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RedMagic 7 Pro review: The one gamers should get

RedMagic’s relentless onslaught of phone releases stumbles upon gaming greatness

RedMagic 7 Pro
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The RedMagic 7 Pro picks up where the RedMagic 7 falters, making for a fantastic gaming phone. This SnapDragon 8 Gen 1 rocket packs a big battery, a chunky, premium build quality and superior thermal management.

Pros

  • +

    Blisteringly fast performance

  • +

    Gorgeous, buttery smooth display

  • +

    Decent battery life

  • +

    Stellar thermal management

  • +

    Transparent design is still cool...

Cons

  • -

    ...but gamer aesthetic isn’t for everyone

  • -

    Cameras are dull

  • -

    No wireless charging support

  • -

    Lack of IP rating

  • -

    Photo watermarks on by default

RedMagic 7 Pro specs

Price: n/a
OS: RedMagic OS 5 (Android 12)
Display: 6.8-inch (2,400 x 1,080 pixels) AMOLED with 120Hz
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 16GB
Rear cameras: 64MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.2); 2MP macro (f/2.4)
Front camera: 16MP under display camera (f/2.0)
Storage: 256 or 512GB
Battery: 9:55 (60Hz); 9:19 (90Hz); 9:29 (120Hz)
Size:  6.5 x 3 x 0.39 inches
Weight: 8.3 ounces  

Three things in life are certain: death, taxes and RedMagic releasing a new phone practically every other month.

The RedMagic 7 Pro jumps on the latest Snapdragon processor like the recently launched RedMagic 7, but brings a bigger battery, a better thermal management system and a faster display touch sampling rate — all essentials for upping your gaming performance.

The question of whether RedMagic has made a good all-round phone is not the right one to ask, as this is definitely for a niche gaming audience.. But does this solve enough of the original 7’s issues to be worthwhile? Let’s find out.

RedMagic 7 Pro: Price and configurations

At the time of writing this review, we only know about the configurations. No price information is currently available.

You can choose either an Obsidian black model with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, or the transparent model that we tested with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. With the RedMagic 7 peaking at $799 (£679), I wouldn’t be surprised if this came in at the same price or even going up to $850.

That would be aggressive pricing for a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone when you compare it to the multitude of phones at four figures, and it would significantly undercut its aging competition in the Asus ROG Phone 5 ($999).

RedMagic 7 Pro: Design

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The RedMagic 7 Pro is a chonky boi and the company is completely unapologetic about it. This is a beastly, semi-transparent slab with geometric line patterns, space-age industrial stylings and a customizable RGB fan.

It’s not for everyone, and chances are you’re going to get judged about its hardware design (especially when that RGB fan starts whirring). But for the players, this will be exactly what you’re looking for. 

It’s a phone built specifically for gaming. Don’t expect anything sleek.

Do be careful though, as the vents mean this doesn’t have an IP rating. If that’s an acceptable price to pay for gaming performance, be my guest. But be careful with getting this phone out in bad weather or taking it down to the beach.

As for dimensions, the 7 Pro comes in at 6.5 x 3 x 0.39 inches with a weight of 8.3 ounces. The under-screen front-facing camera means this is not as tall as the RedMagic 7 (6.7 x 3 x 0.37 inches and 7.6 ounces), but it is thicker and heavier . Meanwhile, the Asus ROG Phone 5 (6.8 x 3.1 x 0.36 inches, 8.4 ounces) is taller, thinner, and slightly heavier.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The shorter height makes this a better-feeling phone in landscape gaming mode and keeps any hole-punch camera out the way with slim bezels, along with the addition of 500Hz shoulder triggers and a sliding trigger surface on the back of the phone to enhance performance. 

The blockier feel to the 7 Pro when compared to the slightly more curved edges and back of the RedMagic 7 makes it feel noticeably chunkier. It’s a phone built specifically for gaming. Don’t expect anything sleek.

RedMagic 7 Pro: Display

The RedMagic 7 Pro packs a gorgeous 6.8-inch AMOLED panel with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 8-bit color depth, a 92.7% screen-to-body ratio, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 960Hz multi-touch sampling rate.

It’s not the 165Hz rate that you’ll find on the RedMagic 7, but the visual difference is small and the 7 Pro does pip it to the post with a faster touch sampling rate, which is important for gaming.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Putting numbers to it, the 7 Pro hits a 129.2% DCI-P3 color gamut and an adaptive brightness of up to 589 nits. The brightness and color falls behind the RedMagic 7 (151.9%, 698 nits) and the Asus ROG Phone 5 (127.6% + 748 nits) beats it on brightness , but for what you get, this is still a good, color-accurate display with buttery smooth fluidity and plenty of detail.

