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Devices

10 Best Gaming Phone: The Ultimate Android Phones for Gaming (2020)

I think it’s safe to say that:

Mobile gaming is extremely addicting!

Here’s the deal:

Since games are played using a computer before, mobile gaming has become one of the booming industry that most of us did not expect. In 2018 alone, the mobile gaming industry is worth over $50 billion globally. Which is why it’s great to be a gamer in this generation. Thus, making us believe that it’s a great time to grab a phone and be a gamer.

So, if you’re looking for an Android Gaming Phone that is either the best, affordable, cheap, or high-end, then you’ve come to the right place. We listed down 6 of the best phones for gaming. These phones can handle any mobile games you throw at it. Whether for:

  • MOBA Gaming (League of Legend, Arena of Valor, Etc.)
  • Battle Royal Gaming (PUBG Mobile Gaming / Fortnite Mobile Gaming)
  • Survival Games
  • Competitive Gaming
  • VR Gaming (Virtual Reality)

Rest assured that all the phones included in our list can handle them without any lags or performance hiccups.

Must ReadAndroid Phones – Every Android Users Must Know About

Understanding Smartphone for Gaming

Before anything else:

Some of you might ask, “how can you tell if a phone is good for mobile gaming or not?” The answer is quite simple but a little complicated. Typically, people tend to think that expensive phones are the best gaming phones. That may be true in most cases but not always.

Now:

The term “Gaming” is a common misconception when it comes to product marketing. This then causes people to think that certain devices or phones that have the word “Gaming” will be ideal for video games. Basically, that’s the wrong way to market a product. The best example of this is Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1.

Pocophone F1 is considerably the cheapest phone for gaming. It features Snapdragon 845 and Adreno 630 which are the same processor and GPU found on high-end phones like Samsung Galaxy S9.

What To Look For Android Gaming Phone

Qualcomm Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor

Here’s you need to know:

When planning to buy a brand new smartphone that’s good for gaming, you need to look at the product specification. As of this writing, the latest processor that you would want is “Qualcomm Snapdragon 845” with a graphics processing unit of “Adreno 630.”

The Snapdragon 845 is the processor or the brain behind the unit while the Adreno 630 handles graphics processing which is the crucial part of gaming. The better the graphics processor, the better the performance in gaming. But of course, other smartphone components play a major role too.

Regardless of whether you want to play old PC games or play the best games on your Android phone. Purchasing a brand new phone for gaming should not be taken lightly. A little research wouldn’t hurt. Instead, it will give you the knowledge of knowing the best phone to buy for your hard-earned money.

Best Gaming Phone: The Ultimate Android Phones for Gaming

Best Over AllASUS ROG Gaming Smartphone
CheapestGoogle Pixel 3 XL
Highly RecommendedRAZOR Phone 2
Best ValueSamsung Galaxy S10
Runner UpsSamsung Galaxy S9
 Asus ROG Phone 2
 Xiaomi Black Shark 2
 Nubia Red Magic 3
 Xiaomi Black Shark  
 Huawei Nova 5T

Best Android Phones for Gaming

Our criteria for selecting the best gaming phone that runs on Android are:

  • Price, Performance, Value, and Gaming Experience
  • Scoring 3700+ in 3Dmark Sling Shot Extreme Benchmark
  • Latest Hardware

So, without further ado…

1. RAZER Phone 2

Best Android Phones for Hardcore Gaming
Razer Phone 2 with 120Hz Display

The first on our list of the best Android phones for hardcore gaming is the current flagship smartphone of Razer, the Razer Phone 2. What makes this phone one of the best phones for gaming is its IGZO IPS LCD display that features 580 nits of brightness and 120Hz refresh rate. It’s probably the only smartphone in the market that has a 120 Hz display. How cool is that?

Best Android Phones for Hardcore Gaming
Razer Phone 2 Docking Station

Priced at $700 (Price as of 31/01/19 2:00 am), it features:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Andreno 630
  • Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
  • 8GB RAM
  • 64GB Storage
  • 3Dmark Slingshot Extreme Android Benchmark Score: 3843

So, if you want a smartphone that can provide the best display fluidity and smooth gaming experience, then consider buying a Razer Phone 2 for your mobile gaming needs.

2. Google Pixel 3 XL

Best Android Phones for Hardcore Gaming
Google Pixel 3 XL White

One of the most unexpected phones that are also perfect for hardcore mobile gaming is the Google Pixel 3 XL. Priced at $849 (Price as of 31/01/19 2:00 am). Despite its non-gaming vibe design and look, it still comes with powerful hardware. This phone can easily handle any mobile games you throw at it since it’s equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and Adreno 630 GPU.

