Top 10 gaming phone 2021

The best Android and iOS gaming phones


Smartphones have almost completely replaced portable gaming consoles, and for good reason: they always have excellent screens and plenty of power, and the App Store and Google Play Store both have a huge and constantly increasing range of games.

But not all smartphones are good for sports, and there’s more to consider than just raw strength – though that’s definitely a factor.

We've listed all of the best options below, rated from best to worst, with gaming-specific handsets at the top and regular handsets that happen to be good for gaming further down.


#1 -Asus ROG Phone 5


Asus ROG Phone 5
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: April 2021
Weight: 238g
Dimensions: 172.8 x 77.3 x 10.3mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.78-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2448
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12/16GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 6,000mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 24MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Remarkable performance
+Great display and speakers
REASONS TO AVOID -No telephoto camera
-Large, heavy and dense

The Asus ROG Phone 5 is a fantastic gaming phone that builds on the success of the Asus ROG Phone 3.
Its highlights include a Snapdragon 888 chipset with up to 16GB of RAM, as well as a screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a touch sampling rate of 300Hz, both of which are faster than other phones and beneficial to gaming.
The screen is also very big, and it's accompanied by dual front-facing speakers that are among the best on the market.

The Asus ROG Phone 5 also has a large 6,000mAh battery, allowing you to play for longer periods of time, and with 65W charging, you won't be out of action for long.
The Asus ROG Phone 5 is the full package for gamers, with sensitive shoulder buttons, programmable RGB lights, and compatibility with a variety of gaming-focused accessories.

It’s not quite an all-round flagship (its cameras don’t excel as much as the rest of the hardware for a start but if gaming is your priority then this phone should be at or near the top of your list.


#2 -Lenovo Legion Phone Duel


lenovo legion phone duel
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: October 2020
Weight: 239g
Dimensions: 169.2 x 78.6 x 9.9mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.65-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM: 12/16GB
Storage: 256/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 16MP
Front camera: 20MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Super-fast charging
+Lots of processing power
REASONS TO AVOID -Pretty expensive
-Software issues

The Legion Phone Duel, Lenovo's first gaming phone, combines fantastic gaming-specific features with other top specs and features.

The phone supports 90W fast charging and features a pop-up camera that keeps the screen intact. It also has a powerful processor and software that is designed to work in landscape mode. All of these factors combine to make it an excellent gaming environment.
br>Our problems with the phone have no bearing on its gaming abilities, though the phone's high price, software issues, and mediocre camera can sway some users.

This is a good choice if you're looking for one of the best gaming phones right now; if you're looking for a decent smartphone that can also play games, this is a good choice, but you should check out the others on this list first.


#3 - Nubia Red Magic 5G


Nubia Red Magic 5G
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: March 2020
Weight: 218g
Dimensions: 168.6 x 78 x 9.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.65-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 8MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +144Hz display is ideal for gaming
+Shoulder triggers are handy
REASONS TO AVOID -Screen isn’t the most high-res
-Software bugs

The Nubia Red Magic 5G features the world's first 144Hz smartphone screen, which is perfect for gaming thanks to its silky smooth refresh rate.

However, that isn't the only feature that makes it suitable for gaming. In reality, it's built specifically for gaming, with shoulder triggers for added power, a fan and liquid cooling system to keep the handset cool under pressure, a dedicated 'Playing Space' to customize your gaming experience, and a '4D Shock' feature that adds vibration to games.

At the time of writing, none of these features, nor the 144Hz display, are supported by many games, but if game developers accept them, this phone may be seriously future-proofed.

It, of course, supports 5G and has plenty of capacity. It's just marginally let down by a 1080 x 2340 resolution that isn't the sharpest on the market, as well as some app glitches and a style that will divide opinion.


#4 - Black Shark 3


Black Shark 3
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: March 2020
Weight: 222g
Dimensions: 168.7 x 77.3 x 10.4mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.67-inch
Resolution: 2080 x 2440
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,720mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Affordable for specs
+Cameras are surprisingly capable
REASONS TO AVOID -Appearance may be divisive
-Refresh rate behind competition

It, of course, supports 5G and has plenty of capacity. It's just marginally let down by a 1080 x 2340 resolution that isn't the sharpest on the market, as well as some app glitches and a style that will divide opinion.

The phone is big, has a bold design, and LED lights, and its specs are exactly what you'd expect from a gaming phone - top-of-the-line. The cameras were also surprisingly efficient, particularly in low-light situations, though the optimization could be a little too aggressive at times.

The reason this phone isn't higher is because of its lower 90Hz refresh rate compared to the other phones on this list, as well as the fact that it doesn't have as many dedicated gaming features.


#5 - Razer Phone 2


Razer Phone 2
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: October 2018
Weight: 205g
Dimensions: 158.5 x 78.9 x 8.5mm
OS: Android 9 Pie
Screen size: 5.72-inch
Resolution: 2560×1440
CPU: Snapdragon 845
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB (up to 1TB with card)
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 8MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Top-line specs and 120hz refresh rate display
+Backside logo glows in millions of RGB hues
REASONS TO AVOID -Low minimum storage (64GB) for price
-Smaller 5.72-inch screen

#6 - Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra


Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: January 2021
Weight: 228g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
CPU: Exynos 2100 / Snapdragon 888
RAM: 12/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front camera: 40MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Great camera
+Stylus support
REASONS TO AVOID -Incredibly expensive
-No microSD card slot

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a good option if you're looking for a phone that's good for gaming and a lot more. It's Samsung's newest top-tier flagship handset, with all specs cranked up to 11.

