The current smartphone market is 18-year old. It came of age now, and during those 18 years, we have seen too many modifications. But at this phase of development, seems the manufacturers couldn’t bring too many innovations. As a result, the overall market sees a decline in sales. However, last year, a couple of top smartphone brands launched relatively new category smartphones, called game smartphones. As you guess, we are talking about the Nubia Red Magic and the Xiaomi Black Shark. By the end of 2018, both models were improved. So it’s the right time to compare their successors. Let’s see how the Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 will perform in various tests.
Nubia Red Magic Mars vs Xiaomi Black Shark 2: Appearance
No matter which category the smartphone belongs to, the appearance is one of the main decisive factors when buying a new handset. As for the mobile game enthusiasts, it’s more important. Both the Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 adopt a mech-style design. The latter offers only one color option, which is the night black. Its competitor has two regular colors of Flame Red and Meteorite. In addition, there is a camouflage version. On the back, both models also have a strong ‘angular and sharp’ tough design. The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 uses a combination of metal and glass, while Red Magic Mars uses a sleek metal style. So it’s more comfortable to hold in hand.
For both models, the fingerprint recognition scanner is placed on the back. The camera and flash are also placed symmetrically. The Nubia Red Magic Mars has added a colorful light strip in the middle of the back, with 16.8 million color lighting effects. You can also customize the light mode. The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 also has a luminous effect of nearly 16.8 million colors on the back logo, and a light bar design has been added to the left and right borders as well.
The left side of the two phones also has a similar design. It carries the game mode key and a SIM card slot. But the arrangement and location are different. As for the Red Magic Mars, the game mode button is set at the top, while the same button is placed in the middle and is almost symmetrical with the power button on the right side. There is an obvious design difference on the right side. Besides the power button and the volume rocker, the Nubia Red Magic Mars has also added a capacitive touch button at both ends of the right border. It allows users to perform four-finger operations when playing the game. Unlike this model, the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 has added a light bar design.
On the front, the Nubia Red Magic Mars uses a 6-inch full-screen with a resolution of 2160×1080 (FHD+), while the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 uses a 6.39-inch-inch full-screen, with the same 1080×2340 resolution. We have to mention the Black Shark 2 also uses an independent image processing chip, which enables HDR vision. The Red Magic Mars retains a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top, and the bottom side uses a traditional design. The black shark Helo’s top and bottom sides have a very simple design.
Both models have a high rate of recognition. We mean when looking at these handsets, you will understand which category they belong to immediately. Of course, two companies have used different approaches – if the Xiaomi’s model is tougher, the Nubia’s representative is sleeker.
Nubia Red Magic Mars vs the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo: Performance
The game smartphones definitely should have a strong performance. Unlike the first-gen models, these two handsets sport almost an identical specs list. They all use the Snapdragon 845 processor with the highest frequency of up to 2.8GHz. The chip is paired with an Adreno 630 graphics processor. Even now, this configuration can run large games smoothly.
It is logical that such phones will come with powerful heat dissipation capabilities. The Xiaomi Black Shark Helo and the previous generation use a liquid cooling inside. The difference is that this generation uses a double-discharge liquid cooling design to achieve partition cooling.
The Red Magic Mars adopts a liquid-cooled + air-cooled multi-dimensional heat dissipation. On the basis of liquid cooling, there are added four diamond-shaped wind troughs. The air trough can exchange air inside and outside the smartphone to form air convection. So the cooling and heat dissipation are more comprehensive.
High performance and efficient cooling is a must-have configuration for a smartphone to provide a smooth gaming experience, but it is also inseparable from a customized smartphone system. The Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 have a UI system tailored for the game. The Nubia’s model runs on RedMagic OS system, based on Android 9.0 deep customization and optimization. The default theme and UI are matched to the game style and are very textured. At the same time, the special button placed on the site forces the system to enter the game mode when pressed.
In the game mode, you can swipe left and call out the information bar to quickly check the phone temperature, network speed, and CPU and GPU usage. You can also block calls and notifications to make the game experience more immersive. The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 is also equipped with a deeply optimized game system, namely Joy UI, based on Android 8.1. Its default theme and UI are also very impressive, fully hinting at its role. Its game boost button on the side performs the same operations as its sibling.
Actually, the Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 are very different in terms of theme and UI. Though they do identical operations, these are two different systems.
Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Xiaomi Black Shark 2: Battery
At last, the battery is very important for game enthusiasts. That’s not a secret that the smartphones drainage the most power when playing games. The Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo also have certain differences. The former model uses the NeoCharge fast charging technology. Although the temperature during charging is effectively controlled, the power can only reach 15W. The Xiaomi Black Shark Helo uses an 18W fast charge. After 30 minutes of charging test, it is charged up to 54%. Compared with the Red Magic Mars’ 35% charge rate, it has a great advantage.
The difference between the battery lives of the two-game phones is very small. The battery capacity of the Nubia Red Magic Mars is 3800mAh, while the battery capacity of the Black Shark 2 is 4000mAh. After the 5-hours test, there is still about 50% of the remaining power.