Best gaming phone: Top mobile game performers

Smartphones are getting faster, powerful, and more capable. Their photography features can compare to DSLR performance, their screens exceed full high-definition, and their developers have now enabled to their handsets the support to run console-quality 3D games like Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile.

For the utmost performance when playing high-end mobile games, your phone has to carry exceptional hardware and software. Not every phone listed as a supported device on the logs of Fortnite or PUBG Mobile will guarantee battle royale potentials or that you will be able to play such games in the long term.

The main components that make up an excellent phone suitable for heavy gaming are the speed of chipsets, graphics processor, the amount of RAM and internal memory, and software ecosystem. Android, more often than rarely, is not the first home of high-end games. Developers often release them on iOS first with no promises of their product ever hitting Android. Although, due to the massive popularity of Android, availability for Android is almost certain for any game that gets popularized.

The battery capacity and the way the device utilizes it is another considerable factor you must check when picking a phone specifically to play games on. Other important factors involve the sharpness and size of screens, support for VR, and more. Playing games on an outdated device will force the handset to render the game at a decent frame-rate, ultimately, the device will overheat. Overheating electronics has never been a good thing, if you’re a heavy gamer, consider dropping your average phone and get yourself a gaming powerhouse phone.

Asus Rog Phone

Asus Rog Phone

Asus computers has an entire section of its products specifically dedicated to gamers. Company’s ROG, an acronym for Republic of Gamers, consists of a series of laptops, motherboards, monitors, graphics cards, keyboards, and headsets amongst many others that are extremely powerful to handle the best of high-end games. And in mid-2018, Asus added the latest member to its game-focused computer devices, a game-changing super smartphone that delivers unbeatable gaming performance.

The Asus Rog phone is unlike any other high-end handsets that make up the list of top mobile phones. It is the only gaming mobile performer to equip a detachable cooling system similar to those found on gaming computers, but smaller, for an extended optimal gaming experience. In addition to it, the handset houses an internal vapor chamber cooler that improves the CPU cooling efficiency by sixty percent. The internal system for cooling the phone’s CPU when playing high-end games consists of a 3D vapor chamber, a copper panel to spread the heat, and a carbon cooling pad sitting on the top. When playing games on the Asus Rog smartphone, you’ll not have to pause the play because the back of your handset gets freakish hot. It will just not happen with this phone.

Asus ROG Phone Gaming Android smartphone

The ultimate gaming phone sports an eye-catching design where you can spot from a mile away the futuristic gimmicks of this handset. It just looks from far what is destined to be. The best mobile phone to play games with. Its design make it look similar to stealth jets.

Asus magically managed to implement on the rear of their gaming flagship phone two cameras, LED flash and a fingerprint sensor without drawing a notch on the back preview. There is glass covering most of the back of the phone with metallic cut-out sections on the right for speakers and slots for a series of attachable accessories that enhance the gaming experience. On the front of the handset, there are two speaker grilles on the top and the bottom of the display.

This superb Asus phone for gamers comes in an all-black finish for a distinct gamer outlook and has both of its glass panels made by Corning Gorilla Glass. The Corning glass material grants to it durability and resistance.

A notable feature of this phone is that the ROG logo on the rear positioned under the cameras and the fingerprint can glow and it can glow in any color you want.

As games do care about the screens they’re starring at when playing their beloved top-rated games, Asus has equipped the Rog phone with all the necessary features to please gamers. The phone packs a 6.0-inch AMOLED screen featuring a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. But there’s more than just an FHD display on this particular phone’s front. The screen on this phone has a 90Hz refresh rate, an incredible 1ms pixel response time to deliver blur-free vivid visuals, and enhances game worlds with HDR visuals that have a contrast of 100,000:1.

