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The Red Magic 3S builds on the success of its predecessor to provide an almost complete mobile gaming experience. If this is your first foray into the world of gaming phones, the high refresh rate display, front-facing stereo speakers and dedicated gaming mode are a delight to use. However, we’re disappointed with the lack of serious upgrades from the 3, particularly in retaining its chunky bezels and sub-par cameras. The 3S has ultimately fallen victim to Red Magic’s very aggressive update cycle.
The Red Magic 3 is the third gaming phone to be released by parent company Nubia in less than 12 months, as it continues its expansion into the European markets.
Hot on the heels of May’s Red Magic 3, the 3S offers the minor improvements typical of an ‘S’ update, while maintaining everything that made its predecessor such a success.Pricing and availability
The Red Magic 3S was released in Nubia’s native China on September 9, but we had to wait until 16 October for a global release.
The 3S is exactly the same price as the 3, so £419/ US$479 for 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, or £529/ US$599 if you want to bump up to 12GB and 256GB.
At launch the Mecha Silver and Cyber Shade were the only options available, but the Eclipse Black variant joined the lineup from 22 November.
That would put it on the more affordable side of dedicated gaming handsets, significantly undercutting the Asus ROG Phone 2 and Razer Phone 2, which start at £899/US$899 and £779/US$799 respectively.Design and build
The 3S is instantly recognisable if you’ve seen the Red Magic 3, with the same 6.65in, 2340x1080p AMOLED display as its predecessor. Make no mistake, this is a big device, but if you’ve tried some of the latest phones from Apple or Samsung it shouldn’t be a problem.
The display itself, although not the highest resolution, is more than adequate for a mid-range handset and provides plenty of detail while gaming. However, we only recorded a maximum brightness of 294 nits, and had a difficult time using it in direct sunlight.
What’s more disappointing, however, is that the slightly dated front of the phone is unchanged.
The sizeable forehead and chin on the device do accommodate a fantastic set of front-facing stereo speakers, but there are still large black bars housing nothing more than a 16Mp selfie camera and LED notification light. The 3S also comes pre-installed with a screen protector, and there seems to be no safe way to remove it.
The rear of the device retains the futuristic design of the 3, which is only amplified by the Cyber Shade option we tested. This is the only option if you’re looking for a 12GB/256GB version, so if you’d prefer the Eclipse Black or Mecha Silver variants you’ll have to be content with 8GB/128GB.
This is further enhanced by the RGB light strip, which Nubia say can be customised with multiple lighting effects and 16.8 million colour options. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for additional functionality with music, notifications or incoming phone calls, so currently it’s a nice feature to have without being something that should influence your buying decision.
The fingerprint scanner and camera module are in keeping with the rest of the phone, but the positioning of the latter means there is a significant wobble when on a table.
The other design choices of note are on the sides of the device. As so many manufacturers are moving away from the 3.5mm headphone jack, Red Magic’s decision to retain it will likely prove very popular.
The contact points on the left side are designed for use with the Magic Adapter, which adds an Ethernet port alongside additional USB-C and 3.5mm jack sockets. This is primarily to ensure that your hands are not obstructed during long gaming sessions.
Above this, there is the dedicated Game Space switch, while on the other side are the now-familiar shoulder triggers and a fan grille, part of what Nubia claims is its ‘redesigned cooling system’.
Despite weighing 215g, it fits comfortably in the hand, meaning long gaming sessions on-the-go shouldn’t be a problem.Gamers rejoice
games available on the Google Play store.
Nubia has added a number of features to the 3S with the gamer in mind, the most notable of which being a 90Hz refresh rate. Combined with the the latest Snapdragon 855+ processor, it is a joy to use, with buttery smooth graphics and superb responsiveness throughout the UI.
You can see the benefits of the increased refresh rate throughout the phone, particularly in apps with a lot of dynamic multimedia content, but you also get a significant boost when playing graphic-intensive games.
Combined with an Adreno 640 GPU and 8 or 12 GB of RAM, this phone should be able to handle anything you throw at it. However, with the exception of the Snapdragon 855+, all these internals were present in the 3, making you question the validity of a new release.
There is a clear performance boost, as can be seen from the benchmarks below, but you’re unlikely to notice any real-world enhancements. For reference, we tested the more expensive 12GB/256GB model.
The internals work in tandem with version 2.1 of Red Magic’s Game Space, a dedicated mode aimed at enhancing your gaming experience and minimising distractions.
Activated via a physical switch reminiscent of an alert slider, here you can dial up the CPU and activate a 4D shock mode, as well as capture your gameplay to share with others.
If the device does get hot, you can manually enable the fan, but even at its maximum it should not interfere too much with your gaming experience. Nubia claims the Red Magic 3S is capable of up to 18°C of cooling, and with this new system we can see how.
We tested a selection of what we believe to be the best Android games of all time, and the Red Magic 3S blazed through them all without a hitch.
In addition to the aforementioned Magic Adapter, Red Magic offers a number of other accessories for the 3S. While earphones and a protective case seem pretty standard, the Pro Handle helps make it feel like a genuine handheld console. However, as each handle is sold separately, the full, dual-controller experience will set you back an additional £71.80/ $79.80.
