The 5 Best Gaming Phones [Compared]

Bryan Nelson

Long gone are the days that we had to be at home to play our favorite games on our computer. Thanks to rapid technology development, we can now play our favorite games on our phones. That’s why, i decided to review the 5 best gaming phones for this year. We’ve tested a lot of different models over the years, and we concluded that the ones that we will review in this article are the best-valued ones.

Which Is The Best Gaming Phone?

8. Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Best Budget Gaming Smartphone

Our Ratings:

Durability
80%
Quality
70%
Value
70%

We are going to start our best gaming smartphones list with a budget option. Xiaomi is still building its name and reputation in the western world, is looking to throw more and more models in different price ranges. The company excels in selling budget phones with high capabilities due to its no more than 5 percent profit from each phone. Each device seems to outperform its counterparts in the same price range. The best example of this is the Xiaomi Pocophone F1, giving you the best value that you can get from that price-tag with premium components and high-power specs for games.

To keep it in the budget price point, Pocophone has pulled a few tricks of the hat to decrease the costs while still providing an over-performing phone. One of those tricks is eliminating some design features such as glass-back design and metal frames. Instead, Pocophone F1 features a plastic polycarbonate body, but it is assembled in such a way that you will also get a lot of style and durability at the same time.

The screen comes in 6.18-inch Full HD+ with 2246×1080 resolution. The IPS LCD panel offers impressive brightness and sharp colors. Despite featuring an extended 18.7:9 aspect ratio, the Pocophone F1 is a slightly wide device. Overall the screen is amazing for its price-tag, to the point that it can go head-to-head with flagship phones.

Performance-wise is where this phone shines. At the price point of a budget gaming phone the Pocophone F1 should not give us a flagship processor. And yet it does, it comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with 6GB of RAM. We see the company strategy here, offering the most performance with low prices, without the end product coming out as ‘cheap’. In the benchmarking app, AnTuTu Pocophone F1 landed results within the top 10 highest-scoring devices. Gaming is extraordinarily smooth, solid experience.

It carries a 4000mAh battery it is guaranteed to not make you regret your lunch break gaming sessions. It will surely last a day in heavy use and two days with moderate use. While the camera is not superb, it is expected that the phone will have some disadvantages. It is still one of the best smartphones for games.

7. Xiaomi Black Shark

Best Ergonomic Gaming Phone

Our Ratings:

Durability
80%
Quality
80%
Value
85%

Gaming smartphones have somehow found a place in the already contested market, and manufacturers have started to produce smartphones specifically for the purpose, one of those is the Xiaomi Black Shark. It is one of the best out there, with its ergonomic design, high performance, build quality and display, and with the included gamepad it is a dream come true.

The Xiaomi Black Shark’s design is pretty oblivious and bold, it rocks the gamer aesthetic throughout its body and it definitely feels good in hands. It has a black body with some green lines and accents scattered throughout its chassis, on the back, it is built with metal and glass parts where you can also locate the dual cameras 12MP and 20MP, LED flash, and the logo with texture around it.

The front is pretty basic with the fingerprint reader on the bottom and 20MP front camera on the top bezel. With its flashy design, it will please every gamer.

The 5.99-inch IPS LCD panel has a resolution of 2160×1080 pixels and a screen ratio of 18:9. Thanks to its IPS LCD display it is able to provide good color accuracy with extremely inky deep blacks that make the experience amazing. While not the most impressive display because of its warm color temperatures, the panel is great for gaming with popping colors that provide an immersive experience, it is also worth stating that the screen can get very bright measuring at 560nits.

Performance-wise the device rocks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU with 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage which can be upgraded, in the graphics department it is packed with an Adreno 630 GPU. It utilizes the specs to their max and provides a fast and smooth gaming experience with no lags whatsoever. It also features the Extreme Mode which when turned on maximizes the processor clock speeds for better performance. This goes along with the devices unique cooling system which reduces the temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius by comparison to the traditional methods.

Combined with its great battery life, amazing camera, and attractive price, this high-performance device is attractive even for non-gamers, but for gamers, it is near perfect.

6. OnePlus 6T

Best Dual-Sim Gaming Phone

Our Ratings:

Durability
85%
Quality
85%
Value
95%

With an amazing set of features such as the end-to-end display, great performance, both face recognition, and on-screen fingerprint scanner, and dual-sim feature, the OnePlus 6T is one of the best gaming phones and for general use as well. You can say that these are features present on most high-end phones, yes but none have the mid-range price of the OnePlus 6T.

The device follows the footsteps of its 6T origins and doesn’t wander far in terms of design, which is a pretty good thing. It is is slightly bigger and heavier thanks to its larger screen, but other than that the changes are minimal. The Midnight Black model I have had my hands on is pretty gorgeous with its matte black curved 3D glass rear. It will feel good at your palm, but you can’t secure a very firm grip and is a fingerprint and dust magnet, other than that there are no negatives about the design.

