if you’re not a gamer, this is a solid-performing device well worth the price with great performance and flagship-level specifications.

Wrap-up

Like its predecessors, the REDMAGIC 7 is a solid-performing device with flagship specs, a smooth display, decent battery life, and fast charging. It is a minor upgrade from previous versions, primarily with a new chipset and some other minor performance specification improvements. The newest gaming smartphone from the company is still great for everything from mobile games to Xbox Game Pass. If you game on the go, you should check this device out, especially given the price points. Even if you’re not a gamer, the REDMAGIC 7 offers excellent value.

Last Updated on March 27, 2022.

REDMAGIC 7

UIS$629+

Design

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

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Solid design and build quality
  • Outstanding performance with high-end specs
  • Smooth 165Hz display with adjustable refresh rate
  • Decent enough camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Nice loud speakers
  • Good battery life
  • Phone stays cool after extended gaming sessions
  • Runs Android 12
  • Great value for the price

Needs work

  • NextWord Browser
  • Duplicate version of stock Android software
  • Same camera as previous couple devices
  • Minor upgrade from 6S Pro
  • Few months slow on the Android security updates
  • 3.5mm cutout on included case not big enough for some headsets
The REDMAGIC 7 gaming smartphone
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