Nubia Red Magic 3 Slow Motion 1920fps and Its Not A Typo!

Nubia Red Magic 3 Slow MotionThe Nubia Red Magic 3 phone is something of a hyper-customized piece of gear for the performance-oriented gamer with crazy high-quality 3D specs and even fan cooling inside the case which is a first for a phone and a testament to the engineering to get it to fit in such a slim case.  The specs that really caught our attention are that the phone does 8k video recording and 480fps 1080p with a beta mode to bring that all the way up to 1920fps.

We had no indication that the 1920fps mode is indeed real for a few days until we found out it is actually an option on the phone and not a typo which many including us thought up as 1920pixels for 1080p not frames. But yes it is frames which makes it confusing but in our estimation also allows for decoding the truth behind this spec and if it is actually all that it claims to be.

Nubia Red Magic 3 Camera Specs: 

Software Settings Exposure compensation
Camera Features Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
Image Resolution 8000 x 6000 Pixels

48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide)

Sensor Exmor-RS CMOS Sensor IMX 586
Autofocus Yes
Shooting Modes Continuous Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Resolution 16 MP Front Camera
Physical Aperture F2.0
Flash Yes Dual LED Flash

Video Recording:

  • 4320p 8k – 30fps
  • 2160p 4k 30fps & 60fps
  • Slow Motion 480fps Full HD and 1920fps Full HD

Looking at the specs it seems the phone can do no wrong but the first clue in discovering the truth about frame rates comes from the IMX 586 sensor that the phone uses.

Sony IMX 586 Frame Rate Specs:
Frame rate Full 30fps

The 48 Megapixel IMX 586 is a marvel of sensor design by allowing a 4k capture at 90fps but there is a limit as to the power of their stacked design. It can only deliver 480fps 720p video in a severe crop of the sensor area which shows just how misleading the 1920fps spec. You can see the full Sony IMX 586 specs here!

The phone is upconverting the 480fps 720p to 1080p which is also a misleading spec then it is in our estimation doing interpolation or just slowing down the playback by 4x to give exactly 1920ps. 480fps * 4 = 1920fps.  It is not uncommon for Chinese phones to tout crazy specs and that is why you have to take them with a big grain of salt since the beginning.  Reviewers that have the phone from China as an import also have the trouble of having nearly no Google Play store app support so it is a dicey proposition until Google approves it as a supported device.

The video below by Tech/NickBrazer shows the frame rate interface on the Red Magic 3!

Nubia Red Magic 3 Unboxing & Initial Review – The Everything Smartphone by Tech/NickBrazer:

The phone could, in theory, do the 90fps 4k feature of the IMX 586 some justice but the current 60p at that frame size is probably the limit of the frame buffer. However, being able to shoot 8k means that it should easily pump that many frames to a file. There is also the horrible rolling shutter performance when shooting 8k, any slight motion creates a wobble effect that ruins the 8k video feature.  You are much better of recording in 4k and getting usable video.

The Video below claims to be a real sample from the 1920fps feature of the Red Magic 3.  It looks like 480fps slowed down by 4x which would make sense but we are unable to authenticate the veracity of the footage.

Nubia Red Magic Mars 3 1920FPS Super Slow motion and 8k Support by Sparrows News

The Red Magic 3 should also shoot 1080p 240fps as the sensor supports it and it is almost a given this day and age of fast flagship smartphones.

We are disappointed by the marketing this phone shipped with. The Beta features seem to be cooked up in the marketing department and not the engineering area of the company.   It would be a good thing if phones showed a disclaimer of how they get to such frame rates aside from the spec like i.e. 1920fps (*Interpolated from 720p 480) .  But we are probably not getting there soon as smartphone makers aim to one-up each other.

As far as slow motion phones go we still have to see what the OnePlus 7 will bring later this month and we already saw how good the Galaxy S10 can be when recording it at 960fps for up to 8 seconds playback at 30p.  We will keep you informed and include samples of the Red Magic 3 and other phones when available. -HSC

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8 thoughts on “Nubia Red Magic 3 Slow Motion 1920fps and Its Not A Typo!”

  1. The sample footage doesn’t look good. I hope HDR is a lot better, in 8k.

    The 855 chipset does not have an 8k mode like the Samsung. But it can take stills off fullframe at 30fps, so maybe a higher speed 8k is possible, and reduce the wobble. Can the chipset take photos fast enough? 4kp90 should reduce the wobble significantly and faster readout might help normal 4k video rates.

    Samsung has a hdr 64mp sensor coming and a true 8k chipset. A new Sony 8k mobile sensor is definitely needed with better low light, and better latitude, even 2/3rds or s16 size to get the pixels above 1 micron.

    1. 8k TVs are already here which means 8k cameras are not too far off the consumer space. 8k phones will be here in quantity by next year but wonder what the real use case will be. 4k is very rarely used already and most programming on tv is 720p and 1080p or i. Mostvyoung viewers also watch programming on tablets and phones primarily which makes 8k even less desireable. Everything seems to be a function of TV sales and not real need for resolution. 4k is plenty good enough and we need 4k at high frame rates to be accessible to the common videographer.

      1. The problem is people don’t know how to use 8k displays or watch 8k footage. 8k is meant to be representative of the limits of human vision. So you can’t pick the dots, even closer in a good field of view. You should try it on a wide field of view, 60 degrees or more. The Sharp 8kTV site is probably good to look at, they recommend 110 degree field of view, which I think is uncomfortable, and maybe close enough to see pixels. However, at 6-7 feet viewing we are looking at 100-120 inch 16:9 screen as ideal in my estimation. This distance reduces strain. In it you also get some peripheral vision effect, but not do much you have to keep looking around to see what’s happening (which may happen at 110 degrees field of view). At reasonable fields of view it is max quality. At 180 degrees you might need a lot more.

