Mobiles for gaming: The Best Gaming Phones to Buy in 2023

The Best Gaming Phones to Buy in 2023

By Kevin Lee, Danielle Abraham

Updated: May 3, 2023 11:01 pm

Posted: May 3, 2023 3:33 pm

There has never been a better time to turn to our phones for gaming. Their screens are bigger and brighter than ever, and more and more of them are offering fast refresh rates on the display for smoother visuals. The power inside the best gaming phones also make them as capable as ever at running popular mobile games locally while 5G connectivity and faster Wi-Fi 6 improves the experience on the ever-improving cloud gaming services, including Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass.

The market for gaming phones is also getting extra spicy. It’s not just brands known for making gaming gear like Asus that are churning out compelling options, so you won’t be limited to just over-the-top, sometimes gaudy gaming phones to get a smartphone capable of offering a compelling gaming experience. We’ve rounded up our top picks of high-performance gaming smartphones that will give you the best chance of getting to the top of the scoreboard whether you’re on iOS or Android.

You can also check out our guide to the best phone controllers for accessory options.

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
  • Xiaomi Black Shark 5
  • Asus ROG Phone 5S
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro
  • OnePlus 11
  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • Sony Xperia 5 IV

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best Gaming Phone

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Screen size: 6.8″ | Resolution: 3,088 x 1,440 | CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear cameras: 200MP (wide), 10MP (telephoto), 10 MP (telephoto 10x), 12MP (ultra-wide) | Front camera: 12MP | OS: Android 13 | Size: 6. 43″ x 3.07″ x 0.35″ | Weight: 8.25 oz

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra shines as an everyday phone with great software, a long battery life, and bordering-on professional cameras. But it’s also packing everything needed to be a true gaming champion. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip designed for Samsung Galaxy devices, letting it hit a slightly higher clock speed than other phones with that processor. When you combine that with 8GB of RAM, the phone won’t break a sweat running even the most intensive games at top settings, ensuring zero performance drops.

Your gaming experience will be enhanced further by the stunning, bright, and big 6.8-inch Super AMOLED display. The screen hits a wild 1,750 nits with vivid, accurate colors for easy, enjoyable viewing from just about anywhere. A speedy 120Hz refresh rate keeps graphics smooth, but the display can drop to 1Hz for battery conservation. It even has a stylus slotted inside, making it easy to jot down notes or sketch.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5

Best Budget Gaming Phone

Xiaomi Black Shark 5

Screen size: 6.67″ | Resolution: 1,080 x 2,400 | CPU: Snapdragon 870 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4,650mAh | Rear cameras: 64MP (wide), 13MP (ultra-wide), 5MP (macro) | Front camera: 20MP | OS: Android 11 | Size: 6.3″ x 3.07″ x 0.39″ | Weight: 7.7 oz

The Xiaomi Black Shark 5 isn’t bred for excess in quite the same way as some of its competitors, but it is certainly an excellent option in the field of smartphones hovering around $500. The Snapdragon 870 chipset may not be the best available, but it’s no slouch. That, paired alongside the 12GB RAM, means it can load graphics and complete AI processing with ease while remaining power efficient. A special cooling system is even in place, ensuring the phone’s internals don’t overheat to continue running at full capacity.

If you’re wondering about the Xiaomi Black Shark 5’s display, it’s just as ready for gaming as the competitors, with a sharp, AMOLED panel that can run at 144Hz with a responsive 720Hz multi-touch sample rate. The phone also comes with something special in the form of its two magnetic pop-up triggers. Unlike the touch controls on many competing phones, you get physical pop-up triggers that you can actually push down. They feel great to use and recess back into the phone when not in use.

See our guide to the best cheap smartphones.

Asus ROG Phone 5S

Best Dedicated Gaming Phone

Asus ROG Phone 5S

  • See it on Asus (512 GB Version)

Screen size: 6.78″ | Resolution: 1,080 x 2,448 | CPU: Snapdragon 888+ | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear cameras: 64MP (wide), 13MP (ultra-wide), 5MP (macro) | Front camera: 24MP | OS: Android 11 | Size: 6. 8″x 3.04″ x 0.41″ | Weight: 8.4oz

If you’re ready for some next-level mobile gaming, the Asus ROG Phone 5S will blow you away. However, if you want even more power, Asus should be the releasing the ROG 7 Ultimate soon, but it’s expensive. Sticking with the 5S, you get a whopping 12GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset to boost its performance a little further. It’s also loaded up with 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. We struggle to imagine a situation where that’s not enough memory for mobile multitasking and storage for the biggest mobile game library.

