Which Is the Best Gaming Phone?
The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro and the Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro are two of the most powerful gaming phones on the market right now. If you’re a gamer and are confused about which one to buy, this comparison will help you decide between the two.
The former starts at €1299 (roughly the same price in USD) while the latter starts at $799. Is the ROG Phone 6 Pro really worth about $500 more? Let’s find out.
Design and Body
- Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: 173 x 77 x 10.3 mm; 239 grams; IPX4 water-resistant
- ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: 166.3 x 77.1 x 10 mm; 235 grams
The ROG Phone 6 Pro is a bit taller and comes with the stronger Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and Gorilla Glass 3 on the back. The Red Magic 7 Pro sports a weaker Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and a standard glass back. Both phones come with aluminum frames and built-in pressure-sensitive zones that act as shoulder triggers for more control while gaming.
Although not identical, both devices also have a cooling system to reduce throttling, better dissipate heat, and improve stability to boost your gaming performance. On the ROG Phone 6, this is done by its GameCool 6 system while the Red Magic 7 Pro uses its ICE 9.0 system and has a built-in RGB turbofan and air duct.
The ROG Phone comes with an official IPX4 rating for water resistance, which is far worse than what you can get at this price, although its rival has no such rating. Note that the “X” in IPX4 means the device hasn’t been officially tested for dust protection.
Both devices have an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, a headphone jack, and dual stereo speakers for immersive gameplay. Take a look at our Red Magic 7 Pro review for more details on how it handles.
- Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1; 4nm fabrication; Adreno 730 GPU
- ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; 4nm fabrication; Adreno 730 GPU
The ROG Phone 6 Pro is rocking the new and improved Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip while the Red Magic 7 Pro uses its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. With the newer chip, Qualcomm is promising 10% better CPU performance, 30% better power efficiency, 10% better GPU performance, and 30% GPU power reduction.
On AnTuTu (v9), the ROG Phone scores 1103188 and its rival scores 1056511. On GeekBench (v5.1), the former comes ahead again at 3980 and the latter is not too far behind at 3845. On most benchmarks, the ROG Phone 6 Pro stands as the world’s most powerful Android smartphone to date—and it better be for that price!
But do note that benchmark scores can be unreliable and sometimes show inconsistent results depending on a variety of factors, so take these numbers with a pinch of salt. That said, both phones can easily run any game you can find on the Play Store.
- Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: 6.78 inches; AMOLED; 165Hz refresh rate; 720Hz touch sampling rate; HDR10+ support; 1080 x 2448 resolution; 395 PPI; 1200 nits peak brightness; Gorilla Glass Victus; 82.2% screen-to-body ratio
- ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: 6.8 inches; AMOLED; 120Hz refresh rate; 960Hz touch sampling rate; 1080 x 2400 resolution; 387 PPI; 600 nits peak brightness; Gorilla Glass 5; 87.1% screen-to-body ratio
The Red Magic 7 Pro aims to minimize bezels via its under-display front camera while the ROG Phone 6 Pro retains them so you’re not accidentally blocking content on your screen with your fingers while gaming. You can decide what you prefer.
The 165Hz refresh rate on the ROG Phone 6 Pro is overkill. The regular Red Magic 7 had a very high refresh rate but is surprisingly absent on the Pro variant. The difference between 165Hz and 120Hz is simply not noticeable.
Similarly, the 960Hz sampling rate on the Red Magic 7 Pro isn’t noticeably faster than the 720Hz on its rival. That said, the ROG Phone 6 Pro is brighter, has HDR10+ support for more vivid colors, and stronger glass protection.
- Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: 6000mAh battery; 65W fast wired charging
- ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: 5000mAh battery; 65W fast wired charging
Both phones come with a dual-cell battery that allows for faster charging and increased battery life. But the ROG Phone has a bigger 6000mAh cell over its rival’s 5000mAh one.
The charging speed is identical between both phones at 65W. Neither of the two phones supports wireless charging or reverse wireless charging. This might be a big deal for you, but we’ve covered why wireless charging sucks in case you’d like to change your mind.
When plugged in, both phones can draw power directly from the charger without affecting the battery. This helps increase its longevity, save battery life, and reduce heat while gaming. On the ROG Phone series, this feature is called Bypass Charging; on the Nubia Red Magic series, it’s called Charge Separation.
Both phones come with a charger inside the box, which is rare these days.
RAM and Storage
- Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: 18GB LPDDR5 RAM; 512GB UFS 3.1 storage
- ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: 16GB LPDDR5 RAM; 256/518GB UFS 3.1 storage
The ROG Phone 6 Pro comes with 18GB RAM and the Red Magic 7 Pro with 16GB RAM—both using the latest LPDDR5 standard. Even if you play a lot of graphic-intensive games, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need this much RAM on a smartphone.
12GB RAM is more than enough to run heavy titles; but if you do a lot of multitasking, more RAM can help. You’re also getting plenty of storage on both phones with the ROG Phone carrying 512GB and its rival offering 256 and 512GB options—both using the latest UFS 3.1 standard.
- Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: 50MP f/1.9 primary with PDAF and 8K video at 24fps; 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide; 5MP macro; Front: 12MP with 1080p video at 30fps
- ZTE Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro: 64MP f/1.8 primary with PDAF and 8K video at 30fps; 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide; 2MP f/2.4 macro; Front: 16MP f/2.0 with 1080p video at 60fps
Camera quality isn’t the main priority for people who buy gaming phones, but you’d still want it to at least be good enough for daily use. And that is exactly what you get on both the ROG Phone 6 Pro and the Red Magic 7 Pro.
Don’t expect amazing dynamic range or vibrant colors. According to reviews, images from both phones are decent in daytime conditions, but in challenging low-light environments the image quality can take a hit quickly.
The Red Magic 7 Pro takes particularly bad selfie photos and videos due to its under-display front camera. If you’re planning to record yourself while gaming or simply like taking selfie shots, that’s a big red flag.
Red Magic 7 Pro Offers More Value for Money
Although the ROG Phone 6 Pro is clearly the better gaming phone, we can’t ignore its hefty price tag. Its rival, the Red Magic 7 Pro, offers more value for money in comparison without having too many sacrifices or corners cut.
Do note that both devices are very bulky, so gaming on them for long periods will feel fatiguing, especially if you have smaller hands. And both devices also come with additional accessories you can buy to take your gaming experience to the next level.