Early in the year, the RedMagic 8 Pro impressed me with its extreme performance, great battery life and sharp new design. Now, its successor has arrived – but with a similar design and the same processor at its core, it had me wondering why it existed in the first place.

The 8 Pro was the fastest gaming phone in the world when it launched, but in the time since, it has fallen away from the top spot. With a special overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and a revamped cooling solution, the 8S Pro is looking to reclaim that top spot.

I’ve spent a few weeks testing the RedMagic 8S Pro, and all of its many software features. Here’s what I learned.

RedMagic 8S Pro

RedMagic 8S Pro

The RedMagic 8S Pro hasn’t changed much compared to its predecessor, but it’s faster and it has a cool new look. If you’re looking for the ultimate gaming performance, this is the fastest phone around.


  • The fastest phone we’ve ever tested
  • Cool new finish with transparent elements
  • Improved cooling solution
  • Amazing battery life
  • New software enhancements for gaming

  • Selfie and wide-angle cameras are still awful
  • Software bugs


  • Dimensions: 163.98 x 76.35 x 9.47 mm
  • Weight: 228g
  • Finish options: Midnight (black), Platinum (silver), Aurora (transparent black)

The RedMagic 8S Pro retains the squared-off design with sharp corners that was introduced with the last generation. The size, shape and weight are pretty much identical, as are the locations of the buttons, ports and vents. What’s new, though, is the finish and colour options.

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I have the Midnight model in for testing, and it has a really unique texture on the rear panel. RedMagic calls it a 3D nano-etched design, and it reminds me of a vinyl record. Circular rings emanate from the phone’s fan and reflections shimmer along the grooves when the light hits it.

By gaming phone standards, it’s a fairly subtle look, but when you open a game, the light show begins. When the fan springs into action it illuminates with red, blue, green and yellow LEDs and it can be seen through a transparent ring on the back panel. I was surprised by this, as when it’s turned off it just looks like an etched design. It’s a really cool effect.

The rest of the lighting is very similar to what we saw on the RedMagic 8 Pro, there’s illuminated text beneath each of the shoulder triggers and a RedMagic logo in the centre. The functionality appears to remain unchanged, too, you can either have these LEDs constantly illuminated, pulsing along with the music or displaying a pre-set flashing or breathing pattern. When the triggers are active, the corresponding side will illuminate in red or blue with a trigger press, though as far as we can tell, you can’t change the colour for the trigger presses.

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Of course, if you don’t like the light show you can disable it entirely, including the fan LEDs. Personally, I quite like the lighting, and think it’s quite useful to have the LEDs illuminate when there’s an unread notification to be seen.

The Platinum colourway is essentially the same as the Midnight version that I’m testing, only it comes in a lighter silver colour. There’s also an Aurora version, which is RedMagic’s signature black and transparent design, and that’s arguably the flashiest of the bunch. It does lose out on the cool nano-etched radial pattern, though.

The new finish is reasonably grippy, so brave users might be confident in using it without a case. I was afraid of scratching it, as it feels like it would be prone to marking, so I used the included transparent acrylic case throughout my testing. Unfortunately, the case itself is extremely prone to scuffs and scratches, and really detracts from the slick look of the phone. I hope that RedMagic releases a nicer-looking case for this device, as third-party options for RedMagic phones are few and far between.

Display and speakers

  • 6.8-inch AMOLED, 2480×1116 resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio
  • 120Hz refresh rate, 960Hz touch sampling rate
  • Dual speakers with DTS:X Ultra, 3.5mm headphone jack

When it comes to the display, nothing much seems to have changed compared to the RedMagic 8 Pro. That’s not a bad thing, though, it was already one of the most impressive displays around, and it continues to impress on this new model.

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It has an incredibly bright output of 1300 nits, a dense 400 PPI resolution and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. It’s accurate, covering 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 wide gamut and it benefits from DC dimming to reduce flickering and eye strain.

It’s a sizable display at 6.8-inches, and just as I said with the last phone, I feel like the squared-off corners and narrow bezels make the screen appear even larger. There’s also no notch or camera cutout, thanks to the under-display selfie camera, and this makes it one of the absolute best phones for content consumption.

The speakers add to the experience, too, and are among the best that I’ve tested. As far as I can tell, they’re the same as the ones on the last model, but that just means you get excellent clarity, a wide sound stage and a good amount of bass response. Plus, there’s a headphone jack, so if you’d prefer to use some quality IEMs or a gaming headset, you can do so with ease.

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Performance and software

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 gen 2 (3.36GHz CPU, 719MHz GPU)
  • 12GB / 16GB LPDDR5X, 256GB / 512GB UFS 4.0 storage
  • 6000 mAh dual-cell battery, 65W GaN fast-charging
  • ICE 12.0 cooling system

The performance is where things start to get interesting. As I mentioned in the intro, this phone also runs on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, however, this model has a healthy overclock that should put it a step ahead of the competition.

RedMagic says this version of the 8 Gen 2 runs 2.5 per cent faster on the CPU and 5.7 per cent faster on the GPU. It’s also paired with the brand’s own Red Core 2 chip. This secondary chip handles all the extra gaming functionality such as audio EQ, fan control, haptic feedback and RGB lighting effects. The idea is that the SoC can focus on pure performance, while the Red Core 2 does the auxiliary tasks.

