The top gaming phones are proof that mobile gaming has advanced far beyond Candy Crush and Angry Birds.On a device small enough to fit in your pocket, you can now play games with a scope, complexity, and graphic quality once only found on home consoles anywhere you go. This device also has the ability to make calls, snap pictures, and keep your daily life organised.
You’ll need a phone with plenty of processing power if you intend to play a lot of mobile games, especially high-end contemporary games with lots of 3D graphics.You’ll require sufficient capacity for your downloads and a continuous battery life while travelling.
All of the aforementioned should be no problem for any of the greatest cellphones, even though they are frequently very expensive.The operating system to use—iOS or Android—will probably be a crucial decision. Each offers distinct advantages in terms of features, app shops, and services.Then there are phones designed with features like extra buttons, fast refresh rates, cooling systems, and gamer-centric designs that are tailored for gaming.Currently, there isn’t a great assortment, but if gaming is your first priority, they can still suit your needs.
See if any of these powerful gadgets on our list of the best gaming phones appeal to you by taking a look.
1. Best Overall: Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus has made the natural next step into gaming smartphones as part of its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand of gaming hardware and accessories, and the results are nothing short of amazing.The ROG Phone 5 has up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it is powered by the lightning-quick Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform (an Ultimate model comes with 18GB RAM and 512GB storage).
Any setup you select will be more than capable of handling any game you throw at it.In addition to providing a large perspective, the 6.78-inch 2446 x 1080-pixel Samsung AMOLED panel has a 144Hz refresh rate that keeps all the action looking crisp and clear.Even though the technology is working hard, the phone keeps cool and its battery lasts remarkably long.Even though wireless charging is not enabled, you can swiftly charge from empty to full in under an hour when you do run low.
The software on the ROG Phone 5, which is based on the Android 11 operating system, is also specifically designed for gamers.With Asus’ Game Genie interface, you can view and modify all of the settings for any game or app, even those that don’t typically allow them, like mapping touch controls to a physical controller.The useful AirTriggers, which are ultrasonic touch sensors on the sides of the phone, may also be used to map inputs.
The ROG Phone 5 is loaded with features that are meant to improve the gaming experience, from the powerful sound produced by two front-facing speakers to the charging ports that don’t get in the way of your hold to the broad variety of gaming peripherals it supports.However, because to its relatively big size and weight, average camera quality, and high pricing, it is more difficult to market as a pure smartphone outside of gaming.
Operating System: Android 11 | Screen Size: 6.78 in. | Resolution: 2446 x 1080 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 128GB-256GB | Camera: 24MP front, 64MP rear | Battery Capacity: 6,000 milliamp-hours
2. Best Value: Nubia RedMagic 6
The most potent mobile hardware is required for the greatest gaming phones, and it frequently costs a lot of money.The Nubia RedMagic 6 offers gamers some extremely outstanding performance and features for a very modest cost, despite the fact that it isn’t cheap.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with 12GB of RAM, increased to 16GB with the Pro edition, is the best you can get.
With a fan-based active cooling technology that prevents the device from being too hot in your hands, you can easily play any 3D game available (though it can get a little noisy when the fan kicks in).
With a 6.8-inch, 2400 x 1080-pixel AMOLED screen and a super-smooth 165Hz refresh rate for games that support it, the RedMagic 6 doesn’t compromise on the display either.That is quicker than any other phone now available.
A pair of touch-sensitive shoulder trigger buttons that you may configure for almost any game are also available to help you level up your gameplay.The RedMagic 6 supports the new Wi-Fi 6E standard, which may use a third band—6GHz—for lower latency and increased stability, in addition to 5G, to keep you connected for online play.
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The phone’s primary operating system is Android 11, and it includes the Google Play Store and other typical Google apps.However, the RedMagic OS that was created on top of it has a few loading and navigational issues that some users can find annoying.The RedMagic 6 may not be the phone for everyone, given its mediocre camera quality, but it’s a great deal for mobile games.
