RedMagic 6S Pro

RedMagic has been on a roll as of late when it comes to releasing new models, especially with their new RedMagic 6 series of devices. With three iterations of the phone already, RedMagic has now added a fourth with the RedMagic 6S Pro, the most powerful and fastest phone in the lineup. With the RedMagic 6S Pro, they’re taking what was already a pretty OP gaming phone and tuning it for more power and performance while not making too many other changes to its looks.

DESIGN

The RedMagic 6S Pro shares much of its design with the RedMagic 6 and 6 Pro. The only real differences are the colors it comes in and the back panel design. So with that, most of my observations here will be exactly the same with the RedMagic 6 with a couple of little differences.

Built for gamers, the design of the new RedMagic 6S Pro is still every bit what RedMagic is known for. It is still a bit flashier than a normal smartphone, though RedMagic has really cleaned up the looks over past iterations. More on that later.

So for now, let’s start off with the rather boring bits. Mainly the front display looks like any other display you’d find on a smartphone. Nothing really too interesting here other than the fact that the display does have two small bezels on the top and bottom. The top bezel is there to accommodate the earpiece/speaker and the front-facing camera and sensors (which are off to the side and not centered). The bottom bezel seems to be there just to keep the overall design symmetrical when in landscape mode. The display does come with a built-in screen protector, which is good, and it’s one that doesn’t have much friction to it so your fingers will slide smoothly across it. It’s up to you if you want to remove it or not. I would keep it on just to protect the screen.

Moving away from the front, it isn’t until you get to the metal rails and back panel that things start to get really interesting design-wise. For reference, the color sent to us is called “Cyborg“. The cooler color though just might be the transparent back that allows the RGB fan to show through, but we didn’t get a chance to look at that one.

Starting with the side rails, it’s interesting the way RedMagic cuts into it. The top and bottom have this concave cut straight across, while the sides are cut much straighter. The four corners are more curved but overall, the edges don’t feel sharp at all and RedMagic did a good job keeping things fairly smooth. It’s very comfortable to hold and nothing digs into your palms, whether you are one-handing it or holding it in landscape with both hands. There are also little details cut into the rails for design purposes that don’t really serve anything functionally, other than to make it look cooler. The color of the side rails this time around is like an anodized matte black.

On the top, you’ll find an AUX jack as well as a mic. This is surprising considering that most smartphones these days no longer have an audio jack. Glad to see RedMagic is still keeping it here as a standard feature. Opposite that on the bottom, you’ll find the second speaker, the USB-C port, and the sim tray slot. This is a dual sim tray as the RedMagic 6S Pro does not have expandable memory.

On the right side of the phone, you’ll find the power button, another mic, two built-in touch shoulder trigger buttons, and the exhaust port for the cooling system. On the left side, you’ll find the volume buttons, the intake port for the cooling system, and a little red switch that enables the RedMagic GameSpace. The metallic red switch looks really sick against the matte black of the side rails. Anyways, this turns the RedMagic 6S Pro into a serious gaming machine, allowing you to customize various aspects of the device. More on that later.

RedMagic 6S Pro

Moving to the back, this is where the bulk of the gaming influence really kicks in, though I think with the RedMagic 6S Pro, it’s been dialed down a bit. The glass panel here still has a cool design underneath the glass, but isn’t quite as noticeable as it was before. It could be that it’s now just a simple line design with colors that aren’t too far off from the background. From afar, it’s not noticeable at all. What you will notice however is the RedMagic logo which if you have the LED light set up, will glow a bright red when activated. The RedMagic 6S Pro however doesn’t seem to have the extra LED light strips that the regular RedMagic 6 had.

On the back, you’ll also find three cameras and a neat-looking triangular-shaped LED flash that matches the rest of the little design elements. Lastly, one of the cameras has a metallic red border around it to match the other red accents around the phone. I should also note that the back glass is curved, so it doesn’t really sit flat when on a table. I however do like that the camera bump is pretty small and is pretty much almost flush with the back glass.

Overall, the RedMagic 6S Pro has a very good design even if it’s not really that much different from the RedMagic 6.

RedMagic 6S Pro

SPECS

Here’s where a lot of the main differences come between the RedMagic 6S Pro and the regular RedMagic 6. Basically, these are next-level flagship specs for the second half of 2021. We’re talking a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ processor, 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB UFS3.1 Storage, Dual-Mode 5G, WiFi 6E, under-display fingerprint reader, and a 5050mAh battery. The main difference here is the inclusion of the new Snapdragon 888+.