A superb set of front-facing stereo speakers, complete with DTS:X support, guarantee an immersive media experience regardless of whether or not you choose to use headphones. The audio from the 3S is rich and full-bodied, with gaming sound effects unsurprisingly being its forte.Software and features
General performance with the 3S is predictably excellent, blazing through anything and everything we could throw at it. It can easily function as both a gaming device and a productivity powerhouse.
The 3S runs Nubia’s custom OS over Android 9 Pie out of the box. The company confirmed to us that a future update to Android 10 will be coming, but an availability date is yet to be revealed. .
The company’s skin is relatively light, with squared icons and its own SMS and gallery apps among the most noticeable changes. We’re disappointed that it lacks the Digital Wellbeing functionality that you can find on ‘stock’ versions Android, particularly with the chance of becoming immersed in long gaming sessions. You also lose the gesture-based navigation option, so you’ll have to stick with software buttons for now.
The face unlock is remarkably fast, rivalling OnePlus phones for pure speed. It does lack the security of something like Apple’s Face ID, but is a convenient alternative use of biometrics that works well.
It was our go-to method of unlocking the phone during testing, as the fingerprint scanner was a bit hit and miss. Despite being in a natural position on the rear of the device, its angular shape meant it often didn’t recognise our print at the first time of asking.
The Red Magic 3S makes sacrifices in an area so many mid-range phones do – the cameras. It features a single 48Mp, f/1.7 Sony rear sensor, complete with HDR, while on the front there’s a 16Mp selfie camera.
On paper these specs sound impressive, but as we know from the likes of Google’s Pixel devices, so much of the end result is determined by software.
In good lighting the Red Magic performs adequately, producing vibrant, punchy shots which are slightly lacking in dynamic range. It handles subjects particularly well, but tends to blow out the background. The camera’s performance in low light is enhanced greatly by a built-in night mode. This takes a few seconds to process, and shots are significantly brighter but with little improvement in detail.
The front-facing camera includes a beauty mode, but rather disappointingly this is set to 2/10 by default. One of the first things we did was turn this off, and in our samples the subject is in good detail yet the background is incredibly overexposed.
The rear camera also supports video recording up to 8k. This does drop the frame rate down to 15fps, and remains in beta at the time of writing.
However, in regular use the lack of any image stabilisation means handheld videos from the 3S are disappointingly shaky.
Battery life is an area where the phone excels, with the 5000mAh cell recording an impressive 10 hours and 7 minutes In Geekbench 4’s battery test. The battery regularly lasted us at least a day and a half, and this often included some pretty intense games testing.
The phone is also capable of fast charging, thanks to the included 18W adapter. While this is unable to rival the likes of OnePlus’s warp charge, we were able to get a respectable 35% battery in just 30 minutes.Verdict
As so many flagship smartphones pursue a bezel-less design, the Red Magic 3S unapologetically compromises on screen-to-body ratio to provide an immersive gaming experience.
While it should be judged on this first and foremost, the fact is that smartphones in 2023 are expected to be adept at pretty much everything.
The cameras, software and design of the 3S have all seen very few design changes from the previous model, so it’s a tough sell unless you’re looking for a capable gaming phone on a budget.Related stories for further reading Specs Nubia Red Magic 3S: Specs
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
Adreno 640 GPU
128/256GB of UFS 3.0 storage
5000mAh battery with 27W quick charge
6.65in FHD+ HDR AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate
Front-facing stereo speakers DTS:X support Game Space 2.1
Touch-sensitive shoulder triggers
Front-facing 16Mp camera
Rear-facing 48Mp camera
Up to 8K@15fps video recording
Redesigned cooling system designed to reduce CPU temps by up to 18°C
You're reading Red Magic 3S Review: An Underwhelming Update
Solid battery life
Most responsive display in any phoneCons
Iffy under-display selfie camera
Refresh rate down to 120Hz
Relatively expensiveOur Verdict
The Red Magic 7 Pro is the most ambitious gaming phone Nubia has ever made, but it doesn’t get everything right. Unless you need a more responsive screen or longer battery life, the regular model offers better value for money.
Razer might have released the very first gaming phone, but three other companies have dominated the market since then. Asus’s ROG Phones have long been considered the devices to beat, with Xiaomi’s Black Sharks typically a more affordable alternative.
But Nubia is the most prolific, with a total of 14 Red Magic phones in just four years. The Red Magic 7 Series sees both regular and Pro models released globally for the first time.
A price increase means the 7 Pro is the most expensive gaming phone Nubia has ever made. But depending on what’s important to you, it’s not necessarily an upgrade over the regular Red Magic 7. Here are my thoughts after spending a few weeks with the phone.Design & build
Premium build, including metal plate on back
Under-display selfie camera makes phone more compact
Even heavier than regular Red Magic 7
Unlike some Pro phones, you can instantly tell the difference between the Red Magic 7 Pro and its regular counterpart.
Nubia has taken the brave decision to embed the front-facing camera under the display, rather than in a top bezel or notch. It’s completely hidden when using most apps, but you’ll probably notice it with the screen off.
Initially, I was disappointed with Nubia for essentially downgrading the Red Magic 7 Pro cameras. But that all-screen design does help deliver an immersive gaming experience, and I doubt most gamers will care about lower quality selfies.