Operating System: RedMagic OS 4 (Android 11) | Screen Size: 6.8 in. | Resolution: 2400 x 1080 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB | Camera: 8MP front, 64/8/2MP rear | Battery Capacity: 5,050 milliamp-hours
3. Best iOS: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
You undoubtedly already know that iPhones are among the greatest phones for any use if you’re a fan of Apple products in general and iPhones in particular.The biggest, boldest, and most expensive model in the current lineup is the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which also has all the qualities that make a superb gaming device.The A14 Bionic microprocessor from Apple is a cutting-edge device that combines a CPU, GPU, and neural engine to create the quickest mobile processor available right now.The iPhone 12 Pro Max can breeze through any of the many games on the Apple App Store and the Apple Arcade subscription service without breaking a sweat.
The size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max sets it apart from other models the most, as no other iPhone has a Super Retina XDR display with a 6.7-inch diagonal.Even at the usual 60Hz refresh rate, which is lower than those of specialist gaming phones and Android competition, it still looks dazzlingly clear and smooth.
Other gamer-focused features like trigger buttons, liquid cooling, and graphics-optimizing software are also absent.What you do get is a phone that is incredibly strong and stylish for everyday use, with excellent camera and video capabilities—and also one of the best at playing games.
Operating System: iOS 14 | Screen Size: 6.7 in. | Resolution: 2778 x 1284 | Processor: Apple A14 Bionic | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB-512GB | Camera: Dual 12MP front, Quad 12MP rear | Battery Capacity: 3,687 milliamp-hours
4. Best Budget iOS: Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Although Apple’s iPhones have a reputation for being expensive, the iPhone SE (now in its second version) has emerged as a popular, cost-effective variant with minimal quality compromises.The display, with a 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750-pixel screen that seems little relative to the imposing panels of most gaming-focused phones, is one area where it makes compromises.It still has a gorgeous Retina HD display, with the added benefit of being much easier to carry with one hand and put in your pocket.This is most preferable among gaming phones
Even though the iPhone SE doesn’t have the most recent and finest Apple processor, you won’t notice any difference when playing games on it.Only one generation below the top-end models, it has the same A13 Bionic technology as the iPhone 11 Pro.Even when compared to comparable devices with greater RAM, it is still incredibly speedy.
Other compromises made by the entry-level phone include a somewhat reduced battery life and a lack of 5G network access.However, you still get a tonne of features that iPhone fans have grown to love, like as powerful cameras and the streamlined iOS 14 UI.
Operating System: iOS 14 | Screen Size: 4.7 in. | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | Processor: Apple A13 Bionic | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64GB-256GB | Camera: 7MP front, 12MP rear | Battery Capacity: 1,821 milliamp-hours
5. Best Android: Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
Samsung’s Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G can do it all if you’re searching for an all-around Android phone that isn’t strictly designed for gaming.Use the S Pen, a precise and useful stylus that is integrated into the phone’s bottom, to make notes and doodles. The S Pen is a trademark of the Note range.With a premium trio of cameras that includes a 108MP ultrawide lens and a noteworthy 5x optical (50x digital) zoom, you can capture beautiful images and up to 8K video.It’s a phone for people who are prepared to spend a lot of money to get a lot of phone.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ mobile platform with 12GB RAM in the Note20 Ultra 5G is about as strong as it gets when it comes to gaming.The 6.9-inch AMOLED display is excellent for showcasing all the action and detail in those graphically demanding games, even though the large screen makes the phone a little awkward during normal use. This phone is one of the best among gaming phones.
For slicker animations and responsiveness, you may also activate the 120Hz setting; however, the resolution is reduced to 1080p rather than the full 3088 x 1440 pixels.Samsung’s DeX interface allows you to project your phone’s screen to a monitor or TV for even larger-screen gaming.
Android gamers who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also have a new gaming option accessible to them, allowing them to stream more than 100 top games to their mobile device directly from the cloud.The Note20 Ultra 5G no longer needs its processing power, but it may still benefit from its Wi-Fi 6 and 5G capabilities for quick, low-latency networking.
Operating System: Android 10 | Screen Size: 6.9 in. | Resolution: 3088 x 1440 | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ | RAM: 12B | Storage: 128GB-512GB | Camera: 10MP front, 12/108/12MP rear | Battery Capacity: 4,500 milliamp-hours