7 Best Gaming Phones in 2021: Buyer’s Guide
Our picks of the best gaming phones for 2021, whether you’re looking at Android or Apple, budget or premium
It could be argued that almost every smartphone is a gaming phone of some kind, but what if you want the smoothest performance?
Maybe you need physical style buttons or a display with a high refresh rate? Either way, that’s where gaming phones come in, and there are plenty of devices to fit the bill. We’ve got you covered with our list of the best gaming phones you can buy.
ABOUT GAMING PHONES
The best gaming phone is also one of the best ‘consoles’ you can get. No, really, we are serious. Although phones are not a traditional gaming machine, the mobile space is one of the most vibrant of all games. There is always something new to try or learn about, especially with services like Apple Arcade.
The difficult thing is knowing where to start. There are many, many options on the table, from Apple to Samsung, so narrowing it down to the best gaming phone isn’t easy. That’s where we come in.
Our team of experts is available to point out the best gaming phones currently on the market, not to mention the best prices. We’ve worked hard to make sure you are aware of big discounts and deals as soon as they happen, so be sure to check back every now and then.
Generally speaking, we recommend that you go for as large a screen as possible if you want a great gaming experience. Although not essential, it helps if you don’t squint to see what’s going on under your thumbs (and if size is still a concern, be sure to check out the best gaming tablets as well).
Having a good amount of memory is useful too, that means you won’t run out of space after downloading a few apps. We suggest 64GB minimum for storage. That way you can store as many of the best Android and iPhone games as you want, which is always a good thing. However, whatever you choose, we recommend that you take a look at the best antivirus software to see if it can keep your shiny new gaming device more secure.
7 Best Gaming Phones in 2021
1.) RAZER PHONE 2
Razer certainly knows what it’s doing when it comes to gaming, and has followed the impressive Razer Phone with the even more impressive Razer Phone 2. The screen is brighter, the speakers are louder, and there’s more power under the hood to push those through. frames. rates in the most demanding games offered by the Android platform.
With a 1,440 x 2,560 pixel resolution, the 5.7-inch display is super sharp at 513 pixels per inch, and with a 120Hz refresh rate, you shouldn’t miss any of the action. Additionally, an improved cooling system within the chassis means that the Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of RAM can really get to work without overheating becoming a problem on the phone.
The improved IP67 water resistance and 12MP + 12MP dual-lens rear camera might not be of much concern to gamers, but they do mean the Razer Phone 2 will do an excellent job when it comes to being a regular smartphone as well. also. Built for gamers, by gaming experts, this is the best gaming phone for most users.
Weight: TBC Dimensions: 158.5 x 79 x 8.5mm OS: Android 8.1 Screen size: 5.7 inches Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels CPU: Snapdragon 845 RAM: 8GB Storage: 64GB Battery: 4000mAh Rear Camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.6 Front camera: 8MP f/2.0
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Sharp, bright display
✓ Improved cooling
2.) ASUS ROG PHONE 3
There’s no question that Asus ROG laptops are some of the best in the business for gamers, and smartphones from similar brands are also doing the business. The third version of the Republic of Gamers phone brings with it a number of improvements, including 5G and a better camera, while keeping everything we liked about the previous model.
This phone is absolutely packed with power – not only does it come with the best CPU for Android phones, but you can install it with a whopping 16GB of RAM, which is an incredible amount. You could probably run three games side by side without noticing any kind of slowdown.
There’s a lot more to like too, including the customizable buttons on the side of the Asus ROG Phone 3 and a dedicated game mode in the software to make sure you’re always getting the best performance. The 6.59-inch screen is a real highlight too, running at a 144Hz refresh rate to make sure the action on the screen always looks super smooth.
