Xiaomi, Razer and ASUS are up against Nubia's cheapest gaming phone of 2019

Xiaomi, Razer and ASUS are up against Nubia's cheapest gaming phone of 2019
Nubia launched Red Magic 3 in India starting at Rs.35,999 making it the cheapest gaming phone to hit the market yetNubia

  • Nubia launches the cheapest gaming phone in the Indian market so far, Red Magic 3, at ₹35,999.
  • The new smartphone will go against the ASUS ROG phone and the Black Shark 2.
  • This is the phone manufacturing industry's latest attempt to crack the gaming phone market.

It's the year of gaming phones, or rather the return of the gaming phones, as Nubia launched the Red Magic 3 in India on Monday within a month of its unveiling in China.

It's the second 'gaming' smartphone to launch in India in 2019 and, on paper, the phone sounds no less than a laptop.

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The new smartphone has tailored itself for the gaming experience offering users 8GB RAM with 128GB storage at ₹35,999 and an even larger 12GB RAM with 256GB of storage at ₹46,999.

It has a 'Game Space' launcher where gamers can adjust the fan speed, control the RGB lighting and monitor most aspects that have a bearing on one's gaming experience.


Nubia's new device may be a 'gaming' smartphone but it tries to offer a wholesome smartphone. The company's equipped the Red Magic 3 with a 48-megapixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel front camera and a massive 5,000mAh battery — which should charge relatively quickly since the phone comes equipped with 27W charger.

It should be noted that the device massively undercuts the ASUS ROG phone launched last year at ₹69,999 and even the Black Shark 2 that costs ₹39,999 but offers up 6GB RAM.

If the company didn't launch the Nubia Red Magic 3 as a 'gaming' smartphone, it would make good competition for the 'affordable' flagship devices like Oppo Reno, Honor 20 and the One Plus 7 Pro.

The year of gaming smartphones

The ASUS ROG phone was the first gaming smartphone to launch in India and while the device garned appreciation from gamers, the phone peaked before it could reach its full potential in the market. Razer and Xiaomi also had their gaming smartphones up and running by then — just not in the country.

Nubia also tried its hand of launching a gaming smartphone in India late last year. But the Nubia Red Magic, launched on December 20, didn't make much of an impact.

Last month, Black Shark 2 made its way into the Indian market. While most people believe its a Xiaomi device, Black Shark is only backed by Xiaomi but is its own entity.

The gaming phone market is a hard nut to crack. Nokia's N-Gage series back 2002 is a prime example of how the leading phone manufacturer in the 2G era couldn't find the right equation to make it work. Nokia only sold three million units of the N-Gage units, which was only half of the company's initial sales target.

The rise of the gaming smartphone

It's no secret that mobile gaming is no longer a niche but it is something that every smartphone user indulges in when they're bored. And, as games have gotten better over the years, so have the devices indicating that gaming has become a critical part of the smartphone experience.

Until 2016, the games market was dominated by PC games. But, in 2018, mobile gaming shot up — in what is called the 'post Fornite era' — to account for more than 50% of the revenue according to the Global Games Market Report.

Going up against the personal computer

As more people began to adjust their buying habits to account for their gaming habits, mobile device manufacturers started raising the bar to rival the PC experience.

The Nubia Red Magic 3, for instance, has the usual fan cooling system but it's supported by a liquid cooling system and dynamic heat vents — just like a laptop.

Of course, the screen will always been smaller on a smartphone even if Nubia's 6.65-inch OLED display is considered to be on the larger side for smartphones. But, the phone's 90Hz screen refresh rate — how often the screen can refresh itself per second — is something that sets it apart from most devices in the market. A better refresh rate means that you game will have less lag and jitters.

Mobile gaming is no longer a 'niche' but the opportunity of catering the the 1 billion gamers out there that are only growing in number. The paradigm shift is big enough for a major player — Samsung — to be pushed to make a phone that will have 12GB RAM and 1TB storage to back it up.