Don’t know what phone to take for games? We will try to help you with the choice of a gaming smartphone according to the price-quality criterion. We advise you to familiarize yourself with the selection: top 10 best gaming smartphones. Smartphones are selected by user rating.
If last year a lot of attention was paid to the form factor of flexible screens, then in July this year there was a serious resonance in the production of gaming solutions. This only confirms the theory that companies are trying to develop the most functional phones that can reduce the demand for tablets. For this reason, the size of modern phablets, performance, multitasking, and now hardware also play a role. In our ranking of the best gaming smartphones in 2021, everyone can be sure.
It should be noted right away that by gaming phones we mean flagship smartphones, which include special accessories, powerful processors and serious cooling systems. But, given the demand for budget solutions, there are budget phones on our list that best meet these requirements, which also allow you to use modern 3D applications, but this is already another level – you have to understand.
The best budget smartphones for gaming
In this section of the publication, you, of course, will not be able to find triggers or gamepads in the kit. We are talking about serial models, as far as the price tag allows. Given the need for a high-performance chip, we ignored the budget models, the hardware part of which is Mediatek. In any case, in this class, these chips are inferior to Huawei’s proprietary processor (Kirin), Samsung’s native Exynos 9611, and Qualcomm is the main competitor.
Honor 10 Lite
We start our top ten gaming smartphones with the most affordable phone powered by the Kirin 710 SoC, which can somehow be classified as low gaming. However, even with the specified processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM is unlikely to seem demanding enough for modern 3D games. However, it is very difficult to find something of the same level for the specified amount. It is worth noting that the 6.21-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 2340 × 1080 pixels perfectly complements the gaming experience. The main camera has two modules of 13 and 2 megapixels, the front camera is 24 megapixels. Satisfied with the presence of NFC. Battery life is average.
- compact size;
- microchip for this cost;
- good exposure.
- little memory;
- battery life.
Huawei P Smart Pro
If you’re still undecided on which budget smartphone to buy for gaming, it might be worth taking a look at the real tests of the HUAWEI P Smart Pro model. It’s a really stylish, bright and powerful phone for its price. The secret lies in the presence of a proprietary HiSilicon Kirin 810 series chip, which can be compared with the “rigging” of the 845 series. The heart of the device is an IPS screen, the screen size is 6.59 inches. On such a display, it is quite comfortable to enjoy the gameplay of your favorite game. The aspect ratio of the screen is 21 to 9. A nice bonus is a good camera, which includes three modules of 48 megapixels, 8 megapixels and 2 megapixels. The front camera is normal – only 16 megapixels. There is NFC.
- contactless payments;
- good screen;
- sufficiently powerful chip;
- ergonomic assembly.
- not for the long game.
In terms of price and quality, the Galaxy M30s smartphone looks quite solid, which can also be attributed to the number of mid-range gaming phones. Although, in truth, he is a rather level-headed representative of his class. The pluses immediately include a large 6000 mAh battery, obviously with support for fast charging. The proprietary chip of the Exynos 9611 series is responsible for the hardware. In combination with 4 gigabytes of RAM, this model provides a good processing speed for many processes. The camera includes a main sensor of 48 megapixels, supplemented by modules of 8 and 5 megapixels.
- wide angle lens;
- battery life;
- fast charging;
- good feature.
- the processor is worse than the snap.
Realme 6 Pro
Speaking of good budget gaming smartphones, one cannot fail to mention the discovery: Realme 6 Pro. Why is it so loud? The fact is that this device received not only an excellent processor for its class, but also an excellent camera. In the maximum configuration, the phone has 8 gigabytes of RAM. Almost the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G is responsible for performance. Almost all modern games can be played without problems for a long period of time. With a maximum of 3D applications, after a certain time, of course, it warms up. The battery capacity is 4300 mAh. There is a fast charge with which you can fully restore the charge in 57 minutes.
- good quadruple room;
- fast charging;
- large battery;
- Snapdragon 720G chip;
- 8 gigabytes of RAM.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
The best budget gaming smartphone of 2021 according to CC is Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 Pro. Why this particular version and not “Max”? In fact, you won’t see a significant increase in performance in the maximum configuration, but you will have to pay extra. Each device boasts a large 6.67-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. Pleases with an excellent main camera with four modules, the main of which is a 64 megapixel sensor. A powerful increase in power against the background of 8 Pro was given by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chip. We were pleased with the quality of the Adreno 618 graphics accelerator, the amount of RAM and powerful 30W fast charging.
- good power;
- excellent camera;
- fast charging;
- graphics accelerator;
- big screen.
The best premium gaming smartphones
In the middle of this summer, three companies at once, including Lenovo, Xiaomi and Asus, seriously announced their intention to become number 1 in the production of phones in this class. The competition is really serious, and each producer has his own target audience. Given the speed with which the trend began to develop, the engineers of the South Korean company did not want to step aside, even if the Note 20, of course, is branded and can hardly be called just a gaming product. However, the effectiveness of all the gadgets presented below is high.
The third-generation POCO flagship has replenished the rating of gaming smartphones, which clearly met the expectations of fans of its subsidiary Xiaomi. The F3 series model entered the Antutu list by using the flagship Snapdragon 870 processor. Of course, there is a more powerful 888 version in the Qualcomm store, but devices with this configuration are much more expensive. However, combined with the Adreno 650 accelerator and a simpler hardware base, this is enough for any game on mobile phones. Separately, I would like to note the characteristics of the display, built on an AMOLED matrix, which is clearly more suitable for a dynamic image due to a better viewing angle, brightness and smoothness. Also, the image refresh rate is 120 Hz. Do not forget that this device is positioned as a balanced, non-gaming solution. There’s a decent main camera with a 48 (f/1.79) megapixel main sensor and a great 20 megapixel selfie camera.
