7 Best Gaming Phones for 2023
Updated: February 02,2023
Mobile gaming has become increasingly popular in the past few years. If you want to jump on the bandwagon, chances are you’re looking for the best gaming phone on the market.
To help you find the right one, we created a list of the most suitable phones for gaming. We looked at various aspects, including the processor, RAM, storage, displays, battery life, and available gaming accessories. Check out the reviews below to find the best phone for gaming.
Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro
Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro
It’s almost impossible to match Red Magic 7 Pro’s performance as Nubia made its best gaming Android phone a real powerhouse. Not only does it boast some amazing specs, but it’s also relatively inexpensive considering what you’re getting.
Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro
Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro
Want to spend hours playing games on your phone without running out of juice? If your answer is yes, the Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro is the best Android gaming device you can get. The phone even features a tiny PMOLED display on the back that gives it a true gaming look.
Black Shark 5 Pro
Black Shark 5 Pro
Xiaomi’s new Black Shark 5 Pro is the best smartphone for gaming if you want pure power. The two retractable buttons on the edge can give you the advantage over your opponents and improve your overall experience.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
iPhones are generally considered to be among the top gaming phones. With outstanding hardware and high-quality games, you really can’t go wrong with this one. The iPhone 13 Pro blows all older versions away, and we loved how many different specs you can choose from.
OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro
The new OnePlus 10 Pro stays cool even during the longest gaming sessions. This makes it the best gaming phone Android option for those who tend to play all the time. The whole experience will be simply mind-blowing!
Samsung Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S22
Quite often, getting a true phone for gaming means you have to make some compromises. That’s not the case with the Samsung Galaxy S22. It’s a well-rounded phone that also has no trouble running flagship games.
Poco F4 GT
Poco F4 GT
A rebranded version of the Redmi K50 Gaming which is only available in China, the Poco F4 GT is the best Android gaming phone if you don’t want to rob a bank. It offers amazing performance for the money, and it comes in a classy case with a glass back.
Best Gaming Phones for 2023
Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro - Best overall Android gaming phone
Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro - Best for battery life
Black Shark 5 Pro - Best for gaming controls
Apple iPhone 13 Pro - Best iPhone for gaming
OnePlus 10 Pro - Best for cooling system
Samsung Galaxy S22 - Best all-around phone
Poco F4 GT - Best budget gaming phone
1. Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro
512GB maximum storage space
Has a 3.5mm jack
Red Core 1 included
Nubia has released quite a few Red Magic gaming smartphones in the last four years. The new 7 Pro is surely one of the top devices at the moment.
The global version comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is the go-to chipset for gaming devices right now.
But that’s not all!
You also get Nubia’s custom Red Core 1 chip. This little thing handles menial tasks like vibration and sound effects, freeing up power for the CPU. The Red Magic 7 Pro boasts an incredible 16GB RAM.
This is the perfect time to mention that there are two versions of the phone - Obsidian and Supernova. Besides aesthetics, they differ in terms of storage space. The former comes with 256GB, while the latter offers 512GB. Neither has microSD expandable storage.
On the front is a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display. Nubia dropped things down from Red Magic 7’s 165Hz display to a 120Hz one. It’s mostly just a drop in the spec sheet since there are very few games that actually let you take advantage of higher refresh rates.
Models with large screens like this sometimes have trouble with heat, but that’s definitely not the case with the Red Magic 7 Pro. In fact, it’s one of the best gaming phones to pick up if you want powerful cooling gear.
Its nine-layer cooling system dissipates heat efficiently, ensuring the device doesn’t get too hot even during the longest gaming sessions. Not only this, but the Supernova version also has a tiny 20,000 RPM fan with RGB lighting.
The Red Magic 7 Pro packs a 5000mAh battery, meaning that it can run it all day with an hour or so of gaming. When only playing, you can squeeze slightly over three hours on a single battery. The phone supports super-fast 120W charging, but only outside of North America. If you’re based in the US or Canada, you have to settle for a 65W charging speed.
