Test Nubia Red Magic Mars: our full review – Smartphones


Introduction
    After the first half-hearted test that was the original Red Magic, Nubia returns to the smartphone gamer with its Red Magic Mars which is more an update than a new real momentum. The second is the good? Answer in our test.

Technical sheet
        Model
                                    Nubia Red Magic Mars
                    
            OS version
                                            
                            Android 9.0
                Interface
                                            
                            Nubia UI
                Screen size
                                            
                            6 inches
                Definition
                                            
                            2160 x 1080 pixels
                Pixel density
                                            
                            402 dpi
                SoC
                                            
                            Snapdragon 845 to 2.8GHz
                Processor (CPU)
                                            
                            ARMv8
                Graphics Chip (GPU)
                                            
                            Adreno 630
                RAM memory
                                            
                            6 GB
                Internal memory (flash)
                                            
                            64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
                MicroSD
                                            
                            No
                Camera (backpack)
                                            
                            16 megapixels
                Camera (front)
                                            
                            8 megapixels
                Video recording
                                            
                            4K
                Wireless
                                            
                            Yes
                Bluetooth
                                            
                            5.0 + ADP + aptX + LE
                networks
                                            
                            LTE, HSPA, GSM
                Supported bands
                                            
                            2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
                SIM
                                            
                            2x nano SIM
                NFC
                                            
                            No
                Ports (Inputs / Outputs)
                                            
                            USB Type-C
                Geolocation
                                            
                            Yes
                Drums
                                            
                            3800 mAh
                Dimensions
                                            
                            158.2 x 75 x 9.9 mm
                Weight
                                            
                            193 grams
                Colors
                                            
                            Red, Black, Camouflage
                Price
                                            
                            420 euros
                
                                    
                        Product sheet
                                                    | Test
                                                
                                This test was made from a smartphone loaned by the brand.
Design
If you had already noticed the lines of the original Nubia Red Magic, his successor will not surprise you since he is … exactly the same. We thus find his slightly beveled back highlighted here and there red grids for a complete "gamorz" effect. In the center of the bevel is the large LED bar which we will discuss in the software part.
Above it is the fingerprint reader, which retains its unique hexagonal shape as well as the unique photo sensor of the same ilk. The lines are marked, but the outline of the smartphone itself is very rounded, making it one of the most sober smartphone gamers currently available.

On the right edge are the volume and lock buttons, and on the left edge the push button to launch the game of the phone. At the top is the jack on the right side and at the bottom, the USB type-C well centered and a single speaker grille.
The front of the phone, which comes with a screen protector already installed, is also exactly the same. Its large 18: 9 ratio screen is not cut in a notch or even punched, but prefers two relatively pronounced edges without being disturbing. The speaker and the photo sensor are the only two notable elements here that blend naturally into the décor.

As the first model so, the design of the phone is good, it is very nice in hand and it is quite sober. What appeal to who wants a touch "gamer" without becoming a "gamorz" in the absolute.
Screen
The Nubia Red Magic is equipped with a 5.99-inch IPS LCD panel in Full HD + definition and 18: 9 ratio, just like the previous model … again. This one does not seem to change much compared to its predecessor.
With the naked eye, one always observes colors relatively well contrasted although a little blue. However, the brightness of the screen looks really bad and the ruler to push the brightness can see a real change from the last percentages. From 0 to 95%, the changes are barely visible. It's very frustrating to use.

Our probe gives us the indication that this ruler travels from 0 to 200 cd / m² up to 90% and goes beyond once past this percentage. That does not make any sense. The average temperature is recorded at 7500 K, which is in the market average, when the contrast is satisfactory at 1296: 1. The maximum brightness is raised to 341 cd / m², much too low to be really usable in full sun or even comfortable in all situations.
Regarding the screen settings, you do not really have a choice. There are only two options: "Colorful" or "Natural". And yes: these rickety options are not translated and do not stand out enough from each other.