To handle complex graphics coming with high-end games, every gaming computer should have powerful processing chipsets. To manage any game you can stumble upon on Play Store and beyond, Rog Phone houses an overclocked Snapdragon 845 chipset that sustains incredible clock speeds of up to 2.96GHz backed by Adreno 630 graphics chipset and a whopping 8GB of RAM. The storage models vary with 128GB and 512GB versions while there is no support for an external microSD card to expand the available flash memory.

The first Republic of Gamers phone packs, even more, features and supports worth talking about. The handset comes running the ROG custom Gaming UI with the special X mode turnaround that when activated maximizes the efficiency of the AeroActive cooler, frees the RAM from background apps that tire it up, and optimizes the phone to faster-process game data.

Acknowledging that games love video game controllers, Asus equips the ROG smartphone with console-inspired ultrasonic touch sensors on the sides that the company brands as AirTriggers. The AirTriggers on this gaming Android phone are programmable and can have their functions adjusted to suit your style of play better. There are three total ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors on the Asus Rog phone designed to function in duos depending on whether the game you play is in landscape or portrait mode. For landscape game playing on the phone, there are two sensors placed above the screen on the left and right side and the third one is set in parallel to the unit on the side of the Home function. You can adjust their role to serve to aim, fire, navigate, inventory selection, or anything else depending on what the game you’re playing has. These touch sensors keep the console gaming experience alive and pass it on to mobile phones. There’s no other phone to have this or any similar function to AirTriggers.

There is more about this handset yet. Asus custom designed this device to support a variety of accessories that enhance gaming performance. The TwinView Dock converts the Rog phone into a dual-screen ultimate mobile-based console that supports split-screen game streaming, extends the game display, and allows space for group chats without interfering with the ongoing play. It also adds an additional 6,000 mAh battery to the already decent-packed 4,000 mAh unit that comes with every Rog phone for more power and more extended gameplay.

Asus Rog Phone TwinView Dock

The Mobile Desktop Doc links the phone to 4K monitors, keyboard and mouse, while the WiGig Dock morphs this handset into a portable console that houses a full setup of physical gaming controllers.

Besides being the best mobile phone you can expect to find for hardcore gaming, the Rog phone also is an excellent high-end cell phone. It features a duo of a 12MP and an 8MP cameras on the rear that are capable of recording 4K videos at 60 frames per second and another 8MP full high definition snapper at the front for selfies. It has a fingerprint sensor, NFC, Quick Charge 4, and a 3.5mm headphone jack socket.

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Razer Phone 2

Razer Phone 2 gaming phone

The first generation of Razer Phone was the only and the best Gaming-first phone for 2017 and although it now isn’t the only phone to specifically target mobile gamers, its second generation, the Razer Phone 2 is a total beast. The Razer Phone 2 keeps most of the design DNA of its predecessor, with the two front-facing Dual Atmos 5.1 surround sound and HDR audio speakers. The speakers on the new Razer gaming phone offer superior audio experience when compared to the previous Razer phone. The outlook on the rear slightly differs with the dual-cameras positioned center and the flashing Razer logo standing under it.

Razer Phone 2 back design hands on review

The new Razer gaming smartphone has a faintly larger screen, the display is 5.72-inches, and although being similar in size to the older generation of this gaming Android phone, it is much more responsive and brighter. Razer’s UltraMotion gaming technology maintains the 120Hz refresh rate on the quad HD screen of Razer Phone 2 that has a touchscreen display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, but on this phone, the screen brightness reaches 600 nits. For comparison, the brightness on the first Razer mobile phone measured 300 nits, twice that is what you expect to encounter on high-end TVs, not phone screens.

Razer’s new phone for games runs the Snapdragon 845 SoC that’s overclocked at 2.8GHz, and along with Adreno 630 GPU and 8GB of RAM ensure the utmost image processing experience when facing heavy high-end cell phone games. To eliminate hot spots and overall overheating, a common issue faced by mobile gamers at all times, the new phone by Razer has a built-in vapor-chamber cooling system. Something similar can be found on the ROG phone, but Asus beats Razer in cooling efficiency of its flagship phone by adding support to the phone for a detachable cooling system.

