Purpose built for gaming with hardware trigger buttons, a distinct ‘gamer’ aesthetic, and even an RGB cooling fan to prevent thermal throttling, the 6S Pro from RedMagic certainly isn’t subtle, but the absolutely flawless performance and excellent gaming experience speaks for itself - even if there are still one or two weaker points in the overall package worth taking into consideration.
RedMagic 6S Pro Build Quality
Unboxing the 6S Pro, the box of which includes a charging cable and complimentary protective case, the phone’s huge size is immediately apparent. Clocking in at almost 7 inches tall, it is noticeably larger than even the iPhone 12 Pro Max, despite boasting a similar display size, and feels a similar weight in the hands. There’s no denying it’s not a heavy phone, which might be a turn off for some, but it’s certainly not too far from many of the larger high-end devices currently on the market - particularly those targeting a gaming demographic.
On our 16gb RAM model, the phone’s back panel is a striking glass window that showcases both some mock circuitry, which is labelled to show off some of the more impressive technical specs, and the brightly-colored RGB fan. It definitely helps the phone stand out and a lot of the promotional pictures don’t quite capture how good this see-through effect looks in the flesh. It is worth noting, however, that on the cheaper 12gb model the back panel is fully opaque.
Holding it all together is an impressively rugged metal frame, complete with ventilation grills for air-flow to the fan. When held horizontally, two touch-sensitive shoulder-mounted triggers rest at the top alongside the power button. I found the placement of the power button, which is on the middle of the side of the phone, a little strange at first but quickly came to appreciate its out-of-the-way positioning as a good measure to prevent accidental presses while gaming. Finally, on the bottom side, there’s a volume rocker and a small red switch used to activate a dedicated gaming mode, which silences notifications and opens a custom game launcher.
RedMagic 6S Pro Performance
It’s safe to say that the RedMagic 6S Pro is remarkably fast. The Snapdragon 888+ chipset is currently the most powerful Android processor on the market and it shows. Testing the phone out with some of the highest intensity mobile games, the likes of PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9, yielded no noticeable performance dips - even with settings cranked up to the absolute max. The entire experience is elevated by the jaw-droppingly smooth 2400x1080 resolution screen that boasts an incredible 165hz refresh rate. This lends everything from browsing the web to gameplay a distinctly snappy feel.
When placed side by side with a high-end 120hz phone screen, the difference in smoothness is subtle but undeniably present. In my testing I never managed to deplete the large 5050mAh battery, even with a full day’s intensive use, but options to limit the refresh rate to the less demanding 60 or 75hz are available if battery life is a concern.
It’s easy to dismiss the included hardware fan as a marketing gimmick, but I found it actually made a huge difference to temperatures during use. The phone still becomes hot under heavy loads, especially if you’re playing high-intensity games while charging, but, no matter what I threw at it, it crucially never overheated. By putting your fingers above either of the ventilations grilles, it’s easy to feel a steady stream of hot air coming out of the device, and I would consider this a pretty good indicator that the fan it’s doing its job.
I was also pleasantly surprised by just how much of a difference the hardware triggers make to gameplay. First person shooters like Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG become a breeze with aiming down sights and shooting that feels very similar to its full console equivalent. I found I not only did better in the games I tried but also wanted to play more because of how refreshingly pleasant gameplay felt. Racing games too, like Grid or F1 Mobile, are substantially improved by this addition and the ability to assign either trigger to an on-screen button ensures universal compatibility. Far less useful is the easy-to-miss third button that is activated by sliding your finger across a touch-sensitive strip on the rear of the phone. Unfortunately, this action is a little too fiddly to pull off reliably, and I found myself quickly ditching it in favor of touch-screen alternatives.
RedMagic 6S Pro - Camera, fingerprint scanner and speakers
Excellent build quality, a butter smooth screen, dedicated gaming controls and some of the most powerful hardware on the market make the RedMagic 6S Pro an incredibly compelling offering at its roughly $600 price point. However, there have been some compromises made to offer such a great value proposition. For one thing, the haptics are okay but nothing special. Similarly, the single mono-speaker is loud but a little on the tinny side. Luckily, the headphone jack makes it easy to connect a headset, but it seems a little strange that stereo speakers and increased sound quality were one of the things sacrificed on a device so clearly geared towards content consumption.
The under-screen fingerprint scanner is also disappointing. Often failing to detect any input at all, it is far too unreliable for daily use and often much slower than just entering a short pin code to unlock the device. Similarly, the camera is a huge let down, and despite boasting a 64mp main sensor, pictures are often unclear and are visibly oversaturated. To make matters worse, color-accuracy is practically non-existent and the included suite of camera software feels incredibly dated.
As you can see from the comparison above, photos taken with the 6S Pro pale when placed alongside budget offerings like Apple’s iPhone SE, which retails at $399. In my testing, I even found that it struggled to compete with some of the lowest end offerings, like the Note 9 from its ultra-budget competition, Redmi. The front-mounted selfie camera is equally poor.
RedMagic 6S Pro Review - A mobile gaming masterpiece
If you can live with a less-than-perfect camera and an unreliable fingerprint sensor, the RedMagic 6S Pro should be the go-to choice for a more cost-conscious mobile gamer thanks to its incredible in-game performance. The build quality is great, the 165hz screen is an absolute wonder to behold, and even the seemingly superfluous RGB fan proves a great addition.
TechRaptor was provided with an early sample of the RedMagic 6S Pro by the manufacturer for the purpose of this review.
- Incredible performance at a great price
- Surprisingly effective fan
- Jaw-dropping 165hz screen
- Unreliable finger-print scanner
- Poor camera