The OnePlus 6T has pretty large 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with 2340×1080 resolution that is slightly taller than most. It gives a near edge-to-edge display experience with the front camera featuring as a dewdrop notch, it is very cleverly and intuitively placed, with function and aesthetic in mind. It may not be as rich and bright as the top high-end phones, but the display is great, with great color accuracy and 405nits of brightness at its max, making it great for gaming. It is worth mentioning that the fingerprint scanner is incorporated into the screen and works both flawlessly and in a quick manner.

It has flagship performance for half its price, the OnePlus 6T is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU with 8GB of RAM and for storage, you have two options 128GB and 256GB. In synthetic benchmark tests, the OnePlus 6T has excelled and was competing head-to-head with high-end flagship phones, it even surpassed some. To aid the performance it utilizes the latest version of the Oxygen OS which has some tweaks that make the system to be more accurate, faster and more efficient.

You will notice it instantly that it runs smoothly with every game. A truly amazing device that will provide you fun and productivity.

5. Razer Phone 2

Best Display

Our Ratings:

Durability
95%
Quality
90%
Value
95%

Razer has been one of the first and best in the mobile gaming industry, thanks to its experience in producing amazing gaming PCs, laptops, and peripherals that have dominated the industry. After the original Razer Phone, Razer has updated and refined its original design with a better screen, up-to-date performance, and better build quality, for the Razer Phone 2.

When you first look at the Razer Phone 2 you will not get the gamer vibes, which I appreciate a lot. It looks very minimal, elegant, and very sophisticated, the rear is made with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5, that houses Razer logo that glows with the Chroma lighting that can be customized to your preference, streamlined and beautiful, on top of it you can find the dual 12MP cameras and the LED flash.

The sides of the phone are constructed from a black CNC aluminum that is special to Razer, on the front you can find the two speakers and the 8MP camera on the top left. Overall, the device is designed with excellence, but it is a little heavy at 7.8-ounces compared to its competition.
The Razer Phone 2 has a 5.72-inch UltraMotion LCD IGZO panel with a resolution of 2560×1440 and a refresh rate of 120Hz.

It provides a very smooth experience for gaming, thanks to its UltraMotion technology that syncs the display’s refresh rate with the GPUs, providing breath-taking gaming experience. Colorwise they are not as impressive as the Super AMOLED panels, but it can handle itself pretty well with a good amount of colors that are a little washed out at times and can achieve an impressive brightness of 492nits.

The speakers use the Dolby Atmos software and Razer algorithms to provide the best audio experience for an immersive gaming experience, that works pretty well.

It is packed with 2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU with 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and the Adreno 630 GPU. These specs together with its impressive 120Hz UltraMotion screen, provide one of the best gaming performance you can find in the market, excelling in every aspect.

Along with its decent battery life and cameras, the Razer Phone 2 offers a great gaming package.

4. ASUS ROG Phone

Best Overall

Our Ratings:

Durability
100%
Quality
90%
Value
95%

The winner of our best gaming smartphones list is definitely the ROG phone. The ASUS Republic of Gamers is known for producing amazing gaming machines, but I couldn’t predict that it could produce such a powerful gaming smartphone, the most powerful and the best in the market hands-down. Thanks to its overclocked CPU, amazingly bright OLED display, great audio, and countless more gaming calibrated features the ASUS ROG Phone is the most attractive gaming phone.

Built from a mix of metal and glass, this phone leans in more to the gamer look, and it is designed for that purpose only, it is very bold and daring. Some may call it aggressive and outlandish but gamers like it, and ASUS ROG pleases their main consumers. On the back of the device, you can find a Corning Gorilla Glass space-gray sheet that is interesting with its angled lines, every detail on the back has some kind of angles and form some parallelograms in the big picture, the back also houses the dual 12MP cameras and the fingerprint scanner right below it.
The ASUS ROG Phone has a 6-inch AMOLED panel that is very sharp thanks to its 2160×1080 resolution, the panel is also very sturdy and durable due to its Corning Gorilla Glass build.

The brightness and the color on this screen are remarkable, it is better than some of the Super AMOLED panels, the image was amazingly detailed and the colors were vibrant. It has managed to reproduce 233.6 percent of the sRGB color gamut, a breath-taking number. It has averaged a maximum brightness of 538nits, one of the best displays not only in the gaming smartphones but for gamers it has a refresh rate of 90Hz.

The ROG Phone rocks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU with 8GB of RAM, the processor is overclocked to support a clock speed of 2.96GHz in all of its 4 cores. The Adreno 630 GPU also works amazingly and the phone has excelled in every synthetic benchmark tests that you can put your hands on. Gaming on this phone was very smooth and thanks to its performance it will be relevant for years to come.

The absolute best gaming smartphone, you will never be disappointed by ASUS ROG Phone.

3. Apple iPhone XR

Most Versatile

Our Ratings:

Durability
80%
Quality
80%
Value
85%

Coming up next we have another excellent phone, and this time around a pretty versatile model the Apple iPhone XR. This is one of the most underrated iPhones as it delivers a great deal of performance, a nice camera, great color options, a nice large display, a superb battery life especially for an iPhone and the most bang for your buck in this category. If you want a versatile device that can do everything plus gaming, this is it.