The Razer Phone 2 has two 12MP cameras on the rear made by Sony that now enhances its video recording capabilities by enabling 4K vid recording at 60 frames per second. The 8MP selfie snapper can also record 1080p videos at 60fps. There are significant filming and photography improvement on both cameras of this phone, the AI coming with the Snapdragon 845 chipset further enhances photography experience by allowing the devices it runs on to better understand the objects that appear in the lens.

The Razer Phone 2, unfortunately, does not a headphone jack socket but it now supports wireless charging, has a dedicated microSD card slot, and has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Pricing for the 64GB version starts at $700, a 128GB of flash memory edition will be released some time later.

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Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone Xs Max

iOS lovers get to play their favorite games on the largest and brightest Retina screen boasted by far on an iPhone. The new iPhone Ten-Ess series come in 5.8-inch and a massive 6.5-inch Max version that outsizes even Samsung’s Note series of phablets. Apple’s decision to move from LCD panels to OLED screens. A significant area where these two display technologies differ from one another is that OLED screens are all about image quality and imagery is a crucial factor of gameplay satisfaction.

Whether you pick the iPhone XS or XS Max is up to you because the size is the only factor that sets them apart, the new iPhone Ten-Ess Max runs Apple’s newest and world’s first commercially available 7nm chip, the A12 Bionic. To have an idea about how fast the processor on the new iPhone is, have a read at this report published by AnandTech that dives deep into its capabilities. According to this report, Apple’s new CPU and GPU makes the new series of iPhone X as fast as high-end computers.

If you’re lazy to go through all that comprehensive crackdown report on the A12 Bionic processor or you can’t quite comprehend what the article says because it primarily deals with technical visuals, what you should know is that you’ll never have to worry about any game being too-high-end for your iPhone. It will just never happen.

The new iPhone XS models sport a duo of two 12MP cameras on the rear that shoot extremely clear pics at low light and record 4K vids at 60 frames per second and house an excellent 7MP TrueDepth selfie snapper with optical image stabilization and FHD video chat. The iPhone XS and XS Max are two of the phones with the best cameras in the world.

iPhone users are often the luckiest gamers. Developers almost always release their games on the App Store first. If you have an iPhone, you’ll not have to wait until game developers feel that the time to launch an iOS version of their games has arrived, you’ll just have to click Download once the new games debut and get that satisfactory boost of playing new games first.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 hands on

Galaxy Note9 is without a doubt the best-performing phone running on Google’s Android mobile OS out there. The mammoth 6.4-inch OLED display that boasts a resolution of 1440 x 2960 that skyrockets pixel density at a whopping of 516 pixels per each square inch will make the graphics of top-end games like Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, or any other, feel like real. Furthermore, the iconic curves on both sides of the screen make the Note 9 much more compact and easier to handle.

The Note9 comes in versions that run on either Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810. The hardware chipsets are almost identical when it comes to handling visually-intensive games. If we are to trust benchmark testings, the Snapdragon versions perform slightly better but the Exynos models harvest the juice in the 4,000 mAh battery more effectively and give to the phone some more minutes of battery life. But, in general, they are almost identical, and you’re promised not to have app crashes or lagging during gameplay.

Games on the Note9 load brightly and smoothly, and you can install as many games as you want on your new Samsung Galaxy Note phone. The Note9 has 8GB of RAM with 512GB of flash memory, a memory quantity that you can expand by an addition of 512GB by just adding a microSD card to the dual-function hybrid SIM card slot.

In addition to having the best of hardware and software Android can handle, with the Note 9 you also get to snap pics with the best 12MP cameras, shoot selfies with an exceptionally good 8MP selfie camera that standalone can record QHD videos, and you have the characteristic S-Pen that now can remotely control the phone from up to 10 meters away. However, that’s not everything this phone has, it has the headphone jack socket for you to plug your not-that-expensive wired headphones that deliver better sound quality than over-priced top wireless earbuds.

