Best Gaming Phones - PhoneArena's top choices

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Best gaming phones
Gone are the days when gaming phones were exclusive to a privileged few, boasting eccentric designs and cumbersome software. Nowadays, you can easily find a phone that excels in gaming without compromising on style or performance. These devices are equipped with great hardware: bright displays featuring high refresh rates, and impressive speakers that are literally music for your ears.

Even if you're not a dedicated gamer, these phones offer a plethora of features. Moreover, as standard high-end phones continue to increase in power, they also deliver exceptional gaming experience. 

Whether you're a hardcore gamer looking to elevate your multiplayer shooter skills or simply seeking a top-notch gaming phone, you've come to the right place! Here's the list of the best gaming phones you can get in 2024, including dedicated gaming models, as well as more popular and mainstream flagship phones.

Best phones for gaming in 2024:


Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro

The mainstream gamer
Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro
7.1

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro


The Good

  • New design, thin bezels, IP68
  • Speakers are loud and meaty (but not as good as before)
  • Fast and buttery performance
  • Headphone jack
  • Gaming buttons, the fan helps
  • Long battery endurance, fast to charge

The Bad

  • Speakers are no longer front-firing
  • Gripping the device for gaming is a bit less comfy (lack of bezels)
  • The camera is OK, but not as great as the big bump suggests
  • Two years of software updates

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is the latest and greatest in the dedicated gaming phone category.  The Taiwanese company kind of departed from the normal flashy LED models, and adopted a more understated approach, aiming to attract a broader audience.

The phone features a discreet design for a gaming device, showcasing a stealthy LED matrix on the back, rounded corners, and a contemporary-looking camera bump. Underneath the surface, it maintains high-quality specs, including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, up to 24GB of RAM, a huge 6,000mAh battery, and a very bright 165Hz display in line with current trends.

However, the only trade-off to consider is a financial one. With a starting price of $1,200, the phone falls on the higher end of the price spectrum. Opting for the top-tier 24/1TB model will require a more substantial investment of $1,500.

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Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra

A ROG Phone without the sparkle
6.9
Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra
Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra
What we like
  • Fast and snappy
  • Super-bright display
  • Great stereo speakers
What we don't like
  • Camera system not great
  • Design might not be everyone's cup of tea
  • Only two years of major OS updates
6.9
PhoneArena Rating
6.9
Price Class Average
Battery Life
8.3
6.7
Photo Quality
6.1
6.9
Video Quality
5.6
6.3
Charging
8.2
6.3
Performance Peak
7.5
6
Performance Daily
7.4
6.7
Display Quality
8
7.9
Design
7
7.1
Wireless Charging
6.4
6.7
Biometrics
6
7.3
Audio
6
7.4
Software
4
7.7
Why the score?
This device scores average for this price class, which includes devices like the Google Pixel 8 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S24+ and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
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Sim-free
Amazon
$800

Asus decided to join the "Ultra" race and launched the Zenfone 11 Ultra. This kind of controversial device shares a lot of its DNA with the ROG Phone 8, barring the gaming bells and whistles, but for the purposes of this article, it's a solid choice for a gaming phone.

First of all, it comes with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. It also sports a very bright (currently sitting at the top of our brightness chart) display, supporting a 120Hz refresh rate (and 144Hz while gaming).

The phone also comes with a big 5,500mAh battery, some AI magic onboard, and a solid camera system. You can think of the Zenfone 11 Ultra as an understated ROG Phone 8 Pro, you're getting most of the features but without waving your gaming preferences in the face of everyone around you.


Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

The Ultimate gaming phone
Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate
6.2

Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate


The Good

  • The 165 Hz AMOLED HDR10+ screen is excellent
  • Top tier performance
  • Incredibly good speakers, plus subwoofer in the cooler accessory
  • Camera is adequate even though it's a "gaming phone"
  • Massive battery, good battery health options
  • Buttons and controls for handheld gaming

The Bad

  • The edgy gamer design is a taste thing
  • Camera is adequate, but is outclassed by other flagships
  • No wireless charging

And here we are with the next iteration of the ROG Phone Ultimate. It's the seventh generation, and currently, this is the phone to beat if you like playing mobile games. It has an excellent 6.78-inch AMOLED screen with HDR10+ support and a 165Hz refresh rate, one of the best in the industry for super smooth gaming.

Being the best in the ROG lineup, this phone also features the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, supported by upgraded internal cooling and some external cooling accessories to keep the phone cool during extended gaming sessions. The stereo speakers are some of the best we've ever heard, and there's also a subwoofer accessory to elevate your gaming FX even higher.

The package is rounded off by a massive battery for prolonged gaming, a very sturdy build, and your typical ROG styling.