Much of the other specs aren’t too different from the RedMagic 6 and 6 Pro either. The display is still a 165Hz 6.8″ AMOLED display FHD+, but the resolution is now 2400×1080 vs 2340×1080 with a brightness of 700 nits. We still get 30W fast charging with the ability to charge at 66W as well.

The touch triggers are a bit different now with a sampling rate of 450Hz vs 400Hz. There’s also a new touch area on the back of the phone where the RedMagic logo is, called the M Key. The display now also has a multi-touch sampling rate of 750Hz vs 500Hz. The phone is also now about 10g lighter than the RedMagic 6/6 Pro. The fingerprint reader is also now a Gen 7 model, which now includes a heart rate monitor.

I should also mention that there is still an audio jack present.

By the way, we still don’t get any sort of IP rating here. No surprise here. With the open-air cooling system, I wouldn’t think that it would be able to stand up to having itself dunked in the water or having dirt jam it up either. I’d be careful where you use this, especially with the cooling system on.

SOFTWARE

The RedMagic 6S Pro runs RedMagic OS 4.5 which is based on Android 11. This version of the software is a bit different from the RedMagic 6 and RedMagic 6R which was on OS 4.0. The main part of the OS isn’t too much different from the past versions. It’s still a heavily skinned version of Android 11 that’s tailored for the hardware. The OS itself feels really snappy with no lag at all, even at a 165Hz refresh rate. While it is based on Android 11, there are some missing features here and there. For instance, you’re missing the new smart home device controls shortcut and you can’t custom arrange the app drawer.

For the most part though, despite some differences, it’s not hard to get used to the UI as it still is Android underneath.

Like previous iterations, RedMagic provides several of its own apps instead of using Google equivalents, such as its own file manager, calendar, clock, gallery, notepad, and calculator. Nothing is keeping you from using Google apps however as there are several included and you can always download the others. Speaking of which, swiping to the left-most screen does bring up the Google Feed with no way of turning it off from what I can see. The only bit of real bloat I could see was one app called NextWord Browser. I think it’s meant more for non-English speaking users who want to learn English while browsing. Useful for some, but not for me. This got immediately replaced with Chrome.

There are also little additions that I haven’t really seen on other phones. For instance, if you have an app open, you can turn it into a tiny windowed version of itself with a click of a button. RedMagic calls it Free Window mode, though it doesn’t work on all apps, only those that support it. You can also enable something called the Entertainment Toolbox, which is basically a slide-out toolbar on the desktop with shortcuts on it. There’s also a Heart Rate Detection mode. Basically, this uses the under-display thumbprint reader and it’s somehow able to detect your heartbeat with a bright light through your finger.

Lastly, RedMagic seems to have updated the software for their custom GameSpace Desktop. It’s much different from the previous versions but still serves the same purpose. This mode is specifically for gaming and lets you do a bunch of really custom stuff. You also need to enable GameSpace in order to use the shoulder trigger buttons. These you will need to enable in-game and map them to any touch-button onscreen. As an example, in Call of Duty Mobile, I use the left trigger to enable ADS and I use the right trigger to throw grenades. You can do this for any game and I like that the triggers aren’t automatically mapped to anything. Again, customization is the name of the game here.

Sadly, a lot of the GameSpace UI here is in Chinese, so I can’t really tell you what some of the new features here are for. It looks like there’s some kind of new social space included and a new Super Power Plugin Library. This will most likely change with the release version as the one we have here is running off pre-release software.

GAMING EXPERIENCE

Gaming on the RedMagic 6S Pro is still a blast and you’d be hard-pressed to find any game that this phone will not run smoothly. The Snapdragon 888+ does a fantastic job keeping things lag-free and at a consistently high framerate, even at 165Hz refresh rate.

What still sets the RedMagic 6S Pro apart from the others is the built-in shoulder triggers and the higher touch sampling rate of the display. The shoulder triggers are wonderful for first-person shooters such as Call of Duty Mobile and even third-person games like Genshin Impact. Being able to map the shoulder triggers to actions similar to what you’d find on console gaming makes the experience so much better with these games. There are just some functions that screen touch buttons can’t mimic and having the shoulder buttons is just so much better. For instance, using the left trigger to aim down sights, or the right trigger for firing.