It still supports face unlock, but I imagine most people will use the optical in-display fingerprint sensor instead. This is easy to set up and has a high success rate.
The Red Magic 7 already had slim bezels, but the 7 Pro takes things to the next level. An 87.1% screen-to-body ratio is impressive for a gaming phone, and it allows for the same large 6.8in display within a more compact body. It’s significantly easier to use one-handed and more pocketable as a result.
However, that hasn’t had an effect on the weight of the 7 Pro. At 235g, it’s actually 20g heavier than the regular model. Still, I had no issue using either device for long gaming sessions.
The 7 Pro’s extra weight comes from an aluminium plate which extends down the back of the phone. Nubia says this is to help with heat dissipation, but it’s presumably also why the company changed the camera module design from the regular model too.
The best thing about this is that the camera module sits almost flush with the back of the device. The 7 Pro is thicker than most at 10mm, but this is a worthwhile trade-off.
Compared to previous Red Magic phones, colour options on the 7 Pro are more muted. The ‘Supernova’ model which exposes some internals is only available on the top-spec model. If 256GB storage is enough for you, Obsidian (black) is your only option.
Nubia includes a clear plastic case in the box, which does a good job of protecting the most fragile parts of the phone. However, it undoubtedly detracts from the 7 Pro’s design. If you still want that extra layer of protection, I’d recommend the only official case available on the Red Magic website.
It’s business as usual on the sides of the device, at least by Nubia’s standards. The right side is where you’ll find almost all physical controls – volume rocker, power button and shoulder triggers – alongside one of two fan grilles. This makes sense, as you’ll want easy access to all these while gaming.
The only button you’ll find on the left side is a slider for Game Space, Nubia’s software-based gaming mode. There’s also still a 3.5mm headphone jack, kept out of the way on the top of the phone. A single USB-C port stays in its traditional position at the bottom, flanked by a SIM tray and speaker grille. No complaints here.Screen & speakers
6.8in Full HD+ AMOLED display
Refresh rate down to 120Hz, but touch sampling now 960Hz
Decent stereo speakers
A smartphone is nothing without a great display, which the Red Magic 7 Pro undoubtedly delivers. It has the same 6.8in AMOLED screen as the regular model, sticking with a 1080×2400 resolution. Increasing the latter to 1440p would’ve been an obvious upgrade, but its omission here isn’t a dealbreaker by any means.
A more peculiar change is the decreased refresh rate, from the class-leading 165Hz down to 120Hz. It’s a strange move on a Pro-branded device, but it does bring the 7 Pro in line with many other flagship smartphones.
However, I can clearly understand why Nubia has taken this decision. Only a handful of games can output at 165Hz, many of which aren’t popular among mobile gamers. Even with both phones side by side, I struggled to notice the difference between 120Hz and 165Hz. Battery life also benefits, but I’d like to see an adaptive refresh rate introduced. Currently, you’re fixed at 60, 90, or 120Hz.
To compensate for this change, Nubia has increased the touch sampling rate of the Red Magic 7 Pro. It now stands at 960Hz, the highest you’ll find on any phone. That means it can register touch input up to 960 times every second, something that is keenly felt while gaming. This ultra-responsive display is a joy to use.
With all that in mind, the main conclusion here is that the display is still very impressive. Colours are rich and vibrant, and it still has more than enough detail for most people. With a max brightness of 459 nits in testing, I had no problems using the phone outside, either.
Gaming might be the priority, but it’s just as impressive when browsing social media or watching videos. For the latter, speakers take on greater importance.
The Red Magic 7 Pro has a stereo setup that produces audio that’s impressively loud and punchy, albeit prone to distortion at higher volumes. The sound is also slightly lacking in bass, making it better suited to voices than music.Specs & performance
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and separate gaming chip
16GB RAM on both global models
Superb performance in all scenarios
Performance is an area where Red Magic phones regularly punch above their weight. But with an increasing number of mid-range phones equipped with Qualcomm’s flagship processors, the 7 Pro doesn’t quite stand out in the same way.
On the global version, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip is paired with 16GB of RAM across both configurations. An 18GB option is only available on the regular model, but that’s overkill even in demanding situations.
You also get Nubia’s custom ‘Red Core 1’ gaming chip here, which optimises vibration, feedback, lighting, and sound effects for the best possible gaming experience.
Even enthusiast-level gamers will struggle to notice any slowdown. I tested a selection of titles, including Call of Duty: Mobile, Real Racing 3, and FIFA Mobile. Performance across all three is excellent, as is the case with more casual games such as Rocket League Sideswipe and 8 Ball Pool.
However, when accessing the ‘Game Space’ mode, the built-in fan will kick in every time by default. This is fine if you’re playing a detailed open world game; less so for a 2D pool sim. Fortunately, this can be turned off if you’d prefer.
Game Space is also where you can boost performance even further (at the cost of battery life) and configure the shoulder triggers. If you regularly play FPS games, having dedicated controls makes a big difference.
Predictably, this excellent performance extends to everyday usage. Alongside the 120Hz refresh rate and 960Hz touch sampling, everything from web browsing and social media to instant messaging apps and taking photos are super-smooth and responsive.