RedMagic 8S Pro (23)

That’s not the only thing that should improve performance, though, the thermal management solution has also seen a redesign. There’s a new plus-size vapour chamber cooling plate as well as a layer of graphene to draw heat away from the screen and decrease battery temperatures during charging. The way the fan behaves has been adjusted, too. The fan speed now ramps up and down depending on the performance load, whereas previously it was either on or off.

If you find that the standard profiles aren’t cutting it, you can increase performance further by entering Diablo Mode. And when doing so a warning will pop up that says “power consumption and heat generation of the mobile device are greatly increased” in this mode. Still, it’s nice to have, even if it’s not something that you’ll be using all the time.

I ran the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme benchmark and got a score of 3827 in standard settings, and with Diablo Mode activated, that score increased to 3847. The RedMagic 8 Pro, comparatively, has an average score of 3698, so this is quite the uplift in performance. It also puts it in joint first place on the leaderboard, above the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, which scores an average of 3745.

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In more practical terms, this phone can run any Android game that I’ve come across at maximum settings with the highest frame rate options selected. It stays cool under pressure, too, and it took a solid hour of playing Genshin Impact before the frame began to heat up. Even then, it remained comfortable to hold.

As always, there are endless gaming options to tweak and configure with RedMagic’s software, including the highly-responsive and customisable touch triggers on the frame of the phone. More features have been added since the last generation, too.

One of my favourite new features is the 4D atmospheric vibration, which uses the phone’s powerful haptic motors to add rumble feedback to certain games. I tried it with PUBG Mobile and it’s very satisfying to have some haptic feedback when you fire or get hit. It’s actually a little surprising that games don’t do this by default, because it definitely adds to the experience. The only drawback is that the vibration seems to be linked to the audio output of the game, so the phone vibrates along with the menu music, as well as in-game dialogue.

RedMagic 8S Pro (3)

The RedMagic 8S Pro runs RedMagic OS 8.0, which is based on Android 13. It’s a similar look and feel to previous RedMagic skins, which means that it doesn’t stray too far from stock Android, and there’s minimal bloatware to be found. Most of the pre-installed applications are used for the gaming features, and my model only had the Booking.com app installed extra. The stock home screen widgets have disappeared on this model, and I’m a fan of this move, it looks much cleaner straight out of the box – though you can add most of them back if you find them helpful.

As you’d expect from a phone this powerful, day-to-day activities are extremely fast and fluid. I’m very used to flagship Android phones, but this model feels even snappier than usual. There were, however, a few bugs that I experienced with the pre-release software. Firstly, the standard clock widget was inexplicably cut off on the top. Not a big deal, I just swapped it out for a different clock, but it’s not a great look when it comes that way as standard.

The second bug was much more annoying. The phone wouldn’t let me view my photos full-screen, and every time I tried to do it, the app would crash. Strangely, this happened with both the native camera app and Google Photos, but Files by Google would let me view them. I’m sure this will get patched soon enough, but in the meantime, it has been incredibly frustrating.

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On the plus side, the overall software experience has been far more stable than it was with the pre-release RedMagic 8 Pro, so things are moving in the right direction.


  • Triple rear system:
    • Main: 50-megapixel, f/1.88(Samsung GN5)
    • Wide (13mm): 8MP, f/2.2
    • Macro: 2MP, f2.4
  • Selfie camera: 16MP 2nd gen under-display-camera

The cameras are identical to the previous phone, so there’s not much to explore here. The main camera is the highlight, it’s the tried and true Samsung GN5 sensor, and it’s capable of good results, especially in the daylight. However, RedMagic’s image processing is a step behind the more mainstream manufacturers, so the HDR effect and colour processing aren’t quite as pleasing.

Still, for casual users, the main camera is probably good enough. It handles low light better than I expected, but you’ll need to be wary of motion blur. And as always, you’ll need to remember to turn the watermark off, which is still frustratingly enabled by default.

The ultra-wide and macro are still pretty terrible, and best avoided in most scenarios. The same goes for the under-display selfie camera. It’s a cool bit of tech, but it’s just too soft, and the aggressive sharpening effect that’s applied to compensate makes for some very unflattering selfies.


All in all, the RedMagic 8S Pro is a very similar phone to the RedMagic 8 Pro. The previous model debuted as one of the fastest gaming phones on the market, and its successor is doing the same thing. To summarise what’s changed – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 comes with an overclock, the cooling solution has been improved, there’s a new OS with extra gaming features and the styling has been updated.

I love the new look, especially the subtle transparent fan window on an otherwise opaque rear panel. The gaming performance is impressive to see in benchmarks, but I wouldn’t say it’s very noticeable in practice. The system is far less buggy this time around, though. I had one major hiccup, but I’m confident this will be patched soon enough.

I wouldn’t recommend this as an upgrade for RedMagic 8 Pro owners, it’s simply too similar. But for anyone else, it’s a small improvement on what was already one of the best gaming phones. If you’re looking for pure performance, look no further.

Iphone Store – 2023-12-13 13:00:51 / www.pocket-lint.com