Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

Purple Magic, the gaming arm of Chinese language firm Nubia, has been turning heads in latest months with a variety of telephones optimised for cell gaming.

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

Its improve cycle is extra aggressive than most, churning out three telephones in 2019 alone. However whereas the latest of those, October’s Purple Magic 3S, was maybe an iterative improve, its successor is something however.

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

The Purple Magic 5G makes historical past as the primary smartphone sporting 144Hz refresh price. Combining this with 5G connectivity offers a major enhance to efficiency, however can a £539 cellphone actually stake a declare to be the perfect gaming handset available on the market?

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

Gaming beast

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

Let’s not beat across the bush. When you’re contemplating shopping for this cellphone, you’ll need to know what it’s like when taking part in graphic-intensive video games.

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

The brief reply? Phenomenal.

Purple Magic 5G Evaluation: Supercharged Gaming

Now I may not be the goal marketplace for this cellphone, however I can simply recognize what the 144Hz refresh price show brings to the expertise. The 90Hz panel on the Purple Magic 3S was hardly a slouch, however this turns the whole lot up a notch.

It doesn’t really feel like an overstatement to say that is the closest factor to console gaming I’ve seen on a smartphone. That is aided by the class-leading Snapdragon 865 chipset, alongside eight or 12GB of RAM. The latter normally seems like overkill on a smartphone, nevertheless it’s good to have the ability to name on it if wanted.

Nevertheless, as the one cellphone with a 144Hz show on the time of writing, there are understandably solely a handful of video games that at present help this refresh price.

The primary two in the mean time are Actual Racing three and Enviornment of Valor, which give two very totally different however equally spectacular experiences. The smoothness offers you a sense of extra management, which might make the distinction when competing with different on-line gamers.

Do bear in mind that the built-in fan will in all probability kick in when taking part in, however that’s what it’s there for. The Purple Magic three was the primary cellphone to return with this function, and it’s solely out there on a number of telephones thus far. The profit right here is evident, with the cellphone by no means getting greater than barely heat, even when working close to its most capability.

This and the refresh price may be toggled through Sport House, which lets you maximise your gaming expertise and minimise distractions. A number of the video games you will have put in may be cycled by means of on this display, which is activated through a devoted slider on the aspect of the cellphone.


There are different hardware options particularly focused at players, however simply ensure you are utilizing it with the textual content going through upwards. This lets you make use of the shoulder triggers, which add well timed vibrations in the identical approach you would possibly get on a console controller. You’ll additionally discover a good connector, which is suitable with a bunch of equipment from the Purple Magic web site.

I used to be taking part in on a reasonably regular Wi-Fi connection, and didn’t get the prospect to check out its 5G capabilities. The Purple Magic 5G is suitable with each mmWave and sub-6 requirements, in addition to supporting all of the UK suppliers.

This and the excessive refresh price are designed to work in tandem to supply a stellar gaming expertise on the go, however the restricted 5G protection in lots of nations means this nonetheless feels a bit forward of its time.

A novel design

On the entrance, you get a 6.65in, 2340×1080 OLED panel, free from any notch. Whereas it’s barely disappointing to not see the next decision, the extra important element as regards to gaming is its help for the P3 color gamut. That is turning into more and more widespread on smartphones, and permits for a wealthy, dynamic color scheme.

The opposite essential hardware selection is the transfer to an in-display fingerprint scanner. That is an optical sensor, versus the ultrasonic know-how used on the newest Samsung telephones. This was very hit or miss in my expertise, because it felt like I at all times needed to place my finger within the excellent place for the precise proper period of time or it wouldn’t recognise me. I ended up getting into my passcode numerous instances as this shortly turned irritating.

The storage choices are pretty customary for a mid-range smartphone, with a selection of 128GB or 256GB. I’d have favored to see help for expandable storage through micro-SD, notably when so many finances handsets supply the function as customary these days.

Within the digicam division, a essential 64Mp Sony sensor is joined by 8Mp wide-angle and 2Mp macro lens. On the entrance, we additionally get an 8Mp selfie digicam, though this doesn’t help face unlock. Extra on these later.

There’s much more happening across the sides of the cellphone than you would possibly normally anticipate. Along with the aforementioned slider for the Sport House, the Purple Magic 5G has 4 speaker grilles, all of that are able to outputting audio in a stereo setup. This implies there’s completely no danger of blocking the audio when immersed in video games.

Because of this, the facility key and quantity rocker are barely additional down the cellphone than is pure, which means I needed to regulate my grip so as to attain them.

As anticipated, there’s a USB-C port for charging and knowledge switch, whereas Purple Magic has caught with a three.5mm headphone jack (hurrah!). Pretty much as good because the audio system are, it’s good to attach your individual headset for the best possible doable expertise.

I examined the Eclipse Black model that we’ve seen on earlier fashions, which manages to be eye-catching with out the colors wanting too garish. It’s additionally impressively immune to fingerprints, regardless of sporting an all-glass design.

Lastly, is it actually a gaming cellphone with out some RGBs? The Purple Magic 5G has mild strips across the edges of the show, whereas the brand on the again also can mild up as a notification LED.