I will say, the cooling system is still appreciated here. From experience, I know that your phone can get really hot when playing performance-intensive games. Having the cooling system there keeps your phone from overheating and keeps the performance on the high end. In my hands, I can already tell you that the RedMagic 6S Pro does not get as hot as other phones do while gaming.

Also, the use of RedMagic GameSpace gives your games library more of a dedicated gaming console feel. There are some really amazing live wallpapers you can choose from that give it that futuristic feel and your games library is presented neatly and organized.

CAMERA

The camera system on the RedMagic 6S Pro is pretty much like on the RedMagic 6. In fact, the specs are near identical and even the camera app is the same, which is no real surprise. You get your standard auto photo modes with 1x, 3x, 5x, and 10x zoom modes, up to Ultra HD 8K video recording at 30fps, Night mode, and a Portrait Mode. You’ll also get a Pro mode for manually adjusting settings and a “Camera-Friendly” option which is basically just a bunch of fun camera filters and other modes such as Macro, Time-Lapse, Pano, Slow Motion, etc. There do seem to be a few extra modes, however. With that said, the camera app is actually pretty thorough and feature-rich, so despite the RedMagic 6S Pro being marketed as just a gaming smartphone, it’s also a very capable photo shooter.

Specs are the following: triple cameras at 64MP, 8MP, and 2MP. You get a normal camera, a wide-angle camera, and a macro camera. The 2MP macro-camera is kind of a throwaway though as you probably won’t make much use of this. A front selfie camera is an 8MP unit. All this makes for a rather decent camera setup.

RedMagic 6S Pro

REST OF THE EXPERIENCE

Aside from the gaming and the cameras, the rest of the RedMagic 6S Pro experience is pretty solid. The phone is really fast and everything moves so smoothly on the screen. The battery life does take a hit if you have the refresh rate set all the way to the highest setting and of course, gaming will take a hit on the battery as well. However, if you opt to get that 66W charger, you’ll be charging from 0-100% in no time flat. I didn’t have a 66W charger to test this on. What’s neat is that you see an animation on the lock screen for “Neocharging” which is the super-fast charging and even shows you the percentage. You can literally see it ticking up every few seconds. In this mode, the cooling fan does come on, just to keep the internals cool while charging.

What the RedMagic 6S Pro is lacking though is wireless charging, which is probably hard to include with all the hardware that is crammed into the phone as it is.

Moving on, the speakers on the RedMagic 6S Pro are very good and very loud. Music and videos are so loud and clear while gaming on this phone is a real joy at full volume. There’s a good amount of range too so it’s not all just treble like in other phones.

One thing that I did mention above that you have to be careful about is the lack of an IP rating. There doesn’t seem to be one so you need to be careful around stuff like water, dirt, dust, etc. Mainly be careful around the intake and exhaust ports as I’m pretty sure any sort of water or dirt can get into there and it would probably be game over for you. This is my only real gripe about the phone, but I’m assuming this might be the same case for most gaming-specific phones out there.

I’m also mainly using the included case with the phone, but in all honesty, I’m not a big fan of it. The case doesn’t cover the whole phone and while it does make gripping the phone much easier while gaming, I just don’t think it looks very good. You’re better off running the phone naked or finding a better-looking case.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As you can see, the RedMagic 6S Pro is the top-of-the-line RedMagic 6-series with specs that would make any other flagship phone jealous. What still amazing here is the pricing. Pricing on the RedMagic 6S Pro comes in at $599 for the 12+128GB model and $699 for the 16+256GB model. If you opt for the Transparent back, it’ll cost you $729. These prices are pretty much the same as the regular RedMagic 6, which makes this phone a really good deal. In fact, you shouldn’t even look at the regular RedMagic 6 or 6 Pro anymore and go straight for the RedMagic 6S Pro.

Also, consider the fact that the RedMagic 6S Pro has flagship-level specs at almost half the price as most of the current flagships here and you have a recipe for something special here.

With pricing like that, the RedMagic 6S Pro is nearly a no-brainer for anyone who is serious about mobile gaming and wants to take it to the next level. While it is a niche device, I think the design is a bit more acceptable for mainstream now and it does pretty much everything you want a flagship phone to do, just at a much cheaper price point.

The RedMagic 6S Pro will be available globally starting September 27, 2021.

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