All that brawn is going to driving the 6.78-inch AMOLED display at serious speeds – we’re talking 144Hz. While that’s plenty of screen space to let you use the improved 360Hz touch sample rate with the on-screen controls and still see your games, you don’t have to. This phone includes ultrasonic side buttons that can detect taps to simulate triggers or even detect swipes. And, the phone’s motion sensors can be used to enable special gesture controls that will register phone movements.

iPhone 14 Pro

Best iPhone for Gaming

iPhone 14 Pro

Screen size: 6.1″ | Resolution: 2556 x 1179 | CPU: Apple A16 Bionic | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,200mAh | Rear cameras: 12MP (ultra-wide), 48MP (wide), 12MP (telephoto), LiDAR | Front camera: 12MP | OS: iOS 16 | Size: 5.81″ x 2.81″ x 0.31″ | Weight: 7.27 oz

With the plethora of games on iOS, we can’t blame you for wanting the best iPhone to play them on, the iPhone 14 Pro. Its beefy A16 Bionic processor provides all the speed and power you need to cruise through the latest Apple Arcade games. And the graphical capabilities of this device even let you play indie games that used to only be available on PC or console.

The iPhone 14 Pro’s stunning 6.1-inch display offers a 120Hz refresh rate that drops to just 1Hz, allowing for the new always-on-display that won’t drain the battery too badly. Apple has also finally removed the notch for Face ID, opting for a new pill-shaped camera hole called Dynamic Island. It’s a handy addition, expanding and showing different animations and controls for media, maps, and alarms, with app developers creating other functions for the feature. If you still aren’t sold on this iPhone, the exceptional new cameras, decent battery life, and enhanced safety features may justify the splurge.

Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro

True Full Screen Mobile Gaming

Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro

Screen size: 6.8″ | Resolution: 1,116 x 2,480 | CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear cameras: 50MP (Wide), 8MP (Ultrawide), 2MP (Macro) | Front camera: 16MP | OS: Android 13 | Size: 6.46″ x 3.01″ x 0.35″ | Weight: 8.04oz

The Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro packs major performance prowess thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, letting the device run faster while using less power over the last-gen model and especially shines in ray tracing. Furthering along the phone’s ability is 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage, so it can handle whatever game you throw at it. There’s even a multidimensional cooling system in place that includes a quiet fan for quicker heat dissipation and a liquid cooling plate, ensuring your clock speeds stay high.

All that capability under the hood runs a 6.8-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display which hits a bright 1,300 nits, making it ideal for gaming outside. The screen also has a speedy 120Hz refresh rate that can lower to 90Hz or 60Hz to save on battery, while an insanely responsive 960Hz multi-touch sample rate is perfect for keeping you in the game’s action. The Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro even offers handy touch-sensitive shoulder triggers that can be mapped to on-screen controls, letting you activate buttons you’d generally need to use your thumbs for.

OnePlus 11

Best Everyday Phone for Mobile Gaming

OnePlus 11

  • See it on Best Buy

Screen size: 6. 7″ | Resolution: 3,216 x 1,440 | CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear cameras: 50MP (wide), 48MP (ultra-wide), 32MP (telephoto) | Front camera: 32MP | OS: Android 13 | Size: 6.42 x 2.92 x 0.34″ | Weight: 7.2 oz

For a great phone with a brilliant display that doubles as a gaming-ready beast, grab the OnePlus 11. Its 6.7-inch, QHD+ AMOLED display provides plenty of screen real estate for gaming and manages an adaptive refresh rate from 1Hz up to 120Hz. That ensures smooth gaming when you need it and battery savings when you don’t. Speaking of the battery, its 5,000mAh offering keeps the phone running all day with moderate use—even with the always-on display. But if juice is low, an 80W fast charging feature will top it up quick.