This excellent performance is reflected in the benchmarks below:
Disappointingly, there’s still no option for microSD expandable storage. Considering the size of some game files, 256GB may not be enough space. 512GB is your only alternative on the global version – it would’ve been nice to see the 1TB model released outside China.
Of course, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip means you also get 5G support. That’s been a feature of Red Magic phones since early 2023, and is backed up by Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC support.Cameras
Triple rear cameras
64Mp main lens is great, ultrawide and macro underwhelming
Poor selfies from under-display camera
Even though cameras aren’t a priority on gaming phones, Nubia has continued working on improving them. The Red Magic 7 Pro, like its regular sibling, has a set of triple rear cameras: 64Mp main, 8Mp ultrawide, and 2Mp macro.
Aside from a slightly longer focal length on the ultrawide, both phones have identical camera hardware. What’s more, the quality of shots on offer here means photography can no longer be considered a weakness on Red Magic phones. They can’t compete with the best camera phones around, but it’s a big step forward.
Provided the lighting is good, that main lens will serve you well. It’s particularly adept at landscape shots, which are vibrant, well-exposed and offer a decent amount of dynamic range. I was often tempted to switch to the ultrawide lens, but a noticeable drop in quality made me reluctant.
The 7 Pro offers single-tap switching between them within the camera app, as well as 2x and 5x zoom. Without a separate telephoto lens, quality takes a hit, but shots are still usable.
With no separate depth sensor, portrait-style shots are reliant on software. I got some really nice stills with a blurred background, even if edge detection is a common issue. The software-based Night mode does a good job in low-light too.
But the low-quality macro sensor is pretty useless – you’ll get better close-up shots from the main lens.
Of course, the most controversial change on the Red Magic 7 Pro is that selfie camera. Housed under the display, it’s a very different approach to the traditional 8Mp sensor on the regular model. Nubia has bumped it up to 16Mp to help compensate, but it’s not enough.
Like previous under-display sensors, selfies lack some of the definition and detail you’d normally expect. Nubia applies some aggressive software processing after you’ve taken the shot, but they can still end up blurry or poorly exposed.
However, this is clearly a step forward compared to early iterations of the under-display camera, and a gaming phone is probably a good place to test out the tech. Low quality selfies aren’t an issue for most mobile gamers, so it’s a compromise many will be happy to make.
The Red Magic 7 Pro has fairly basic video specs, offering 1080p video at either 30fps or 60fps. But the inclusion of optical image stabilisation (OIS) means footage remains steady even when there’s lots of movement.Battery life & charging
All-day battery life, including some gaming
65W adapter delivers full charge in 30 mins
The battery on the 7 Pro is a strange one. On the one hand, a 5000mAh capacity is a clear upgrade on to the 4500mAh cell in the regular Red Magic 7. But it’s actually slightly smaller than the 5050mAh battery on the global version of last year’s 6S Pro.
Nonetheless, I’m pleased to report that battery life is significantly better on the 7 Pro than the regular 7. In the same Geekbench 4 battery test, I recorded 8 hours and 44 minutes with the brightness at 120 nits. That’s almost 50 minutes longer than the Red Magic 7, which could make all the difference while gaming.
This only serves as a measure of screen-on time, but dropping the refresh rate down to 90 or 60Hz will extend this even further. After a full day’s usage, I still had some battery to spare, even with an hour or so of gaming.
When the battery does run out, the 65W adapter included in the box will get you up and running in no time. From off, I recorded a 65% charge in 15 minutes; the phone was fully charged in under half an hour.
It’s a shame not to see the eye-catching 135W fast charging come to the global version – that remains excusive to China. I doubt many people will take issue with these speeds, but the continued lack of wireless charging is more disappointing.
Red Magic OS 5.0 over Android 12
No specific software support commitments
Great for gaming, less impressive for other situations
As usual, the 7 Pro runs Nubia’s custom Red Magic OS skin over Android 12. This fifth iteration adds several gaming-focused widgets and other tweaks, but is still slightly rough around the edges.
You still get full Google access, including Discover to the left of the home screen. Nubia has included several of its own apps, but many of these can be uninstalled.
Annoyingly, the Red Magic 7 Pro still doesn’t let you swap out the default launcher for something different. The option is missing from the Settings app, which offers in-depth customisation but can be confusing at times.
The stripped-back UI of Red Magic OS is designed to get you gaming as quickly as possible. Activating Game Space via the physical slider takes you to a hub for all the titles you have installed.
It offers several tools to help maximise performance and minimise distractions. However, you can still quickly access key messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Telegram and Discord. It’s a bit confusing to navigate, but genuinely useful once you get the hang of it.
These days, Nubia phones are relatively quick to get new versions of Android after they launch. But the company hasn’t publicly committed to a specific number of years of software support. Considering Red Magic phones’ aggressive update cycle, that’s a cause for concern.Price & availability
Nubia has kept things simple when it comes to Red Magic 7 Pro pricing, at least on the global version. It starts at £679/ $799 for 16GB RAM and 256GB of storage, but doubling the latter to 512GB will cost you £759/ $899.
To buy the phone, you’ll need to head to the Red Magic website in the UK and great SIM-only deal.