Around the edge, this amazing Android gaming phone has:
- fan grilles
- volume rocker
- power button
- two touch-sensitive triggers
- Game Space slider
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- one USB-C port
It’s only slightly heavier than the regular model because of the aluminum plate that extends down the back of the device.
Cameras aren’t a priority on gaming phones but Nubia continues to improve them. The Red Magic 7 Pro sports a set of triple rear cameras - 64MP main, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro. Of course, this isn’t the best you can find but it’s enough to ensure photography is no longer a weakness on Red Magic. You’ll also notice that the phone doesn’t use the same panel on the front as its predecessors. This is because of the new under-display 16MP front camera.
This Red Magic gaming phone falls under more middle-of-the-pack devices in terms of price. The Obsidian version is available for $799, while you can grab the Supernova model for $899.
It’s not the best all-around device that there is, but if sheer gaming power is what you’re after, there’s hardly a better option on the market than the Red Magic 7 Pro.
2. Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro
Amazing battery life
512GB maximum storage space
144Hz refresh rate
The ROG from Asus is one of the longstanding entries in the gaming phone market. Its newest iteration, the 5S Pro, is wowed us with its gamer vibe.
Asus released this ROG gaming phone just a few months before the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 first appeared, which is why it packs the lesser Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ 5G. It’s still a very good device, however - it offers a whopping 18GB of RAM!
The gadget arrives with 512GB of internal memory, making up for the lack of an SD card slot.
The screen on this ROG smartphone is the same 6.78-inch AMOLED one from the previous model. Asus also kept the refresh rate at a familiar 144Hz while increasing the touch sampling rate to 300Hz. This is why many gamers choose it for competitive play.
Its bespoke cooling system makes the device somewhat hefty, but it also ensures it doesn’t get nearly as hot as some of the competition. If you want, you can also pick up the back-mounted AeroActive Cooler 5 fan.
This Asus ROG gaming phone also features a powerful 6000mAh battery. It supports fast charging up to 65W. What makes things interesting is that the 5S Pro has not one, but two USB-C ports.
From our tests, the battery can run for a day if you squeeze out about two or three hours of gaming. We also liked how there are plenty of options for limiting power usage to ensure it can last longer without charging.
This phone screams gaming, and that’s mostly because of the PMOLED display on the back. You can customize this tiny screen according to your likes. You can pick the color, choose different light-changing patterns, and more. It can even indicate incoming calls when the phone is face-down.
Besides the two USB-C ports, the phone has a 3.5mm jack and antenna lines to ensure there are no connectivity issues. The entire design is a bit aggressive, just as gamers like it.
The ROG 5S Pro isn’t the best Asus phone in terms of cameras, but it doesn’t really disappoint. The device packs a 65MP wide, 13MP ultrawide, and 5MP macro on the back. On the front, you’ll find a 24MP selfie shooter.
While somewhat expensive at $1299, this phone is a great pickup. The only problem is that it comes with a generation older chipset, meaning that it may not be as fast as its 2022 rivals. However, it still offers a great gaming experience and one of the longest-lasting batteries out there.
3. Black Shark 5 Pro
Dedicated gaming mode
512GB storage space
Xiaomi recently added the 5 Pro to its exciting lineup of Black Shark gaming phones. Not only is it the best device in this line, but it’s also one of the top gaming phones on the market right now.
Like the majority of gaming devices in this class, the Black Shark 5 Pro features the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. What’s more, with its dedicated gaming mode, you can overclock the performance on the chipset. This makes it ideal for an advanced-level virtual experience.
When it comes to RAM, you can choose what best fits your needs as there are 8GB, 12GB, and 16GB versions available.
You can also choose between two variants depending on how much internal storage you want. The base one is 256GB, but you can also get the peak one with 512GB. Of course, there are going to be some price differences between the two. The phone has no SD card slot, but chances are you won’t need one, especially if you go with the latter variant.