Running the whole shebang is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. That provides plenty of oomph to cruise through all your favorite mobile games while taking advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate and 1000Hz touch response rate. Combining that gaming prowess with refined design, elegant software, and a superior camera system, the OnePlus11 is hard to beat mid-range phone option.

iPhone SE (2022)

Best Budget iPhone for Gaming

iPhone SE (2022)

  • See it on Apple

Screen size: 4.7″ | Resolution: 750 x 1,334 | CPU: Apple A15 Bionic | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 2,018mAh | Rear cameras: 12MP (wide) | Front camera: 7MP | OS: iOS 15 | Size: 5.45″ x 2.65″ x 0.29″ | Weight: 5.09oz

You can actually get a fairly strong gaming experience without having to fork out for the most expensive iPhone. The recently released third-gen iPhone SE offers tons of performance prowess thanks to the incredibly fluid A15 bionic chip powering it, yet it still manages a $429 price tag that’s hard to beat. And, since it’s running on iOS, you get access to a treasure trove of games not found on Andriod as well as the collection in Apple Arcade.

To be honest, the screen on the iPhone SE definitely lacks some luster. It’s only 4.7-inches with thick bezels matching the specs of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. If you’re afraid of using too much screen space when gaming, though, pair it with a phone controller to reveal more of the display. There is also limited storage with only 64GB, however, you can go up to 256GB. Cloud gaming is an easy solution to this issue, especially with the phone’s support of 5G when not connected to Wi-Fi.

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Best Ultrawide Gaming Phone

Sony Xperia 5 IV

Screen size: 6.1″ | Resolution: 1,080 x 2,520 | CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear cameras: 12MP (wide), 12MP (telephoto), 12MP (ultra-wide) | Front camera: 12MP | OS: Android 12 | Size: 6. 14″ x 2.64″ x 0.32″ | Weight: 6.03oz

The aspect ratio on most phones is 16:9, but the Sony Xperia 5 IV switches it up with an unorthodox 21:9 display. It’s one of the only phones providing these dimensions, so if your thumbs tend to get in the way of visuals, this design helps keep them away from the center of the gaming action. That ultrawide, 6.1-inch OLED display also delivers a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling.

There’s plenty of oomph under the hood to power that display, like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip paired with 8GB of RAM for snappy performance. A Game Enhancer feature will even let you Livestream all your game’s action but be prepared for your phone to get a little toasty during some of those heavy tasks. However, you’ll still be good to game for quite a while without charging up, thanks to the 5,000mAh battery.

What to Look for in a Gaming Phone

Choosing the right gaming phone is a little different than finding the best smartphone. With regular phones, you might be more interested in battery life, the cameras, and a plethora of other specs, but the best gaming phones are all about their screens and processors with everything else being less important. You also rarely need to worry about the battery on a gaming phone, as most pack in some of the biggest smartphone batteries you’ll find.

With that in mind, we’ll start with the processors. Generally, you’re going to get a better gaming experience out of the latest and greatest processor that’s on the market when you’re shopping. At the moment, Android phones will find that in the form of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which packs in a load of powerful processing cores and has strong graphics on board. That said, if you’re on a budget, Qualcomm’s highest-tier chipsets tend to offer so much power you might not even take full advantage of it, so you shouldn’t feel too shy about seeking out a phone with an earlier chipset like the Snapdragon 888 or 8 Gen 1.

For iPhones, Apple makes its own chipsets, and they are extremely powerful. Again, you’ll want to stick with the latest iteration for the absolute best performance, and that’ll always be found in the newest iPhone. At present, that’s the A16 Bionic the iPhone 14 Pro models. This is another case where there’s still plenty of power in previous-generation chipsets, which is part of what makes Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) so compelling with its inclusion of the A15 Bionic chipset at a $429 price point.

In terms of displays, you should pick out anything that’s a step up from your average phone screen. Often, smartphones made for gaming will feature a display with a refresh rate greater than 60Hz. 90Hz is a good start for extra fluidity, but we’re seeing the top gaming phones start to go to 120Hz and beyond. Some displays are even offering variable refresh rates that can let you take advantage of power savings while you’re not gaming. Faster touch sampling rates on displays are also starting to take off, so it may be a spec to keep in mind when comparison shopping. With many gaming phones adding in shoulder buttons, it may not just be the screen you should look at when thinking about the gaming interface.

That’s everything you need to know about gaming phones for now. We’ll be updating this list periodically, especially as even more brands are entering the foray with phones that are especially well suited to gaming.

Gaming Handhelds Vs. Gaming Phones

Deciding on a portable gaming device truly depends on your lifestyle, the type of games you want to play, and how you want to play them.