Our biggest problem with this phone is the price, which is why so many people will not buy it. It's a prohibitively costly smartphone, and only a select few will be able to afford it.

If the Galaxy S21 Ultra is within your reach, however, you'll find it to be a great gaming phone, with plenty of processing power and a big, attractive screen. The best camera skills are merely a bonus.

#7 - iPhone 12 Pro


iPhone 12 Pro
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: October 2020
Weight: 189g
Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
OS: iOS 14
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1170 x 2532
CPU: A14 Bionic chip
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 2,815mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP + LiDAR scanner
Front camera: 12MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Access to the best games ecosystem
+Gorgeous screen for gaming
REASONS TO AVOID -Expensive
-No charging block included

The iPhone 12 Pro is the most recent and best iPhone Pro model available, and it is currently the best of the Apple bunch. Its 6.1-inch display looks great and is the perfect size for getting the most out of your gaming. Backed up by a strong processor and plenty of storage space, you won't be disappointed by how speedily games run.

There are also plenty of game options thanks to the App Store's massive library of games, as well as the benefits of using Apple Arcade for a Netflix-style library of options.

The iPhone 12 Pro is pricey for what you get, and 5G isn't really important to many users right now (though it will be a big help gaming in the future), but you'll be future-proofed for a long time.


#8 - OnePlus 9 Pro


OnePlus 9 Pro
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: March 2021
Weight: 197g
Dimensions: 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3216
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +The best OnePlus camera phone
+Great power
REASONS TO AVOID -High price
-No microSD support

The OnePlus 9 Pro is an excellent all-around flagship, but it also includes a functionality we'd like to see on a gaming phone. We're talking about Hyper Touch, which can increase the touch sampling rate from 240Hz to 360Hz, making the screen extremely responsive to inputs, which is ideal for gaming.

In addition, with a high-end Snapdragon 888 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM, the OnePlus 9 Pro has all the power you'll need for gaming. On its 6.7-inch 1440 x 3216 AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, games are guaranteed to look fantastic.

It also supports 65W charging (and 50W wireless charging), so you'll never run out of power, and 5G allows you to play online while on the go.

There's also up to 256GB of storage on the OnePlus 9 Pro, so you'll have plenty of room to store all of your games.


#9 - LG V60 ThinQ + Dual Screen


LG V60 ThinQ + Dual Screen
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: February 2020
Weight: 213g
Dimensions: 169.3 x 77.6 x 8.9 mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 2460
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB (up to 2TB with card)
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 13MP + 0.3MP
Front camera: 10MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Dual screen is great for media
+Powerful chipset
+Extensive 5,000mAh battery
REASONS TO AVOID -Dual screen software is so-so
-Unremarkable beyond dual screen

The LG V60 ThinQ appears to be an upgraded and larger version of the LG G8, which popularized the Dual Screen feature that distinguishes the V60 from its competitors.

In essence, the Dual Screen is an exact copy of the V60's 6.8-inch Full HD Plus (2460 x 1080) monitor. It takes a little getting used to the program, but you can effectively run two apps at once – useful if, as in the picture above, you want to play games on one screen while watching media on the other.

There is a gaming mode that turns the second screen into an input touchpad, freeing up the first screen, but it isn't the most intuitive. There are a few applications, such as Google Maps, that can display information on both screens to varying degrees of usefulness.

Aside from that, the phone is a standard 2020 flagship, with a Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and Android 10. The 5,000mAh battery will keep you gaming for a long time, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is becoming increasingly rare in phones these days. Overall, this is an excellent option for gaming and watching television – or doing it at the same time.


#10 - Motorola Edge Plus / Motorola Edge


Motorola Edge Plus
SPECIFICATIONS Release date: May 2020
Weight: 203g / 188g
Dimensions: 161.1 x 71.4 x 9.6 mm / 161.6 x 71.1 x 9.3 m
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.7-inch / 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340 / 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 865 / Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 12GB/6GB
Storage: 256GB / 128GB
Battery: 5,000mAh / 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 16MP / 64MP + 8MP + 16MP
Front camera: 25MP / 25MP
Price
REASONS TO BUY +Gorgeous, large display
+Powerful specs
+Digital trigger buttons
REASONS TO AVOID -Pricey
-Annoying edge design
-Low 18W max charging

The Motorola Edge Plus is the company's first top-tier flagship in years, and it's well worth the wait: the waterfall display is large and beautiful, the phone has excellent specifications, and there's even a new gaming feature: digital trigger buttons that hang over the screen's edge, just beneath your fingers.

The phone has an impressive set of specifications, including a Snapdragon 865 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage (sadly not expandable). The 6.7-inch display has a 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support, resulting in a much clearer picture than the Full HD Plus (2340 x 1080) panel would suggest. It also has a triple rear camera with a whopping 108MP sensor.

Although the Motorola Edge Plus is priced similarly to other flagships at $999 (around £800 / AU$1,550), you might have difficulty finding it due to its restricted availability: it's only accessible via Verizon in the United States.

The Motorola Edge, the phone's less expensive sibling, makes a few compromises in terms of specs, but it's significantly less expensive, starting at £549 / $699 (roughly AU$1,015). Despite this, it will be accessible in more locations and maintain many of the Edge Plus's best features.

Although the Motorola Edge has a monitor that supports HDR10, a Snapdragon 765G chipset with 6GB of RAM, a 64MP main camera, and a smaller 4,500mAh battery, we don't think those are deal breakers for the lower price. Furthermore, the Edge's 128GB of storage can be expanded using a microSD card.

The best part is that both models have 3.5mm headphone jacks.


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