        Now, something very good for 8k+ is 180 degree or 360 degree video. This gives you 2.66k+ and 1.33k+ at 60 degree view out of 180 or 360 degree views, so pixelated to good vision. Wide angle field of view action cams and phones need 8k. In high speed.

        For computer touch table use, 8k is a bit low due to closeness. But, fur various professional and commercial computer uses, 8k and a big screen are useful, and many initial sales are forecast to go there. Advertising can actually use massive resolutions past 8k. For more then a decade, commercial TV concerns have held back 8k market release. Nvidia launched support and tried to get 8k monitors into the market more than a decade ago. Let’s say 8k could have been done much earlier than even that. What has stopped 8k work screens from entering the market? One issue, apart from anti-trust considerations, is a lot of older people who oppose 4k/8k struggle to see past fullhd, so errantly think they should oppose everybody else’s desires. The reality, is people in the know talk about 32k, and I probably know a company with hear mounted display chips for that. However, 32k compensates for bayer camera filters poor performance issues, and renders out ok 8k 4:4:4 images. Holographic recording might go to over 90k. These figures are not even for 180 and 360 or volumetric, or image oversampling in holographic. So, pro resolution increases have a while to go yet.

        1. Agree on the VR video side. Having tried 8k 360 footage I believe we need much more resolution to blur the line between video and reality feel.

          On TVs it is overkill since most people cannot see pixels on 1080p at 8ft and 4k at 6ft. TV will however morph to a headset of some kind so 8k might be justvthe start. Thech will continue to advance but forcing hyper resolution on an old technology like regular TV panels is wasteful.

          1. I agree I am also thinking about headsets for a while.

            But concerning TV’s. It is a top quality sale, where nobody really sees a pixel. People will buy into that, assurance that even their well sighted friends won’t see pixels. While older people biase standards and what is sold based on what they see, a lot more younger people should be able to see 4k and 8k. 8k is really the finish of the pixel wars for personal display. On touch tables we still need 4k per 20 inch of table space because we sit closer and younger people sit closer again.

            I forgot to mention. That largely the broadcast industry wouldn’t do 8k because you can’t fit them in the physical channels. They mostly don’t do 4k or 2k, because they want a variety of channels. The timing of the specification for 8k is way out, I think the reason why, is they are waiting for h268 codec next decade, to fit 8k inside the channels easily. That’s the real reason we are stuck at SD to HD resolutions in my country, but it also means you might see it years earlier through Netflix, as they stream only one content at greater data rate and latest codec. People are now also talking 5G TV, so its not over. We could all watch sub SD mobile quality streaming on our large TV’s, but we often choose not to.

            As we get bigger TV, I’m sure more people will go to 4k and 8k. The THX home theater specification is 120-over 200 inches as the recommended screen size based on their research. That would be around 7 feet to around 14 feet viewing distance in prime zone, and double that before we get to the tiny fov we are used to. So, 120 inch will probably be the sweet spot, and people will sit closer or further back as desired. I expect the price of 120 inch printable TV’s that hang on the wall to fall below $2000 next before the end if next decade. There will be enough content for 8k by then (but you really only want 8k for top movies and programs and special purposes).

    2. It seems the sample footage from the phone does not add up to what the sensor press release says, particularly low light. I have just tried looking for the spec sheet PDF at Sony semi conductor to check performance, and can’t even find the imx586 there, and pages out of date.

      The sensor press release sounds fantastic in a consumerish way, but I don’t see the reality here. Let’s hope the full camera app does better.

  2. However, this phone is great opportunity to concentrate on reprogramming for high speed. The 48mp at 30 fps of data, means you can sensor window the phone to high quality high-speed, not just 8kp48 slow motion. The same all system processing resources you could use to program the phone to record in visually lossless pro video you can use to record high frame rate visually lossless at lower resolutions, and not just this phone, any 855 chipset sony sensor phone. Any new more powerful snapdragon chipset with Sony sensor phone should be similar to program at some level. There is no existing app I know of to do this (and pro video). The apps just largely put a front end on underlying phone software, rather than reprogram these things. This means shoving the video through weak chipset video encoders at reduced quality and frame rate, compared to what the chipsets pull off the sensor live, before encoding.

    There are three ways to improve it. Try the still camera function to process better video footage, even if you have to pack low resolution frames into a full resolution frame through software and then send the stills encoder on it. Another, is to shove X% of frames through the hardware codec to saturate it, then the rest of the frames through the rest of the phones processing resources through software. The third option is to use everything, and elements of hardware encoder processor, to do a pro quality codec, such as prores (jpeg based) or jpegs which preserve the value of underlying Bayer filter color (like black magic raw does in JPEG), apple heif (supported on 855), JPEG xr and xl (not pro but wavelet) and cineform which is now open source and free to use in non raw Bayer form, which like any of these, can also be used to preserve underlying Bayer filter values for latter extraction. Such a product driver/encoder set can also be sold to consumers to use as a registered video mode their camera apps can use. So, the market fur such a thing, is all video camera users, including professional ones, not just hispeed users

    1. Agree, somehow the protectionist policies of the big camera companies do not allow for such rapid advancement to protect the predictable upgrade path. That is why 3rd parties need to take the baton and deliver the goods.

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