Home  ›  News  ›

Snapdragon 845 for $400: Hands On with the Nubia Red Magic Mars

Article Comments  

Jan 11, 2019, 3:12 PM   by Rich Brome
updated Jan 14, 2019, 11:00 AM

The Red Magic Mars is a gaming phone with a much more affordable price than other gaming phones, without skimping on the key specs. Nubia (a subsidiary of ZTE) revealed at CES that it plans to bring the Mars to the U.S. in the coming weeks. The base model has a top-end Snapdragon 845 processor paired with a generous 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage for just $400. Step-up models offer 8 or 10 GB of RAM as well as more storage. The 6" display has a 2:1 shape and FHD+ resolution (2160x1080). Its gaming chops include a large 3,800 mAh battery, performance mode, advanced cooling, configurable capacitive shoulder buttons, a dedicated physical switch to enter gaming mode, and a highly customizable strip of animated RGB lights on the back. It also has a 16 megapixel camera and fingerprint reader. Read on for our first impressions.

The RGB LED light strip on the back is the most eye-catching part, and if you dig deep into the settings, you can find the very extensive tools to customize the light patterns. You can set the patterns, colors, speed, and brightness. It's a lot of fun to the play with. The default brightness is on the dim side (probably to save battery if you're going to leave the lights running) but you can crank up the brightness in the settings.

LED strip customization  

The phone has two capacitive shoulder buttons that you can map to specific points on the screen, to simulate tapping specific on-screen controls in your favorite game.

There's also a special physical switch in a far corner that switches between phone and gaming modes. It rotates the interface to landscape and brings up a special gaming home screen that lets you toggle gaming features and launch your favorite games. Besides performance mode, you can also turn off all notifications so you won't be rudely interrupted at a crucial moment in your game.

The phone itself feels nice. The metal frame feels solid. The metal back feels a bit thinner and hollow, like it might dent easily, but it's all put together tightly; it's a well-made phone. The styling is very aggressively masculine; you have to like that "gaming rig" look.

As one would hope, there are USB-C and 3.5mm audio ports.

Red Magic Mars  

The real story is the value. The Red Magic Mars is hundreds cheaper than other gaming phones like the Razer 2 ($700) and Asus ROG Phone ($900). But even compared to regular phones, you'd be hard-pressed to find better performance and battery specs in a $400 phone. OnePlus used to make phones with this kind of value, but as they've increased prices in recent years; they've left a gap in the $400 space for phones like this. It's compelling.

About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.


more news about:



This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

No messages

Page  1  of 1

Subscribe to news & reviews with RSS Follow @phonescoop on Threads Follow @phonescoop on Mastodon Phone Scoop on Facebook Follow on Instagram



All content Copyright 2001-2024 Phone Factor, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Content on this site may not be copied or republished without formal permission.