Key Features:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.6 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Andreno 630
  • Non-removable Li-Po 3430 mAh battery
  • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • 128GB Storage
  • 3Dmark Slingshot Extreme Android Benchmark Score: 3980

The only odd thing when it comes to gaming on this phone is its notch. Most will definitely find it awkward and disturbing for gaming. Other than that, everything else about this phone is excellent. Despite not having a fluid like display with its 60Hz refresh rate, one of the main key features of this phone is its true to life display color. Thanks to its P-OLED display technology. An OLED display that uses plastic substrate making it a flexible display compared to glass.

3. Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9
Best Samsung Gaming Phone

Priced at $584.47 (Price as of 31/01/19 2:00 am), the Samsung Galaxy S9 is one those phones that are not designed or intended for gaming. However, this phone has the hardware power to take on any games you throw at it.

Despite looking more of a daily driver phone than a gaming phone. This phone actually has the highest gaming benchmark score on this list. Specifically, the 3Dmark Android benchmark score. This phone score 4181 points while most of the phones listed here scored less than 4100 points.

The 3DMark Android benchmarking tool pushes the capability of the phones to their limits. Measuring their performance in terms of processing and gaming.

Key Features:

  • Super AMOLED HDR10 Display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-Core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Adreno 630
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64GB Storage
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
  • 3Dmark Slingshot Extreme Android Benchmark Score: 4181

The Samsung Galaxy S9 may not feature any fancy tricks for gaming, it still beats most of the phones here in terms of device performance and price. If there’s one feature that we can consider perfect for gaming, that would be the Super AMOLED HDR10 display of this device. To simply put, it means that this phone has better color accuracy than the rest.

4. Samsung Galaxy S10 – Samsung 2019 Flagship Smartphone

Samsung just launched their 2019 flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S10. It will be available in 3 different models namely Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Gaming
Samsung 2019 Flagship Smartphone

For gaming and price wise, the Samsung Galaxy S10 will our top choice for mobile gaming with Samsung phones. It is also the first phone available on the market that features 5G connectivity. Furthermore, it is also the first phone the comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and Adreno 640. Giving you the best possible mobile gaming experience that no other phones can.

https://youtu.be/ZCfgkIyD9g0

The best thing about the Samsung Galaxy S10 is its new infinity O display on an AMOLED panel. This phone will enable anyone to easily stream their mobile games with 5G speed and on a cinematic AMOLED Infinity Display. So, if you want the best hardware and most immersive display for gaming, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Key Features:

  • 3Dmark Slingshot Extreme Android Benchmark Score: 5,603
  • 6.1″ Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED
  • Infinity-O Display (3040×1440)
  • HDR10+ certified
  • 10MP Selfie Camera
  • 12MP Telephoto Camera
  • 12MP Wide-angle Camera
  • 16MP Ultra Wide Camera
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3400 mAh battery
  • Enhanced 4X4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz),VHT80 MU-MIMO,1024QAM
  • Corning Gorilla 6
  • Android 9.0 (Pie); One UI
  • Chipset – Processor
    • Exynos 9820 Octa (8 nm) Octa-core (2×2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4×1.9 GHz Cortex-A55) – EMEA
    • Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm) Octa-core (1×2.8 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.4 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 485) – USA/LATAM, China
  • GPU
    • Mali-G76 MP12 – EMEA
    • Adreno 640 – USA/LATAM, China
  • 128/512 GB, 8 GB RAM

The Samsung Galaxy S10’s availability will start around 2nd to 3rd quarter for 2019. If you want to be one of the first owners, you can start pre-ordering on the Samsung website for just $899.99.

If you want to know more about this phone, click here.

Note: Samsung Galaxy S10 and other S10 models are not yet available on Amazon as of this writing, you may, however, check Amazon from time to time.

5. ASUS ROG Gaming Smartphone

Best Android Phones for Hardcore Gaming
ASUS ROG Android Gaming Phone

The ASUS ROG Gaming Smartphone is possible the ultimate Android gaming phone that your money could buy. Priced at $899 (Price as of 31/01/19 2:00 am). Similar to the other phones listed here, it features Snapdragon 845 and Adreno 630 which is the top GPU for mobile gaming as of this writing.

The best thing about the ROG phone is that it’s developed by ASUS. Designed with the sole purpose of gaming in mind.

So, this is not your everyday casual Android phone. This phone raises the standard for mobile gaming. It’s also the only phone on the market with 1ms display response time and 90Hz refresh rate. Eliminating any delay and lags while giving you the advantage of reacting faster in crucial gaming moments.