The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer has become one of my favorite tests with plenty of differently lit moments and scenes that vary from vibrantly vivid to restrained color palettes. Next to the RedMagic 7, you can notice the 7 Pro is just a smidge less vivid, but as spells glow off both screens with an explosion of color with nice contrast to boot, you won’t have a problem with this.

Security is handled with an under-screen fingerprint reader that is fast and responsive. So responsive even, that it can be used as a heart rate sensor.

RedMagic 7 Pro: Audio

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

A great gaming experience doesn’t stop at the screen. You need quality audio for the full experience and the RedMagic 7 Pro certainly delivers with stereo speakers and DTS:X Ultra-certified sound. 

Even when put under intense pressure with bass-heavy, intense metalcore such as Avoid’s EP “The Burner”, there was no distortion at higher volumes. You can be confident that when you use this phone without headphones, you’re getting a good listening experience.

Plus, RedMagic continues to offer 3.5mm headphone jack support, but has been repositioned to the top left (when held in landscape). This keeps any headphone jack protrusion out of the way and increases handheld gaming comfort.

RedMagic 7 Pro: Performance

Let’s not muck about — this is the bit we all care about. Under the hood, the RedMagic 7 Pro is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset clocked at 3GHz, paired with a proprietary Red Core 1 chip that handles the audio, RGB lighting and haptics, an Adreno GPU, up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM (with an additional 6GB expandable virtual memory) and up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. 

The review model we received packs 18GB of RAM, but in RedMagic’s own words, “the global version will be available for sales with up to 16GB+512GB in international markets.” 

The skeptic in all of us knows why the company decided to give reviewers an OP model that customers can’t buy: a better experience for those who write the words about products. But really, when you get to these amounts of RAM in a smartphone, the difference is negligible.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

All of it is kept from throttling by impressive thermal management, which packs an active head dissipation unit that consists of many elements including liquid cooling, air cooling with the 20,000 RPG RGB fan, a 4124mm² VC heat dissipation plate, and a vast increase in thermal conductivity. 

This may be gibberish, but the end result is optimal performance even under high processor loads. In fact, it's noticeably different from the RedMagic 7, which has its metallic bumper heat up significantly under stress testing, whereas the 7 Pro doesn’t get anywhere near as hot.

As you’d expect from beastly specs like this, it crushes tasks and any sort of intense multi-tasking workloads at breakneck speeds, while ensuring any game can run at the highest fidelity settings at full speed on that 120Hz display (set to 90Hz by default, but you can change it manually).

It crushes tasks and any sort of intense multi-tasking workloads at breakneck speeds.

Everything from Call of Duty: Mobile and Fortnite on Ultra, to Dead Trigger 2 and Real Racing 3 with unlocked frame rates look and play at their best, and all kinds of apps open and run super smoothly without a single hitch on the RedMagic 7 Pro.

Putting numbers to this, the RedMagic 7 Pro hit a Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 3,705. In our lab testing, that’s slightly behind the RedMagic 7 (3,852), but ahead of the Asus ROG Phone 5 (3,673). When hitting the roof of this 4nm process, the number comparisons here will not translate into noticeable differences. In real-world use, the 7 Pro feels just as fast as the 7 and ROG Phone 5.

But, as we’ve learned about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the big changes come in graphics. On the Wild Life Unlimited benchmark, the 7 Pro hit an insane Vulkan score of 10,230 with an average of  60.7 frames per second. This is nearly identical to the regular 7 (10,244, 60.7 fps) and absolutely decimates the ROG Phone 5 (5,636, 33.8 fps with X-mode turned on).

Not only is it a powerhouse in the sprints, but it does so on a long-term endurance basis. I ran the same 3D Mark benchmark under stress test conditions for 20 minutes straight. You can feel the temperatures rise, but the framerate never dipped below 60 fps and the average Vulkan score never fell under 10,000.

Simply put, this is peak gaming performance — squeezing every last drop of power out of the components and driving seriously impressive numbers.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

RedMagic 7 Pro: Battery Life & Charging

The RedMagic 7 downgraded to a 4,500mAh battery, but the RedMagic 7 Pro beefs it back up to a full 5,000 mAh with 65W fast charging. Yes, this isn’t the 6,000mAh cell you’ll find in the Asus ROG Phone 5, but I’ll take any upgrade I can get.