Weight: 240 g Dimensions: 171 mm x 78 mm x 9.9 mm OS: Android 10, ROG UI Screen Size: 6.59 inches Resolution: 1,080 x 2,340 pixels CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB Battery: 6,000 mAh Rear Camera: 64MP f/1.8 wide + 13MP f/2.4 ultrawide + 5MP macro Front camera: 24MP f/2.0
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Packed with power
✓ Advanced case cooling
✓ Dedicated gaming buttons
3.) XIAOMI BLACK SHARK 3
The latest phone in Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming line is just as impressive as the first two – it’s packed with power and functionality, as well as a host of features that will appeal to people who want a superior portable gaming experience. It’s hard to pinpoint a flaw in everything Black Shark 3 offers from a gaming perspective (and there’s also the Pro version if you need a bigger screen).
It’s not a budget phone, but at a starting price of just over £ 500 in the UK, it’s very affordable considering what you get for your money, including a top-end Snapdragon 865 processor and advanced cooling system. The 4,720 mAh battery also gives you plenty of time between charges, even when long gaming sessions are involved.
With a generous 6.67-inch screen and plenty of RAM, as well as amazing ergonomics, this is hands down one of the best gaming phones right now. We also like the official accessories on offer, including the clip-on charger that lets you keep playing while charging your phone, and the separate gamepad that makes it easy to control games without touching the screen.
Weight: 222 g Dimensions: 168.7 x 77.3 x 10.4 mm OS: Android 10 Screen size: 6.67 inches Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels CPU: Snapdragon 865 RAM: 8GB / 12GB Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Battery: 4720 mAh Rear camera: 64MP f/1.8 wide + 13MP f/2.3 ultrawide + 5MP f/2.2 depth Front camera: 20MP f/2.2
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Aggressive, solid design
✓ Huge, vibrant screen
✓ Some neat accessories
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4.) APPLE IPHONE 12
With its added versatility and more customization options, most of the attention from gaming phones tends to turn to Android, but don’t rule out iOS entirely – with blazing-fast processors, powerful graphics performance, and tight hardware / integration integration. software, iPhones are also great options when it comes to picking up a mobile phone for gaming.
That brings us to the iPhone 12, perhaps the best gaming iPhone of the bunch right now. It has a generous 6.1-inch screen, like the iPhone 12 Pro, but since the Pro updates are mostly in the camera department, you don’t really need to pay more if you’re focusing on gaming. Of course, the super-powerful A14 Bionic processor also makes it great for gaming.
From battery life to build quality, there are many reasons to consider the iPhone 12 if you want the best gaming phone money can buy. It’s hard to beat in terms of raw power, you have a wide variety of games to choose from on iOS (including the Apple Arcade subscription service), and it will work perfectly with any other Apple kit you have. installed around the house.
Weight: 164 g Dimensions: 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.4 mm OS: iOS 14 Screen size: 6.1 inches Resolution: 1170 x 2532 pixels CPU: Apple A14 Bionic RAM: 4GB Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB Battery: 2,815 mAh Rear camera: 12MP f/1.6 wide + 12 MP f/2.4 ultrawide Front camera: 12MP f/2.2
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Polished, stable performance
✓ Large variety of accessories
✓ Lots of games to choose from
5.) SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 PLUS
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is everything a modern flagship phone should be – it’s powerful, has an impressive display, and is packed with top-notch features. It’s very, very good for gaming too, with its 8/12 GB of RAM, Mali-G78 graphics chip, and Exynos 2100 / Snapdragon 888 processor combining to deliver high frame rates in the most demanding mobile games.
Its screen, which is a 6.7-inch AMOLED (120Hz, HDR10 +) beauty, makes seeing anything on it a dream and really makes the colors pop in games and media. And with its long-lasting 4,800 mAh battery cell, you’ll enjoy such day-to-day experiences without having to use a charger.
The phone also comes with the latest version of Android, Android 11, and it also offers a very impressive camera system, including a triple lens array on the rear (12 MP, 12 MP, 64 MP) and a single camera for 10 MP selfies. Oh, and gamers will also love the fact that downloading and playing mobile games online is also a seamless experience thanks to the S21 Plus’ built-in 5G modem.
Overall, a great phone for gaming and general use.