A gaming phone is ultra-portable and can be easily pocketed. However, it’s still a highly capable machine that does more than game, offering all your typical smartphone features, including quality cameras, navigation, and communication. Many gaming phones even have cooling solutions to prevent thermal throttling and some tote handy triggers. If you’re not a fan of touch controls, you can always grab a phone controller.

Gaming handhelds, like the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch, are bulkier but still easy to toss in a bag and take on the go. Unlike gaming phones, they are pretty much used solely for gaming, so you get responsive joysticks, triggers, and buttons with these options.

As for actual games, more and more options are coming to Android and iOS, albeit most are toned down compared to their PC counterparts. Cloud gaming with Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass also continues to improve, making gaming on your phone easier than ever.

However, the Steam Deck is insanely powerful and acts like a handheld PC, letting you take your Steam library anywhere. Asus is also throwing its hat in the ring with the ROG Ally, offering a similar experience to the Steam Deck. And of course, there are many titles exclusive to the Switch.

Battery life is another consideration, and the Steam Deck has a notoriously bad battery life. Many smartphones have no problem lasting all day, though extensive gaming cuts that drastically. A portable charger is a good investment if you plan to game on the go.

Cost also comes into play, as gaming phones are expensive, with some of the best options costing between $700 to well over $1,000. Gaming handhelds are much more affordable. You can grab a Steam Deck for $400, and a Nintendo Switch is even less.

It’s all about personal preference. Do you want something that does it all but games in a slightly toned-down manner? Grab a gaming phone. Do you want a device dedicated to gaming that offers platform-exclusive titles? Get a gaming handheld.

Kevin Lee is IGN’s Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, learn more.

The best gaming phones in 2023

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Best gaming phones: Quick menu

1. The list in brief
2. Best overall
3. Best battery life
4. Best iPhone
5. Best value
6. Best gaming features
7. Best software
8. Best cooling
9. Fastest charging

Of all the phones we’ve tested, the best gaming phones are the ones with the performance, displays and batteries that can handle today’s most demanding games.

Of these phones, some are familiar flagship phones from big companies like Apple or Samsung, with the camera and software quality (and price) that you’d expect as a result. Others from companies like Asus ROG and RedMagic are specifically aimed at gamers and have extra features like trigger buttons, enhanced cooling and unique software. Neither is strictly worse than the other, it’ll just depend on what else you want from your phone, if anything.

Whatever your needs are, these are the best gaming phones you can get right now.

The quick list

Best overall

1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The best gaming phone overall

The Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t aimed exclusively at gamers, but with top-notch performance and long battery life plus fantastic cameras and display, it will serve you well for online gaming and beyond.

Read more below

Best battery

2. Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

Best gaming phone for battery life

Our top-ranked gaming phone designed for gamers, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate’s stand-out feature is in fact its battery, which outlasts anything else on this list. Its performance and display aren’t too shabby either.

Read more below

Best iPhone

3. iPhone 14 Pro Max

Best gaming iPhone

If your gaming device has to be Apple-made, the large and powerful but still efficient and well-rounded iPhone 14 Pro Max is your top pick. Perfect for gamers who want a phone that can do more.

Read more below

Best value

4. Motorola Edge Plus (2023)

Best value gaming phone

The Edge Plus offers the same chipset and display refresh rate as the top performers on this list, along with a long-lasting battery of its own. Just be aware of its curved display causing mis-touches.

Read more below

Gaming features

5. Black Shark 5 Pro

Best phone for gaming features

Proper shoulder buttons give the Black Shark an edge over many other phones when it comes to gaming. The premium chipset, display and battery and charging systems certainly help too. 

Read more below

Best software

6. Pixel 7 Pro

Best overall software

As you’d expect from the company behind Android, the Pixel 7 Pro gives you unique and handy features in the OS to play with while you enjoy its decent gaming performance.

Read more below

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Best cooling

7. RedMagic 8 Pro

Best gaming phone for cooling

You can’t get much better cooling for a phone than having a fan built-in, and that’s been RedMagic’s thing for a while now. Don’t worry, you still get the display and performance you want for the price too.

Read more below

Best charging

8. OnePlus 10T

Best gaming phone for charging

This OnePlus can still keep up with its competitors on power and display quality. But its secret weapon is how fast you can recharge it and get back to gaming when you run low on juice.