You can charge this up to full in just 30 minutes (enough time for a pint down at the pub), and in our own rundown test, this lasted 9 hours and 29 minutes with the display running in its full 120Hz mode.

Unsurprisingly, this falls short of the ROG Phone 5 (10:59), but the fact this falls half an hour shy of the RedMagic 7 (9:54) did surprise me. In my average daily use (hours of podcast listening, regular email checks, opening Twitter too many times and plenty of YouTube during my lunch), the 7 Pro was left at 25% before going to bed, whereas the 7 edged on 15%.

It’s in the more power-intensive moments of gaming that you’ll notice the difference. Playing Call of Duty: Mobile with Ultra Settings drained the 7 Pro’s battery in around 2 hours 15 minutes, whereas you’re getting closer to 90 minutes with the RedMagic 7.

Same as any phone, if you balance the power draw, reduce the refresh rate and tweak the in-game settings, you can increase that time.It's good to see RedMagic address the battery imbalance of the previous RedMagic 7.

RedMagic 7 Pro: Cameras

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

It’s a tale as old as time — a gaming phone company doesn’t put a lot of work into its cameras. The RedMagic 7 Pro continues to take middling photos because, let’s be honest, that’s not what you’re buying this phone for.

Pictures taken on the 64MP main camera with its f/1.8 aperture are crisp in detail, but produce oversaturated colors and quite a bit of noise in any slight reduction of light. The 8MP, 120-degree ultra-wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture produces spongey results that have poor detail and are noisy around the edges. 

Finally, the 2MP macro lens with f/2.4 is much like other macro phone shooters in that the results are pretty ugly.

It’s a similar situation with video with the ability to shoot up to 8K at 30 fps, but the footage it captures is rather drab and lifeless with a slow auto-focus and software processing giving it a slightly blurred artificial feel to clips.

One big difference to the RedMagic 7 is the lack of a bigger top bezel for the selfie snapper. That’s because this is the first gaming phone with an under-display front-facing camera. This is a 16MP shooter with an f/2.0 aperture, which, thanks to the 7-layer display array over the top with a unique multi-drive circuitry, simply disappears.

There is one problem, though: the photos it takes are not that great. There’s an average amount of detail, but everything looks as if someone’s smeared a little bit of vaseline on the lens. If you quickly head over to view the photo in your camera roll, you can see the software tweaking the image for a few seconds to improve brightness and sharpness.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

None of it helps, as it struggles to deal with different light sources and each object has a strange glowing aura around it. One thing is clear: the technology is still in its infancy and OEMs need to figure out how to make it work.

Oh and as you may remember from my RedMagic 7 review, I said I would start to factor in default image watermarking into my phone scores. RedMagic has done it again and thus, it’s time to penalize.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

If the team could’ve kept itself in check and switched them off, the RedMagic 7 Pro would have received the Editor’s Choice award. I hope this is the last time it happens, but I’m not optimistic about that!

RedMagic 7 Pro: RedMagic OS 5

The RedMagic OS 5 skin over Android 12 does answer one of my main quarrels with it, by giving you more simplistic, phone-like UI skins. 

No longer do I need to have a scantily-clad anime character wallpaper and navigate menus stuffed full of faux metal. Now, there are some gorgeous live wallpapers and the changes made to app icons and widgets make the whole user experience less cringeworthy.

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The gaming features, which are easily accessible via the red switch on the left edge, transport you to a horizontal interface that transforms the RedMagic 7 into the gaming device you want.

Plus, you’ve got all the handy features needed for gamers: picture-in-picture screen recording, the ability to minimize game windows while using other apps via an overlay tray, quick access to tweak hardware settings and override the settings screens of games themselves.

All of this comes in a stable, secure build of Android 12 (for now). The problem here is that RedMagic is very vague on security and full version updates, and in my experience of using the RedMagic 6S Pro in the past and even the RedMagic 6R, updates have been very few and far in between.

Bottom line

RedMagic 7 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

I feel like a broken record saying this: RedMagic phones are not for everyone and the RedMagic 7 Pro continues that trend. With dull cameras, no IP rating and a gargantuan form factor with a unique aesthetic, this one is for the players only.

Gamers are getting a cracking device here with breakneck speeds, a gorgeous screen, powerful audio, responsive touch controls and a slick gamer-focussed UI. But not only that, this goes some way to fixing the problems of the RedMagic 7, thanks to a massive battery and improved thermal management.

It’s not a good all-rounder, but if you only want to play mobile games at their absolute best, this is the one to get.

 Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.