Weight: 186 g Dimensions: 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8 mm OS: Android 10 Screen size: 6.7 inches Resolution: 1,440 x 3,200 pixels CPU: Exynos 990 / Snapdragon 865 RAM: 8GB Storage: 128GB Battery: 4,500 mAh Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 wide + 64MP f/2.0 telephoto + 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 0.3MP f/1.0 depth Front camera: 10MP f/2.2
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Packed with lots of power
✓ Gorgeous appearance and screen
✓ Long-lasting battery
6.) SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 20 ULTRA
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra may not look much like a gaming phone, but rest assured, this is one of the best gaming phones on the market, with the most advanced display you’ll find that can scale up to a maximum of 120Hz. or up to 30Hz or 60Hz to match the frame rate of the content on the screen.
But the Note 20 Ultra is more than a powerful flagship; is optimized for streaming Xbox titles, via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and can even stream games to external displays via Samsung’s DeX interface and Miracast. Regardless of what you play or how you play it, the Note 20 Ultra’s Snapdragon 865 Plus and 12GB RAM will ensure a smooth experience, provided you have a stable internet connection for streaming, of course.
You won’t find the same extension of player-centric features in the latest high-end Note that you’d expect from the ROG Phone 3, like clip-on external cooling fans and customizable air triggers. On the other hand, if you need a powerful phablet for both work and play, there is no other more versatile option than the Note 20 Ultra. It’s worth mentioning that the $ 999, 6.7-inch Galaxy Note 20 is a great device too, although it only peaks at a 60Hz refresh rate.
Display: 6.9-inch AMOLED (3088×1440) CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus RAM: 12GB Storage/Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / Yes Rear camera: 108MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 12MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom (ƒ/3.0); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2) Front camera: 10MP (ƒ/2.2) Weight: 7.33 ounces Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:15
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Dynamic 6.9-inch 120Hz display
✓ Smoother S Pen performance
✓ Powerful 50x zoom camera and laser autofocus
✓ Very good battery life
7.) REDMAGIC 5G
The RedMagic 5G is one of the cheapest paths to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor on the market right now, earning it a mention on this list of the best gaming phones. For just $ 579, you can have a device with a high-end chipset, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 6.65-inch 144Hz AMOLED display with a flat design and slim bezels that are conducive to gaming. A fan inside also ensures that the device can run demanding titles optimally, which is extremely important if you are gaming for long periods of time.
Of course, if great software or camera performance is a priority for you, the RedMagic 5G won’t be the best fit for you; certainly, there are more complete phones. However, they all cost more, so those who prioritize gaming and the power needed to do so, but have a more modest budget, should consider it.
Display size (Pixels): 6.65-inch AMOLED (2340×1080) Peak refresh rate: 144Hz CPU: Snapdragon 865 RAM: 8GB, 12GB Storage/Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No Cameras (Back/Front): 64MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro/8MP Weight: 7.68 ounces Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:23
REASONS TO BUY
✓ Class-leading 144Hz display
✓ Strong performance
✓ Long battery life and fast charging
✓ Reasonably priced
How to choose the best gaming phone for you?
As with all things, choosing the right gaming phone is a matter of priority. If you’re looking for the best performance, and you likely are if you’re reading this, you’ll want a phone with a Snapdragon 8-series chipset or Apple’s A14 Bionic. Emphasis on Snapdragon, as Qualcomm’s best silicon for Android phones is available on devices from various manufacturers.
But what about high refresh rates? That’s something you’ll only find at the more expensive end of the market, although it’s a feature that’s sure to descend to more modestly priced phones over time. Panels at 90Hz and above offer smoother scrolling and overall graphics than conventional displays, making you feel as if every slide, touch, and action elicits a lag-free response. If you’re an especially serious competitive gamer, the higher refresh rates will ensure that you won’t miss any of the action.
Of course, the more a device is geared toward gaming with the right features, the more phone makers ignore other considerations. While battery life is critical for gaming (because gaming uses a lot of power), you’ll find it harder to find gaming phones with great camera hardware and software, or perhaps conveniences like wireless charging and water resistance.
If those things are important to you, you might want to focus your search on the more powerful phones on this list that aren’t strictly designed for gaming, but can still stand on their own, like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and iPhone 12. Pro. Max.
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