Software
The Nubia Red Magic Mars gives Android 9.0 Pie game entry with the security patch of December 2018. It does not have a particular interface and instead trusts the AOSP.
So we find an application drawer and icons very colorful and rounded of the last major version of Android. The customization is quite limited, but is not totally absent. Above all, there is a missing option: gesture navigation is not available, or even any other method than the default one.

While pacing the phone, we notice very quickly that some displays have problems. Special characters are trimmed here and there, while many options remain untranslated. Everything gives the impression of using a smartphone in beta, not a finished product.
The additions of Nubia are not numerous. Note the possibility, as was the case of the original Nubia Red Magic, to adjust the behavior of the LED on the back and its animations. It is not possible to leave it constantly activated, only to set it depending on whether you receive a call, a notification or when charging. The linked visual effects are quite numerous, and customizable as a bonus.

Player mode
The star of the show remains the "player mode" activatable with the red slider button placed on the side of the phone. This one automatically lists the installed games and allows you to launch them by activating the LED strip, the high performance mode, "4D vibrations" (which only work for two games and have no impact) and will cut your notifications .

The main interest of this mode is to be able to configure the tactile triggers available on the right edge of the phone. However, their mode of configuration is incredibly stupid and hidden behind opaque steps that forced me to return the entire system to find them. To configure your keys, you have to start your game in player mode, you have to lower the notifications pane in which the shortcut "Touch Button" appears, activate the slider appearing on the screen, then move your keys where you want on the screen.

All this step is not explained to you by the phone, which is an absolute nonsense for so many complex steps not going in the direction of the habits of use on Android. At least, once taken in hand, the functionality is very pleasant to use for the FPS like PUBG Mobile or Fortnite. This is not a huge advantage, but the comfort of use is more optimized.

performances
The Nubia Red Magic Mars is powered by the well-known Tropic Snapdragon 845 coupled this time to 6, 8 or 10 GB of RAM. We are testing here the 8GB version of RAM. The couple is obviously not lacking in everyday tasks, passing without the slightest problem on the least use with ease.
The benchmarks were made with the high performance mode enabled.
Nubia Red Magic MarsNubia Red MagicAsus ROG PhoneXiaomi Black SharkRazer Phone 2
SoCSnapdragon 845Snapdragon 835Snapdragon 845 (OC) Snapdragon 845Snapdragon 845
AnTuTu 7.X232 265213 281294 658288 661277 944
PCMark 2.07 4428 2629 0307 7769 105
3DMark Slingshot Extreme4 6823 7654 5544 5534 415
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics5 2203 9935 1875 2055 121
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics3 4403 1373 1903 1652 979
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 33/35 FPS24 / 26 FPS33 / 35 FPS33 / 35 FPS22 / 35 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen) 59/82 FPS53 / 60 FPS77 / 80 FPS59 / 84 FPS55 / 82 FPS
Sequential read / write 687/252 MB / s752 / 227 MB / s706 / 241 MB / s747 / 205 MB / s713 / 193 MB / s
Random Read / Write 36k / 39.8k IOPS37.5k / 32k IOPS33k / 35k IOPS33k / 34k IOPS32k / 6k IOPS
As expected with such a configuration, Fortnite goes into maximum configuration without the slightest worry. In epic quality, made 100% and 30 FPS, it knows no slowing down and is like a charm. The same is true when playing PUBG Mobile. The game in HDR quality, ultra image rate and anti-aliasing enabled, purrs on the smartphone.
The pleasure of play is quickly counterbalanced by the heating of the phone, which appears very quickly. However, it is well spread on the back surface of the smartphone and is not inconvenient to use. It dissipates more effectively once your game session is over.
Camera
Rear photo sensor
In the back, the Nubia Red Magic Mars is equipped with a single 16-megapixel photo sensor lens opening in f / 1.8. This is a drop from the previous model, which had a 24 megapixel lens sensor opening in f / 1.7.
By default, HDR mode is not enabled and the camera captures at 18: 9.

In broad daylight, the Nubia Red Magic Mars does not really disappoint. The colors are right, the colors are well respected and the dynamic range does not pose too much problem. We regret all the same lack of general detail, making the sharpness of the image is not as good as we would like on a smartphone this year on this range.

