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Nubia Red Magic 3 vs Black Shark 2 vs OnePlus 7: Gaming phones face off

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Nubia just announced its gaming smartphone called the Red Magic 3 in India for a price of Rs 35,999 for the base variant. For some time now the gaming smartphone space in the country has heating up, what with the likes of the Xiaomi-backed Black Shark 2 smartphone announced recently and the ROG Phone (Review) launched last year.

Nubia Red Magic 3.

There are a couple of firsts for the Nubia Red Magic 3 smartphone, such as an in-built cooling fan and the ability to record 8K videos, albeit only at 15 fps. As with any gaming smartphone, internals are extremely important and the Red Magic 3 does not disappoint. It comes with a Snapdragon 855 chipset along with 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of internal storage.

While cameras are not the most important feature on a gaming-centric smartphone, it’s important to note that the Red Magic 3 only has a single camera at the back, which is a Sony IMX 586 sensor. On the front, we spot a 16 MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture which doesn’t have any AI portrait mode abilities. In fact, the phone cannot take bokeh shots from either the front or the back.

As mentioned earlier the Nubia Red Magic 3 is competing against the Black Shark 2, and for good measure, the OnePlus 7 as well. So let’s have a look at a spec comparison of these three devices. Again we have to reiterate that this is merely a spec comparison and not a real-life test comparison. Stay tuned for our full review on the device.

Smartphone  Nubia Red Magic 3 Black Shark 2 OnePlus 7
Display Size (inch) 6.65 6.39 6.41
Resolution (pixels) 1080 x 2340 1080 x 2340 1080 x 2340
Pixel Density (PPI) 388 403 402
Display Type AMOLED AMOLED AMOLED
Dimensions(mm) 171.7 x 78.5 x 9.7 163.6 x 75 x 8.8 157.7 x 74.8 x 8.2
Weight (gm) 215 205 206
Dual SIM Yes Yes Yes
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
Connectivity Types GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
CPU Cores Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core
CPU Clock Speed (GHz) 1x 2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x 2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x 1.80 GHz Kryo 485 1x 2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x 2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x 1.80 GHz Kryo 485 1x 2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x 2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x 1.80 GHz Kryo 485
GPU Adreno 640 Adreno 640 Adreno 640
RAM 8, 12 GB 6,8 GB 6, 8 GB
Ruggedness Splashproof Splashproof
On-Board Memory 128, 256 GB 128, 256 GB 128, 256 GB
Expandable Memory No No No
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass In-display fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass In-display fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Primary Camera 48 MP, f/1.7 48 MP, f/1.8 + 12 MP, f/2.2 48 MP, f/1.6 (primary) + 8 MP, f/2.4 (telephoto)
Optical Image Stabilization Yes Yes Yes
Camera Array Single Camera Dual-camera Dual-camera
Autofocus System Phase detection autofocus Phase detection autofocus Phase detection autofocus
Secondary Camera 16 MP, f/2.0 20 MP, f/2.0 16 MP, f/2.0
Video Capture [email protected], [email protected]/60fps [email protected] [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected], Auto HDR, gyro-EIS
Flash LED flash LED flash Dual-LED
OS Version Android 9.0 Android 9.0 Android Pie
AI (Smart Assistant) Google Assistant Google Assistant Google Assistant
GPS Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD v5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
NFC No No Yes
Infrared No No No
Fingerprint Scanner Yes, rear button Yes, In-display Yes, In-display
3.5mm jack Yes No No
Radio No No No
USB Type Type-C reversible connector Type-C reversible connector Type-C reversible connector
USB Standard USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 3.1
Battery (mAh) 5,000 mAh 4,000 4,000
Fast charging Yes, fast battery charging 27W Yes, fast battery charging 27W Yes, 30 W Warp Charge
Colors Black, Red, Camouflage, Red/Blue Black, Silver, Blue Mirror Grey, Almond, Nebula Blue
Prices in India Starts at Rs 35,999 Starts at Rs 39,990 Starts at Rs 32,999

Verdict

The Nubia Red Magic 3 certainly has fancy features backing it up such as an internal cooling fan, capacitive buttons and an extremely cool looking back which resembles an angry demon. At the same time, one should also not forget that the phone just has a single camera at the back which, unless you’re a Pixel, should hamper photo taking abilities. The 5,000 mAh battery should give the Red Magic 3 quite a lot of juice although a full review will tell the truth.

The 90 Hz display certainly goes in favour for the Red Magic 3 as neither of its competitors have this feature and as for 8K video recording, well it is more of a gimmick that you will most likely never use. All in all the Red Magic 3 looks to be quite the deal on paper and for its price, it will definitely look to push aside the Black Shark 2. Stay tuned for our review video of the Red Magic 3 on the Tech2 Gadgets YouTube channel.

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