The display is a 6.67-inch OLED one with a 144Hz refresh rate. This is something of a downgrade from the non-pro AMOLED screen, but it makes up for it in other specs. The borders on all sides are extremely narrow, which is always a plus when it comes to gaming phones.
You’ll also notice the large heat dissipation area. This superior cooling technology, together with the new generation chipset ensures top-notch gaming performance. It’s not the most powerful cooling system out there, but it gets the job done.
When buying a phone for gaming, you always want a powerful battery. The one that you get in the 5 Pro has a capacity of 4650mAh. This isn’t necessarily the best you can find, but you can use it for an entire day if you only play games for about an hour. If you want to play at maximum capacity, you can expect it to last up to three hours. The 100W battery charger you get with the phone can top it up in about 30 minutes.
In addition, the phone features pop-up physical triggers along the right edge. You can assign them different functions in-game, turning the phone into a real controller.
The matte black panel has something of a cyberpunk feel to it, compensating for Black Shark 4’s lack of gaming traits. Around the edge, you’ll find the usual but no 3.5mm audio jack. With that said, the speakers in the phone produce quality sound.
If you want a great camera phone that focuses on gaming, the Black Shark 5 Pro is a great pickup. It comes with a 108MP wide, 13MP ultrawide, and 5MP macro. You can record video in up to 4K and there’s a nice-looking slow-motion functionality. The selfie camera takes pictures at 16MP.
At $669, this is definitely one of the best phones for gaming at this point. The battery life may be an issue, but it’s nothing taking a charger or a power bank with you can’t solve. We liked the camera on it, and the retractable triggers are something you can’t overlook on a dedicated gaming device.
4. Apple iPhone 13 Pro
Apple’s A15 Bionic chip
1TB maximum storage space
There’s really no questioning the success of Apple’s iPhone. Not only are they one of the best overall phones out there, but they’re also known for their impressive gaming performance. The new 13 Pro is, undoubtedly, on par with some of the best Android phones for gaming.
As you can imagine, Apple equipped this phone with its A15 Bionic. Despite the release of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen, it’s still the best phone CPU on many charts. It comes with 6GB RAM, which isn’t as much as you get with the majority of Android devices but it works well with the iPhone.
In terms of storage, Apple made sure you have as many storage options as you want. It comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB versions. Getting as much as you can is always a good idea, as there’s no other way to add physical storage to the phone. You can always pay for some extra iCloud storage though.
iPhones are also known for their quality displays. The 6.1-inch OLED one on the 13 Pro isn’t the biggest screen available, but it looks great. What also sets it apart is the 120Hz ProMotion high refresh rate. The ProMotion tech allows the phone to use a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) panel, which means it can drop the refresh rate to as low as 10Hz when you’re not playing.
Given the fact the 13 Pro isn’t branded as a gaming cell phone, cooling isn’t necessarily the most talked-about aspect of the device. Still, it comes with two cooling fans that do a nice job of stopping the phone from getting warm during long gaming sessions.
The battery also got an upgrade. The new one lasts up to three hours longer than its predecessor. The battery’s capacity is 3095mAh, but it’s more difficult to drain it than it often is with an Android gaming device. With fast charging, you can get it to the maximum in about an hour.
In terms of connectivity, the 13 Pro isn’t necessarily the best choice. Obviously, there’s a charging port but the phone doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio jack. So, if audio is important to you while playing, you might have to get a set of Bluetooth earbuds.
The iPhone 11 is also a great device to get if you’re into virtual reality mobile games. The iOS 15 is compatible with VR and already has all the motion sensors you need. All you need is an iPhone VR app, a VR headset, and you’re good to go.
With three 12MP shooters on the back, the 13 Pro produces some amazing photos. It offers ultra-realistic colors and numerous modes for better end results.
As mentioned above, storage and RAM are customizable with this phone, meaning that the prices vary between $999 and $1499.
5. OnePlus 10 Pro
Undercuts rival phones
1Hz static screen
After having spent some time as a China-only phone, the OnePlus 10 Pro showed up on the global scene and immediately became a big hit.