In low light conditions, the device is already showing weaknesses. If the colors stay pretty good, the digital noise is coming in and is not really offset by an effective smoothing. On the contrary: it can make the image less natural, and therefore less appreciable to the eye.

At night, it should be noted that at least the device understands the color information. Out of this, the noise is always more present, harming the sharpness of the image and the least light source causes a luminous ball. The smartphone is also struggling to find its point of focus.
Front photo sensor
At the front, there is the unique 8-megapixel photo sensor with lens opening in f / 2.0 of the previous model. Note that beauty mode is enabled by default.

In broad daylight, he struggles with wide dynamic ranges, but his understanding of the colors and sharpness are pretty good for a small sensor of this kind. Inside, the sharpness takes a hit and the brightness is somewhat forced, but the experience remains satisfactory. At night, nothing goes between the colors, the difficulty of focusing or the sharpness. It is better to avoid using it in these conditions.
Autonomy
The Nubia Red Magic Mars is equipped with a battery of 3800 mAh, exactly the same as the previous model again. On paper, there is enough to easily play games as much as a conventional use.
In use, it does not disappoint in the least. Consumption recorded on a simple use (surfing, video, networks) as on the game does not worry at all and the phone ends his full day with more energy to spare. The smallest of us will be able to make it run two days without problem.
    Autonomy test Viser
                
                Red Magic Mars:
                749
            
                    
                Razer Phone 2:
                483
            
                    
                Black Shark:
                680
            
                    
                Red Magic:
                766
            
                On our personalized Viser test, he will have held 12 hours and 29 minutes. This is a score that places it in the top 10 of our last tests, and well above the average recorded at 9 o'clock. It's slightly less than the previous model, but the difference is tiny. Compared to other smartphones gamers, it is largely above the lot. He can certainly thank pure Android for that.
The Red Magic Mars also benefits from a fast charger Quick Charge 3.0 which allows him to recover 30% of battery in 30 minutes, from 10 to 40%. This is a very convincing result, but not as good as it was at one time. A full charge takes about two hours.
Photo gallery

Price and release date
The Nubia Red Magic Mars is marketed in Europe for 349 euros for its version 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Prices of other versions are currently unknown.
Where to buy Nubia Red Magic Mars at the best price? There are no offers for the moment
    
    
    
        
            
                        Test Nubia Red Magic March The verdict
                    
                                                    
                                
                                The Nubia Red Magic Mars did not really change its design. If it is well designed, it does not bring much new and already looked old in 2018. In 2019 … It goes unnoticed.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                A cruel lack of brightness coupled to a ruler incomprehensible logic kill a slab relatively pleasing to the eye although the color temperature too blue (and not modifiable).
                            
                                                    
                                
                                Android 9.0 Pie with a recent security patch are not everything. The menus are badly translated and display artifacts, when rickety gamer features are complicated to set up … although they work well, at least.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The Snapdragon 845 with 8GB of RAM is still solid. This is not, however, its most optimized version.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The rear sensor can produce some good photos when the light conditions are good, but it is actually below what is expected of a device at this price. The front photo sensor is the same.
                            
                                                    
                                
                                The 3800 mAh battery pair with Android very close to AOSP does wonders for the autonomy of the phone. Fast charging is good, but the Snapdragon 845 can do better.
                            
                                            
                            
                    
                    
                            
                            
                
                    The Nubia Red Magic Mars was able to equip the Snapdragon 845, but it is still a repackaging of what was the minimum interest of the original Nubia Red Magic. In the state, we have a phone that could have been a little more interesting … if it had been well finished. We can not ignore that the software experience still smells the beta, that many choices are debatable on this smartphone, and that in the absolute … It is substantially the same as the first model, in less good. If you are interested, it would be better to buy Nubia Red Magic as a reduction than your successor.
            
                            
                        Good points
                        Android close to the pure
                                                            Very good autonomy for a gamer
                                                    
                    
                        Negative points
                        Software clearly in beta
                                                            Low screen brightness
                                                            Disappointing photo experience
                                                    
                
        
    
        
    
                
    

        
                
    
    

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