Considering you’ll need to buy the 7 Pro outright, that pricing may be a concern. The regular Red Magic 7 has a similar feature set and is significantly more affordable – starting from £529/$629 – while Asus’ ROG Phone 5 is only slightly more expensive. Plenty of other alternatives are available in our gaming phone chart.Verdict
It offers stunning performance, thanks to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a separate dedicated gaming chip and generous helpings of RAM. The large, silky-smooth AMOLED display is a joy to behold, complete with class-leading 960Hz touch sampling rate.
Elsewhere, a hefty 5000mAh cell delivers all-day battery life, while 65W fast charging means you’ve got a full charge back in less than 30 minutes. Even the rear cameras are impressive these days.
But it’s that front-facing camera that will divide opinion. Embedded under the display, its results are demonstrably worse than a traditional selfie lens. Nubia’s choice to drop the screen refresh rate to 120Hz also hurts part of the Red Magic line’s unique appeal.
Combined with a price hike, only the most dedicated gamers should pay extra for the Red Magic 7 Pro. Most will be happier with the regular model, or one of the growing number of alternatives.Specs Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: Specs
Android 12 with Red Magic OS 5.0
6.8in Full HD+ (1080×2400) OLED display, 20:9, 120Hz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
12/16 GB RAM
256/512GB internal storage (non-expandable)
64Mp main, 8Mp ultrawide, 2Mp macro cameras
16Mp selfie camera (under-display)
Fingerprint scanner (in-screen)
5G (mmWave, sub-6)
5,000 non-removable battery
65W wired charging
166.3 x 77.1 x 10 mm
Nice design with IP67
Industry-leading software supportCons
25W adapter not included
The Galaxy A73 5G is a capable, fully equipped mid-range 5G device with a premium price tag let down by dated internals and sub-par charging. Highlights over rivals, though, include IP67 waterproofing and long software support.
The Galaxy A73 5G is the successor to last year’s Galaxy A72 which lacked 5G support and is the latest device in Samsung’s A-series of mid-range devices. The A72 was an attractive proposition last year despite lacking in some departments.
Samsung is sticking to the same tested formula with the A73 5G and this review aims to find out if the A73 is a significant improvement over the previous generation. At the time of this review, the device is available only in India from ₹47,490 and is expected to launch in select markets worldwide.Design & Build
The phone weighs 181g and is only about 7.6 mm thick which means that the device is very comfortable to hold and handle despite it being a large screen device. The build quality is good but feels plasticky.
The back doesn’t attract fingerprints easily, but the camera bump is noticeable. The phone is IP67 rated which means it can stay under 1 meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. The unit reviewed came in the Awesome Mint colour but you can also get it in Awsome Grey and Awesome White if you prefer.
The device uses an in-display fingerprint scanner which works as expected but considering the device design, one would expect the fingerprint sensor to be located on the power button on the side.
The SIM tray is at the top and lets you use up to 2 nano-SIM cards in Dual-SIM configuration or 1 SIM and a microSD card up to 1TB. The omission of a 3.5mm headphone jack was expected considering the thin profile of the device but a USB-C adapter in the box would have been nice but is missing.
Overall, the design is subtle and simple which most users would appreciate.Screen & Speakers
6.7in Super AMOLED+
120Hz refresh rate
The A73 packs a 6.7in Full HD+ Super AMOLED+ Infinity-O display. The refresh rate which Samsung calls Motion smoothness can be manually configured to 60- or 120Hz and there is no auto-switch option although power-saving modes downgrade the refresh rate.
The viewing experience is excellent and there are extensive options in the settings to configure the display to your needs. The display features Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection while devices like the Realme GT 2 Pro and OnePlus 9RT offer the newer Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. Dark Mode is available system-wide and really shines on this panel.
Always-on display can be enabled for those who like to check their notifications and key information without having to turn on the screen. There are minimal bezels around the display and underneath the display is a 32Mp punch-hole selfie camera which does take up slightly more space than usual.
The audio from the speakers is underwhelming and the phone doesn’t offer much volume. Dolby Atmos does help in a minor way but don’t buy this one if you want to have a party without connecting a Bluetooth speaker.Specs & Performance
The phone is powered by an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor and is paired with 8GB of RAM. Then there’s a choice of 128- or 256GB and although there’s only ₹2,500 between them, the latter only comes in the Awesome Mint colour.
The variant tested in this review comes with 8/128GB and there was no noticeable lag during regular usage.
The 778G is not a bad processor, it is a great chip for mid-tier 5G phones and is based on the TSMC 6nm node. It is a slight downgrade from the Snapdragon 780G which is based on 5nm.
However, the real deal-breaker is that phones that cost almost half the price of the A73 5G are using the same chip. Phones which are priced similarly pack the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Snapdragon 888 SoCs which offer a big jump in performance and justify the pricing.
The A73 does not feel slow by any means, and it performs well, One UI has been optimized. But when you are getting last year’s internals for a premium mid-ranger, the A73 offers poor value in the performance department, even if you do get 5G.
Also, the phone did get moderately warm to the touch during video capture, gaming, or GPS usage. There is support for Wi-Fi 6 and the notification tray icons reflect it when connected to faster WiFi networks.Cameras
108Mp main camera
The main camera is a 108Mp sensor with f/1.8 aperture and images are shot at 12Mp by default thanks to pixel binning. Photos taken in daylight or under good lighting conditions come out well and not much to complain about here. You can toggle between 0.5x zoom which uses the ultra-wide sensor and 1x zoom on the main sensor.