Although not specifically designed for gaming, this phone does an amazing job at running all popular releases. Like other good gaming phones, it packs the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, making it a nice upgrade over the OnePlus 9. When it comes to RAM, you can opt for the lower-cost 8GB RAM version and the 12GB one.
The two options we mentioned above also differ in terms of storage. The former sports 128GB storage while the latter comes with 256GB. Unfortunately, expanding the phone’s memory with a microSD card isn’t possible.
The display on the 10 Pro is a 6.7-inch AMOLED one, and it performs extremely well. It even earned comparisons to the popular Samsung displays. The refresh rate stands at 120Hz, but it goes all the way down to 1Hz when on a static screen.
One of the top reasons this model made it to our list of best mobile gaming devices is its new cooling system. You can get a very decent amount of game time before you notice the phone has gone hot. In fact, this is the area in which the OnePlus 10 Pro outperforms some more expensive models.
The phone comes with a 5000mAh battery. You can expect it to last at least one day, with some game time included. Charging is fast depending on where you live. In most regions, you can rely on 80W powering, but in the US the phone’s powering goes only up to 65W. Wireless charging, which is available with this phone, always works at 50W and is very fast.
In terms of connectivity, there’s a USB-C port, but unfortunately, the phone lacks a 3.5mm audio jack. We really liked the inclusion of an alert slider that lets you jump between ringing, vibrate, and silent modes.
If you need a good camera, however, you probably won’t go crazy about this phone. However, it still takes some nice pictures. It comes with a 48MP main, 50MP ultrawide, and 8MP macro camera. On the front, there’s a 32MP selfie-shooter. OnePlus also included some nice additions to the camera features set such as new color filters and long exposure mode.
OnePlus often markets products like this as cheap gaming phones. At $899 at the time of writing, it’s not necessarily a budget device. The price is well deserved and in line with other cell phones gamers like. Just keep in mind that you don’t get as much storage as you do with some other devices.
6. Samsung Galaxy S22
Stays cool when gaming
Samsung phones aren’t built explicitly for gaming. However, they’re very good at everything and naturally, many gamers like them for the overall performance. The new S22 runs all popular mobile releases and it does it in style.
As you can imagine, this phone packs the best smartphone processor at the moment, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Like with the rest of the S22 line, this chip is only available to the US users. Those in the UK and elsewhere get Samsung’s own Exynos chip. Regardless of where you live, the phone comes with 8GB of RAM.
In terms of storage, you can choose between 128GB and 256GB. Unfortunately, none version is expandable through a microSD card.
Samsung continues to work on improving display brightness across the board on its lineup and it definitely shows on the S22. The 6.1-inch AMOLED display looks great, especially because of the very small black bezel around the screen. With the refresh rate of 120Hz, you’ll have no trouble playing any of the popular games. When not gaming, you can lock the phone at 60Hz to extend battery life.
When you pick up a Samsung gaming phone, you don’t have to worry about overheating. The S22 may not be a gaming phone per se, but it has the cooling power to run just any game.
It’s not exactly clear why Samsung chose to decrease the capacity of the battery to 3700mAh here, but it probably wasn’t the best idea. With almost constant use, the phone can go even up to 12 hours without charging. Of course, this number decreases when playing games. You can charge the phone through any 25W adapter (it only comes with a USB-C cable) or via wireless powering.
Once again, the 3.5mm jack for headphones is a no-show, but you get the rest of the usual around the edge. The overall design is great and the build quality is top-notch. You can barely see any scuff marks on the back panel even after a lot of use, which isn’t always the case with smartphones.
Samsung opted to arm this phone with a better 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP macro camera. The 10MP front-facing camera takes care of selfie duties. All of them can record in 4K resolution and produce crisp pictures with great-looking colors and plenty of detail. Colors even seem closer to real shades than they did on previous models.
