Review Nubia Red Magic 3S: the gaming phone at an affordable price!

Nubia Red Magic 3S

The world of smartphone da Gaming is expanding more and more and for many companies we have already reached the second, third or even fourth version of its model dedicated to gamers. This is also the case of Nubia which, just a few days ago, launched the new on the European market Nubia Red Magic 3S, which makes of the price one of its great strengths. So what changes compared to the previous variant? How did you behave in everyday use? Find out more in the full review!

Review Nubia Red Magic 3S

Unboxing - Nubia Red Magic 3S

The sales package is made of black cardboard and has an elegant and premium appearance, although the interior is rather sparse:

  • Nubia Red Magic 3S;
  • wall power supply with European socket and 18W recharge;
  • USB data cable - USB Type-C;
  • instruction manual;
  • pin for the SIM slot.

Design and construction

Il design has remained practically unchanged compared to the previous model and, similarly, it follows the line of the first variant launched. In fact, aesthetics is very appealing and perfectly adequate for a lover of Gaming and this is due to the presence of one LED strip and a Red Magic animated logo present on the back cover. Coloring Cyber ​​Shade helps to make it even more special and flashy, or perhaps it would be better to say ...only!

Nubia Red Magic 3S

In short, you will have understood that the cut of the body is very youthful and out of place for an elegant environment, but the target to which the smartphone is addressed is anything but so this is fine. However, we still find the rear fingerprint sensor, a somewhat anachronistic choice given that current rivals have seen fit to integrate it under the display. For this reason it is good to say that, in reality, this model is simply an upgrade of the Nubia Red Magic 3 at the hardware level.

Nubia Red Magic 3S

The device is not comfortable to use with one hand, as its dimensions are rather generous. In fact, let's talk about 171.7 x 78.5 x 9.7 mm for a weight of 215 grams, you will therefore be able to understand that you will almost necessarily have to hold it with two hands.

Nubia Red Magic 3S

On the right side we find the switch between gaming and normal mode, the SIM slot and the magnetic pins for external accessories, unlike the opposite side on which there is a ventilation grille, the power button, the volume rocker and the two soft touch keys for gaming. At the rear we see the single camera, the LED flash, the main ventilation grille and the two LEDs. Finally, the mini-jack input, the microphone and the USB Type-C input are not missing from the bottom or top.


Il Nubia Red Magic 3S has a display AMOLED da 6.65 inches diagonal with resolution Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixels), density of PPI 388, refresh rate a 90Hz and format 19.5:9.

The smartphone allows us to calibrate the colors in three ways:

  • Colorful Mode;
  • Regular Mode (DCI-P3 mode);
  • Natural Mode (sRGB mode).

Obviously in the first case the colors are more loads and slightly altered from normal, but they are not overly vivid. The regular mode more faithfully represents the colors and will be the best choice if you need to edit photos and videos and their color correction. However, in all cases I noticed some colors slightly more contrasted compared to other units AMOLED.

Nubia Red Magic 3S

Unfortunately we don't find an always-on display, but only one ambient display which will turn on upon receipt of a notification which is however very convenient, while the Dark Mode, but due to a bug software it cannot be set.

For the rest I found good maximum brightness and viewing angles, while the refresh rate at 90Hz guarantees excellent fluidity in daily use, especially in gaming.

Hardware and Performance

Here we find the real novelty compared to the previous model, as on board the Nubia Red Magic 3S there is a chipset QualcommSnapdragon855 +, which includes an octacore processor with maximum clock frequency of 2.96 GHz, GPU Adreno 640, 12 GB di RAM LPDDR4X e 256 GB di internal memory UFS 3.0. One contributes to improving performance liquid cooling system assisted by one active fan, as well as the software GameBoost that cleverly optimizes the smartphone to guarantee a high-level gaming experience.

So let's talk about performance because the smartphone is molto veloce e reactive in daily use, the opening of the app is lightning-fast and the RAM handles all the applications in the background well. Nothing to add from this point of view since everything runs smoothly.

Now, however, it is necessary to switch to the main core of this device: the Gaming! Indeed, Nubia has equipped its smartphone with a special button that allows you to switch from the classic use mode to GameBoost. Through this mode it will be possible:

  • consult the battery temperature and connection speed;
  • activate extreme, automatic performance, Turbo CPU or Turbo GPU;
  • manage the ventilation system;
  • manage the LEDs;
  • activate the 4D Shock, which however is only supported for 4 applications (including PUBG and Asphalt). This function amplifies game vibrations to improve the gaming experience;
  • block calls and notifications;
  • open WhatsApp picture-in-picture;
  • take screenshots and record on screen;
  • configure the Touch Buttons and additional controller keys.

In short, the software dedicated to the game is really well structured and it is possible to carry out a good number of useful operations for gamers. However, I noticed a slight overheating after at least 15 minutes of play, but I must point out that I had activated the maximum performances with active LEDs, PUBG with maximum details in HDR, 90Hz refresh rate and 40% battery.