Read more below

The best gaming phone overall

(Image credit: Future)

1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The best gaming phone overall

Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch QHD AMOLED

Peak refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy

RAM: 8GB/12GB

Storage/expandable: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB, No

Cameras (back/front): 200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto / 12MP selfie

Weight: 233g (8.2 ounces)

Battery life (hrs:mins): 13:09 (60Hz) / 12:22 (adaptive)

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Reasons to buy

+

Top graphics performance

+

Bright and detailed display

+

Excellent cameras

+

Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

Expensive, even compared to other flagships

Charging limited to 45W

Curved display won’t suit everyone

Samsung pulled off something incredible with the Galaxy S23 Ultra by dethroning the iPhone 14 Pro Max as the top gaming phone. And that’s thanks to a new chipset.

Not only does the Galaxy S23 Ultra still come with excellent cameras, a top-quality display and a generous battery capacity, it also uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset. This Samsung-specific chip offers increased power over the regular 8 Gen 2 silicon, and even the A16 Bionic chip, meaning you won’t find a more powerful phone to game with.

We still wish the phone was a bit cheaper and that it charged faster, and some of you may wish it had flat sides instead of curved ones. But you can’t argue with the overall quality of the phone, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s gaming abilities. If the price is a problem for you, keep in mind that the less expensive Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 run on the same powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy silicon, though you will have to settle for smaller screens.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review.

Best gaming phone for battery life

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

2.

Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

Record battery life for any gaming phone

Specifications

Display size: 6.8-inch AMOLED (2488 x 1080)

Refresh rate: 165Hz

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

RAM: 16GB

Storage / Expandable: 512GB / No

Cameras (back / front): 50MP main, 13MP ultrawide, 8MP macro / 32MP

Weight: 8.4 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 18:32 (adaptive), 13:23 (165Hz)

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

Astounding multi-day battery life

+

Performance keeps pace with Galaxy S23 Ultra

+

Bright, colorful display

Reasons to avoid

Bezels at the top and bottom of the display

Just two years of Android OS updates

The gaming never stops on the the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, one of the newest gaming-centric phones to carry the ROG label. Like the ROG Phone 6 Pro before it, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate sets a new record on our battery test, beating the old mark by 3 hours. That eye-popping 18.5-hour result came with the phone’s adaptive refresh rate turned on; even when we locked the refresh rate at an energy-sapping 165Hz, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate still lasted nearly 13.5 hours — an outstanding result.

While the 6,000 mAh battery helps, the true star is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that also helps the ROG Phone 7 Pro post benchmark numbers that match devices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and OnePlus 11. We also like the ROG Phone’s bright, colorful display, though once again, its cameras don’t measure up to more general purpose-focused phones.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate doesn’t figure to be cheap. (A U.S. price hasn’t been announced yet, since the phone won’t arrive for a few months.) But with the regular ROG Phone 7 sharing the same chipset, battery size and display specs as the Ultimate, we’d imagine gamers will be able to enjoy the best things about this phone at a lower price.

Read our full Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate review.

Best gaming iPhone

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

3. iPhone 14 Pro Max

The best gaming phone for iPhone users

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2778 x 1284)

Peak refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU: A16 Bionic

RAM: 6GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No

Cameras (back/front): 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP 3x telephoto / 12MP

Weight: 8.5 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 13:39

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

A16 chip is a powerhouse

+

120Hz display with always-on mode

+

Strong battery life

Reasons to avoid

20W charging is slow

Expensive

While Apple doesn’t prioritize gamers in the same way other phone makers do, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a fantastic phone to play on. Its A16 Bionic chipset offers loads of power, and the 120Hz display is smooth and colorful. Coupled with a lengthy battery life, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the best iOS games to their full potential.

Unfortunately, the App Store doesn’t allow for gaming emulators, so for those interested in playing classic games, they may be out of luck. Although, some of the most popular titles from the SNES and PS2 eras have been ported to iPhone. 

The other benefits of going for the iPhone are its strong photography abilities, its newly added always-on display and the also-new Dynamic Island notch that gives you more screen to play with. Unfortunately, this is still an expensive phone, and with no SIM slot in the U.S. (it’s eSIM only) and sluggish charging, this isn’t the most welcoming phone if you’re not already comfortable with the iPhone way of life.

