You can play games on any smartphone. But over the past year or two, we’ve seen a growing number of smartphones aimed specifically at gamers. Not only do these phones typically have fast processors and plenty of RAM, but some have additional features like 120Hz displays, liquid cooling, RGB lighting effects, and support for gaming controllers and other accessories.

But the Nubia Red Magic 3 is the first smartphone I’m aware of to support active cooling — there’s actually a small fan inside the phone which will help keep the device from overheating during gameplay.

The phone also has a liquid cooling system, so the fan won’t run all the time — just when you need it. Still, it’s a bit odd that at a time when there seem to be a growing number of fanless notebook and desktop computers, Nubia is adding a fan to a device category that’s been fanless from the start.

Anyway, the phone’s “turbo fan” is just one of the things that makes the Red Magic 3 stand out from most phones.

The smartphone features a 6.65 inch, FHD+ AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 90 Hz refresh rate.

There are two shoulder buttons that you can use to trigger actions in games without touching the display, and you can also use the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone as a third button.

On the back of the phone there’s also an RGB light strip, and there are POGO pins on one side of the phone that you can use to attach an optional docking station or other accessories.

As for the more traditional specs, the phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a 5,000 mAh battery with support ofr 27 watt quick charging.

There are stereo front-facing speakers with support for 3D audio and DTS:X sound, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s a 48MP camera on the back of the phone and a 16MP camera on the front.

Nubia plans to offer the phone globally, so it should be available in the US, Canada, the EU, and the UK in May. But it launches first in China, where it will go on sale May 3rd for about $430 and up (for a 6GB/64GB model).

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7 replies on “Nubia’s Red Magic 3 is a gaming phone with active cooling”

  1. Just what we need; the whine of a dying fan on our phones. This one’s a hard pass.

  2. I don’t mind fans on computers and laptops because it lets you know when an app has started to act up. But on a phone I hope it turns off when you’re making a phone call. That would be very annoying if it doesn’t.

    1. Maybe read the article and find out.
      “The phone also has a liquid cooling system, so the fan won’t run all the time — just when you need it. “

      1. And that statement “just when you need it.“ makes no practical or operational sense.

        The fan needs to run when the processor needs cooling not when “you” need it.

        So how do you know that the phone will not decide to start up the fan during a telephone conversation if the phone starts getting too hot?

      2. I’m not sure what you think that means. If it said it turns off when the phone app is active that would address my concern. As it is, most fan systems are variable speed and even turn off. That’s why I like them on computers–they let you know when something is amiss by changing their operating speed.

  3. So no ipx reading I’m guessing, not unless they have a way to cover the vent when not needed.

    1. I too see the fan, and frankly the styling, as plain stupid.
      And the lack of IP68 protection, and poor software experience/support as a big letdown.

      But I have to give them props to including a proper big battery, front-firing stereo loudspeakers, headphone jack, bonus Pogo pins, 90Hz OLED 1080p display, extra/shoulder buttons, and no notch. Not to mention the no-nonsense fingerprint scanner, front camera, rear camera. It’s even got a decent looking TV/Desktop Dock and (half) a JoyCon. All of that for USD $400-$700, so its priced sensibly as well.

      They’ve done more good than not, and thus deserves a kudos. Hopefully this product will be successful, so that they and competitors may improve upon it for a future version (note: one that doesn’t have active cooling, adds a microSD slot, goes AndroidOne route, and improves the gamer-boy-ricer external styling = $$$$ ).

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