Smooth operator: upcoming new gaming phone appears to have no camera bump

Red Magic 9 Pro teaser image
(Image credit: Nubia)

It seems there's no limit to the number of different phone brands out there, and I've just discovered yet another: Red Magic. No, not Redmi, the Xiaomi sub-brand, and neither is this connected to Honor and its line of Magic phones. Nor is this some sort of offshoot from Red cinema cameras. In fact, Red Magic is a sub brand of Chinese phone manufacturer Nubia, itself an offshoot of Shenzhen tech giant ZTE. Red Magic - stylized as REDMAGIC - was devised in 2018 as a gaming phone sub brand, competing with the likes of Asus ROG phones.

Last year's Red Magic 8 Pro: each of its three rear-facing cameras do have a slight bump (Image credit: Nubia)

Anyway, enough with the obscure phone history. Red Magic is about to reveal its latest gamer-centric phone, the Red Magic 9 Pro, set to launch on November 23rd. As yet little is known about the device specs, but a teaser image does reveal something moderately interesting: the phone has no camera bump. This 'feature' is rare amongst current high-end camera phones, as the drive towards ever-larger camera sensors necessitates physically bigger lenses to cover the increased sensor size. This then has the knock-on effect of bulging the camera out beyond the back of the phone. In most cases such a bulge/bump is fairly minimal, and rarely impacts the ergonomics or handling of the phone.

Some phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, have an entire raised section of their back panel that encloses the multiple camera modules (Image credit: Future)

As for how Nubia has eliminated the camera bump from the 9 Pro; one answer could come from serial leak site Digital Chat Station. The phone is using a Samsung GN5 sensor, which is 1/1.57” in size - though far from 'small', this is also not a particularly large sensor, so is potentially easier to conceal completely within the thickness of the phone body. That said, the preceding Red Magic 8 Pro uses the same sized sensor, yet its trio of rear-facing cameras do protrude slightly from the phone's back panel. Either Nubia has managed to better conceal the cameras in the Magic 9 Pro, or it has simply increased the thickness of the whole phone so the bumps no longer stick out. Elsewhere, the Red Magic 9 Pro is rumored to incorporate the Samsung JN1 sensor in its ultrawide module - a 50 MP sensor with a 0.64um pixel size - and the phone could be powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC.

Story credit: GSMArena

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.