It’s also worth noting that the iPhone 14 Pro is cheaper and more compact while using the same chipset. However, the Pro Max is our top pick since we prefer having the larger display and extra battery life.

Read our full iPhone 14 Pro Max review.

Best value gaming phone

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

4.

Motorola Edge Plus (2023)

The best gaming flagship phone for less

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch pOLED (2400 x 1080)

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

RAM: 8GB

Storage / Expandable: 512GB / No

Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.8) main; 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide; 12MP (f/1.6) portrait

Front camera: 60MP (f/2.2)

Weight: 7.1 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 15:47 (auto), 13:18 (165Hz)

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

165Hz display

+

Epic battery life

+

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset deliver best Android performance

Reasons to avoid

Curved display can lead to accidental touches

You don’t have to pay top dollar for top-of-the-line Android performance. The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) features the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset found in leading Android phones like the Galaxy S23 series and the OnePlus 11, but at $799, it’s a much more affordable option than a lot of competing devices. Throw in a 6. 7-inch display that can offer a 165Hz refresh rate, and you’ve got a phone that mobile gamers will certainly find appealing.

Don’t worry that a drained battery will cut short your gaming sessions. The Motorola Edge Plus held out for more than 15 hours on our battery test — one of the best times we’ve seen posted in the last 18 months. Even when the screen was set to its maximum 165Hz refresh rate, the phone still lasted more than 13 hours, which is an outstanding result. Motorola may not be the first name you think of when it comes to gaming phones, but all the features you’d want are certainly there in the Motorola Edge Plus.

Read our full Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review.

Best value gaming phone for performance

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

5. OnePlus 11

An Android flagship phone with strong gaming cred

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (3216 x 1440)

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

RAM: 8GB, 16GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1. 8) main, 48MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 32MP (f/2.0) 2x telephoto

Front camera: 16MP (f/2.45)

Weight: 7.2 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 13:10 (adaptive), 12:48 (60Hz)

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$699.99

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Reasons to buy

+

Amazing battery life

+

Cheaper than average price

+

Top performance among Android phones

Reasons to avoid

No wireless charging

2x telephoto camera lags behind rivals

Like the Motorola Edge Plus, the OnePlus 11 features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 system-on-chip, and that’s the silicon powering the OnePlus 11. As a result, even the most demanding games play like a dream on this device.

Gamers will also appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate on the phone’s 6.7-inch display, as well as the long battery life — over 13 hours even with that adaptive refresh rate enabled. But perhaps the most attractive thing about the OnePlus 11 is its price. While other flagships flirt with $1,000 price tags, the OnePlus 11 comes in at $699. It’s hard to find a top-line phone that delivers so many premium features at that cost.

Read our full OnePlus 11 review.

Best phone for gaming features

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

6. Black Shark 5 Pro

Another top dedicated gaming phone

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

RAM: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear cameras: 108MP (f/1.8), 13MP (f/2.4) ultrawide, 5MP macro

Front camera: 16MP (f/2.5)

Weight: 7.8 ounces (220 g)

Battery life: 11:02 (Adaptive), 9:42 (144Hz), 9:53 (90Hz), 10:53 (60Hz)

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

Great battery life and super fast charging

+

Solid performance

+

Nice display

+

Very useful physical shoulder buttons

Reasons to avoid

No wireless charging

The Black Shark 5 Pro is the first dedicated gaming phone that we can honestly recommend. Not only does it feature powerful hardware, a beautiful display and excellent battery life, but it offers unique gaming features that we love. Not to mention that the main and ultrawide cameras are surprisingly good.

The best part about the Black Shark 5 Pro, however, are the physical shoulder buttons. These magnetic triggers pop up when you want them, offering real, tactile feedback during gameplay. If you’ve struggled with ultrasonic triggers in the past, you might like these.

Starting at $799 / £629 / €799 for the base 8GB/128GB model, the Black Shark 5 Pro is the best dedicated gaming phone. If mobile gaming is all you care about, this is the phone for you.

Read our full Black Shark 5 Pro review.

