Nubia Red Magic Mars Puts Premium Android Gaming Up For U.S. Pre-Orders

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Chinese electronics manufacturer Nubia is now accepting pre-orders for its latest Android gaming smartphone in the United States, with the Red Magic Mars phablet starting at $389.

That entry-level price tag is attached to a model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space, officially called the Essential configuration. $50 extra will net you twice as much flash memory and 8GB of RAM as part of what Nubia refers to as the Superior Red Magic Mars model. The same figures apply to most European markets, albeit (naturally) attached to euros. The prices have $10/€10

The company is also working on a third Red Magic Mars variant called the Conqueror that's promised to ship with 10GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. No concrete details about its availability have been revealed so far, though all models should be available in a choice of Red, Black, and Camo.

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Besides the aforementioned pre-order discounts, Nubia is also rewarding advanced purchases of the Red Magic Mars with what are essentially loot boxes packed with digital gift cards and other awards such as dbrand smartphone skins and Nubia's Red Magic (Mars) stickers. Five lucky buyers who place an order for the Red Magic Mars ahead of its release will also get the device for free, i.e. will have their payments fully refunded.

Following its Western debut at this year's iteration of Consumer Electronics Show, the Red Magic Mars is meant to be a direct successor to Nubia's 2018 Red Magic, offering a premium Android gaming experience with a price tag that's well below the latest Android flagships in the industry.

An RGB LED strip has been a hallmark of both Red Magic-series devices released so far, having been designed to lend a more aggressive look to the phablets and clearly communicate their primary purpose.

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Super-early announcements are a common practice for Nubia; the original Red Magic was also in the process of being released for several months. Based on the company's existing product revision policies, the Red Magic Mars is likely to hit the store shelves by late May or early June.

While the former Sony Ericsson was the last major smartphone manufacturer to attempt making the concept of a gaming handset mainstream in over half a decade, Razer revived the idea in 2017 and followed up on it last year, with its example then being embraced by the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei's Honor.

Samsung is also rumored to be working on an Android handset specifically designed for playing mobile games and recent reports indicate the device in question may be even weirder than expected, featuring a foldable display panel and a hidden controller.

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Nubia is likely to share more details on its mobile gaming plans later this month as the Chinese manufacturer is scheduled to appear at the 2019 edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The same event should see the introduction of Samsung and Huawei's first foldable Android smartphones, as well as a number of handsets compatible with the fifth generation of wireless networks.