- balanced smartphone;
- charging power 33 W;
- Operating system Android 11 series;
- front camera;
- refresh rate 120 Hz;
- HDR10+ support.
- it’s not the most powerful processor.
Samsung Galaxy S21
To be honest, few people expected to see this device in the ranking of the most powerful smartphones for gaming, since Samsung processors can rarely be a worthy opponent to Qualcomm’s premium solutions. However, the Galaxy S21 scored 781,833 on Antutu, indicating that it’s a gaming device. The device is equipped with a new processor from the South Korean developers of the Exynos 2100 series, which is based on a 5-nm process technology. The chic experience of any demanding 3D game is provided by the Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Connection problems should not arise, since the modern Wi-Fi 6 module and support for 5G networks are implemented, which have not yet been implemented in our region, but this is a question time. Don’t forget that this is also a high-end camera phone that won DxOMark.
- video in 8K format;
- display on the matrix Dynamic AMOLED 2X;
- Samsung DeX desktop mode;
- reverse charge;
- the chip has been seriously upgraded.
Xiaomi Mi 11
Speaking of powerful gaming smartphones, we’ve finally made it to the top three in our ranking for the Snapdragon 888 processor (the most powerful mobile chip to date). In Antutu, Xiaomi Mi 11 scores 782521 points. At the same time, the gadget boasts one of the brightest screens, which can be explained by the presence of a 10-bit AMOLED matrix with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. At the same time, the brightness level is 1500 nits, which indicates the full operation of HDR10 +. There are 4 modules in the camera, one of which is a 108 MP sensor with an aperture level of f / 1.9. Of course, this flagship supports wireless and fast charging, there is a powerful graphics accelerator (Adreno 660) and speakers with stereo support. The modes and quality of the front camera with a resolution of 20 megapixels deserve special attention.
- 20-megapixel selfie camera;
- wireless charger;
- brightness around 1500 nits;
- Snapdragon 888 processor.
- the ultra version is much better, but not commercially available.
One Plus 9 Pro
The second place in the ranking of gaming smartphones is taken by OnePlus 9 Pro (we evaluate models for sale in our region), which scored 793,620 points in the Antutu test. Obviously, this is a flagship solution based on the Snapdragon 888 chip. At the same time, the camera test results allowed the device to enter the top 10 camera phones, and this is also a huge achievement for the Chinese manufacturer, which it already breathes with the back of its most famous brands. It is worth noting that this line is based on a 6.7-inch screen with a Fluid AMOLED matrix. The screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz, which provides a very smooth image for dynamic applications. A group of cameras can shoot video in 8K. Many modes are available, including slow motion at 120 frames per second. Fast charging power is 65W, and the battery life of the model is also included in the ranking of the leading solutions of the current year.
- fast charging;
- 8K video;
- slow motion;
- most powerful processor.
ASUS ROG Phone 5
The best gaming smartphone of 2021 is ASUS ROG Phone 5 with an Antutu score of 815628. This time it’s a targeted solution designed specifically for gamers. This is not a high-end camera, but all the design elements are designed to solve a specific task: to create a comfortable environment for games. There’s also an AMOLED screen with HDR10+, as well as 1200 nits of brightness; and Snapdragon 888 with Adreno 660; and a very powerful cooling system. The design received a bright RGB backlight, but even without stylistic design, you can understand that we are talking about a powerful flagship. It is not superfluous to note that the company, starting from the third generation of ROG Phone, offers a wide range of accessories for its flagships.
- cooling system;
- many accessories;
- body lighting;
- high screen brightness;
- many configurations.
How to choose a good gaming smartphone?
I note right away that we will mainly consider the top class. If you do not know how to choose a gaming smartphone that will cost less, take a look at the performance comparison. Indeed, this is the main thing. As for the rest:
- Screen. In the premium segment of gaming devices, about 7 inches is considered the norm with support for at least FullHD resolution. At the same time, a smooth image (of the best quality) is provided by screens with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz.
- Performance. The maximum in the segment of gaming phones up to 15 thousand allows you to get devices on the Kirin 810 or Snapdragon 720G (preferably paired with 6 gigabytes of RAM). In the premium class, the most powerful chip is the Snapdragon 865+. When using this processor, it is important to achieve efficient heat dissipation. Take a look at the Antutu test performance, for example, to see how efficient a particular chip is.
- Accessories. Depending on the brand’s policy, a variety of goodies can be implemented: from an external charging base with delivery and a cooling system to side-mounted game controllers.
Cooling system. It depends on the type of model. Flagships can have big fans, for example, this can be found in some Chinese companies. Others install the base in the holder. In general, there are a lot of options. But it is best to look at the real results of tests conducted by independent resources.
- Battery life. Today it is difficult to find a powerful smartphone with a large screen that would please with an autonomy of more than 10 hours. Especially in games. It follows that it is more important to focus not on the capacity of the battery and not on the energy efficiency of the chip and the power of fast charging. Flagships are getting more and more with 2 batteries each, which allows you to charge really powerful power of about 90 watts and even more.
What is the best gaming smartphone to buy in 2022?
Therefore, the range of gaming phones today is the most diverse in terms of technologies, functions and accessories that come with the kit. Interest in this category of devices is growing. It seemed that for a while, many even forgot about foldable phones. At the same time, the question of which gaming smartphone to choose has become even more relevant and complex. I repeat, we are talking about flagships, but we understand that there is a demand for economical yet powerful solutions. With this in mind, we are ready to summarize our assessment:
- Powerful budget phone for games: Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro;
- Best gaming smartphone with a good camera: OnePlus 9 Pro
- Powerful gaming smartphone with a bright screen – Xiaomi Mi 11;
- Best flagship gaming smartphone – Asus ROG 5