Best Android Phones for Hardcore Gaming
ASUS ROG Phone External AeroActive Cooler Accessory

Key Features:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core (4×2.96 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Adreno 630
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB Storage
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery
  • 90 Hz (1ms pixel response time)
  • HDR AMOLED Display
  • Programmable AirTrigger Touch Sensors
  • GameCool 3D Vapor-Chamber Cooling System
  • External AeroActive Cooler Accessory
  • 3Dmark Slingshot Extreme Android Benchmark Score: 4067
ASUS ROG Phone Accessory
External AeroActive Cooler

Finally, the ASUS ROG Phone comes with an external AeroActive cooler accessory. This accessory acts as an additional cooler for the phone as well as adding an extra USB Type-C positioned at the side of the phone. Letting you charge the phone without the discomfort of having the cable blocking your hands.

6. Xiaomi Black Shark

Best Android Phones for Hardcore Gaming
Xiaomi Black Shark Liquid Cooled Gaming Phone

The last on our list of the best Android phone for hardcore gaming is the Black Shark by Xiaomi. Priced at $407.99 (Price as of 31/01/19 2:00 am). Like the first phones in the list, this phone also features Snapdragon 845 and Adreno 630. What makes this phone to be included in our list is its design. As of this writing, this phone is probably the only phone in the market that has a liquid cooling system.

Xiaomi Black Shark Liquid Cooling
Xiaomi Black Shark Liquid Cooling

Xiaomi claims that their cooling system will prevent the processor from overheating and from throttling. That means that the performance of the phone while you’re gaming will not throttle due to heat.

Key Features:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Adreno 630
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB Storage
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery
  • Liquid Cooling System
  • 3Dmark Slingshot Extreme Android Benchmark Score: N/A
Xiaomi Black Shark Gaming Controller
Xiaomi Black Shark Detachable Controller

Other than that, one of the cool things that makes this phone great for gaming is its included controller. This add-on game controller connects to the bottom of the phone. You can also purchase one on Amazon.

7. Asus ROG Phone 2

Asus ROG Phone 2 Black

With this phone, Asus created a very ambitious and powerful project, making the ROG Phone 2 one of the best gaming phones on the market today. The design is exactly what you would expect from a gaming device – a bit of aggresivity, with lots of tasteful accents. However, ROG 2’s downfall might be the lack of wireless charging and water resistance.

Asus ROG Phone 2

Starting from $729.00 (as of 26.10.2019), the device has the following key specifications:

  • 6000 mAh battery, with Quick Charge 4.0
  • Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU
  • 12GB RAM
  • 512GB ROM
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • Antutu Benchmark score of 486.216

The Asus ROG Phone 2 is not just a phone, it’s a complex gaming experience. The phone has lots of add-ons that would make it your go-to gaming phone: from squeezy sides, to L and R AirTriggers and a fan that you can clip on the device.

amazon buy button

8. Nubia Red Magic 3

Nubia Red Magic 3 Red

The Nubia Red Magic 3 comes at a great price, despite the awesome specifications that make it a great gaming phone. However, as you would expect, there are some drawbacks that come with this phone – its AMOLED screen is not the best one you’ll ever see. Also, there are some translation issues in the UI. The device has the classic gaming design – RGB and black tones, with red or green accents.

Nubia Great Magic 3

Starting from $573.97(as of 26.10.2019), with these key specifications:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB ROM
  • 5000 mAh battery + 30w fast charging support
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • Antutu Benchmark result: 357,162

This device will handle any game you might want to try. Most games can easily go at 60fps. However, the focus is clearly on the gaming experience, rather than the overall phone usage, making it more a gaming device, than a functional smartphone.

amazon buy button

9. Xiaomi Black Shark 2

Xiaomi Black Shark

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 ticks all the boxes a gaming phone should. Great specifications, LED  lighting, gaming mode that can customized and massive battery for on-the-go gaming experience. It has great thermal management, that protects the hardware components during those long gaming sessions.

Black Shark Accessories

Starting from $610.32(as of 26.10.2019), it has these key specifications:

  • Snapdragon 855+ CPU
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB ROM
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • Antutu Benchmark result: 442.971

Black Shark 2 is incredibly affordable, considering its specifications. As for the design, this might be the best looking phone one yet. Curved edges, no notch, subtle and attractive details – make this a quality gaming phone.

10. Huawei Nova 5T

Huawei Nova 5T

The Nova 5T from Huawei seems to have all the qualities of a flagship…except for the price. It has the looks, the quad camera with a solid performance, the high-end features. But, of course, Huawei has cut some corners in order to obtain this price. There’s no wireless charging, no headphone jack, and the screen is only LCD. But is this really something to complain about?

