Gaming phones used to be a niche thing, with crazy designs and bloated software, but that has gradually changed in recent years. Even if you aren’t necessarily a hardcore mobile gamer, you’ll likely appreciate gaming-capable smartphones for their powerful specs, smooth, high refresh rate displays and often superior speakers than the average mainstream phone. And speaking of mainstream, high-end mainstream phones are also so powerful nowadays, that we can’t overlook those as viable options for gaming either.
So, are you a gamer who’s looking for the best gaming phone, that will help ensure your winning streaks in your favorite multiplayer shooter? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Asus ROG Phone 3
The Asus ROG Phone 3 came out in late 2020, sporting a much less gamer-y design than its predecessors, which most users likely prefer. Aside from the light-up ROG logo on its back, it can pass for a normal smartphone, but it’s a beast on the inside.
This phone delivers outstanding all-around performance, thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor and 12GB of RAM. The ROG Phone 3 also has arguably the greatest, fullest-sounding dual stereo speakers on any Android smartphone to date, which is key for a fantastic multiplayer gaming experience. It also has a huge battery, a super-smooth OLED display (up to 144 Hz) and two AirTriggers, which are touch-sensitive areas on its top frame that you can use as buttons for your games.
Read more: Asus ROG Phone 3 review
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone and as such, it sports some of the best specs you can get on an Android phone right now.
It has a game mode that will set its gorgeous, large display to refresh at 120 Hz and with its powerful processor (Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100) and 12GB of RAM, it’s a fantastic phone for hardcore gaming. It also has a huge battery and beautiful design, making it a great all-around smartphone to rock out and game on for years to come.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
If you’re leaning towards iOS gaming and the Apple Arcade subscription service, the most powerful phone for gaming from Apple you can get right now is the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Its high performance will crush any games at their highest settings without breaking a sweat, while its solid battery life will ensure that you’ll be comfortable playing for hours on end without needing to recharge. In our 3D gaming battery test, the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted a solid 8 hours. It also sports the largest display ever put on an iPhone.
Read more: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
If you’re ready to go to the next level with your smartphone gaming, there is nothing like playing mobile games on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. It’s a candy bar-shaped phone when you need it to fit in your pocket, but it can unfold into an extremely powerful tablet when it’s time for play.
Games like Pub G play fantastic on it, plus its stereo speakers are superb in volume and richness. The phone feels great in the hands and is easy to game on, not too large or unwieldy as a tablet might be. Any game looks gorgeous on the Z Fold 2’s large, foldable, smooth 120 Hz AMOLED display.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Note 20 Ultra is not just a huge, powerful smartphone that will deliver amazing 3D gaming experiences, but thanks to its included S Pen stylus, it’s arguably the best phone to pick for casual gaming also.
For example, playing card games or chess with the S Pen can be a joy, much more convenient than using your finger. So for all-around versatility and a huge, almost 7-inch display, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, for any kinds of games.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review
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