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Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is the identical 5-minute younger twin of the Note9. Due to a smaller size, this Samsung phone boasts more pixels on its 6.2-inch curved panel where the pixel density goes from 516 pixels per inch up to 529. The only thing you don’t get to receive when dropping the new Galaxy Note for the new Galaxy S is the S Pen support.

Similarly to the top-end Note phablet, the S9+ has Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 with up to 6GB of RAM and 512GB of flash memory versions. There’s also support for an additional microSD containing up to 512GB of storage space. Because of these phones set to be the face of the company for an entire year, Samsung will make sure they receive regular OS upgrades for many years to come. Games being too advanced for your phone’s OS? Will not happen if your phone is the Galaxy S9+.

The standard Galaxy S9 does not have the dual camera setup on the rear that’s found on the Note 9. But the Galaxy S9 Plus does have the two. Along with the top-speed performance to handle heavy visual game graphics the S9+ packs the best cameras on an Android phone, a series of security walls that include a hardware protection tool like Knox, Iris scanner, and fingerprint. There’s also a headphone jack socket that everyone seems to love having too.

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Google Pixel 3XL

Google Pixel 3 XL

Google’s top Android smartphone has arrived. The Pixel 3 XL is now official and its sight is set to take over the competition with enhanced Android features and supports only Google can provide. The new Google Pixel phone is bigger than any previous generation. It now boasts a massive 6.3-inch P-OLED panel with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels, an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 and has 523 pixels for each square inch. For the first time, the Google Pixel comes with a screen notch, the phone shaves off what little bezel is left but by doing so may compromise the overall gaming experience.

Google’s Android powerhouse phone packs the 10nm Snapdragon 845 chipset with Adreno 630 to handle any kind of top-end mobile game. However, even the premium Pixel 3XL has only 4GB of RAM with 64GB and 128GB of flash memory versions only. A quite limited memory capacity that you can’t even further expand via a microSD card, as the phone has no support for an external memory card.

The new Pixel is entirely dedicated to making the most of AI technologies. The Google Assistant on the handset can be adjusted to ask people when they call about what they’re calling for (saving you from annoying telemarketing calls), there also are sensors on the sides of the phone that activate the assistant when you squeeze your Pixel phone.

The new Google Pixel is the first to sport a dual-camera setup, but unlike every other popular handset, the two cameras are placed on the front and not the rear. It actually makes sense because phones are used more to shoot selfies and video chat that they’re used to snap pics and record vids with their primary sensor on the back. Despite that, the 12.2MP primary camera records clear 4K videos at 30 frames per second while the two 8MP front-facing sensors make the best out of AI and dual sensors to snap clearest selfies.

The new phones by Google also support wireless charging for the first time, have a rear-mounted fingerprint and have a built-in security chip called Titan M to help secure data on your phone. The hardware security is similar to Samsung Knox. In case of phones with a screen notch not being appealing enough to you, the standard Google Pixel 3 does not have one but its screen is only 5.5-inch and isn’t as bright as the only on Pixel 3 XL.

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LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ

LG’s newest member of V ThinQ line of premium smartphones is definitely a flagship killer. It is the first-of-its-kind smartphone to feature five cameras and is way bigger, as large as Samsung’s Note line of phablets. Its P-OLED screen measures 6.4-inches and sports a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels. LG added more pixels to its screen to maintain the 537 PPI density that was featured on the previous generation, V35 ThinQ. There’s a screen notch on the top of the display panel which wasn’t on the V35 but on the G7 instead.

Like every other phone that deserved a place on this listing and provides exceptional support for high-end games, the V40 ThinQ also comes housing the Snapdragon 845 processor that currently is the best chipset for high-end mobile phones, and it has 6GB of RAM that will help load any kind of game quick and smooth. At this time, LG has released only the 64GB of memory version up for pre-orders with models having more memory expected to arrive soon. However, memory shouldn’t be a problem because the phone accepts microSD cards with up to 2TB of storage.

