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  • Post published:14/04/2021
  • Post last modified:14/04/2021

Nubia has released some of the most talked about gaming phones in the market.

The company might have seen a great opportunity on these devices that even their latest midrange release is geared for gamers.

Here we have the new Nubia Play 5G — a midrange smartphone with an edgy design, fast display, and a relatively powerful processor.


This shall be a good affordable alternative to their current high-end gaming smartphone, the Nubia Red Magic 5G.

Today, we want to see what’s the main difference between the Nubia Play 5G and Red Magic 5G. We want to know if the cheaper option is really a great alternative or you’re better off spending more on the high-end model. Let’s start!

Nubia Play 5GNubia Red Magic 5G
Operating SystemAndroid 10
nubiaUI 8.0
Android 10
Red Magic OS
Dual Standby
Dual SIM
Dual Standby
Display6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED
2340 x 1080 pixels resolution
144Hz refresh rate
240Hz touch-sensing
6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED
2340 x 1080 pixel resolution
144Hz refresh rate
240Hz touch-sensing
100% DCI-P3
Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor2.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core
Liquid cooling
2.84GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core
Air-Cooling fans
Liquid pipes
GPUAdreno 620Adreno 650
UFS 2.1
storage expandability TBA
UFS 3.0
Front Camera12-megapixel8-megapixel
Rear Camera48-megapixel (f/1.8)
8-megapixel (f/2.2)
2-megapixel (macro)
2-megapixel (depth)
LED flash
64-megapixel (f/1.8)
8-megapixel (ultra-wide)
2-megapixel (macro)
LED flash
AudioHeadphone jack
Headphone jack
Stereo speakers
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
In-display fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
Connectivity4G LTE, 5G
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C
4G LTE, 5G
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C
Magnetic pins
OthersCapacitive trigger buttonsPhysical trigger buttons
Dimensions171.7 x 78.5 x 9.1mm168.56 x 78 x 9.75mm
30W wired charging
55W air-cooled fast charging
Dock charging
Cyber Neon
Mars Red
Transparent Edition
Price6GB/128GB: CNY2,400 (~Php17,300)
8GB/128GB: CNY2,700 (~Php19,500)
8GB/256GB: CNY3,000 (~Php21,600)
8GB/128GB: CNY3,799 (~Php27,700)
12GB/128GB: CNY4,099 (~Php29,900)
12GB/256GB: CNY4,399 (~Php32,100)
16GB/256GB: CNY4,999 (~Php36,500)
Transparent Edition:
12GB/256GB: CNY4,599 (~Php33,600)
16GB/256GB: CNY5,199 (~Php37,900)

Obviously, the Nubia Red Magic is much better than the Nubia Play. From the price alone, you can tell that the Red Magic is a proper high-end smartphone.

But when you also look at the price and specs of the Nubia Play, you can tell that it’s one of the most feature-packed midrange phones today, and is also a great alternative to the Red Magic.


It may not have a flagship Snapdragon 865 processor, but it does have the second-best chipset that Qualcomm currently makes — the Snapdragon 765 5G processor.

The spinning cooling fans are now gone, but there’s still liquid cooling present to keep it cooled down after extensive gaming.


Speaking of gaming, the Nubia Play has capacitive trigger buttons. It may not be as tactile as the physical shoulder controls that the Nubia Red Magic has, but it’s still a nice compromise.


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Nubia also kept the ultra-fast 144Hz refresh rate with a responsive 240Hz touch sensing. This shall make gaming, and the interface in general, feel faster and smoother.


The cameras on the Nubia Play were also downgraded. But if you’re in it primarily for gaming, you’d barely notice the difference. It comes with a 48-megapixel primary shooter, but it does have the same 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera that the former has.

In fact, you’re getting more cameras out of this with the inclusion of a 2-megapixel depth sensor.


To compensate, you’re getting better battery life if you settle for the Nubia Play 5G. This thing comes with a 5,100mAh battery, while the latter only has 4,500.

On the downside, you’d be missing out on the 55W fast charging and the special dock charging feature of the Red Magic. Although, the 30W wired charging it comes with is still relatively fast.


In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with either the two devices. If you have the money, then go with the Nubia Red Magic 5G. But if your budget is limited, then Nubia has created a nice compromise for you with the Nubia Play 5G.

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