Furthermore, I think it is almost useless to tell you that play with this device is a real pleasure thanks to a combination of factors, including the 90Hz display, configurable touch buttons (almost overpowered on some occasions) and top performance that translates into games that are always fluid, rich in detail and without fps drops.


In the photographic sector the Nubia Red Magic 3S remains behind its competitors since it offers one single camera, although the sensor is rather good and well-established. In fact, let's talk about the Sony IMX586 da 48 mega-pixels (seen abundantly on the mid-range and not only) with opening f / 1.7 and LED flash.

In conditions of good brightness the shots are discreet even if they absolutely do not reflect the standards of a top of the range, but of a medium range on the band of 200 / 250 euro. In fact, the level of detail is sufficient and the colors are faithfully represented, but the automatic HDR does not always intervene when it should. Many times I had to force activation to get a more balanced shot than normal.

Di will be the quality inevitably drops and the photographs are not up to its price, because the level of detail is low and the management of the lights does not shine, although the software tries to put a piece with its own reworking. In fact, despite all the firmware being stock, the camera application remained the one customized by Nubia.

From the front it is repeated when previously mentioned with the sensor da 16 mega-pixels, because during the day the photos are good thanks to beautiful colors, a sufficient level of detail and a slightly fluctuating lighting management, while at night we are below the sufficiency for its category.

I video they can be registered up to a maximum resolution of 8K a 15 fps although this is still a beta and in fact it can clearly be seen from the quality too jerky and unripe. Apart from this we can also record in HDR and 4K a 60 fps, beyond the usual Full HD a 30 e 60 fps. In general the colors are good, as is the audio captured by the microphone and the focus, but the stabilization is insufficient.

Audio and connectivity

Il Nubia Red Magic 3S It owns two front speakers, which guarantee us a total involvement during the Gaming thanks to the high volume, to theeffect stereo (DTS XU1tra sound) and to the good balance of the frequencies, especially as regards the bass. Finally, the audio on call, the one captured by the microphone and the one output from the wired headphones are also excellent.

The connectivity sector includes connectivity LTE 4G up to 2000 Mbps, device 5.0, Wi-Fi ac Dual Band, USB Type-C 2.0, GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / BDS / Galileo but, unfortunately, the NFC is missing. The reception is good and I have not found particular criticality in the use, as it is beyond the sufficiency also the satellite navigation.

Il fingerprint sensor place on the back cover is very precise, but it's a bit slow to awaken the smartphone, let's say it unlocks the Red Magic 3S successfully around 9 times on 10. However, the is also present facial recognition 2D, which turns out to be very fast and precise in conditions of good brightness, while it goes into trouble at night.


Il Nubia Red Magic 3S is based on Android 9 Pie with personalized interface Redmagic 2.0 and security patches updated to August 5 2019. Although there are several customizations in the system, such as the GameBoost and some other settings related to the display and gaming / LED, in general we find Android Stock. This allows the smartphone to be a splinter, but personally I found it still too immature (despite being the pure and clean variant of Android) and lacking in character.

Indeed, several menus are still in English and some of those in Italian sometimes they are badly translated, some settings even if selected do not lead to the desired changes (eg the Dark Mode). In short, despite having tried to put aside the much loved and hated NubiaUI, the problems persist even adopting a more basic solution.

The mode GameBoost we have analyzed it previously and here I have nothing to criticize since it is very accurate and appealing, apart from the menus in English rather than in Italian.

Autonomy - Nubia Red Magic 3S

Under the body of the Nubia Red Magic 3S we find a battery from 5000 mAh, which allows us to obtain one very good autonomy. In fact, with a decided use intense with data network, gaming pushed to the finest detail and LEDs always on, I got an average of about 4 hours and minutes 30 of active display, arriving without problems until after dinner.

Obviously using the smartphone with more parsimony is possible to have a greater autonomy. The Red Magic 3Sit also supports the quick charge to 27W, but unfortunately in the package we find only a power supply from 18W which will take the smartphone from 0 to 100% in about 1 40 hours and minutes.

Conclusions - Nubia Red Magic 3S

Before drawing the conclusions it is necessary to analyze also the selling price, as Nubia has decided to implement a strategy rather fierce. In fact, Nubia Red Magic 3S in the variant 8 / 128 GB is officially available in Europe through their store a 479 €, while the one with cut from 12 / 256 GB is sold to 599 €. All the various additional accessories such as TWS headphones, controllers and covers will have to be purchased separately.

Il launch price è endearing if you think about the hardware available, but if you make a general assessment leaving out this aspect, the smartphone turns out to be a bit backward compared to the competition due to a immature software it's a single camera da Medium-range that go to lower the final evaluation.

Despite this, if you had to consider only the appearance of the Gaming I must say that I found myself Divinely thanks also to the customizations of the GameBoost and touch Button, as well as the display with refresh rate a 90Hz el 'autonomy.

Compared to the previous model, therefore, it does not change much as a renewal of the hardware sector with the Snapdragon 855 +, making some slight general changes in the device, while maintaining it same launch price.