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The Battle of the Best: REDMAGIC 9 Pro vs ASUS ROG Phone 8

The Battle of the Best: REDMAGIC 9 Pro vs ASUS ROG Phone 8

One of the most popular questions asked by mobile gamers on Reddit is along the lines of “Which phone should I get for gaming?”, followed by a list of features they want the device to include. All true gamers know that for a truly excellent mobile gaming experience, you need to invest in a gaming smartphone, and the two biggest players in the game are REDMAGIC and ASUS ROG Phone. 

The tech experts who make up the Android Police team took it upon themselves to find out who makes the best device by putting two of their latest gaming smartphones in a head to head battle. The results are interesting because as with most things, “the best'' will be determined by one’s preferences. However, let’s see what the Android Police have to say about the REDMAGIC 9 Pro vs the ASUS ROG Phone 8 based on design, display, software, battery life, and most importantly performance & gaming. 


The Stuff That Matters: Gaming Performance 


The best chipset to have in 2024 for mobile gaming is undoubtedly the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. So it’s no surprise that both gaming smartphones boast this power, and it’s the best place to start the comparison. The Android Police believe that this chipset may be too far ahead of the game, but this puts both the REDMAGIC and the ASUS ROG Phone first in the line of compatibility once game developers start to catch up, making them future proof. 

While both have trigger buttons that turn the device into a portable console for immersive gaming, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro stands out with its unique ICE 13.0 Cooling System, which includes a built-in 22,000 RPM fan. This system keeps the phone cooler during intense gaming sessions, even reducing CPU temperatures by up to 25°C, as shown in tests with games like Genshin Impact. 

On the other hand, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 prioritizes water resistance over active cooling, meaning you might need to buy an external cooling accessory like the REDMAGIC VC Cooler 5 Pro to keep the device chilled during intense gaming sessions, adding to the already high cost.


How Long Does the Battery Last? 


In addition to providing an above average gaming experience, when it comes to battery life, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro wins with its huge 6500mAh battery that provides around two days of power for moderate use on a single charge. Additionally, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro charges faster with its 80W wired charging, filling up its large battery in just 35 minutes.

The ASUS ROG Phone 8’s 5500mAh battery is also good, offering just over a day of power with regular use. The ASUS ROG Phone 8’s 65W wired charging takes about 40 minutes for a full charge. The ASUS ROG Phone 8 also supports 15W wireless charging, a feature not available on the REDMAGIC 9 Pro.


The Game Face: Display


We have to hand it to the ASUS ROG Phone for this one, but for only one reason: the slightly brighter display allows you to enjoy a bright display even in well lit environments. Both the ASUS ROG Phone 8 and REDMAGIC 9 Pro flaunt fairly large 6.8-inch AMOLED displays with FHD+ resolution. 

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 boasts a peak brightness of 2500 nits and a lightning-fast 165Hz adaptive refresh rate to ensure vivid visuals even under harsh sunlight. The device features a punch-hole cutout where the selfie camera sits, potentially disrupting gameplay visuals.

In contrast, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro’s display with a  120Hz refresh rate offers the same amount of immersion even with a lower peak brightness of 1600 nits. Android Police suggest that the difference between a 120Hz and 165Hz refresh rate isn’t quite obvious in the grand scheme of things, so it can be overlooked. The device features the iconic REDMAGIC under-display selfie camera, offering a clean, bezel-free appearance that takes full advantage of the large screen and allows you to enjoy a slightly bigger view of the game.


Aesthetic Appeal: The Design 


All things weighed side by side, the phone’s design and appearance may be the biggest deciding factor of whether you prefer the REDMAGIC or the ASUS ROG Phone. Both phones meet basic gamer’s needs with features like headphone jacks and pressure-sensitive trigger buttons for gaming control.

The REDMAGIC 9 Pro proudly embraces the classic gaming phone aesthetic with sharp edges, loud logos, and flashy RGB lights. Asus decided to tone down the gamer aesthetic with the ASUS ROG Phone 8, going for a more mainstream everyday look. It’s slimmer and lighter compared to previous models, lending more from the look of the REDMAGIC 9 Pro.

In terms of toughness, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 boasts stronger glass protection and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. The REDMAGIC 9 Pro doesn’t have an official water and dust resistance rating, however, that’s because of the air vents it needs to keep the device cool during intense gaming sessions.


Who You Play With Is Up to You 


It all comes down to preference. If you’re after a gaming phone that has great value and is packed with features like RGB lights, shoulder triggers, and a big, powerful battery, the REDMAGIC 9 Pro is your go-to. It’s got everything a serious gamer needs, including an active cooling fan with flashy RGB lights, giving it that unmistakable gaming phone look. If you’re not too concerned with having wireless charging or a phone that can survive being dunked in water, and you mainly want a device just for gaming, then the REDMAGIC 9 Pro is hard to beat. It’s available on the official REDMAGIC store and Amazon for a starting price of $649.

However, if you’re willing to spend more to combine your gaming experience with your day to day tasks, about $1,099, then the ASUS ROG Phone 8 steps in with slightly better mainstream features like a more versatile camera and more flexible charging options. You’ll need to compromise on battery life, and also consider the additional investment of an external cooling device.

If you’re privileged enough to have experienced both devices, do your fellow gamers a solid and leave a short review on Reddit? It’ll help them make the best purchase decision, and ultimately make the virtual battlefield a more interesting place to be.