The RedMagic 8S Pro is a near-perfect gaming phone with excellent hardware and performance. You get a well-rounded package with an all-day battery life and improved software than before. It still needs some work, but this phone is ridiculous value for the money for the kind of kit on offer.
- Top-notch performance
- Great pricing
- Exceptional hardware
- Excellent battery life
- Software update promise isn’t great
- Dust ingress is an issue
- No IP rating
- Excellent performanceThe RedMagic 8S Pro has performance for days with the overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, delivering some of the best performance you can get on a phone.
- Top-notch design and hardwareThe overall hardware package is exceptional for the money, with an excellent display, UFS 4.0 storage, and 16GB of RAM, even on the base version.
- Stellar battery life and quick chargingDespite all the performance it packs, the RedMagic 8S Pro has stellar battery life and a 65W quick charger bundled in the box.
RedMagic has been consistently making gaming phones for a while now, with new iterations dropping every few months. The latest from the company is the RedMagic 8S Pro, which shares a lot of DNA with the RedMagic 8 Pro. It’s a mid-generation refresh that doesn’t do things too differently than the 8 Pro, but at the same time, it feels like a new phone.
The RedMagic 8 Pro is available worldwide with stores for the EU, NA, and UK, as well as a global store that serves some countries from the rest of the world. It starts at £579/$649 for the 12GB/256GB Matte opaque back model (Midnight) and £709/$799 for the 16GB/512GB model, available in Void black transparent back and Titanium white/silver transparent back colours. I had the 16GB/512GB Titanium model in for review.
It competes with the segment leader that is the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, coming with some top-of-the-line specs and gaming-centric software. But while the RedMagic 8S Pro absolutely nails the hardware, and the software looks good on paper, this phone has a few quirks that may hinder the overall experience for many users.
- Transparent finish
- No IP rating
- Aluminum frame with vents for cooling
When it comes to design, it’s very difficult to find flaws in this phone, especially if we’re talking visual design. The RedMagic 8S Pro is one of the best-looking phones of the year. The Aurora version gets a transparent back glass to show off the blacked-out internals, and it looks sleek and edgy in the best way. The RGB lighting is subtle and adds to the muted (relatively, for a gaming phone) looks of this phone.
Coming to the functional design, there are a few quirks that may make this phone less than perfect.
First of all, being a gaming phone, the sharper edges can get a bit uncomfortable. They’re not the most uncomfortable edges I’ve experienced on a phone, but they’re not the most comfortable, either, which I would have liked to be the case. It’s still pretty easy to use despite its mammoth size, so we can’t fault RedMagic too much here.
The other issue I have with the design has to do with the cooling system of the phone. You get an RGB-equipped cooling fan and two vents on either side of the phone for intake and exhaust. The issue with this setup is that these vents are actively pushing air in and out of the phone, along with dust and debris. There’s no mesh on the vents, which means that you’ll have to be extra careful with this phone in dusty environments.
In my usage, I saw a few dust particles get stuck under the back glass of the phone. While not too bothersome, this can be a bit annoying, especially if you have transparent-back versions of the phone. I had the same issue with the RedMagic 8 Pro, and with no functional design change, the issue has carried over. This also means the phone is lacking an IP rating.
- Seamless AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate
- 960Hz touch sample rate
- 1300nits peak brightness
Coming to the front of the phone, the screen is exceptional.
The phone gets a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1,116 x 2,480 pixels, a refresh rate of 120Hz, and a 960Hz touch sampling rate. The screen goes up to 1,300 nits of brightness. It’s a great screen for gaming, or any kind of media consumption, really.
The display is only FHD+ in resolution, which is sufficient, even though a higher resolution screen would’ve been nice to have. The catch is that more pixels equals fewer frames, so the FHD+ trade-off makes more sense here than most flagship alternatives.
The screen is also beautiful to look at, with minuscule bezels. The front camera is also an under-display one. That means you get a seamless screen with the entire display area being available due to the lack of a notch or punch hole.
The display never disappointed during my usage, indoors and outdoors. Overall, the screen is certainly fit to make this phone an excellent daily driver, whether you’re a gamer or not.
- Average camera output
- Tripe camera setup
- Below average under-display front camera and Ultrawide
The RedMagic 8S Pro comes with a triple-camera setup on the back, with a 50MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide lens, and a meagre 2MP macro shooter. A 16MP under-display front camera accompanies this setup. The overall camera performance is probably best described as average, though that’s no surprise given the gaming focus of the phone.
To begin with, the main camera is pretty good. It takes nice and crisp shots, and the colours are often accurate, but not always. The high resolution helps, but sometimes the colour science is off, leading to a less-than-ideal output. The result varies according to the lighting in the scene, and the camera isn’t the best at capturing motion. Overall, it performs just fine, but don’t expect exceptional results.
The ultrawide camera is pretty subpar for the price. The drop in resolution is the first thing you will notice, which results in a drastic drop in the detail, especially when zooming in to captured snaps. If you need details, then you would be better off sticking to the main camera. The macro lens is good, though. You will get a decent amount of detail, despite the 2MP resolution.
The selfie camera is one of those components that suffer from compromise. While the under-display camera is great for having a seamless display — crucial for a gaming phone – it doesn’t deliver great images. Your selfies will suffer from the typical UDC blur.
The images are always hazy, and there’s really no way around it because under-display cameras haven’t really moved past that stage yet. Samsung’s offerings have some improvements, but RedMagic doesn’t seem to have cracked it just yet.