I’ve talked about lots of the internals with respect to gaming, however in addition they come into their very own basically utilization. The upper refresh price show is particularly noticeable on limitless scrolling apps corresponding to Twitter, with the flexibility to load new content material unrivalled on any system I’ve tried up to now.

The efficiency enhance is finest illustrated by means of benchmark comparisons, which present simply how a lot of an enchancment the cellphone is over even the Purple Magic 3S.

Normally I’d say how these checks aren’t essentially reflective of real-world efficiency, however the graphic intensive movies utilized by GFXBench are precisely what you’d anticipate from essentially the most demanding cell video games.

Software program

The Purple Magic 5G comes with Purple Magic OS over Android 10.

Nubia’s pores and skin has sometimes been pretty mild, nevertheless it has grow to be extra streamlined in a visible redesign.

For me that is the previous adage: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There was completely nothing improper with the software program on earlier Purple Magic telephones, however the 5G has a variety of quirks which cheapen the expertise barely.

You are actually inspired to make use of a gesture-based navigation system, however that is removed from intuitive. The omnipresent bar on the backside of the display jogs my memory of latest iPhones, nevertheless it feels clunky when in comparison with Apple’s implementation. A key instance of that is swiping from the left fringe of the display to return, which may be troublesome when dealing with such a big cellphone.

There’s additionally loads of bloatware, with many of those apps providing a much less polished expertise than you get on inventory Android. Notable examples of this embrace Cellphone, Clock and NotePad, all of which really feel pointless when Google’s apps are so succesful already.

The notification bar additionally has a behavior of disappearing, notably on the house display, though that may be as a result of me operating an early model of the software program.

In contrast to on many Android telephones, the Purple Magic 5G does not permit you to set up a distinct launcher, so that you’re caught with this one. 

Digital camera

Cameras are an usually neglected facet of gaming telephones, however they continue to be essential to an entire smartphone expertise, and I’m happy to report there’s some good enhancements right here.

The 64Mp essential digicam is supplemented by 2Mp macro lens and 8Mp ultrawide.Curiously, the latter is simply accessed by means of the Professional mode.

Common photographs have a pleasant degree of element and stable dynamic vary. They tend to be extremely saturated, though that does imply they give the impression of being pleasing to the attention.

The 8Mp selfie digicam produces a great degree of element, though the background commonly finally ends up being overexposed.

You would possibly discover that photographs include a Purple Magic watermark by default, however that may simply be turned off in settings.

Battery life

The Purple Magic 5G comes with a 4500mAh battery, which on paper looks as if it would just do positive. Whereas that’s true whereas on 60Hz and 90Hz, it’s essentially the most notable disadvantage of the 144Hz show. The battery drains considerably extra shortly when on the utmost setting, regardless of some comparatively aggressive software program optimisations to enhance. Nevertheless, this turns wonderful battery life into one thing extra common, with a recording of eight hours and 26 minutes in Geekbench four’s battery take a look at.

That is offset considerably by the cellphone’s help for 55W wired charging, though to take benefit you’ll have to purchase a separate energy adapter. The one within the field is simply able to 18W, however we did handle 35% in 30 minutes from off.

Probably the most important lacking function on the cellphone is wi-fi charging. That’s under no circumstances at dealbreaker contemplating the whole lot else that was on supply, however it will have been good to have.

Worth and worth for cash

Contemplating all that’s been stated earlier than, it’s scarcely plausible that the Purple Magic 5G begins at simply £539/US$579. It will get you 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, whereas stepping as much as 12GB/256GB will set you again £599/US$649.

Each variations can be found to order now from the Purple Magic web site, having formally been sale since 21 April.

A brand new color choice generally known as ‘Sizzling Rod Purple’ launched on 1 June, forward of worldwide availability on eight June. This comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (£539/US$579), and pre-orders are stay on the Purple Magic web site on the time of writing.

At this value, it undercuts many premium gaming handsets, together with the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 and Razer Cellphone 2. In fact, there are only a few compromises when in comparison with these two telephones and the others in our round-up of the finest gaming telephones.

The truth that it is a nice cellphone right now and is effectively future-proofed with full 5G help makes it extraordinarily good worth for cash.


The Purple Magic 5G is undeniably among the finest gaming telephones available on the market. Its 144Hz show and stereo audio system are among the many finest at school, whereas the digicam has seen a pleasant improve over the Purple Magic 3S.

The cellphone is focused squarely at cell players, and as such some features are much less effectively suited to the mainstream market. These embrace an imposing industrial design and a few unimpressive software program tweaks – the irritating in-display fingerprint scanner chief amongst them.

All issues thought-about, nonetheless, the Purple Magic 5G provides the whole lot budding players are searching for at a value that makes it onerous to withstand.

Purple Magic 5G: Specs

Android 10 with Purple Magic OS three.1

6.65in Full HD+ (1080×2340), 19.four:9, 144Hz,
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

eight/12GB RAM (DDR4)

128/256GB inner storage

64Mp essential, 8Mp ultrawide, 2Mp macro cameras

8Mp selfie digicam

Fingerprint scanner (in-screen)

Wi-Fi 6

Bluetooth 5.1



5G (mmWave, sub-6)


4500mAh non-removable battery

55W wired charging (further accent required)
168.6 x 78 x 9.eight mm


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