RedMagic 8S Pro vs RedMagic 8 Pro: What’s the difference?

  • RedMagic

    RedMagic 8S Pro

    RedMagic’s latest gaming handset continues its streak of releasing the fastest phones that money can buy. It has a special overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 onboard and that makes it speedier than anything that we’ve tested before.

    Pros

    • Faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
    • Improved cooling solution
    • Great new design
    • Extra gaming software features
    Cons

    • Very similar to the older model

  • RedMagic 8 Pro Square

    RedMagic

    RedMagic 8 Pro

    The RedMagic 8 Pro was one of the first phones to launch in 2023, and it made a splash by being the fastest phone on the market, at the time. Six months later, it’s still an absolute powerhouse, with very few handsets coming close to its performance.

    Pros

    • Same great display and speakers
    • Still extremely fast
    • More subtle design (in matte)
    • May see discounts

The latest gaming powerhouse from RedMagic has arrived, but with a similar design and the same processor at its core, what exactly has changed?


The RedMagic 8 Pro was the fastest gaming phone that we had tested when we tried it out at the start of this year, now it’s looking like its successor is aiming for the top spot once again.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the spec sheets, as well as tested the performance of each device, to see how they compare. Let’s get into it.


Specs, pricing and availability

The RedMagic 8 Pro launched globally on January 16 2023 with a retail price of $649 and it has been available to purchase ever since.

The Redmagic 8S Pro launched on July 18 2023 with an MSRP of $649 and is available to buy now.

  • RedMagic 8S Pro RedMagic 8 Pro
    SoC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (overclocked) Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
    Display 6.8-inch 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED 6.8-inch 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED
    RAM 12GB / 16GB 12GB / 16GB
    Storage 256GB / 512GB 156GB / 512GB
    Battery 6000 mAh 6000 mAh
    Ports USB-C, headphone USB-C, headphone
    Operating System RedMagic OS 8.0 RedMagic OS 6.0
    Front camera 16MP under-display 16MP under-display
    Rear cameras 50MP + 8MP + 2MP 50MP + 8MP +2MP
    Dimensions 164×76.3×9.5 mm 164.5x77x9.5 mm
    Colors Midnight / Platinum / Aurora Void / Matte / Titanium
    Weight 228g 228g
    Charging 65W wired 65W wired

Design

The RedMagic 8 Pro and Redmagic 8S Pro share a similar shape, size and weight, and both devices feel quite similar in the hand. The difference is found on the rear panel, with the 8S Pro featuring a unique new 3D nano-etched design that reminds us of the grooves on a vinyl record.

RedMagic 8S Pro vs RedMagic 8 Pro

This new finish is present on the Midnight (black) and Platinum (silver) colour options, but RedMagic’s signature semi-transparent Aurora colourway is also available for this phone. Another new feature is the fact that the opaque models have a transparent area that shows off the fan LEDs, whereas the opaque model of the RedMagic 8 Pro (matte) has no fan LEDs.

When it comes to lighting, it’s effectively the same across both devices. We’ve already mentioned the fan LEDs, which are red, blue, green and yellow on both devices and cannot be changed by the user – outside of enabling and disabling the illumination.

There are also illuminated sections below each trigger, as well as the central RedMagic logo. You can select the colour of these LEDs as well as adjust the way they display while gaming, watching content or when you have a notification. The available effects are the same across both phones, as are the colour choices.

RedMagic 8S Pro (21)

The layout of the buttons, vents and triggers is the same, as is the connectivity. In either case, you still get a 3.5mm headphone socket, and we’re always happy to see that included on a gaming phone.

Display and speakers

The display and speakers are also the same across both phones. That means you get a gorgeous 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and an impressive 1300 nits of peak brightness.

RedMagic 8 Pro Genshin Impact

It’s a sharp display with a 2480×1116 resolution and 400 PPI pixel density. It’s also highly accurate, covering 100 per cent of the DCI-P3 wide gamut. If you’re sensitive to flicker, these phones also benefit from universal DC dimming, and that should help reduce eye strain.

What’s unique about these RedMagic devices is that they use under-display selfie cameras, so there’s no notch or hole-punch camera cutouts to get in the way of your full-screen gaming experience.

Supporting the impressive displays are some equally impressive speakers. They’re super clear, with good stereo positioning, and have more bass response than your average smartphone. Our only complaint is that they’re not the loudest around, but on the plus side, there’s rarely any distortion.

Performance and software

Both phones run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, and both have RedMagic’s own secondary Red Core chip to aid with gaming functions. However, the 8S Pro has a special overclocked version of the 8 Gen 2, which runs 2.5 per cent faster on the CPU and 5.7 per cent faster on the GPU.

RedMagic 8S Pro (25)-1

In all honesty, you’d be hard-pressed to tell a difference while gaming or in day-to-day use, but the performance uplift is evident in benchmarks. It’s enough of a boost to make the RedMagic 8S Pro the fastest phone that we’ve ever tested, as well as putting it at the top of the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme leaderboard. Impressive bragging rights.

The cooling solution has been revamped on the 8S Pro, too. Most noticeable to us is the fact that the cooling fan now adjusts its speed as and when it’s needed, rather than just running at full speed all of the time. But there are other improvements, too, like a new vapour chamber cooling plate, and a layer of graphene under the display to draw the heat away from your fingers.

The 8S Pro runs a newer version of RedMagic OS, and it comes with additional gaming features to improve your experience. This includes a new 4D atmospheric vibration mode, that essentially emulates the haptic feedback you’d get from a PlayStation controller, it’s pretty neat.

RedMagic 8S Pro (17)

Elsewhere, the features are quite similar, as is the look. We found that the newer OS was a bit more stable than the old one, but otherwise, the feature set is quite similar. It doesn’t stray too far from stock Android until you activate the Game Space, where you’ll find a whole host of gaming-specific features and plugins.

Cameras

The cameras are the same across both phones, and they’re the weakest point of both devices. The main camera is decent in good lighting, it’s a 50MP Samsung GN5 sensor, which has proven to be a solid performer on numerous other devices. However, RedMagic’s image processing leaves something to be desired, and the resulting images are less appealing than those from mainstream brands.

RedMagic 8S Pro (3)

The auxiliary cameras are an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro camera. The 8MP wide-angle lacks detail and sharpness compared to the main lens, and the 2MP macro is rarely of use to anyone – it’s simply too low resolution.

The selfie camera is hidden under the display, which is a very cool bit of technology, but it also means that it’s one of the worst selfie cameras around. As standard it’s very soft, looking a bit like there’s Vaseline smeared on the lens, and when you hit the shutter lots of sharpening is applied to combat this. The resulting images are very unflattering, and we can’t imagine them being useful to many people.

Conclusion

These two phones are extremely similar, the only real differences are the performance boost, cooling upgrade, software and design of the RedMagic 8S Pro.

The newer model is the fastest phone that we’ve tested to date, and if that’s what you’re looking for, then it’s the model for you. We think the new nano-etched design looks superb, and the cooling upgrades are a welcome improvement.

RedMagic 8S Pro Square

RedMagic

However, if you already have the RedMagic 8 Pro, there’s no real reason to upgrade. The new model is just too similar in both performance and features. Similarly, if you see a great deal on the 8 Pro, we’d advise going for that, you don’t really lose out on much by opting for the older device.

RedMagic 8 Pro Square

RedMagic

In either case, you’re getting one of the fastest phones money can buy, with a great design and a plethora of useful and novel gaming features.

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