Redmagic 9 Pro Review

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Redmagic 9 Pro Review 01

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Redmagic 9 Pro Review – Huge leap in mobile gaming, a significant step back on something else.

The Redmagic 9 Pro is the latest addition to Nubia’s lineup of gaming smartphones. It has powerful hardware, a very interesting cooling system, and gamer-focused features, but the Redmagic 9 Pro seems to neglect one aspect that somewhat makes it hard for some people to appreciate the total package.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 01

Design

The Redmagic 9 Pro boasts a sleek and modern design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing especially for mobile gaming-consumers. The device features a flat rear panel with no camera bump, which enhances comfort during extended gaming sessions. The rear panel is made of glass, providing a premium feel, and is available in three color options: Sleet (Black), Snowfall (Silver), and Cyclone (Transparent Black). The phone’s dimensions are 163.98 x 76.35 x 8.9 mm, and it weighs 229 grams, making it slightly heavier than some competitors but still manageable for daily use.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 02

The front of the device is dominated by a 6.8-inch flat display with minimal bezels, offering a 93.7% screen-to-body ratio. The absence of a camera bump and the inclusion of customizable RGB lighting on the turbofan and shoulder triggers add to the device’s gaming-centric appeal.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 03

I honestly like its overall design. I am not entirely a fan of its cooling system because it somewhat takes out some essential features like IP68 rating that some gaming phones now have. It is, however, a necessary step for ZTE as the Redmagic 9 Pro is significantly more affordable that some of its competitors.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 04

Hardware

Under the hood, the Redmagic 9 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, paired with the Red Core 2 Pro gaming chip. This combination ensures lightning-fast performance and efficient power management. The device comes with either 12GB or 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB or 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, providing ample space for games and other applications.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 05

One of the standout features of the Redmagic 9 Pro is its advanced cooling system. The ICE 13 cooling system includes a high-speed centrifugal fan, under-screen copper foil, graphene, and a 3D Ice Step Dual Pump VC. This system effectively dissipates heat, allowing for prolonged gaming sessions without thermal throttling.

Despite all these impressive specs, the phone failed to topple the performance of its competitors. However, considering its price to performance based on artificial and real world benchmark, the Redmagic 9 Pro is a serious threat to its competitors, especially to the ROG Phone 8 Pro.

Display

The Redmagic 9 Pro features a 6.8-inch BOE Q9+ FHD+ flat screen with a resolution of 2480 x 1116 pixels. The display supports a peak brightness of 1600 nits and a refresh rate of 120Hz, ensuring smooth and vibrant visuals. The touch sampling rate is an impressive 2000Hz, with an overall touch sample rate of 960Hz, making the device highly responsive to touch inputs.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 10

The display also boasts a wide color gamut of DCI-P3, 100%, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, ensuring durability. The inclusion of SGS Low Blue Light Eye Protection Certification means that users can enjoy extended gaming sessions without straining their eyes.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 26

Performance

The performance of the Redmagic 9 Pro is nothing short of exceptional. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, combined with the Red Core 2 Pro gaming chip, delivers a 32% increase in CPU performance and a 34% increase in GPU performance compared to its predecessor. This results in a faster and smoother gaming experience, with reduced power consumption.

The device’s 520Hz shoulder triggers are highly responsive, with a touch response rate of 7.4ms. These triggers can be customized with RGB lighting effects, adding a touch of personalization to the gaming experience. The Game Space feature allows users to optimize their gaming setup, record gameplay, and access various performance settings.

Artificial Benchmark Results

Antutu Benchmark

Antutu Benchmark is a popular software tool used to measure the performance of smartphones and other mobile devices. It is developed by Antutu, a Chinese software company, and is available for both Android and iOS operating systems.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review ANTUTU 3D BENCHMARK
Redmagic 9 Pro Review ANTUTU 3D BENCHMARK

The benchmark test evaluates the device’s CPU (Central Processing Unit), GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), RAM (Random Access Memory), and storage performance. The tool generates an overall score based on the device’s performance in different tests, including CPU and GPU tests, RAM and storage tests, and user experience tests.

The Antutu Benchmark score is commonly used to compare the performance of different mobile devices and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a particular device. Higher scores generally indicate better performance, but it’s important to note that the benchmark score is just one factor to consider when evaluating a device’s overall performance.

Geekbench 6

Geekbench is a cross-platform benchmark tool developed by Primate Labs that measures the performance of a computer’s CPU and GPU. It is designed to evaluate the single-core and multi-core performance of processors, as well as the performance of the system’s memory and compute capabilities.

Geekbench 6 uses a variety of workloads to test different aspects of a system’s performance, including image processing, encryption, and machine learning. The results are reported as a single score for the CPU and GPU, which can be used to compare the performance of different systems.

Geekbench 6 is widely used by hardware enthusiasts, tech reviewers, and manufacturers to test and compare the performance of different computer systems, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, and is regularly updated to support the latest hardware and software platforms.

