5 Great Mobile Phones for Gaming [2023]

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The gaming industry has come a long way since its conception, and that progress isn’t showing any indication of slowing down any time soon. One of the larger and more relatively recent developments in this industry is mobile gaming.

Great mobile phones for gaming

While this might have seemed like a simple gimmick at the time it was initially revealed to be possible, time has brought it closer in line with experiences that players can expect to find on consoles or PCs.

This wouldn’t be possible without the devices themselves, however. Naturally, this means that a market has opened up for phones that specifically aim to support players who just want to play games and taking a look at some notable names can give you an idea of where to go if you’re interested.

What Makes a Great Gaming Phone?

Before you get started choosing your phone, you have to know what differentiates a gaming phone from a regular phone. You might be keenly aware of the types of phones that are popular in a general kind of way, but these often aren’t the same as the ones that mobile gamers prefer.

Great gaming phone features

The reason for this is a different set of priorities. Gaming phones aren’t going to be as concerned with a camera, for instance, though some examples, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, manage to check both of those boxes. In that instance, though, you might find that you’re paying a lot more for both of those qualities than you would by just focusing on one set of goals.

What you’re looking for in a gaming phone is likely quite similar to what you’d be looking for in a high-quality gaming laptop. You’re looking for a powerful processor, a graphics card capable of handling whatever you throw at it, and a refresh rate that is going to make playing your game of choice as smooth as possible.

Cooling capability is also important, as you don’t want your device to completely crumble under what you’re demanding of it, especially if you’re planning on using it regularly. Different models are going to prioritize these things differently, and some will even come with additional features that can improve your gaming experience. 

This puts you in a position to weigh up which of these factors are most important to you as a player and make a decision based on the priorities that you ultimately come up with.

1. Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro

Additionally, quite quickly, you’re going to have to make a decision based on how much money you want to spend on getting your ideal phone. What kind of gaming phone do you want? Do you want something that’s capable of delivering quality results across the board?

If that’s the case, you might turn your attention to the RedMagic 8 Pro, which is capable of incredible results at a price that’s relatively low for what is on offer. With a high refresh rate capable of 90 frames per second, games on this device are going to be really shining.

You might not think this is necessary if you’re planning on playing games, but this refresh rate gives you the highest level of accuracy and insight into when to stop the slot reel or even the easiest road toward immersion once you start to delve into games with RPG elements.

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

What might have always put you off about mobile gaming could be the smaller screen and the lack of space that you have to both play the game and become absorbed into it. These are problems that could be solved with a phone that folds out into something much larger and more reminiscent of gaming on other platforms while still holding all the qualities of mobile gaming.

Folding phones are somewhat new on the scene, but the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has already established itself as the option that’s best for users looking for a phone capable of a quality gaming session. The latest version is the Galaxy Z Fold 5 (said to be very similar to the 4), but the 3 is still a great option to go for. 

3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro

However, it might be that you’re more concerned about value than power. The RedMagic 8 Pro might be good value, but it’s still an option that’s striving to be a standout among its competitors. That’s not to say anything detrimental about this candidate, which is more than capable of providing you with the gaming capability that you’re looking for.

However, what might prove to be its greatest selling point is how you can do that at a price that’s much more affordable than what you might find elsewhere. Power, versatility, and value are considerations that you have to juggle when finding a gaming phone, and everyone will have different preferences for which direction to go.

4. iPhone 14 Pro Max

If you’re in the Apple family, then you probably won’t want to switch for your gaming phone. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a great gaming phone with long battery life and a stunning display. You should be able to play at top performance for quite a while with this phone.

On the con side, the phone itself is quite uncomfortable to hold without a case. This is unlikely to be a problem, given that most people put a case on their phone as standard for protection, but it’s worth noting that you should probably hold this one in person for a trial before shelling out the relatively large cost. 

5. Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

This is the latest version of the phone, but many say that it’s very similar to the ROG Phone 7, so if you’re comparing price tags new vs. old, then you might want to go with the older 7.

Overall, though, this is a stand out gaming phone and if you’ve got a large budget, then it’s a great one to go for. It has the highest quality performance and longest battery life of any gaming phone out there. It also has great speakers, so you can really get immersed in your games.

The ROG also has AirTriggers which are two zones on the phone which you can set up to do different things – they’re in perfect place for controls in gaming. So it’s very comfortable to use and really feels designed to be a gaming phone, rather than a phone that can also do games. As mentioned, the price is high so you’ll have to decide how invested you are in having a phone for gaming.

Final comparsion

When choosing the right gaming phone, it’s essential to consider your priorities. Do you seek unparalleled performance, a foldable design for immersive gameplay, or a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality?

The Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro impresses with its high refresh rate, providing precision and immersion even in games with intense visuals. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers a larger screen for a console-like experience, making it an attractive choice for gamers craving a bigger canvas.

For those mindful of their budget, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro offers a compelling mix of power and affordability. Apple enthusiasts can rest assured that the iPhone 14 Pro Max combines gaming prowess with the familiar iOS ecosystem, although it may require a case for comfortable handling.

Finally, the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate stands as a pinnacle in the gaming phone realm, boasting top-tier performance, excellent battery life, immersive sound, and intuitive AirTriggers for seamless control.

Ultimately, your choice should align with your gaming preferences, budget, and brand loyalty. Whether you’re a mobile esports competitor or a casual gamer, there’s a gaming phone that can elevate your experience to the next level. Let us know if you have any questions in your mind.

About the author

Vivek Chaudhary Author
Tech writer & founder @Geek Instructor • Vivek Chaudhary is an experienced tech blogger who has been writing about technology for more than ten years. He's written over 1500 articles covering various tech topics. Vivek is passionate about sharing his expertise to help others. Beyond the digital realm, he enjoys traveling and creating videos on YouTube. Feel free to contact here: vivek@geekinstructor.com

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