Sony Xperia 1 V

Best gaming display
Sony Xperia 1 V
5.7

Sony Xperia 1 V


The Good

  • Stylish, classy, and light — great design
  • Plethora of manual camera modes for fine-tuning video and photos
  • Eye tracking autofocus is super-fast and responsive
  • MicroSD slot and headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers sound pretty good (though a bit boxy)

The Bad

  • Price is well above any other premium phone (sans foldables)
  • For all its focus on camera, its image quality is not ahead of the competition
  • Two years of Android updates?

The Sony Xperia 1 V is not a dedicated gaming phone but Sony has an immense gaming pedigree when it comes to consoles and handhelds. And it has shown up in every Xperia model in the last couple of years. The Xperia 1 V is no exception.

This phone comes with a gorgeous 6.5-inch 4K AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate—a gamer's dream. It's a 21:9 screen in typical Sony fashion, and there are no notches, cutouts, or other eyesores to hamper your gaming experience.

The Xperia 1 V uses the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, coupled with 12GB of RAM, and the phone also comes with a microSD card slot—that's definitely a plus when it comes to gaming. Last but not least, Sony offers great gaming software in the form of Game Enhancer - a tool to tweak all the settings, including things like touch sampling rate, display refresh rate, notifications, audio settings, and more.

The only downside to this phone is its price. You need to cough up $1,399 to get it, and for that kind of money, you can buy a PS5 (if you can find one) with an extra controller and a couple of games. But then again, the Xperia 1 V is also a phone, a camera, and a computer—you know, your daily personal communicator. Your choice.


Asus Zenfone 10

The compact player
Asus Zenfone 10
6.9

Asus Zenfone 10


The Good

  • Compact size
  • Powerful chipset
  • Good stereo speakers
  • Wireless charging
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint scanner
  • 144 Hz display refresh rate in games
  • Solid battery life
  • Great selfie camera
  • IP68 water and dust protection

The Bad

  • Design is the same as last year
  • Main camera system not flagship-grade
  • Display could be brighter
  • No telephoto camera
  • Only two major OS updates

I know what you're thinking—a compact gaming phone? But hear me out! The Zenfone 10 not only has the latest Snapdragon processor, but it also comes with a 4,300 mAh battery, and that 1080p screen means fewer pixels to be pushed. It's a legitimate gaming phone that shouldn't be overlooked. Especially for people who like compact phones. There's also a new 144Hz display refresh rate mode reserved for gaming, so this little fellow has taken things into ROG territory!

The phone also features the Game Genie software, taken straight from the ROG dedicated gaming phones of the company. The small gem is absolutely capable of delivering those frames per second, even in the most demanding scenarios. Yes, the screen is on the smaller side, but for some people, half an inch is not a deal breaker.

Black Shark 5 Pro

Fastest charging gaming phone
Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro


View full specs

The Black Shark 5 Pro is another take on the dedicated gaming phoneand it does a lot of (gaming) things really well. From the mechanical shoulder buttons (essential in any gaming phone) to the pressure sensitive areas on the display—it's all tailored to give you maximum gaming comfort and efficiency.

The battery is pretty chunky, and the fast charging is insane, with up to 120W of juice filling the said battery in just 15 minutes! The phone is no slouch when it comes to pure hardware performance, either - courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It's also fair to say that you can get a more "basic" Snapdragon 870 version that will cost you only $549, which is an insane deal.


Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2

The underdog
Although it's not out yet, expected to be released in Europe at around €799, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 already impresses. Likely to challenge the ROG Phone 6 and even replace it as our favorite gaming phone of 2021, the Legion Phone Duel 2 sports a large 6.92-inch 144Hz AMOLED display, the Snapdragon 888 processor and up to 18GB of RAM.

Like the ROG 6, the Legion Phone Dual 2 too has AirTrigger-like touch sensitive, mappable sensors that can be used as shoulder buttons, but it also has some extra party tricks. For example, its two 2,750 mAh batteries can be "Turbo" charged not just via a single USB Type-C port, but via its two ports at the same time. This way the phone can fully charge at 90W for just 30 minutes.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 also has a pop-up "facecam" to be used while streaming gameplay, two built-in cooling fans and dual front-facing speakers.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Best for Samsung users
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
7.5

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra


The Good

  • Refined design, titan frame, flat screen
  • Excellent camera, good improvements
  • Screen has great brightness range, reduced reflections
  • 12 GB RAM at base level
  • AI features are limited right now, but not a gimmick
  • 7 years of software updates!

The Bad

  • No improvement in charging speeds
  • Pricey, if you don't catch a deal


The Galaxy S24 Ultra is Samsung's newest flagship smartphone and as such, it sports some of the best specs you can get on an Android phone right now. It's not about the S Pen this time, although it's a nice bonus. This phone is a powerhouse!

