With the RedMagic 5G, the Chinese group ZTE has launched a new gaming smartphone on the German market that is considered a price-performance hit. In the test, GIGA checked whether the expectations for the first 144 Hertz cell phone were met.
RedMagic 5G in the test: conclusion
The 144 Hertz AMOLED display of the RedMagic 5G does a very good job and is not only a great advantage in games, but also in normal use. In combination with the Snapdragon 865 and the 8 GB RAM, everything runs smoothly and cleanly. The internal memory of 128 GB cannot be expanded. If you want to play a lot, you should use the 256 GB version to have a larger buffer. Fortunately, the surcharge is limited. Gimmicks like active cooling or the RGB LED on the back are nice, but you don't have to use them. Even with the fan deactivated, the games all run smoothly and with a high refresh rate. Instead, the fan noise is more of a problem in quiet games. The capacitive shoulder buttons are practical in some games. The cell phone then acts like a real console.
The RedMagic 5G feels very solid and feels comfortable in the hand. At 218 grams, it is also quite heavy. The build quality is very good. The stereo speakers deliver good sound, but the speaker on the bottom is too easy to hide when gaming, so that the sound then becomes significantly worse. Two speakers at the front would make more sense, which would not be a problem considering the thick edges around the display. The main camera on the back is more in the upper middle class.
There are more points that bother me about the RedMagic 5G. First there is the position of the buttons, which are installed far too low. The camera plays in the middle of the field and the 4,500 mAh battery can only be charged with an optionally available charger with a maximum of 55 watts. The standard is 18 watts. After buying the RedMagic 5G, you will be asked to checkout again if you want to exploit the full potential. So ZTE can keep the price low, but a corresponding power supply unit does not cost the world. Overall, the battery life is convincing. I mostly used the smartphone in 144 Hertz mode and got through the day easily. If you play a lot, it becomes scarce.
The biggest disadvantage of the RedMagic 5G is the software. Android 10 is preinstalled, but the operating system is still largely in English. If you already start in the German market, you also have to completely compile the operating system. Functions that should actually be included in updates are also missing. For example, the face recognition is not included and the fingerprint sensor in the display does not work perfectly either. The smartphone is also from the security patch only in March 2020. ZTE simply has to deliver more in order to survive in Germany. 579 euros are not much for the technical equipment, but the software must be complete.
Overall, the RedMagic 5G convinced me with regard to the price of only 579 euros. The 144 Hertz display is great, the gaming features are practical and the performance is outstanding. You have to accept drawbacks with the software and camera, which you can accept with the relatively low price for the hardware, if you don't put too much emphasis on it. Even for non-gamers, I can recommend the cell phone – if you like the design. I have now used it in everyday life for a long time and I am very impressed.
Note: I couldn't test the 5G function of the RedMagic 5G due to the lack of a 5G network.
- Gaming features
- Build quality
- Active ventilation
- Fingerprint sensor in the display
- No memory expansion
RedMagic 5G in the test: Rating
- Processing, feel and design: 4/5
- Display: 4/5
- Cameras: 3/5
- Software: 3/5
- Performance: 5/5
- Telephony and audio: 4/5
- Memory: 4/5
- Battery and everyday life: 4/5