Compare: The Best Gaming Phones In The Market

Date Apr 16, 2021
Blog category Mobile Phone
By Huey A
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With revenue estimated at $85 billion for the year 2020, mobile gaming has now risen to be one of the largest gaming demographics worldwide, with smartphones turning into one of the main ways people experience video games. As such, more and more games are being developed with the mobile market in mind. From mobile versions of AAA titles like Call of Duty: Mobile, to multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) like League of Legends: Wild Rift, and even sprawling open-world RPGs like Genshin Impact, we can expect more and more games to come out with even more quality which in turn, demands better hardware. Which leads into the development of gaming phones.

These specialized gaming phones tend to come with certain perks such as louder speakers, high-end CPUs and GPUs, and higher frame refreshes that are similar to offerings included in more premium general-use phones. However, many of these phones come with their own features that make them stand out from other models and even from each other. With that said, we’ve rounded up models that make for the best gaming phones for many different titles:

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ASUS ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

The latest in Asus’ gaming smartphone lineup, the ROG Phone 5 has shed some of its aggressive ‘gamer’ styling in favor of a more subdued look while still retaining its core identity as a gaming phone, which now makes it a bit more attractive for people who aren’t big on the whole gamer aesthetic. Nonetheless, it does retain enough features to make for a comfortable gaming experience.

It features sensor zones which join the ultrasonic AirTriggers on the frame of the device. Players can map out certain commands on these, depending on the game. Customizations abound with their Game Genie software, while you can expect minimal heat thanks to its AeroActive cooler technology. Camera-wise, this doesn’t exactly match high-end premiums like the Galaxy S21 or phones like the iPhone 12 Pro or the Pixel 5, but it’s good enough.

Display Type: AMOLED, 1B colors, 144Hz, HDR10+, 800 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak)

Display Size: 6.78 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2448 pixels (~395 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

GPU: Adreno 660

OS: Android 11, ROG UI

Memory: 512GB Internal, 18 GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with DTS:X stereo speakers with 2 dedicated amplifiers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes

Battery: Li-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

Known for their laptops, Lenovo is now entering the gaming smartphone market and their new Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is a pretty strong contender overall. The phone offers the beefy specs you expect from the model. Snapdragon 865 plus, super-fast refresh rates with a 144Hz screen, and even a 20MP pop-up selfie camera, which can be helpful for streaming the games you play.

It brings extra features like side triggers, USB-C ports, and its own dedicated LegionOS. It helps enable many apps and even the home screen to run in landscape mode, which is almost the default mode for playing games on mobile. The phone offers strong performance overall, and is a solid pick for the best gaming phone in NZ.

Display Type: AMOLED, 144Hz, HDR10+

Display Size: 6.65 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels (~388 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+

GPU: Adreno 650

OS: Android 10, LegionOS/ ZUI12

Memory: 512GB Internal, 16 GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: No

Battery: Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

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Xiaomi Black Shark 3

The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is another great phone for gamers looking for a higher-end device without breaking the bank. Apparent from the name alone, the Black Shark does seek to cater to gamers specifically, with an aggressive design aesthetic that comes in either black or chrome colors. Flip the phone on the back to see the LED accented “X”- shape and boot up the dedicated Shark Space mode to see what we mean. The design most likely won’t go over well for anyone looking for a cleaner look.

However, aside from the dedicated “gamer” chops this gaming phone comes with, it also pulls ahead of the others in the camera department. While it’s not as impressive as dedicated camera phones, it’s camera is capable of taking vibrant pictures with decent autofocus capabilities. It has slightly lower refresh rates however, with only 90Hz as compared to the 144Hz screens other models pack. Still, the Black Shark is a more than capable gaming phone, especially for buyers on a budget.

Display Type: AMOLED, 90Hz, HDR10+

Display Size: 6.67 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (~395 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

GPU: Adreno 650

OS: Android 10

Memory: 128GB Internal, 12 GB RAM | 256GB, 12 GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes

Battery: Li-Po 4720 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

Razer Phone 2

Big fan of black? Well, Razer, a brand already known for their gaming products, have entered the market of gaming phones and their Razer Phone 2 is still a pretty solid contender if you’re looking for such a device. Available in either matte or mirror black, the Razer Phone 2 has improved a lot over their first outing, taking in feedback from fans and critics alike.