Samsung has done away with a zoom lens on the A73 in favour of that 108Mp main sensor. There is the ability to use digital zoom up to 10x, but the results are not too impressive. The tips within the camera UI are useful for mode recommendations and shot suggestions.
There are three other cameras on the back in the form of a 12Mp ultrawide and 5Mp depth and macro lenses.
The 12Mp ultrawide lets you capture a lot of area in a single frame but some details are lost towards the sides. The macro mode does get some good closeup shots but requires you to get very close to the subject and the camera does not automatically switch to macro, though the camera app does prompt you.
The portrait feature which is available on both the front and rear cameras lets you capture some neat portraits. The ability to tweak the bokeh, and lighting after the photo has been captured is nice to have.
Low-light shots are not up to the mark and require the phone to be held firmly to prevent blurry shots.
The front-facing 32Mp camera does take decent selfies and portraits when the lighting conditions are good, and you can wave your hand to take a selfie.Battery Life & Charging
No adapter included
In terms of battery life, the 5000mAh built-in battery can last an entire day with heavy usage with 120Hz refresh rate enabled and can go longer if with 60Hz and heavy usage. Samsung does offer some software tweaks under the hood to help with battery management.
The Power saving feature lets you turn off Always On Display, downclock the CPU to 70%, disable 5G, and background app activity with a single setting.
In the PCMark Work 3.0 battery test, it lasted 12 hours and 42 mins which is impressive. Samsung chose to not include a 25W charger in the box which would charge the phone at maximum speed.
I tested several chargers and only a few which are PD compatible charge the phone at the rated speed. With this, the phone managed to get to 34% in 30-minutes which is slow for modern standards.
Wireless Charging is not available and would have been nice to have considering the audience the device is catered to.Software & Apps
One UI 4.1
Four years of OS updates
Five years of security updates
The phone runs Samsung’s One UI 4.1 which is based on Android 12 and the overall interface is smooth and lag-free. You can customize the UI according to the usage very seamlessly and this is where One UI shines. You can even remap the Bixby side key to the power button if you should desire to use Bixby.
The interface is snappy and fast, but it comes pre-loaded with several apps such as Amazon Shopping, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Byjus, Josh, PhonePe, Snapchat, Dailyhunt, Truecaller, Samsung Free, Glance, Moj, ShareChat, MX TakaTak, Samsung Max, Microsoft Apps and more.
Glance on the lock screen can be annoying to most users and disabling it requires diving into the settings. While most pre-loaded apps can be uninstalled some apps such as Samsung Max cannot be uninstalled.
While most preloaded apps can be removed by resetting the phone, some apps like Moj and MK Taka Tak are reinstalled automatically which is infuriating. There are multiple prompts during setup for the installation of additional apps and users need to be careful to opt out.
Samsung promises 4 Android updates and 5 years of security updates which is very strong, even outpacing Google’s Pixel phones.Price & Availability
The Samsung Galaxy A73 5G was introduced in India in April and it is available in two models. Oddly, the 256GB capacity is only available in the Awesome Mint colour.
8/128GB – ₹47,490 (approx £495/$610)
8/256GB – ₹49,990 (approx £520/$645)
You can buy it directly from Samsung but Amazon, at the time of writing, only has one model. Flipkart has a much better range, though.
In terms of the competition, the A73 competes with the OnePlus 9RT, Xiaomi 11T Pro, Pixel 6 and Realme GT 2 Pro.
Check out more options in our best mid-range phones chart, best phones chart and best Samsung Galaxy phones.Verdict
The Galaxy A73 5G is packing an old processor and feels overpriced compared to rivals in that respect, combined with fast charging is limited to 25W and Samsung doesn’t even include a matching charger.
This is surprising when the competition offers up to 120W fast charging and includes it in the box. The A73 does rely heavily on the Samsung brand value and promise of 4 years of updates.
Despite the bloatware, One UI is a treat to use, and Samsung Pay is good to have. The phone also has an excellent screen, IP67 waterproofing and the cameras are decent on the whole.
If you are a Samsung user looking for a mid-range 5G device, the A73 is a reasonably good option but it is worth pointing out that there are more powerful rivals out there if that’s more important to you.Specs Samsung Galaxy A73 5G: Specs
Android 12 with One UI 4.1
6.7in Full HD+ (2400×1080) 20:9 Super AMOLED Plus, 120Hz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 2.4GHz octa-core processor
Adreno 642L GPU
128/256 UFS 3.1 internal storage
108Mp f/1.8 rear camera
12Mp f/2/2 ultrawide
5Mp f2.4 macro
5Mp f2.4 depth
32Mp selfie camera
Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
5000mAh non-removable battery
25W charging (adapter sold separately)
IP67 dust and water resistance
Awesome Mint, Awesome Gray, Awesome White
The first gaming smartphone of 2023 has arrived. Nubia has unveiled the Red Magic 6 and Red Magic 6 Pro in China today. These are the company’s first smartphones after a strategic partnership with Tencent Games to deliver a better gaming experience.Nubia Red Magic 6: Specifications
The key attraction of the Nubia Red Magic 6 series has to be the display. Nubia has packed a 6.8-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio, 10-bit color depth with DCI-P3 color gamut, 1000000:1 contrast ratio, and a 2400 x 1080-pixel resolution.