Geekbench 6 – Single Core

Redmagic 9 Pro Review Geekbench SC
Redmagic 9 Pro Review Geekbench SC

Geekbench 6 – Multi Core

Redmagic 9 Pro Review Geekbench MC
Redmagic 9 Pro Review Geekbench MC

PC Mark 3.0

PCMark for Android is a benchmark tool developed by UL Benchmarks that measures the performance of Android devices, including smartphones and tablets. The tool evaluates the device’s performance in a variety of scenarios, such as web browsing, video playback, and photo editing, and generates an overall score based on the device’s performance.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review PC Mark 3.0
Redmagic 9 Pro Review PC Mark 3.0

PCMark for Android includes several benchmark tests, each designed to evaluate a different aspect of the device’s performance. For example, the “Work 2.0” test evaluates the device’s performance in productivity scenarios, such as document editing and data manipulation, while the “Web Browsing 2.0” test evaluates the device’s web browsing performance.

PCMark for Android is widely used by hardware enthusiasts, tech reviewers, and manufacturers to test and compare the performance of different Android devices. It is available for download from the Google Play Store and is compatible with most Android devices running Android 5.0 or later.

Software

The Redmagic 9 Pro runs on Android 14 with Redmagic OS 9.0, which offers a range of features tailored for gamers. The updated Game Space includes a revamped Mora mascot, an optimized plug-in library, and new gaming modes. The software also supports multi-platform and multi-device interconnection, allowing users to connect to their PS5 or Xbox and play console games seamlessly.

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Other notable software features include customizable wallpapers, improved fingerprint animation effects, one-handed operation, and energy-saving modes. The AI game assistant provides strategies, identifies games, and offers proactive prompts, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

However, if you are not into vanilla software UI and avoid phones with software bloat, I do not recommend the Redmagic 9 Pro. I feel that ZTE is trying everything they can to keep the bloat at minimum, but because this phone is packed with so many gaming features, this issue is unavoidable.

Camera

The Redmagic 9 Pro is equipped with a dual rear camera setup, featuring a 50MP Samsung GN5 main camera with OIS optical image stabilization and a 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide-angle camera. The main camera captures clear and sharp images, even in low-light conditions, thanks to the 7P lens and APL-coated anti-glare layer. The ultra-wide-angle camera is okay for capturing expansive landscapes and group photos. I have to quality the italized “okay” though because I seriously think that this is the feature that ZTE failed to invest on. The capability of the camera sensor of the phone was unfortunately marred by its half-baked camera software.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 35
Redmagic 9 Pro Review 35

The front camera is a 16MP under-display camera, which offers improved resolution and detail. However, the quality of selfies may not be as high as some competitors due to the under-display technology.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 08
You can barely see the front camera.

Sample Photos

Sound

The audio experience on the Redmagic 9 Pro awesome! It is enhanced by dual 1115K speakers and three microphones, providing clear and immersive sound. The device supports DTS:X Ultra sound and Snapdragon Sound, ensuring high-fidelity audio quality. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a welcome feature for gamers who prefer wired headphones.

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The Magic Sound feature offers symmetrical three-dimensional double speakers, delivering a powerful and dynamic audio experience. The rear RGB lights add a futuristic and interactive element to the sound, further enhancing the gaming experience.

Battery

The Redmagic 9 Pro is powered by a 6500mAh dual-cell battery, which supports 80W fast charging. The device can be fully charged in just 35 minutes, providing up to 56 hours of usage on a single charge. This impressive battery life ensures that gamers can enjoy extended gaming sessions without worrying about running out of power. In real world scenarios, I was able to use the phone for the whole working day – about 12 hours – and still have 35% battery juice left.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review 20
Redmagic 9 Pro Review 20

The device also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 technology, offering a safe and efficient charging experience. The balanced weight distribution of the battery makes it comfortable to hold during long gaming sessions.

It also has passthrough/bypass charging. This is oddly named as Charge Separation on the Redmagic 9 Pro. This feature allows the device to be powered directly while bypassing the battery, which can help preserve battery health during prolonged gaming sessions. The passthrough charging capability is particularly useful for gamers who want to avoid battery degradation from continuous charging and discharging cycles. This feature is highlighted in the review guide and other sources, confirming its availability and functionality. Good job for having this feature.

Verdict

The Redmagic 9 Pro is a powerhouse gaming smartphone that excels in some essential aspects, especially gaming. Its sleek design, powerful hardware, and advanced cooling system, passthrough charging make it an ideal choice for serious gamers. The display is vibrant and responsive, while the performance is top-notch, thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and Red Core 2 Pro gaming chip.

Redmagic 9 Pro Review

The software offers a range of features tailored for gamers albeit too bloated. The camera setup, while not the best in the market, is still capable of capturing high-quality images. The audio experience is immersive, and the battery life is exceptional, ensuring that gamers can enjoy uninterrupted gaming sessions.

In my opinion, the Redmagic 9 Pro is a highly recommended device for anyone looking for a premium gaming smartphone that delivers outstanding performance and value for money.

8.1Expert Score
Redmagic 9 Pro

The Redmagic 9 Pro is a highly recommended device for anyone looking for a premium gaming smartphone that delivers outstanding performance and value for money.

Design
8.5
Hardware
8.6
Performance
8.5
Software
7
Camera
6
Sound
9
Battery
8.5
Value
8.5

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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