It features a flat screen now, which is a needed improvement and one that will please gamers, as there's no image distortion toward the edges. The new anti-glare coating is also top-notch, we tested it in real-life scenarios, and indeed, there's less glare under direct sunlight and other direct sources of light.

Other than that, it's the usual high-end stuff. You're getting a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and a 2,600-nit 120Hz LTPO display. There is nothing to complain about. The battery is a hefty 5,000 mAh cell, so you won't run out of juice during prolonged gaming sessions. And you can use this flagship phone as a normal phone, snap amazing photos, and use it for productivity with the S Pen.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Best gaming phone for iOS users
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
7.6

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max


The Good

  • Cool new titanium frame
  • Action Button opens up more possibilities
  • Speakers are great as always
  • A17 Pro chip is an absolute beast
  • USB Type C with USB 3 speeds!
  • Slightly improved, much welcomed camera image processing

The Bad

  • Color options are a bit limited
  • Action Button needs fleshing out — it only does one thing
  • Doesn't come with USB 3 cable in the box
  • 5x zoom camera doesn't feel like a huge benefit


If you're leaning towards iOS gaming and the Apple Arcade subscription service, the most powerful phone for gaming from Apple you can get right now is the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The recently announced flagship has it all - new hardware gimmicks, a fast refresh rate display, the Dynamic Isle feature to enhance your gaming experience, and a titanium frame that makes it lighter and more comfortable during prolonged gaming sessions.

Its high performance, thanks to the latest and greatest A17 Pro chipset, will crush any games at their highest settings without breaking a sweat, while its solid battery life will ensure that you'll be comfortable playing for hours on end without needing to recharge. It also sports the largest display ever put on an iPhone, and if you enjoy other activities beyond gaming, the state-of-the-art tetraprism zoom lens will allow you to snap 5X optical zoom pictures with great quality.

Note to Fortnite gamers: Fortnite is currently unavailable on iOS, so you may be better off buying an Android phone.

Read more: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Best gaming foldable
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
6.3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5


The Good

  • Improved hinge feels better
  • Fast and solid performance
  • Sharp, colorful screen with smooth refresh rate
  • Wide and detailed sound from the speakers
  • S Pen (separate purchase) is excellent

The Bad

  • Battery life is ok at best
  • External screen can be too narrow for comfortable typing
  • The crease is shallower, but still very much present


If you're ready to go to the next level with your smartphone gaming, there is nothing like playing mobile games on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. It's a candy bar-shaped phone when you need it to fit in your pocket, but it can unfold into an extremely powerful tablet when it's time to play.

Games like PUBG play fantastic on it, plus its stereo speakers are superb in volume and richness. The phone feels great in the hands and is easy to game on; it is not as large or unwieldy as a tablet might be. Any game looks gorgeous on the Z Fold 5's large, foldable, smooth 120 Hz AMOLED display. The battery life is really solid on this last generation, and there's also stylus support for any strategy games that require precision.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

How to choose the best phone for mobile gaming?


Choosing the best phone for mobile gaming depends on several factors, and your preferences may vary depending on the type of games you play and your budget. Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • Performance. Look for a phone with a powerful processor (CPU) and a high-quality graphics processing unit (GPU). Flagship models from popular manufacturers often feature the latest and most powerful components. Check out various benchmarks, including gaming ones, to see if the phone can handle the latest games without overheating and throttling.
  • RAM and Storage. More RAM allows for smoother multitasking and better performance, while ample storage space ensures you can download and store multiple large games. Aim for at least 8GB of RAM and consider 256GB or more of internal storage. While a microSD card can be an advantage, internal storage is faster and it will result in smoother gaming experience if your games are on the phone and not on a microSD card.
  • Display. A high-resolution and responsive display is crucial for an immersive gaming experience. Look for phones a high refresh rate (120Hz or 144Hz) This can make gaming animations smoother, and you will be more competitive in fast-paced games. Check out the touch response times of the display, the lower, the better.
  • Battery Life. Gaming can be demanding on a phone's battery. A phone with a large battery capacity will provide longer gaming sessions. Additionally, some phones come with fast-charging, which can be useful for quickly replenishing your battery.
  • Cooling. Intense gaming sessions can generate a lot of heat. Phones with effective cooling systems, such as external cooling fans or advanced heat dissipation technologies, can help prevent performance throttling and maintain consistent gaming performance.
  • Gaming Features. Some phones come with dedicated gaming modes or features like trigger buttons, customizable settings, and enhanced haptic feedback. Check if the phone you're interested in has any gaming-specific features that appeal to you.

Conclusion


So, there you have it! The best gaming phones on the market. It's a bit niche list but we assure you, if you can live with the flashy aesthetics, and the extra weight, these devices can give you so much in return. They're true flagships that can take your average Galaxy or iPhone with ease.

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