There’s no doubt the S22 is the best Samsung phone for gaming right now. The pricing depends on how much storage you want, but think something around $799. It’s a great price for a beast of an overall phone that is the S22.
7. Poco F4 GT
Decent overall performance
Pop-up buttons for games
With its new F4 GT, Poco brings gamer-friendly features at a decent price.
Like other top devices, this gaming smartphone is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. This allows it to run all popular games. While branded as a gaming phone, it also makes a valid all-around device as it opens apps quickly and performs great when you’re multitasking. It packs either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, which is more than some other more expensive devices offer. You can also opt for a lesser 8GB version.
When it comes to storage, Poco lets you choose between 128GB and 256GB. The microSD slot is missing, so the only way to get some extra space is to opt for cloud storage.
The screen you get on the F4 GT is similar to what we’ve seen on Xiaomi and Redmi models. It’s a 6.67-inch AMOLED display that works great for both gaming and multimedia. It also offers a 120Hz refresh rate, guaranteeing great in-game fluidity. If you want, you can set it manually at 60Hz when not playing.
For something of a budget gaming phone, the cooling system on the F4 GT is impressive. It's a LiquidCool 3.0 tech which has its own large vapor chamber and liquid system. It really takes a lot of effort to heat the phone up, and it’s almost impossible to experience thermal throttling.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor consumes a lot of power, which is why Poco introduced some extra battery power to this phone. Actually, it has two 2350mAh batteries, combining for 4700mAh. You’ll be happy to hear that the F4 GT comes with a 120W charger that can get the phone from 0 to 100% in just 17 minutes. We tried charging it while playing, and it topped up in less than 30 minutes.
In line with similar phones, the F4 GT has no 3.5mm audio jack, but there’s a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle as a part of the bundle which makes up for it to some extent.
Among the things that make the F4 GT the best Android phone for gaming in the price range are two retractable trigger buttons on the edge. You can easily turn them on and off using a physical switch, meaning that they can be flushed with the sides when not playing.
Poco went for a weird pairing when it comes to cameras on this phone. It included a 64 main camera with significantly lower-resolution 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro ones. As you can assume, the main shooter is the best feature of the camera module. The colors are vibrant enough and daylight images look really good. The 20MP front camera is also very respectable, with only slight color and detail issues.
The camera module also features RGB light strips that light up when you’re charging the phone, playing games, and getting a call or message. It also features a FREEZING SPEEDIEST inscription.
While there’s some room for improvement, the Poco F4 GT offers excellent value for money. Starting at $599, it’s the best cheap gaming phone you can pick up at the moment. Despite its lower price tag, it doesn’t really skimp on performance, but you have to settle for less internal storage.
How To Choose the Right Gaming Phone?
Deciding on which phone to buy isn’t easy, especially when you plan to use it for gaming. New phones with better optimizations and performances are released every month. The big question is: how do you find a phone that suits your gaming tastes? And what exactly makes a good gaming phone?
Standard smartphones generally can’t run the top mobile games. Even if they can, games tend to get laggy and drain the battery quickly. When choosing the best phone for gaming, there are so many things you have to take into account. A suitable gaming device has powerful hardware and software that can deliver a smooth and immersive gaming experience.
This doesn’t mean you can just pick the phone with the best processing chipset: other features play equally important roles. Here are a few things you might want to check before making a purchase.
One of the first things to look for is the best phone processor. Although it’s not the only feature you should focus on, you need to know how powerful the phone is. If it doesn’t have the amount of processing speed required, chances are you’ll experience malfunctions during your gaming sessions.
Manufacturers such as Qualcomm make chipsets for gaming phones. They are packed with power and can run all the new gaming releases. If you want peak performance from your next phone, it’s a good idea to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the gaming chipset market.
You also want to look for a lot of RAM. The amount of RAM determines your gaming experience - the more, the merrier. RAM is responsible for the phone’s data transfer speed, and games with high-end graphics come with huge files that need transferring.
