Snapdragon 8 Gen3 Gaming Phones: Which to Choose?

For many mobile gaming enthusiasts, mainstream flagship smartphones may provide excellent performance, but they often lack specific gaming features and experiences. This gap in the market is why gaming phones have garnered a dedicated fan base.

In the current smartphone market, there are only two Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 gaming devices to consider: the ROG Phone 8 and the Red Magic 9 series. These phones have been polished to showcase distinct characteristics, prompting many discussions about which model is the better choice for gamers. Let’s dive into this debate and see if we can help you find your perfect match.

(Left: ROG Phone 8, Right: Red Magic 9 Pro)

Design

It’s clear that both the ROG Phone 8 and the Red Magic 9 Pro have toned down the extreme design language typically found in gaming phones, opting for a more minimalist approach. The ROG Phone 8, for example, has reduced the size of the camera module and maintained its signature “faith eye” illuminated LOGO on the back, without overdoing other design elements, making it more visually appealing.

(ROG Phone 8)

The Red Magic 9 Pro, on the other hand, features a notch-less full screen and a flat back design, making it particularly satisfying for those who appreciate symmetry and clean lines. The phone’s “09” marking and other back cover patterns are a matter of personal taste, with some users suggesting that Red Magic could embrace simplicity even further.

(Red Magic 9 Pro)

In terms of design, there’s a significant difference between the two, with the ROG Phone 8 following a more traditional smartphone style, while the Red Magic 9 Pro sports unique design elements that may appeal to gamers looking for personalization. Both phones have a body thickness of 8.9mm, but the ROG Phone 8 is slightly lighter at 225g compared to Red Magic’s 229g, offering a more comfortable grip for extended gaming sessions.

Performance and Cooling

Both phones are equipped with the latest hardware specs: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3+LPDDR5X+UFS 4.0, and with the aggressive tuning by the gaming phone manufacturers, they deliver competent performance. Games run at full frame rates with high graphics settings, which leads to a comparison of their cooling solutions.

Discussions among enthusiasts suggest that despite the fitting cooling materials, the Red Magic 9 Pro’s triple-section layout may not be as advantageous as the centered mainboard design of the ROG Phone 8. As gaming sessions heat up the processor, traditional layouts tend to concentrate warmth near the camera area, affecting grip comfort. The ROG Phone 8’s centered mainboard design helps avoid heat where the fingers grip on the sides, making it more gamer-friendly.

Display

The display quality is a critical factor, and the Red Magic 9 Pro boasts a 120Hz screen from BOE with a high-frequency 2160Hz PWM dimming feature for eye comfort. The ROG Phone 8 features a Samsung E6 material 165Hz gaming screen, offering LTPO technology, 2500nit peak brightness, and 111% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, providing a more comprehensive display experience.

(Red Magic 9 Pro)

While a 120Hz refresh rate is standard for flagship phones, gamers may find the 165Hz refresh rate of the ROG Phone 8 more attractive for higher in-game frame rates and a smoother experience. Additionally, the LTPO technology helps conserve battery power. The Red Magic 9 Pro’s eye protection is also notable, making extended gaming sessions at night less taxing on the eyes. Both devices excel in their screen capabilities.

(ROG Phone 8)

Battery and Charging

The Red Magic 9 Pro leads with a massive 6500mAh battery and 80W charging support, while the ROG Phone 8 has a 5500mAh battery and 65W wired charging. Although Red Magic has the edge in battery capacity and charging efficiency, the ROG Phone 8 adds a 15W wireless charging feature and benefits from a side-mounted charging port that allows for a more natural grip during play-and-charge scenarios.

Unique Features

Both manufacturers have crafted distinctive features to enhance the overall gaming experience. The Red Magic 9 Pro integrates a custom Red Core R2 Pro gaming chip supporting touch, vibration, audio, and lighting customization, along with intelligent scene recognition algorithms for a professional esports control experience.

(Red Magic 9 Pro)

The ROG Phone 8 embraces the AI trend by adding intelligent game prompts that allow for automated actions like treasure collection, rapid tapping, and accelerating dialogue in games like Genshin Impact. It can also recognize on-screen text for quick web searches for game strategies, integrating AI technology into the gaming experience in innovative ways.

(ROG Phone 8, Credit: “Gadget Portal”)

Conclusion

After considering multiple aspects, it’s clear that both the ROG Phone 8 and the Red Magic 9 Pro have their charms and advantages. With both phones leading in performance, the choice may come down to unique preferences. The Red Magic 9 Pro appeals with its full-screen design, sleek back, larger battery, and faster charging, catering to those who value individuality and battery life.

(Red Magic 9 Pro)

The ROG Phone 8 offers a gamer-friendly SoC placement and higher screen refresh rates with superior color performance. The addition of novel AI features enhances the gaming experience and efficiency. Furthermore, this phone also boasts features like IP68, an IMX890 main camera with OIS, a 3x telephoto lens, and wireless charging, putting it on par with mainstream flagship phones and making it a formidable all-around gaming device.

(ROG Phone 8)

What do you think of this analysis? Between these Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 gaming phones, which one would you choose?

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