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RedMagic 5s Review: Get the most out of mobile gaming

What associations do you have when you mention a gaming smartphone? Powerful hardware? A good supply of RAM? The RedMagic 5s from ZTE has more than that: the model is sharpened specifically for gaming, has a special game mode, additional touch controllers and a cooling system with a fan!


Externally, the smartphone looks like ...
Outwardly, the smartphone looks quite traditional. A classic model with an AMOLED screen of 6.65 inches with a resolution of 2340×1080.The only difference is that the front camera is not in the hole or even in the “bangs”, but simply in the thick frame at the top of the screen. It is a long forgotten solution, but for a gaming device this is an ideal option – the picture during the game will look holistic, without any unnecessary points. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass, the body is aluminum.

The back panel is made quite original: it is glass, without abuse of gradients, but with a stylish geometric pattern. Collects fingerprints minimally. The block of cameras looks modest nowadays, but photography, one might say, is a secondary function of this device.



The smartphone fits perfectly in the hand, but like all models with a glass back, it periodically strives to slip out. If you don’t like it, you can put on the silicone case included in the kit. It is not the most elegant: thickened elements are visible in the corners, designed to protect the gadget in case of a fall. But some brutality in this case is even beneficial.

In addition to the usual keys and connectors, the RedMagic 5s from ZTE has a few unusual elements. First of all, these are the ventilation system grilles. Yes, the smartphone has a turbocharged liquid cooling system to improve continuous heat dissipation – similar to those found in powerful gaming PCs. Thanks to this, even with intense work of the processor, the temperature drops by about 18 ° C.



In addition to the deflectors, small black areas can be seen at the ends. These are touch controllers that can be used in games. How exactly – more on that later.



A couple more elements are contacts for connecting a docking station and a switch responsible for a special game mode. Oddly enough, there is no memory card slot here, although, it would seem, a gaming device is supposed to have it “according to the state.”

Screen and performance

Displays on AMOLED matrices rarely deserve criticism. Everything is great in this model: the colors are realistic, the brightness is enough with a large margin. Relatively wide frames above and below strain only the first 5 minutes. As soon as you take the smartphone horizontally (the most natural position for a gaming gadget), they will be under your hands on the right and left, without annoying at all. Moreover, these indents are also of practical value: they reduce the likelihood of accidental touches during the game. But the side ones (which will turn into the top and bottom) are actually very narrow here.

The smartphone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 – of course, this is not a fresh 888, but it is also a very productive chip. Supports 5G networks, but we don’t need it yet. The amount of RAM is 8 GB (LPDDR5), the drive is UFS 3.1 128 GB. In practice, such characteristics make it possible to run any games in high-resolution graphics and play for hours without brakes and FPS drawdown. At least we have not encountered such phenomena.


While this is clearly not the most important detail in a gaming smartphone, it is logical to assume that the buyer of the not cheap RedMagic 5s from ZTE is not ready to put up with mediocre shooting quality. Therefore, for the main camera, they used the well-known 64 Mp Sony IMX686 sensor, adding an 8 Mp “shirik”.



The front camera is not remarkable at all, it has a resolution of 8 megapixels.

Game Mode

Perhaps this is the main difference between RedMagic 5s and ZTE from ordinary powerful smartphones. When you turn on this mode, a special launcher is loaded, which contains everything you need for mobile gaming. First of all, these are all the games that are on the smartphone. In addition, a panel with game options: here you can turn on the cooling fan, set the screen refresh rate to 144 Hz, set up game triggers.

Triggers are familiar to those who have played with a gamepad and squeezed the triggers with their index fingers at least once. Here the scheme is similar: if you hold the smartphone horizontally, the touch buttons will be located just under the index fingers. Moreover, you can “hang” anything on the triggers. When setting up, you see on the screen two circles labeled L and R (left and right). In the game interface, you just need to move these circles to those areas of the screen where they should be triggered. For example, in Call of Duty, we assigned the right trigger to reticle, and the left trigger to fire.

By the way, in game mode, you can even change the sight image. For example, make it larger or repaint it in a different color.

Another fun item is statistics in the Personal Center. Here you can see, for example, how much time you spent in which games. We learned, for example, that “moderate play is good for physical and mental health.”


RedMagic 5s fully justifies its gaming purpose. This is not just a powerful gadget, but a device that is well thought out in terms of design, hardware and software, with which you can get the most out of mobile gaming.

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