Devices that don’t necessarily focus on gaming often have between 4GB and 8GB of RAM. 4GB is good enough for casual gaming, but you’ll want more if you’re buying a phone specifically for gaming. Phones with 6GB or 8GB are some excellent options, but manufacturers have recently been releasing top-notch 12GB devices: true gaming beasts.
The best phone for gaming needs a big display to enjoy the top-notch graphics from many popular mobile games. Quite often, max graphics settings on a large display can give you an advantage over your opponents when playing online. For example, in Clash of Clans (COC), attacking the opponent is much easier when you have a better view of their village.
Another thing to look out for is the different refresh rates. Some smartphones boast refresh rates of 90Hz, while some go as high as 144Hz.
Some new devices have flexible displays that can fold, which allows you can expand the screen. If you’re a Fortnite or PUBG Mobile player, this feature can come in handy.
If you’ve ever played games on your computer, you know how important storage is. The same goes for mobile gaming. If you want to find the best gaming cell phone, you need to find one with plenty of room for your games.
The mobile gaming sector is constantly growing, and new games come with even larger files. By increasing the amount of space on your mobile device, you can play them without any issues. Phones are pretty diverse in terms of storage. Some have enough internal memory, while some have a slot for an external microSD card.
A phone can boast all the top gaming features, but you won’t get to enjoy it if the battery life is short. Because of the chipsets, high RAM, and other gaming aspects, gaming smartphones consume more power. While you can play while your device is plugged in, the whole point of having a gaming phone is being able to play on the go.
Phones aimed at gamers often have batteries with over 4,000mAh, which should be enough to let you play without tension. However, the battery life depends on all sorts of features, so it usually differs on a case-by-case basis.
Suitable gaming accessories can save you from all sorts of things: a dying battery, poor audio, or inadequate controls. With cloud-based streaming platforms constantly growing, these extras can make or break your gaming experience.
The best phone for gaming is compatible with various devices you can connect via Bluetooth or USB-C. Therefore, when shopping for a gaming phone, you should look for one that offers suitable external devices.
There are hundreds of gaming phones on the market. Unfortunately, not all of them are the gaming powerhouses the manufacturers say they are. That’s why it’s important to know what features you need to look at when choosing a new device.
No matter what your budget is, this guide should point you in the right direction. It simplifies the nuances of mobile gaming hardware. There are good options available in all price ranges, and it’s all about finding the best phone for gaming that fits your personal needs.
In case your phone isn't the only device you play on, here are some helpful reviews:
Which gaming phone is best for PUBG?
The ASUS ROG Phone 5 is the best for playing PUBG Mobile, as it’s a very graphic-intensive game. Not only does the device have some fantastic specs, but it also backs a 6,000mAh battery. You can run the game smoothly and still not worry you’ll run out of juice. To find out more about the best phone for PUBG Mobile, check out our full review.
Which is the world’s fastest gaming mobile?
The iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 are the fastest gaming phones. Apple’s A13 Bionic CPU has an eight-core neural engine that can perform up to 6 trillion operations in a second.
Is iPhone good for gaming?
The iPhone has great hardware for mobile gaming. Plus, developers don’t have to optimize games for tons of different phones, which is the case with Android gaming systems. This leaves them more time to fine-tune their products and offer a high-quality gaming experience. As a result, iPhone devices are a great option if you’re into mobile gaming.
What’s better for gaming iPhone or Android?
The iPhone is better for games. Developing games for iPhone and Android isn’t the same. Games on iOS are often fine-tuned and the final product is better. Combine this with quality hardware, and what you get is the ultimate gaming experience. Although Android is quite close, the iPhone is better if you want to pick up the best gaming phone.
Dejan is a techie at heart who always dreamed of turning his fascination with gaming into a career. He finds working for TechJury a perfect opportunity to express his views of all kinds of different software. Being an avid reader, particularly of fantasy and sci-fi, Dejan pursued a degree in English Language and Literature. When not at his computer, he’s watching sports or playing tabletop games.
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