Nova 5T Midsummer Purple

Starting from $320.08(as of 26.10.2019) is has the following key features:

  • Hisilicon Kirin 980 CPU
  • Mali-G76 MP10 GPU
  • 128GB ROM
  • 8GB RAM
  • 3750 mAh battery+ 22.5 W fast charging support
  • Antutu Benchmark result: 376.278

The design of the phone is quite unique. With the 5T, the Nova series got refreshed. The back is made of 2.5D glass, with the minted reflective Nova monogram that is sure to attract eyes.

Bonus Tip – Best Cheap Gaming Phone

As a bonus segment in this article, we also included the best cheap gaming phone on the market. We understand that not all of us can afford these phones and some of us want a gaming phone without selling a kidney.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Cheap

Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Blue

With an introductory price of $300, we are not sure why it’s being sold for$315 (Price as of 31/01/19 2:00 am) on Amazon.

The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is considered the most affordable phone for hardcore gaming. It features Snapdragon 845 and Adreno 630 with a whopping 6GB RAM. It has a score of 3188 in 3Dmark Sling Shot Extreme Benchmark. Despite having a low score with a Snapdragon 845 processor, it is still undeniably an irresistible phone. Compared to a Google Pixel 3 that scored 3301 on the same benchmark tool, the price is where the Pocophone F1 shines.

Key Features:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Adreno 630
  • 64GB Storage
  • 6GB RAM
  • Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery

Related Question Most People Ask About

The Perfect Gaming Phone For You

Ultimately, the term “Gaming” may have a different meaning to each and every one of us. It could pertain to someone who spends a lot of real money in-game or someone who spends hours playing video games.

Nonetheless, no matter what “Gaming” means to you, it still pertains to us playing video games. Regardless of what platform or kind of phone we play on.

So, what’s your dream smartphone? For us, our dream is to own a Samsung Galaxy S10+ with a 1TB internal storage. Alternatively, it’s not bad if our boss will give us an ASUS ROG Gaming Phone for free.

Help us get free ROG Gaming Phone by letting our boss know in the comment section below!

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29 Comments

  1. The Xperia Play is a fantastic device if you’re into retro gaming, it’ll play anything on the PSX and earlier perfectly. Terribly underrated little phone, I’ve had mine for two and a half years and see no reason to replace it, every phone in the market is the same these days.

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  4. hello, im having a hard time choosing which the best phone this time (midrange), i hope you could help me. here are some of my considerations:
    1. Quality
    2. Performance (some phone are fast when it is new, but slows down as time pass)
    3. battery life, (i like to play games, so its better to have more battery).
    here are what i sited some mobile phone models, Samsung J7 prime, Moto G4, Vivo V3max or v5max and Oppo F1s.

    thanks

    1. the quality consideration is subjective and varies person to person. Performance lacks over time for all phones, so the more memory the better. For gaming look for higher RAM phones. The J7 would work fine. If it were a different Oppo, I’d say get that, they seem like great phones.

  5. All I know is I am working on my 7 th zte promax …I have issues with using 2 fingers at the same time …u know like shoot and move etc.

    The guy at metro says why is that a problem
    Geezzzzz the whole worlds gone stupid.
    PS if u leave these phones plugged in all the time u can expect about 2 months b4 it holds a charge for mayb 30 min heading to complete catastrophic failure.

    1. Sorry about your bad luck. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a solution for your problem, but here is the contact information for Metro PCS so you can try calling their customer care or see if you have better luck at another location. You can also find some of our favorite tips for increasing battery life here.

  6. My dream phone is black shark but how can i test a rog phone, i play sniper arena pvp army shooter daily for 6-8+ hrs plz let me know something thank you
    Teddy Mobley

    1. Our dream phone is the ROG Gaming Phone, just look at all the included gaming peripherals. It also features a 1ms response rate display with 90Hz refresh rate, giving you the advantage to snipe your enemies before they even notice you. Pretty cool right?

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  8. It has a couple of added features for gamers such as the air triggers which are essentially touch-sensitive buttons on the top-right and top-left of the phone (when held in landscape) are cool, customizable ways to play that a typical smartphone just doesn’t have.

  9. Hello Daniel, I saw again one amazing article on your site. I love to play gaming so i was finding the best phone for gaming and these are the best models for android phone gaming. So i am confused about buying a new phone. Can you suggest me the one best model which is best for gaming and photography?

    1. Hi Marry,

      So if you’re looking for a gaming and photography smartphone, I would suggest Samsung Galaxy S10, S9, and Google Pixel 3 XL. These are great phones to start with. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

  10. The best gaming phones combine top-tier components with the latest software to deliver amazingly immersive experiences, and that’s a combination we love here at T3: we’re very keen on both premium phones and premium games.

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