Best gaming phone for software

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

7. Google Pixel 7 Pro

An Android phone that offers more than gaming

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (3120 x 1440; 10-120Hz)

CPU: Tensor G2

RAM: 12GB

Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No

Rear cameras: 50MP main (ƒ/1. 85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2), 48MP telephoto (ƒ/3.5) with 5x optical zoom

Front camera: 10.8MP (ƒ/2.2)

Weight: 7.5 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:04

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

Attractive, unique design

+

Excellent cameras

+

Clever Pixel-specific Android features

+

Cheap for a flagship phone

Reasons to avoid

Poor battery life

Underwhelming colors in telephoto shots

Google has another hit on its hands with the Pixel 7 Pro, and that includes for gamers. The Tensor G2 chip offers excellent GPU benchmark results, and also enables unique Pixel features like live translation, Photo Unblur and more. 

The cameras are also particularly good, with lots of post-processing going on there too to make scenes look as attractive as possible. And at $899, it’s a lot cheaper than comparable phones, especially for its size and camera quality.

We wish the phone had better battery life though, as it’s the Pixel 7 Pro’s greatest weakness. But if you’re not worried about running out of charge away from an electrical outlet, then there’s little else to fault the Pixel 7 Pro for.

Read our full Google Pixel 7 Pro review.

Best gaming phone cooling tech

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

8. RedMagic 8 Pro

Strong value with a built-in cooling fan

Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)

Peak refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

RAM: 12GB, 18GB

Storage/Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / No

Cameras (Back/Front): 64MP (f/1.8) main, 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 2MP macro (2.4) / 16MP (under-display)

Weight: 8.2 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:48

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

120Hz display refresh rate

+

Amazing performance

+

In-built fan

+

Great value

Reasons to avoid

Disappointing cameras

Weirdly translated software

With its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, the RedMagic 8 Pro offers some of the best performance-per-dollar of any phone on the market. It starts over $100 lower than equivalent flagship phones in price, while still offering superior specs like 65W charging and up to 16GB RAM, plus its own unique but useful quirks like a built-in cooling fan that turns on along with the phone’s gaming mode, and lots of software tools to use while in-game.

RedMagic still can’t seem to nail photography or software quality though. These are two things most flagship phones don’t have problems with, so if dodgy photos or weirdly worded settings menus are going to annoy you, look elsewhere. But users who know their primary activity on their phone is gaming and want to save a few hundred dollars should make a beeline for the RedMagic.

Read our full RedMagic 8 Pro review.

Best gaming phone charging speed

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

9. OnePlus 10T

Refuel for the next round at incredible speed

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (2412 x 1080)

Peak refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

RAM: 8GB, 16GB

Storage/Expandable: 128GB, 256B / No

Cameras (Back/Front): 50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro / 16MP

Weight: 7. 2 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:59

Today’s Best Deals

Reasons to buy

+

Super-speed charging

+

Strong performance

+

Good battery life, even with 120Hz refresh rate enabled

Reasons to avoid

Weaker cameras than the OnePlus 10 Pro

No wireless charging

We think the OnePlus 11 is a better choice if you’re looking for the best gaming phone from OnePlus. But the OnePlus 10T remains in the OnePlus lineup as an inexpensive option that doesn’t sacrifice performance thanks to a still fast Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset than its predecessor, and more impressively offers a 150W charging system that can completely fill the 10T’s battery in just 20 minutes.

The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 delivers a performance boost over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which OnePlus augments by packing the phone with RAM. In fact, you can get a version of the phone with 16GB of memory for $749, just $100 more than the $649 starting price. (And chances are, OnePlus is offering a discount on those prices now that the 10T has been out a while.)

The OnePlus 10T also features a new cooling system to keep the phone from overheating during marathon gaming sessions. Throw in a big display capable of a 120Hz refresh rate, and you’ve got quite a mobile gaming device that’s cheaper than most flagships.

Read our full OnePlus 10T review.

How to choose the best gaming phone for you

Why you can trust Tom’s Guide?
Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what’s best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

As with all things, choosing the right gaming phone is a matter of priorities. If you’re after the best performance — and you likely are if you’re reading this — you’ll want a phone with a Snapdragon 8-series chipset or Apple’s A-series silicon. Emphasis on the Snapdragon, as Qualcomm’s best silicon for Android phones is available in devices from a number of manufacturers.

But what about high refresh rates? That’s something you’ll only find on the more expensive end of the market, though it’s a feature that will surely descend to more modestly-priced phones over time. Panels rated at 90Hz and above offer smoother scrolling and overall graphics than conventional screens, making you feel as if every swipe, tap and action is eliciting a response with no delay. If you’re an especially serious competitive gamer, higher refresh rates will ensure you won’t miss any of the action.