The highlight here is that it supports a 165Hz refresh rate. The device flaunts a 500Hz touch sampling rate for a single finger with an 8ms response time and a 360Hz touch sampling rate for multiple fingers with an 8.8ms response time. In case you are not aware of these terms, check out our article on the difference between refresh rate and touch sampling rate. Nubia says that there are over 100 games that support the 165Hz refresh rate and will work with gaming brands including Tencent, NetEase, and more for widespread adoption.
Nubia has introduced ICE 6.0 VC liquid cooling technology to keep the device cool during extended gaming sessions. In terms of optics, the Red Magic 6 equips a 64MP AI triple camera setup. The device draws juice from a massive 5,050mAh battery with 66W fast-charging support. That should charge the device up to 60 percent in 15 minutes and 100 percent in 38 minutes.Nubia Red Magic 6 Pro: Specifications
Nubia Red Magic 6 Pro sports the same 6.8-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 165Hz refresh rate as the regular Red Magic 6. The chipset is the same as well. For cooling, the Red Magic 6 Pro offers ICE 6.0 7-layer multi-dimensional cooling system with a built-in centrifugal fan capable of going up to 20,000 rpm. It features an aluminum-ice edge cooling design and has a cooling area of up to 18,000 square millimeters. Nubia claims that its cooling system can effectively reduce the CPU temperature up to 16-degrees Celcius.
The Red Magic OS 4.0 on the Red Magic 6 Pro comes with new themes, Tencent-themed wallpapers, and an e-sports mode for a better gaming experience. The device comes with dual algorithmic voice noise cancellation for better call quality and reduced background noise during games. You can also cast your phone’s screen to a PC for playing mobile games on a larger screen.Red Magic 6 Pro Transparent Edition
Nubia has also launched a transparent edition of the Red Magic 6 Pro. This is also the world’s first smartphone with 18GB of RAM. You can take a look at the device in the teaser video below:Price and Availability
The Red Magic 6 will be available in two colors, namely Carbon fiber black and Neon. The Pro model, on the other hand, will retail in Iron Black and Ice Blade Silver color variants. All these devices go on sale starting from 11th March. Take a look at the prices below:
Red Magic 6
8GB + 128GB – CNY 3,799 (~Rs. 42,700)
12GB + 128GB – CNY 4,099 (~Rs. 46,000)
12GB + 256GB – CNY 4,399 (~Rs. 49,500)
Red Magic 6 Pro
12GB + 128GB – CNY 4,399 (~Rs. 49,500)
12GB + 256GB – CNY 4,799 (~Rs. 53,999)
16GB + 256GB – CNY 5,299 (~Rs. 59,600)
Lastly, the prices of the Red Magic 6 Pro Transparent edition are listed below:
16GB + 256GB – CNY 5,599 (~Rs. 62,999)
18GB + 512GB – CNY 6,599 (~Rs. 74,200)
We will have to wait until the global launch event, set for March 16, to know more in terms of the global pricing and availability.
Its closest competitor is Xiaomi’s Redmi 3s Prime which packs exact same specification but comes for a cheaper price tag at Rs. 8,999. In this post, we compare the two budget devices.Moto G5 vs Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime Specifications Coverage Display
The Moto G5 comes with a 5 inch full HD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display comes with a pixel density of ~441 PPI and a ~65.4% screen-to-body ratio. The display is crisp and bright and you won’t face any issue in day to day usage.
The Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime comes with a 5 inch HD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display comes with a pixel density of ~294 PPI and ~71.1% screen-to-body ratio.Hardware and Storage
The Moto G5 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chip-set clocked at 1.4 GHz and coupled with Adreno 505 GPU. It has got 3 GB of RAM and comes with 16 GB of on-board storage which is further expandable up to 256 GB via dedicated micro-SD card slot.
The Redmi 3s Prime is powered by a 1.4 GHz Octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clubbed with Adreno 505 GPU as well. The device comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage that can be further expanded up to 128 GB via hybrid card slot.Camera
Talking about camera, the Moto G5 is equipped with a 13 MP primary camera with auto-focus, dual tone LED flash and f/2.0 aperture. The camera comes with features such as Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, and auto-HDR. On the front, the device sports a 5 MP secondary camera with f/2.2 aperture.
The Xiaomi Redmi 3S features a 13 MP primary camera with phase detection autofocus, LED flash and f/2.0 aperture. The camera comes with features such as geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR and panorama. On the front, the device comes with a 5 MP secondary camera with f/2.2 aperture.Connectivity
The Redmi 3S Prime comes with dual SIM support, with 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, FM Radio, micro-USB 2.0 and USB OTG.Battery
The Moto G5 comes with a Li-Ion 2,800 mAh battery. The device comes with Rapid Charging support.
The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime is powered by a non-removable Li-Ion 4100 mAh battery.Pricing & Availability
The Redmi 3S Prime has been priced at Rs. 8,999. The device is sold by chúng tôi chúng tôi It is available in Gold, Dark Gray, Silver color options.Conclusion
Comparing both smartphones, there are more similarities than differences. Both smartphones comes with very similar specification apart from minor differences. They’re both powered by the same Snapdragon 430 chip-set, both come with 3GB RAM, and both boast a similar screen size. Even in the camera department, both are almost similar on the paper.