The blurry selfies are an acceptable compromise if you want a seamless display, however. The same goes for the overall camera performance, which is not outrageous for a gaming-focused phone. The cameras on this phone will get the job done, but don’t expect too much from them.
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset
- Top-notch gaming performance
- Built-in cooler keeps the phone running smoothly
The RedMagic 8S Pro comes with some of the most powerful hardware you can get right now. While it gets the flagship-level Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip like its predecessor 8 Pro, it’s actually now the “Leading Version.” What that means is that it’s the overclocked version of the 8 Gen 2, which was exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy S23 series prior to that. It’s the best-performing chip you can find in an Android phone right now.
RedMagic has paired it up with UFS 4.0 storage, available in options of 256GB and 512GB, bound to 12GB and 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, respectively. The performance is reflected in benchmark results, but I noticed it hitting a 60fps cap in GFXBench tests, which is likely a software bug. Its GFXBench results were thus weaker than the 8 Pro, but it outperformed the 8 Pro in every other synthetic benchmark.
The sustained performance on this phone was also pretty great. I ran the 3DMark Wild Life Extreme stress test benchmark — a 20-minute stress test that aims to chart sustained performance. The final results had a GPU stability figure of 98%. That’s better than any phone I’ve tested yet, and one of the best we’ve seen at Trusted Reviews.
The benchmarks aren’t the only place this phone performs well in, of course. The phone is built for gaming, and I did quite a lot of it on this phone. Fortnite ran rather well on this phone, returning a stable 60FPS on Epic quality preset and going up to 90FPS on the Low quality preset.
The performance was on par with what I would expect from a phone with this chip, like the Galaxy S23 Ultra. I didn’t see any frame drops, or performance deterioration over longer sessions. Other games like Genshin Impact and Clash of Clans were also smooth on this phone.
The in-built cooler kept the phone cool to the touch, letting the phone deliver consistent performance. The Game Space slider key is also a nice addition, letting you enter and exit a game with one switch, although I wish RedMagic would let users remap it.
The gaming performance is not just frames, though. The screen response is stellar, and it never misses a beat. The audio performance is also great, with the stereo speakers bringing in plenty of details in the crisp audio output. There isn’t much you’ll miss out on in the audio-visual experience here. The earpiece also works very well for calling, so it’s not just on the gaming side, either.
- RedMagic OS based on Android 13
- Two years of updates with one major version promised
The software experience has improved quite a bit from the company’s last phone. The gaming performance is backed by the software very well, but the overall software experience can be better. However, RedMagic has solved a lot of the quirks, including my biggest complaint with the 8 Pro — its first-party system apps. RedMagic OS now uses Google’s Phone and Messages apps, and they work flawlessly.
There are only a few key issues that remain with the software now, with the biggest one being the notification shade and toggle design. There are some inconsistencies here, including the text size. Material You theming is also a bit all over the place, and the software would benefit from having some coherence there.
Overall, however, RedMagic is moving in the right direction with its software. The current software update promise states “more than 2 years of software support,” with updates at least every two months. RedMagic says it will give at least one major Android update. This isn’t ideal, and I hope RedMagic can better those numbers in future.
- 65W fast charger bundled
- All-day battery life
- Rapid cooling enabled while charging
The RedMagic 8S Pro has great battery life. You get all-day battery life, partially thanks to the 6,000 mAh battery, and that includes a solid amount of gaming too.
I daily drove the RedMagic 8S Pro, and found the battery life impressive. I didn’t have to charge the phone in the middle of the day, and I often ended my day with 15-20% charge left. My typical usage included a lot of Google Chrome, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, Telegram, and some streaming with YouTube and YouTube music. The 8 Gen 2 does really well in terms of power consumption. The battery benchmarks reflect this, too.
Even if you need a top-up in the middle of the day, the phone comes bundled with a 65W fast charger that can take you back to 100% in just 40 minutes. The fan kicks in while charging, and the phone doesn’t get too warm. Overall, the battery life and charging on this phone is near perfect, although I wish wireless charging was present.
Should you buy it?
You want excellent performance
The RedMagic 8S Pro offers some of the best performance you can get for the price.
You need an immaculate camera setup
The RedMagic 8S Pro has a below-average UDC selfie camera, and the rear setup isn’t that inspiring either.
The RedMagic 8S Pro is an impressive phone, and one of the best value-for-money offerings out there right now. You get top-of-the-line hardware, an impressive frame, and an improved software experience.
The RedMagic 8S Pro is easily the best gaming phone the company has built yet, and it delivers consistent performance, whether you’re gaming or using your phone for less intense tasks. It also nails the battery life aspect, delivering all-day battery from a massive 6,000mAh cell alongside impressive charging speeds. It leaves very little to be desired, especially at the relatively low price.
It comes in at £579/$649 for the 12GB/256GB Midnight version, which is stellar value for money. While the Platinum and Aurora colours cost more, they’re just cosmetic upgrades, making the base version an absolute steal for the price. The only two big issues RedMagic has left to solve are dust ingress issues and sometimes shoddy software. The front camera could also use some work, but I believe it’s an acceptable sacrifice in exchange for a seamless screen.
If you want top-of-the-line performance without spending top dollar, the RedMagic 8S Pro is like nothing else right now.
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We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Used as a main phone for over a week
Thorough camera testing in a variety of conditions
Tested and benchmarked using respected industry tests and real-world data
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Yes, you’ll get a 65W charger in the box.
No. In fact, with open vent ports, dust ingress is a particular issue for the 8S Pro.