In terms of software inclusions, the Razer Phone 2 features the Chroma app, which allows users to customize the RGB logo on the phone’s back. On the other hand, their Cortex app features Razer-recommended games, a library for showing your installed games, and a game booster which helps set the phone’s power management, from performance to power saving. It’s a lot older than the other models here, which means you probably find one of these at a more competitive price point now.

Display Type: IGZO IPS LCD, 120Hz

Display Size: 5.72 inches

Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels (~513 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

GPU: Adreno 630

OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie)

Memory: 64GB, 8GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with Dolby Atmos stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: No

Battery: Li-Po 4000 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

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ZTE nubia Red Magic 5G

The Red Magic was among the first gaming phones to feature 144Hz displays. It’s relatively affordable too, letting users experience high-end specs at a more affordable price. The handset has been designed with gaming in mind, however. It features vents on the sides of the display, along with liquid cooling, shoulder buttons, and of course, loud dual speakers and RGB lighting.

If there’s anything else to consider for this device, the design is also a rather clunky “gamer-esque” build and is a little heavier than other handsets in the market. It plays games really smoothly, thanks to that high refresh rate screen and responsive shoulder buttons. Its OS however, is just a little minimal compared to other devices on the market so for users looking for more customization options, this is important to keep in mind. Still, this should be a good entry point for first-time gaming phone buyers.

Display Type: AMOLED, 144Hz

Display Size: 6.65 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels (~388 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

GPU: Adreno 650

OS: Android 10, Redmagic 3.0

Memory: 256GB, 12GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes

Battery: Li-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

Non-gaming, Gaming Phones?

Of course, to top the list, here are some other devices which would make for good gaming phones even if they’re not really designed with gaming in mind. These models tend to sport the same specs as actual gaming phones just without the aesthetics and maybe a few of the customizations involved. 

OnePlus 8 Pro

Possibly one of the most expensive OnePlus handsets available, the OnePlus 8 Pro has dropped the “flagship killer” moniker in order to become one itself. Despite that, it’s still a bit cheaper than similar offerings from the likes of Samsung or Huawei without compromising on specs and hardware.

As for how it fares as a gaming device, well it’s got a great chipset in the form of the Snapdragon 865 and a 120Hz screen so gaming on this device should still feel buttery smooth. Battery life is also pretty decent and the camera is generally pretty good as well. You get a competent flagship model with great gaming chops while being great for everyday use.

Display Type: AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+

Display Size: 6.78 inches

Resolution: 1440 x 3168 pixels (~513 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

GPU: Adreno 650

OS: Android 10, upgradeable to Android 11, OxygenOS11

Memory: 256GB, 12GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: No

Battery: Li-Po 4510 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

Samsung Galaxy S21

A solid smartphone choice that also features great battery life, powerful hardware, and of course, a really good camera, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is also a good option for a gaming device. This is a premium phone after all, at a considerably cheaper price than Samsung’s other offers.

Display Type: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+

Display Size: 6.2 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (~421 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

GPU: Adreno 660

OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1

Memory: 256GB, 8GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: No

Battery: Li-Po 4000 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

Motorola Edge+

An impressive handset from Motorola that’s also capable of going head-to-head against flagships from other manufacturers. With a gorgeous ‘Waterfall’ display and great internals, this phone can also double as a good gaming device while appearing premium enough for day-to-day use. 

Display Type: OLED, 90Hz, HDR10+

Display Size: 6.7 inches

Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels (~385 ppi density)

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

GPU: Adreno 650

OS: Android 10

Memory: 256GB, 12GB RAM

Loudspeaker:  Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes

Battery: Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable

Fast charging: Yes

Find a model that catches your fancy?

Whether you’re after a dedicated gaming phone or a premium or even mid range phone with good gaming capabilities, you can have your pick of mobile phone plan providers to help you get your preferred device. Here at CompareBear, we can also help you compare providers to find which deal will work best to you. Simply hop on to our FREE comparison tool and start your search today.

About the author
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Huey A

Huey is a Content Writer who has written for topics involving sales, e-commerce, and insurance. When he’s not reading stories and editorials, he’s either building model kits or playing video games.

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