Now talking about differences, Moto G5 features a full HD display, Gorilla Glass protection, Android Nougat out of the box and stock OS. However, it has got a lower internal memory and comes with a marginally smaller battery. Redmi 3S Prime on other hand has got higher internal memory, packs a significantly bigger battery and is priced very reasonably. Although it has got only HD display, and runs on older Android Marshmallow as compared to Moto G5
Lenovo isn’t the first name you think of when you’re considering a gaming laptop. Alienware or Razer, maybe, but not Lenovo. The Y40 might change your opinion. This machine delivers great everyday performance, a GPU that’s good enough to game at the display’s native 1920×1080 resolution, and a classic Lenovo keyboard.
Measuring 13.7 inches wide, 9.8 inches deep, and 0.9 inches thick, and weighing 5.4 pounds (with the AC adapter; 4.5 pounds without), the Y40’s form factor is neither chunky nor thin-and-light—just all-purpose, all the way. That said, it’s a bit more stylish than the norm, with tasteful red accents highlighting the sides of the keys, setting off the speakers from the keyboard desk, and delineating the right/left button areas on the touchpad.
Red accents are scattered all over the Lenovo Y40’s design, from the sides of the keys to the speaker grill and USB ports.
Our eval Y40 (Lenovo’s model number 59416787) arrived with an Intel Core i7-4500U, 8GB of DDR3/1600 memory, an AMD Radeon R9 M275 GPU with a 2GB frame buffer, and a 256GB SSD. It costs $950 and is available on Amazon, (but not from Lenovo’s site). Lenovo sells the similarly configured model 59423035 for the same price, but that is equipped with the slightly different Core i7-4510U. Less-expensive versions start at $749 and feature the same discrete GPU.
Lenovo’s Y40 can’t swing with the big-boy gaming laptops, but it definitely doesn’t embarass itself. And it costs a whole lot less.
The Core i7, the discrete graphics, and the SSD helped our test unit earn a more-than-respectable WorldBench 9 result of 67. Not surprisingly, given the discrete GPU and dedicated graphics memory on board, its gaming scores were good, too. While it didn’t equal the marks of its big sibling, the Y50 (which is outfitted with the more powerful Nvidia GTX 860M), the Y40 did manage playable frame rates in the high 30’s and high 40’s in 1080p tests. If you want to game at 60fps and higher, you’ll need to dial the resolution down to 1024×768. But at this price, that’s excellent performance.
You’ll need to dial the graphics down a bit if you want to game at 60-plus frames per second. The Y40 was more than twice as fast at 1024×768 than it was at 1920×1080.
Battery runtime for the Y40’s 54-watt-hour unit was 5 hours and 14 minutes, not too shabby given the configuration. That’s measured while everyday computing chores are being performed, not gaming; you’ll want to be plugged into an AC outlet for that.
The Y40 delivered excellent battery life for a gaming machine.
Getting to said battery entails the removal of no fewer than 12 screws before you can pull off the bottom of the unit. The Y40’s design further complicates this process with screws whose insertion angles follow the rounded contour of the shell, rather than remaining perpendicular to the horizontal plane of the unit. I quickly realized why most vendors choose the latter approach when I stripped a soft screw head while trying to insert it only slightly off-kilter. User error, to be sure, but it shouldn’t be that easy to get wrong.
Using the Y40 for writing and general business was a pleasure. The keyboard, though short-throw, had nice aural and tactile feedback, and the touchpad was a solid with butter-smooth response—it was a world of difference from my recent experiences with the Dell Latitude 14 5000.
Lenovo’s well-earned reputation for building excellent keyboards is preserved with the Y40.
The 14-inch, 1920×1080 display—being non-touch with a matte finish—is less prone to glare than many laptop displays you’ll find these days. The bezel surrounding it, however, is glossy and prone to such. That can be distracting. But the display rendered 1080p movies and games to good effect, and that’s what really matters.
One caveat is that you have a lot of pixels in a relatively small amount of space, which apparently confused either Windows or the graphics driver. The fonts in some applications, such as Device Manager, were badly anti-aliased. This is a software/driver issue, though; it’s not the fault of the display.
The sound through the Y40’s JBL speakers was acceptable. Spaciousness increases dramatically if you use Windows Media Player’s WOW effect (or similar), which means the speakers are decent. But bass response is minimal, even with TruBass (or similar effects) enabled.Inputs/outputs
The thin chassis meant Lenovo had to use a drop-jaw Ethernet port. But this one feels very sturdy and unlikely to break.
Perusing the BIOS, I found the always-on charging for the USB turned off. This is done to extend battery life, but it’s a pretty handy feature to have off by default. I was in the BIOS to change the function key behavior back to the old-school norm of not having to press the FN key in conjunction with the F4, F5… keys to achieve the desired effect. Old habits die hard.
All told, Lenovo has done an exceptional job with the Y40. It has the Lenovo-ness (simple design, great input ergonomics) that has won the company legions of fans, it’s fast, and it games well enough for the average player. There’s not a lot more you could ask for in a 14-inch laptop in this price range.
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