RedMagic 5S Review: Incredibly powerful gaming smartphone

Red Magic 5S
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RedMagic 5S is a powerful gaming smartphone. 144Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 865, 5G support, stereo sound, LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage are the main features of the RedMagic 5S. But that’s not all.

Let’s start with the simplest, namely the appearance and equipment. The smartphone has a rather unusual design, as befits a wide variety of gaming devices, but without unnecessary fanaticism.

The first thing that catches your eye is the cooling grilles and touch triggers that act as additional customizable buttons in games. The body of the RedMagic 5S is made of glass and has an aluminum frame, the AMOLED display boasts a diagonal of 6.65 inches, a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. There are two slots for SIM-cards, nothing unusual in this regard. The package bundle is rather austere – the smartphone itself, a silicone case, a TYPE-C cable and a charging adapter, the necessary waste paper and a rather nice box.

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The smartphone is equipped with stereo speakers, which, in principle, produce quite acceptable sound in games, but naturally, in order to listen to music, you can and should use headphones. Fortunately, the RedMagic 5S has a standard 3.5mm headset jack, unlike some flagship smartphones from other manufacturers.

The camera in RedMagic 5S, in my opinion, does not stand out in anything special. There are three modules: 64 MP – main, 8 MP – wide-angle and 2 MP – macro. To be honest, I do not even consider today’s patient as a camera phone, and therefore I do not focus on this functionality. If you wish, you can find detailed comparisons of photos and videos on the network. But, in my opinion, the quality of the images is good.

The most important part of RedMagic 5S is, of course, its internals. The smartphone under the hood has an 865th Snapdragon and an Adreno 650 graphics core, which allows it to easily cope with any applications and games, with a few exceptions, but more on that later. And of course, in all kinds of synthetic performance tests RedMagic 5S gives excellent results, but much more important is how the smartphone feels in games. And here I have something to tell you about.

I tested today’s patient for several weeks almost non-stop, and, you know, on the whole I am very satisfied. I think that everyone already understands that games like Epic Seven, Azur Lane, Shining Maiden and other not very demanding applications RedMagic 5S can digest with incredible ease.

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But during the tests, both Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG Mobile also showed good performance. FPS in these games was kept at 60 frames, sometimes allowing only small short-term and rare drawdowns of up to 55 frames. Asphalt 9 did not lose frames at all, despite the abundance of effects on the screen.

But the main game I still wanted to experience on the RedMagic 5S was Genshin Impact. I saw a huge number of reviews in which all games on the reviewed smartphones have good performance, but the latest creation MiHoYo literally put smartphones in a slightly uncomfortable position and said: “Friend, you either reduce the graphics settings, or play on the PC”.

In general, I was already starting to rub my pens in anticipation of wild freezes and frame drops in Genshin Impact, and these even appeared in the first 5-6 seconds of loading the game, but the game showed stable 60 frames. “No, there is clearly something wrong,” I thought and checked the settings. Naturally, they were not twisted to the maximum, and I quickly fixed it. But, to my great surprise, at maximum Genshin Impact settings, the minimum FPS value that I was able to notice is 46 frames per second. I tried to traverse the Abyss, run around Mondshtadt and Li Yue, and engaged in the genocide of the Hilichurls in the open world, and everywhere productivity practically did not drop. I don’t know what’s the matter, whether MiHoYo finally learned how to optimize, or all thanks to LPDDR5 memory, UFS 3.1 drive and Snapdragon 865.

But, since RedMagic 5S is positioned as a gaming device, then there must be something in it that is not in other conventional flagships. RedMagic 5S boasts a cooling system with a cooler that makes up to 15,000 rpm. But the main feature of the RedMagic 5S, in my opinion, is the software. More precisely, the proprietary Game Launcher, launched using a switch at the top of one of the edges of the smartphone. At first glance, such a solution may seem somewhat inconvenient, but personally I understand why the launch of the game service is carried out precisely with the help of a physical switch, and not a conditional touch button. It is corny so you can avoid accidental clicks.

It is Game Launcher that allows you to flexibly configure your smartphone for video games. You can configure the forced use of the fan, the refresh rate of the screen, special macros, forced display of the crosshair in the center of the screen as a bright dot. And of course, you can and should set up sensory triggers. In essence, they are ordinary touch buttons that can be configured to click on a specific area of ​​the screen.

For example, a crosshair can be assigned to the left trigger in the conditional Call of Duty Mobile, and a shot can be assigned to the right trigger. At first glance, a trifle, but damn convenient. Each game has its own trigger settings, and when you run Honkai Impact 3rd you will have one control scheme, while playing Genshin Impact you will have a different one. Everything is saved independently of each other.

The first thing to note is that RedMagic 5S is a true PlayStation 4 Pro. But, unfortunately, not in terms of performance, but in terms of the noise that the cooler is capable of producing at maximum speed. Believe me, this noise is annoying at first, and playing anything without using headphones is extremely uncomfortable, but after a week I got so used to it that I simply stopped noticing. Plus, even in spite of the cooling system during a long gaming session, the smartphone still heats up. So much so that a couple of times the thought came to me: “Is this generally normal?”

As it turned out, yes, this is normal for this model, there is nothing wrong with that. Moreover, the manufacturer has foreseen this and kindly offers to purchase an additional cooling system. But you don’t have to spend money on a memory card, there is no slot for it and you will have to be content with the volume of the drive that the manufacturer decided to install. And personally, the built-in 128 GB was not enough for me.

Autonomy also leaves much to be desired. A smartphone with maximum brightness, a working cooler is able to bring a full charge of a 4500 mAh battery to zero in 3-3.5 hours of continuous play, after which it will need to be charged. Although, in principle, the path from 0% battery charge to 100% takes 1.5-2 hours, and quite quickly you accept the fact that after playing something, please put your smartphone on charge.

But despite the noise and heat, RedMagic 5S is a really good solution for those who want to get a gaming experience in the first place from a smartphone. Excellent components, bright and juicy display, high performance, and for me personally, it easily crosses out any shortcomings.

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Should the average user buy RedMagic 5S? If you are not going to actively play modern demanding games, then it is unlikely, since in this case I see no point in looking towards expensive flagships.

Let’s take an absolutely spherical-vacuum situation in which you have an extra 600-700 dollars, and you want to please yourself with some gaming purchase, and you equally love PC, console and mobile gaming. But the trouble is, there are no consoles in stores, new video cards “are not inferior in cost to airplanes”, but a really good smartphone at an adequate price is almost always available on free sale.

I think that in such a situation, you can turn your attention both to the smartphone market in general, and to RedMagic 5S in particular. In addition, by the time the problems with the shortage of consoles and video cards are resolved.

Would I buy RedMagic 5S for my own use? I think yes rather than no. Again, I am generally satisfied with the testing period for this smartphone and I am stopped by the fact that now I want to buy a tablet.

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