If you’re a fan of mobile gaming, you better make sure you pick up the best gaming phone so that your gaming needs are met.
The mobile gaming industry is growing into a giant – there’s no doubt about that.
To have the edge over your opponents, you need a gaming phone that delivers maxed-out performance, great displays and audio. It doesn’t hurt to have additional gaming features on the phone like trigger buttons either. All the devices here will have the best mobile CPUs too, like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and A16 Bionic.
Basically what we’re saying is that you need a high end device; you won’t see any of even the best mid-range phones here.
The good news is that there is no shortage of brands and models to consider. Of course, there’s the reputable Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro that delivers a premium product for a premium price. But they aren’t the only show in town. The brand new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and phones from Xiaomi both offer great ASUS ROG Phone alternatives.
For now, you’ll find a variety of options to choose from, covering budget, premium and best battery life gaming phones. We’ve also thrown the iPhone 14 Pro Max into the mix for those who want a ‘regular’ phone that is also good for gaming.
Without further ado, let’s launch into the best gaming phones available to buy now.
Best gaming phone 2023
Best overall gaming phone – Asus ROG Phone 6
Asus is a highly regarded brand when it comes to gaming gear, and its ROG Phone 6 is no exception.
The ROG Phone 6 is the ideal choice for those after power, performance and style. Its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor makes it a powerful phone, capable of lasting an entire day without the need for a midday charge. Battery life is definitely one of our most important considerations for a gaming phone, and its 6000mAh is no small feat, fully charging in less than an hour. If you’re looking for a phone to cope with intensive gaming sessions without draining its battery, then this is probably the phone for you.
Asus has also included two USB-C ports which can be accessed when you’re gaming in landscape mode meaning you can easily charge and game at the same time – another win for the ROG Phone 6.
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Its design certainly plays the part too. Featuring a 6.78 inch AMOLED display with HDR+, expect your games to look visually stunning. Combine this with its RGB lighting on the back and you’ve got a top tier gaming phone that looks great. Overall, you’ll find the gaming experience incredibly slick.
We’re also grateful to ASUS for including a 3.5mm headphone jack, meaning you can use your gaming headset on the go for superior sound quality. Alternatively, the ROG Phone 6 boasts an impressive audio design with 2 symmetrical front-firing speakers which deliver good depth considering the size of the speakers.
Overall, the Asus ROG Phone 6 delivers a brilliant gaming experience, ticking the most important boxes when it comes to gaming on the go.
Best gaming phone with a good camera – iPhone 14 Pro Max
Though some android users might be turning their noses up here, there’s no ignoring the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro Max seriously delivers for both every day and gaming uses.
There’s no skirting around the price, which will be a serious consideration for some. However, we’ve chosen the iPhone 14 Pro Max because it boasts the most powerful processor in an iPhone – the A16 Bionic chip, boasting a refresh rate of 120Hz with an ultra-smooth gaming performance. Expect consistent frame rates on account of the A16 Bionic chip, though be prepared for the device to heat up if you’re planning to game on your phone for prolonged periods.
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Gaming on an iPhone 14 Pro Max also gives you the option of accessing Apple Arcade (you can get a free 3 month trial). Though you may be weary of spending money on another subscription service, Apple Arcade does have a lot to offer, with considerably better games than what’s on the App Store. Expect great visuals, consistent frame rates and more refined haptics from Apple’s exclusive treasure trove of mobile games.
In terms of general usage, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s camera trumps all the competition, capable of shooting in 4K. If you’re planning to both game and consume content, know that the iPhone 14 Pro Max has the battery life and power to cope.
Best premium gaming phone – Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate
Asus is not messing around with their ROG Phone 6D Ultimate which boasts an incredible gaming performance thanks to the latest MediaTEK Dimensity 9000+ processor, putting this gaming phone into a different league.
With a clock speed of 3.2GHz², expect a standout gaming performance that is supported by its advanced GameCool 6 cooling system, allowing you to push the specs to the limit. This is an especially welcome feature since many gaming phones are prone to overheating, destabilizing the frame rates that could potentially be the difference between winning and losing. Instead, Asus has ensured there are adequate vapour chambers to support airflow during intensive gaming sessions.
Regarding the display, the ROG Phone 6D absolutely delivers. Thanks to HDR10+ you can expect super crisp images. Its 165Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch-sampling rate also ensures low-latency gaming that is super responsive to your touch. Overall, expect considerable control over your gaming experience.
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Speaking of control, there’s also an abundance of advanced control possibilities. The AirTrigger 6 supports a variety of actions including Dual Action, Press and Lift. More impressively still, the phone also performs gyroscope aiming to control the angle of view which is ideal for shooter games. With these features, you can find your enemies and explore your environment by simply turning around your phone.
It’s probably amongst the best gaming phones you can go for if you’re after a console-gaming experience. As a purchasable extra, you can attach the ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad that will turn your phone into a handheld console.
Best gaming phone for battery life – Xiaomi Poco F4 GT
We’ve chosen the Poco F4 GT for its admirable battery life without costing as much as say, the AUS ROG Phone 6.
Expect the Poco F4 GT to last a full day without needing a recharge, lasting for around 7 hours. However, where it seriously starts to wow is its recharging ability. The Poco F4 GT is capable of going from zero to fully charged in an incredible 17 minutes when you tap the Boost button. Without the boost, expect a fully charged phone in around 20-21 minutes. This is no small feat, and we think this makes the Poco F4 GT seriously stand out from the crowd.
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For gaming performance, the Poco F4 GT delivers so long as you’re not a heavy pro gamer. With a refresh rate of 120Hz supported by its dual vapour chamber, most will be satisfied by its performance. It also has a couple of extra features like auto brightness curve that is helpful for longer periods of gaming, removing the need to manually adjust it.
Overall, the Poco F4 GT is a sound choice that massively stands out thanks to its 17 minute recharging ability.
Best Snapdragon gaming phone – Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is a good choice for those in need of a gaming phone for less than $400.
Standout features include its OLED display that delivers vibrant images, combined with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate. Its HD resolution helps content look pretty crisp, though there’s no HDR support to provide that extra colour pop. With a peak brightness of 1200 nits, you’ll have no problems gaming outside where there’s direct sunlight, making it a pretty versatile phone choice.
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We’re also a fan of its battery life which is largely thanks to its mid-range CPU. You can expect the phone to last an entire day without a recharge, though video streaming and more demanding tasks predictably drain the battery faster. Moreover, its 67W wired charging support means the phone can fully charge in under an hour, which is pretty decent considering the budget price.
Xiaomi has done pretty well with the sound quality which provides plenty of volume plus decent clarity. Though there’s no bass, the speakers will be well suited for watching videos and listening to podcasts.
Overall, there’s plenty to like about this phone if you’re on a budget, especially its AMOLED display.
Frequently asked questions
How much RAM is good for a phone for gaming?
We recommend considering an 8GB model phone for gaming to allow for smooth gameplay. As a general rule, the more RAM your smartphone has, the better it can cope with multi-tasking without experiencing lag.
Is it worth buying a gaming phone?
A gaming phone is probably worth it if your current phone’s battery is drained after long gaming sessions. It’s also worth it if you want more specialised gaming hardware like haptic triggers and a more powerful CPU.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra good for gaming?
Yes – thanks to the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, combined with supreme battery life and a stunning OLED display, the S23 Ultra is set to be one of the best gaming phones in 2023.