Yes, we've been on this device for a little over a month and we are here with what we have in our mind so far.
So, here’s the thing, this is a gaming device; but it’s a value for money phone anyway, so lets see how good of a phone it is?
The display is pretty good; its a FHD+ panel with 90 Hz refresh rate. Black are really black and the default color gamut gives it a colorful look and I like it.. somehow. The media consumption experience is really good here, provided that there is almost no color shift, it just gets the job done. The bezels may look concerning but the speakers there are amazing and once you listen to them, the bezel wont bother you anymore. It gives a good stereo experience. The bottom speaker carries good bass but the top speaker just gets the highs. But these combine and perform better than most mid range devices so thumbs up for that. I used this device even for watching you tube , movies and a lot of stuff which I wont do on my mobile. Because the speaker are never that impressive. And having a headphone jack is just a blessing in 2019.. even the output is pretty good and it has some good stereo separation and you'd love the time you spend on this device plugging your headphone in like I did.
It comes with almost vanilla android pie with no bloat ware whatsoever expect for Game space which is a feature anyway. I enjoyed my stock android time here and would really appreciate if more companies would do the same. It has absolutely no additional features other than what stock android offers and this is subjective. People like me will like this. But some, who are used to having a lot of features on their device might just find it unappealing. I feel that there are apps on play store and we can always install an app for a feature we need instead of the OS just forcing it upon us. Thumbs up to Nubia for that.
For once you might feel that you’ve flashed a custom ROM on your device because it happens very less often that a Chinese company provides such clean user interface.
What does this mean? It means that no one is keeping an eye on what you’re doing. At least not the Chinese.
This device just flies (yes it does). Now all this coupled with the inky blacks the buttery 90 Hz and almost 0 touch latency, man this thing becomes a space ship. From the boot time to PUBG launch time, it sets some time records leaving even the ROG2 behind. Oh and this 240hz touch response frequency mean very responsive touches. This is purely flagship level and the touch response does matches iPhone quality. This 90 Hz thing is interesting, as the ui will stay at 90 Hz all the time unlike other OEMs which has a different thing going on. I think it’s a good move since it has a big battery, battery life won’t be an issue it seems. The pro being, smooth and easy scrolling. You’d have to make 50% less effort in scrolling thru apps and UI which makes the experience better as a whole. It happened very often that id just scroll thru play store, IG, what app chats not because I have some work; but because it is so smooth and you enjoy watching those icons, photos, letters slide through the display. Ram management has been taken care perfectly. I enabled gestures using adb commands and I was used to going home directly and not closing or killing the app. But this beast was literally keeping everything in memory and very rarely was loading stuff. Performance has been really appealing and I have no complaints expect for the fact that we cannot access the cooling fan during the normal operations and it is exclusive to the gaming mode. Which itself is an interesting thing. It’d turn what already is a beast into a monster.
Man. It runs games at their peak and it wont heat. During my time with this device, I noticed a max temperature of 43C with screen recording turned on and PUBG running on max settings. We'll talk more about the gaming in a dedicated gaming review.
Besides gaming mode, RGB lights are what will make your phone flashy. They can be fully customized and you can use it for everything. From media to notifications. They’ll light up in whatever patter, brightness and frequency you want. I'd sometimes just play the music and turn the device and watch the RGB strips do highs and low as the beats change. Oh and again, output is so good that you may even replace it with your RGB speakers. Kidding. But they’re good anyway. Having stereo speakers is not just good for gaming and music. But also it adds up and makes day to day usage a breeze. Calls on this device were good. I didn’t notice any call drops. And the earpiece which is not an earpiece has some bombastic output you might consider lowering the volume because it can get so loud. After I switched back to my honor play, I was struggling with call as I was used to such good quality speakers here.
Another place where having a gaming phone works great is the vibrations. This thing has a pretty strong vibration motor. You cant miss a notification or call even if your device is in your pocket as it’ll just shake like a rattle snake. In gaming mode it has that 4D vibration feature which is pretty dope. Similar to 4D shock feature in console joy pads. Well, just another thing which adds up in making the whole user experience better and more pleasing.
Cameras are the department where you might think that gaming devices are not focused on. This is applicable in most cases and with our monster Redmagic 3S, its no different. It shares the same Sony IMX sensor as the op, Asus and Xiaomi devices. The photos are pretty nice in the daylight time. Along with a good dynamic range, fairly good detail, camera does not over saturates the colors and this is good. Images come out to be natural and I like it. There is no portrait mode whatsoever and it fine for me since I rarely used it after the craze was over. There is a night mode present and it does reduce some noise but it isn’t something revolutionary but it’s there. Videos shot on this are pretty detailed. Also, it can shoot 8K videos and 1920 fps slow motion which is just insane. But again though 8K are very detailed and look good and slow mo are really slow, they stutter sometime.. probably due to less optimized camera software. I hope Nubia uses this great sensor to its peak extent.
Battery on this one is 5000 mAh. The number itself is so impressive that I don’t need to tell you anything more. It lasted me for 1.5 days easily as both screen on and standby drain is low. Also, with 25-80% charge cycles work pretty good and you can get through the day even with some heavy usage. With gaming, you can manage 1 day I suppose; this is also subjective because, some people will purchase it just for gaming purpose and some will get it because it is a value for money anyway. But anyway, battery life is something to look up to. It’d pass the night with <=2% battery drain overnight with mobile data and wifi turned off. With data and wifi on, well it is advisable to keep these things off at least when you sleep. With data or wifi turned turned on, it was not more than 5% overnight which again is impressive. And the better part is all this awesomeness comes with an 18W charger out of the box and a 27 W support. During my time with the device, it charged at rate of 70-73%/hr while idle, 60-65%/hr while normal usage and 45-50%/hr while heavy gaming. And all this with the out of the box charger and with no heating whatsoever. The temperatures would reach around 36-37Cc while charging at peak i.e 10-80% duration. These numbers are impressive and its good to see that the cooling system is not just due to fan.
Now let's talk a bit about the compromises you're making as a non gamer.
- No water resistance: yep, with a active cooling fan, you will have to be very careful with this thing that it does not catch any water. But the pro being, Flipkart has an additional Full 1 Year protection option which can be purchased along with the device and it is cheap.
- No customization whatsoever: That's the cost you pay for having stock android. For me though, it's not a deal breaker since I'm really satisfied with it. But everybody isn't; they wan't those additional features as it might add up to a better user experience.
-No NFC and wireless charging: Mid- rangers are made to give most of flagship experience at almost half the price; and these two features are what people expecting at this price point because why not? But, these are not a deal breaker for me anyway; since I don't use NFC and getting a wireless charger would just be an extra expense, and cutting the expense is the point of getting a budget device right?
-Poor Camera Performance: Yes, at this price you will expect some good camera. But, I'm kind of a person who is not really bothered about the camera person; all the things this camera can do, especially that 1920 FPS slow motion is just amazing since any other phone using this sensor does not do that.
If you understand the compromises, and are ready to bear them, then there are a ton of perks for having this device; like super awesome design and build, fastest and coolest phone (yes, faster than the ROG 2), stock android and that 1920 FPS.
And if you're a camera person, someone who likes having features on device or need some splash proof device, definitely there are other better contenders over here.
Thanks for Reading :)