Highlights of the LG V40 ThinQ are its cameras. The phone features a 12MP standard sensor, a 12MP telephoto, and a 16MP ultrawide sensor camera on the back, this trio of cameras lets the phone shoot the clearest 4K videos you’ve ever encounted on a smartphone camera. But there’s more. The V40 ThinQ phone has two more cameras on the front, an 8MP and 5MP ultrawide sensor that shoot much better selfies and over superior video chat quality to any previous LG smartphone.

LG continues to support the headphone jack, packs the  DTS X surround music speakers, has NFC and wireless charging with the only not-so-cool that comes with the phone being the hefty price, LG sells the flagship phone for the starting price of $980.

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Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei P20 Pro hands on review

The Huawei P20 Pro has blown smart phone enthusiast away from all around the world and it remains to be one of the most complete cell phones the current market has to offer. The best phone from China packs a 6.1-inch FullView AMOLED FHD screen, an edge-to-edge panel that Huawei designers managed to maintain without sacrificing the front-mounted fingerprint sensor.

The Huawei P20 Pro houses the company’s superior Kirin 970 chipset with built-in NPU that grants to the phone excessively fast image processing acceleration that’s powered by GPU Turbo Technology. With its 8gigs of RAM and 256gigs of free memory, the Huawei flagship offers a smooth and flowing gaming experience. According to benchmarking sites, the Kirin 970 deals better with AI than Snapdragon 845.

Besides being one of the top cell phones you can play games with, the Huawei P20 Pro sports a triple Leica camera setup on the rear and an outstanding 24MP selfie sensor at the front. Its video recording capabilities equal those on Samsung Galaxy S9+ with the same super-slow motion feature of 960 frames per second. There’s a 4,000 mAh battery that powers the handset, NFC support, but it does not have a headphone jack.

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OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6 hands on

The OnePlus smartphone that “Never Settle” will not cost you as much as other premium gaming phones found on this roundup but it does offer nearly-as-good gaming experience support.

The OnePlus 6 boasts a relatively large FHD screen that measures 6.28-inches in diagonal with a notch at the top and runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC with versions of up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash internal memory. The edge-to-edge Optic Amoled screen is sufficiently bright for an optimal gaming experience while the extremely fast chipset and phone’s support for Android 9 Pie OS upgrade make it suitable for every Android game.

OnePlus 6 has some excellent cameras, a duo of a 16MP and a 20MP sensor that together are capable of recording 4K videos at 60 frames per second and an amazing 16MP camera at the front that will shoot some of the most eye-catching selfies ever. The OnePlus flagship does maintain the headphone jack, has a rear-mounted fingerprint, and gets its fuel from a 3,300 mAh battery that will keep it going throughout the day.

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Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

The Poco F1 phone by Xiaomi absolutely deserves a place on any phone roundup because it has the same processor featured on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, sports an LCD screen with more pixels than the iPhone XR, and can shoot clear pics and videos like any other high-end handset but it costs less than the average mid range phones and almost as much as some budget phones labeled as cheap.

Despite not tagging a hefty price, the Pocophone F1 equips the Snapdragon 845 chipset with versions having up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of memory. Furthermore, Xiaomi Pocophone F1 uses the second SIM card slot as a microSD reader, and its internal memory can be enlarged by another 256 gigs. The phone has been receiving beta updates of a custom edition of the Android Pie and soon will be entirely integrated to the latest Android OS version.

The Poco phone has a 6.18-inch LCD screen with an FHD resolution. The display goes from edge to edge and has a notch. At the notch sits the 20MP selfie camera that snaps quite-good selfies while the duo of a 16MP and a 20MP sensors on the rear can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second. The Poco F1 is a solid phone and for the price of sub-$400 it sells is a steal, it gets fueled by a 4,000 mAh battery, has a fingerprint sensor, and the headphone jack.

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