While most of the iPhones and almost all Apple devices in the market look a bit too conservative the Apple iPhone XR is a bit more fun with its colors, as it is available in different paint jobs including Black, White, Blue, Coral, Red, and Yellow, so you can choose the one that fits your personality the most. They all have a glass back design and come with matching aluminum bands that enhance the seamless look. I gotta say that the bezels are a bit thicker than your normal iPhone but still it is pretty good as the TrueDepth camera works just as well. I should also mention that the XR has an IP67 durability rating and has some great durable glass on the back.

The Apple iPhone XR rocks a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD with a super bright and colorful image, especially for a value-based model, and especially since it isn’t an OLED model. It has a 1792×828 resolution on its screen delivering some good brightness and it delivers a maximum brightness of about 589 nits in total. The color reproduction is great as well delivering 123.4 percent of the sRGB colorspace and with good accuracy at that with a Delta E rating of 0.28.

In the performance department, this phone blows most of the phones in its category since it is packed with flagship-level parts including the A12 Bionic processor, and combined with Apple’s super smooth iOS things just get better than ever. The gaming experience is super smooth and one of the best in the market so far. I have to also mention the battery life of this device which clocked about 11 hours of screen time before shutting down in my tests, and this is pretty much excellent.

Overall I have nothing to complain about this device, and the whole experience is just priceless.

2. Sony Xperia 1

Best Display

Our Ratings:

Durability
85%
Quality
85%
Value
95%

Coming up next we have a flagship-level device coming in from Sony, the Xperia 1. This phone is destined for big things, and it has gathered a niche following, especially movie lovers with its amazing display. However, with its amazing performance combined with its other features this phone is one of the best in the market, clean Android superb cinematic experience and many more.

The Sony Xperia 1 sports a pretty interesting body, as a result of its 21:9 aspect ratio that comes as a tall package, that some users resembled with remote control. While it is a little difficult reaching the top of the screen, its thin and slim body makes it easier to hold in hand, and in my opinion, it is the most comfortable big-screen phone in the market, also its streamlined and softer edges make a difference as well. On the front and the back of this phone you will spot Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for protection, however, I should say that like all-glass phones it is a fingerprint and dust magnet. On the back, you will also spot the triple-camera array that works wonders, and overall the design is pretty pleasing.

The biggest selling point of the Sony Xperia 1 is it delivering the first 6.5-inch 4K HDR supported 21:9 OLED display with a resolution of 3850×1644, delivering a perfect image overall. The image is super sharp, and HDR support just takes everything to another level when combined with the OLED nature that delivers amazing blacks, superb brightness, and accurate colors. While this screen is perfect for watching films and TV shows, it can also be a great tool for gaming, definitely a gem.

In the performance department, it is provided with flagship-level performance parts, namely the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU with 6GB of RAM delivers a perfect performance generally speaking combined with the near-stock Android OS. In terms of gaming, it can run all demanding titles pretty smoothly and you won’t notice any lag or stutter with this.

If you want a big-screen phone that can run games properly and can deliver one of the most beautiful experiences in terms of cinematics and image, this is it, don’t miss the Xperia 1.

1. ASUS ROG Gaming Phone II

Best Overall Runner-Up

Our Ratings:

Durability
95%
Quality
90%
Value
95%

Coming up next we have the ultimate gaming phone, the ASUS ROG Gaming Phone II. This phone would be at the number one spot if it wasn’t for its jaw-dropping price and obnoxious design, however, it comes with superb performance specs, tons of storage built-in, great 120Hz refresh rate, and tons of features that will deliver the absolute best gaming experience in the market.

In terms of design and aesthetics, the ASUS ROG Gaming Phone II is a pretty large device, and it is heavy at that coming in with a gaming-centric aggressive design with interesting accents and lines used on the back. Also, it has the RGB lighting on the Republic of Gamers log on the back. It has a glass and metal construction overall and the stainless steel frame doesn’t feel as slick as you would expect. However, the curved glass in the back makes it a little slippery but comfortable in hands. This phone is packed with a headphone jack with a 24-bit Digital-to-Analog converter and two USB Type-C ports, on top of that the giant panel is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6.

The ASUS ROG Gaming Phone II is packed with one of the most impressive displays in the market, a 6.6-inch AMOLED FHD+ screen with a resolution of 2340×1080. While it is extra sharp and displays marvelous colors with its 10-bit HDR capabilities and a contrast ratio of a whopping 500,000:1 delivering one of the best viewing experiences, the biggest selling point of this panel is its 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, making it the best gaming panel in a smartphone.

In terms of performance, this beast is also packed with great performance specs to back everything up, including the Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU that is clocked at 2.96GHz. On top of that, it has a gaming PC grade memory with its 12GB DDR4X RAm unit which is one of the best in the market. In the box of the device, you will also find a clip-on fan that keeps it coll when things get hot and heavy, also you can customize the whole gaming experience to get superb results overall.

If you have unlimited funds and can deal with this design on a day-to-day basis, the ASUS ROG Gaming Phone II is one the best gaming phones in the market.

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