Click here for our full and extensive review of the vanilla Red Magic 6, which the Red magic 6S Pro is based on.
The Red Magic 6S Pro is likely intended as a drop-in replacement for the existing Red Magic 6 and Red Magic 6 Pro models. In fact, both of these are already Out of Stock on the EU store at redmagic.gg - the direct sales store Nubia runs.
Then there is the matter of pricing. The preliminary MSRP for the Red Magic 6S Pro models goes as follows: USD/EUR 599 and GBP 519 for a 12GB/128GB Black unit, USD/EU 699 and GBP 609 for a 16GB/256GB Black model and USD/EUR 729 and GBP 629 for the top-tier 16GB/256GB Transparent model. That's the one with the RGB internal fan. That essentially means the new model will cost the same as its predecessor, making a replacement strategy even more likely.
So, essentially, Nubia has decided to take the exact same steps Asus did with the new ROG Phone 5s Pro - adopt the new Snapdragon 888+ chipset into a mostly-unchanged existing design and offer that to users, going forward to stay relevant on the market. Both companies do also throw in a few "extras" or small upgrades to "sweeten" the deal even further, again, mostly to be more competitive on the market, more than anything else. Even so, we can't complain about things like the 720Hz multi-touch sampling rate on display, the 450Hz sampling rate on the shoulder triggers, the upgrade of the under-display fingerprint reader or the addition of RGB on the internal fan and an extra M touch key area on the Transparent Red Magic 6S Pro model, in particular. All of these are, to a different degree, kind of "free upgrades".
The new model also gets a few notable upgrades, not mentioned on the official specs sheet that our test revealed, like better battery endurance and a brighter display.
Most importantly, however, there is a lot to be said about how the move to the faster but also hotter and more power-hungry Snapdragon 888+ chipset was handled. ZTE and nubia engineers arguably did things better on the Red Magic 6S Pro than the Asus ROG Phone 5s Pro - the most direct and obvious competitor. Whether through beefing up its internal cooling solution through the advertised addition of phase change materials, or a better-balanced power and clock speed distribution between the CPU and GPU cores inside the chip, or likely a combination of the two, the Red Magic 6 arguably handles the Snapdragon 888+ better than its rival.
Whether or not that's enough to make the Red Magic 6S Pro the better phone overall is an entirely different question, though. One that involves the pricing, the perceived value calculations and, in no small part, important additional aspects of the experience, like UI and support. Depending on your personal priorities, that comparison can easily swing in one direction or the other. Speaking in more quantifiable terms, though, the Red Magic 6S Pro seems to be squeezing the best possible performance, for now, out of what is currently the top-dog Qualcomm chipset and translating that into the most frames on-screen. That definitely counts for something.
The Red Magic 6S Pro deserves praise for being a product refresh made by the book - it keeps its competitive position in its product category, and it improves its predecessor in several key aspects, all while selling at the same price.