“nubia Red Magic Mars’ India launch can be expected soon, and it could be a good contender in the affordable flagship space”

Towards the end of the year, nubia introduced the Red Magic (review) in the Indian smartphone market – the brand’s debut gaming-oriented offering. Interestingly enough, while the device was priced relatively well, it came a little too late, considering its successor – the Red Magic Mars – was already released in China. However, if nubia’s executive is to be believed, the brand will launch the Red Magic Mars soon. And if our initial impressions are anything to go by, it could be a worthy contender in the affordable flagship category. Wondering why we think so? Read on to find out.

At first glance, you’ll notice that the nubia Red Magic Mars isn’t much different from its predecessor… an 18:9 display without any notch or cut-out dominates the fascia, while the hexagonal camera module along with a similarly-shaped (although elongated) fingerprint sensor catches your attention, unless of course, the LED strip is active, which lends the handset a unique characteristic. Other design elements also remain the same.

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The display panel also measures the same at 6-inches, and bears a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 pixels. The screen also gets a protective layer against scratches and minor knocks.

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So what exactly is new in the Red Magic Mars? Well, it’s the hardware, of course. The device draws power from the Snapdragon 845 chipset, and while the Snapdragon 855 SoC is already out, it’ll take some time to be available at scale for every phonemaker. Another highlight of nubia’s latest is that it was among the first smartphones to come with 10GB RAM (at the time of its launch) for the highest-end variant. Depending upon the variant, the phone will be available with up to 256GB memory onboard.

Camera-wise, while the Red Magic ships with a 24MP f/1.7 shooter, its successor comes with a 16-megapixel sensor with a slightly lesser aperture of f/1.8. While it makes sense for the brand to go for a single shooter to keep the design intact, we’d have liked to see nubia continuing with a higher-res shooter, though we’ll like to spend more time with the device before passing any verdict. For selfies, the handset gets an 8MP snapper up front.

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The similarities between the two handsets also continue in the battery department as they sip juice from 3,800mAh batteries. In terms of the software however, the new nubia Red Magic Mars offers the latest Android 9.0 Pie, layered with Red Magic UI.

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It’s evident that the Red Magic Mars is an iterative upgrade with the better internals, and perhaps that’s why its pricing isn’t much higher than its previous iteration. If the brand continues with a similar strategy for the Indian market, then we could get a solid gaming-centric smartphone around the Rs 30k price point. 

Photos by Prateek Pandey