Of course, the more a device is geared toward gaming with the appropriate features, the more phone makers ignore other considerations. While battery life is central to gaming (because games consume a lot of power), you’ll have a tougher time finding gaming phones with great camera hardware and software, or perhaps conveniences like wireless charging and water resistance. If those things are important to you, you may want to focus your search on the more powerful handsets on this list that aren’t strictly intended for gaming but can still very much hold their own, like the OnePlus 11, Galaxy S23 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

If you plan to stream games to your phone, consider one of our picks for the best wireless gaming mouse. And if you’re curious how a foldable phone performs, here’s why the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 falls flat as a gaming phone.

How we test gaming phones

In order for a smartphone to make any of our best phone lists — gaming phone or otherwise — it needs to excel on several tests that we run on every handset. We perform some of these tests in our labs and some in the real world.

When it comes to performance, we rely on such synthetic benchmarks as Geekbench 5 and GFXBench to measure graphics performance. These tests allow us to compare performance across iPhones and Android devices. We also run a real-world video transcoding test on each phone using the Adobe Premiere Rush app and time the result.

To measure the quality of a phone’s display, we perform lab tests to determine the brightness of the panel (in nits), as well as how colorful each screen is (DCI-P3 color gamut). In these cases, higher numbers are better. We also measure color accuracy of each panel with a Delta-E rating, where lower numbers are better and score of 0 is perfect.

One of the most important tests we run is the Tom’s Guide battery test. We run a web surfing test over 5G or 4G at 150 nits of screen brightness until the battery gives out. In general, a phone that lasts 10 hours or more is good, and anything above 11 hours makes our list of the best phone battery life.

Last but not least, we take the best phones out in the field to take photos outdoors, indoors and at night in low light to see how they perform versus their closest competitors. We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews.

Our look at how Tom’s Guide tests and rates smartphones has more on the overall testing process.

What should I look for in the best gaming phone?

Since your gaming experience will be defined by how much power your phone has, how detailed and bright the display is and how fast it refreshes, and how long you can play without needing to charge, we recommending looking at the chipset/performance figures, the display specs and the battery life length when picking your gaming phone.

You should also figure out if these features are your only priority, or whether you want other areas like cameras, charging speeds or gaming-friendly software features to be good as well.

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Richard is a Tom’s Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he’s also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he’s likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

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Based on the data of AppMagic , the editors of App2Top prepared a report on the most downloaded and highest-grossing mobile games of the past May.

The most downloaded games of May

May turned out to be calm after April, which was rich in debutants in the chart. As in February-March, there was a situation when fresh releases were not able to compete in downloads with those projects that had previously been in the top 10 most downloaded games more than once.

Only one game debuted on the global download charts in May, Car Driving School: Car Games . That’s just it can not be attributed to novelties. The game was released in September 2019.

Car Driving School : Car Games

Publisher: Spark Game Studios

Description:

This is a driving course simulator from Pakistani publisher 9020 7 Spark Game Studios . There are no competitive mechanics in the project. The player learns to slow down at the No Non-stop traffic sign and to park in public parking lots. Monetization of the game is based on advertising.

Metrics:

  • May cumulative downloads: 15.1 million;
  • Android downloads in May: 15.1 million

Car Driving School : Car Games (screenshots of the game from the store have nothing to do with the actual gameplay) . Then traffic downloads dropped dramatically, which affected the position of the game in the chart of the most downloaded iOS games. She lost the palm MONOPOLY GO! from Scopely .

Honkai: Star Rail weekly downloads and revenue (April-June 2023)

Highest-grossing games in May

That didn’t stop Honkai: Star Rail 902 08 to raise $116.6 million and become the highest earner mobile game in the world in May.

Yes, the Korean hit managed to overtake Honor of Kings in terms of revenue. The last time anyone moved this colossus off the top spot was over six months ago, in December. Then the highest grossing game of the month was Genshin Impact , also developed and released by miHoYo .

The only new addition to the top 10 highest earning games in May was Night Crows .

Night Crows (나이트 크로우)

MMORPG developed on Unreal Engine 5 , in which the player can move not only on his own or on animals, but also by air using various devices (for example, mechanical wings). So far, the game has only been released in South Korea.