Introduction and specs
With Qualcomm making its overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC available, OEMs are updating their top-tier smartphone lineups with the latest and greatest. Nubia is also sticking to its usual schedule and has recently introduced the Red Magic 8S Pro lineup – successors to the Red Magic 8 Pro series from earlier this year.
As one would expect, the most notable upgrade is the SoC itself. Now, the Red Magic 8S Pro and 8S Pro+ run on the SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 silicon, which in turn is an overclocked version of the original SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The SM8550-AC, in particular, was previously exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices and was known as “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy”.
The upgrade promises 5% CPU and 5.7% GPU performance gains over the last generation, while the 8S Pro series upgraded its ICE cooling system to version 12 to keep up with the sustained load demands.
ZTE nubia Red Magic 8S Pro specs at a glance:
Body: 164.0×76.4×9.5mm, 228g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back, aluminum frame; Pressure sensitive zones (520Hz touch-sensing), Built-in cooling fan, Aviation aluminum middle frame.
Display: 6.80″ AMOLED, 1B colors (China only), 120Hz, 1300 nits (peak), 1116x2480px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 400ppi.
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740 (719 MHz).
Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM; UFS 4.0.
OS/Software: Android 13, Redmagic OS 8.
Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.9, 25mm, 1/1.57″, 1.0µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 13mm, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.
Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, (wide), 1.12µm, under display.
Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@30fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; Front camera: 1080p@30/60fps.
Battery: 6000mAh; 80W wired, PD3.0, 100% in 35 min (China), 65W wired, PD3.0, 100% in 40 min (International).
Connectivity: 5G; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 7; BT 5.3; NFC; 3.5mm jack.
Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); stereo speakers.
Other improvements to the Red Magic 8S Pro reside in the design as now the RGB lighting isn’t exclusive to the premium option only. We have the 8S Pro for review, which boasts a bigger 6,000 mAh battery than its more expensive sibling but settles for slower 65W charging as opposed to 165W charging on the 8S Pro+.
Everything else is pretty familiar, except for the memory options – the 8S Pro gets an extra 12GB/512GB configuration, while the 8S Pro+ now offers 16GB/256GB by default and caps at 24GB/1TB.
Despite the small changes in the formula, the Red Magic 8S Pro deserves a review of its own, and we dive deep into the improved performance, cooling, and the updated Redmagic OS 8 to see what new features it has to offer.
Unboxing the nubia Red Magic 8S Pro
The handset comes in a standard box containing the usual user manuals along with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging and data transfer and a 65W wall charger.
Nubia provides a protective case as a bonus. It’s transparent, so it doesn’t take away from the nice design.