The mobile phone market has consistently been one of the most animated in the tech industry in recent years, with massive leaps being made on both the hardware and software side of developments. One of these major developments being the proliferation of smartphones as gaming devices that might even properly rival consoles in the years to come. If you are into gaming on the go, here’s a quick look at the best mobile phones for gaming in 2021.
Over the last two decades, the mobile phone has developed into more than just a mass marketed, convenient means of long distance communication. The mushrooming of the smartphone market has turned the mobile into a handheld TVs – with the help of apps like Netflix and Disneyplus streaming service, while a plethora of other apps that are available – like Trello and Slack – turn the noble phone into a professional workstation held in your palms.
However, gaming is probably the biggest trend in the mobile phones market right now. In fact, mobile gaming is among the most popular topics in gaming! So it’s no wonder that big name gaming brands like Razer and Asus started paying more attention to this segment. while on the other hand, well established mobile phone makers like Samsung and Apple are launching top end devices with a lot more power than what is necessary for other smartphone applications – though they aren’t specifically marketed as being gaming phones.
Though this “serious” mobile gaming trend seems to have only just begun, there is already a decent range of very capable devices available to choose from – some purpose built for it while others just do a really great job of riding the wave. Whatever your tastes, here’s what’s out there.
Best Purpose Built Gaming phones
ASUS ROG 5
Being the latest mobile gaming device developed by a gaming focused brand like Asus, one expects only the best from the ROG 5 – and the device delivers on all those expectations. From battery life, and charging times, to sharp display, and crisp audio – not only is the ROG 5 a brilliant gaming phone, it’s a brilliant phone, full stop.
Officially announced to the public on 10th March 2021, the ROG 5 features a large 6.78 inch, 144Hz display, and runs off of Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 CPU. The RAM options are 8GB, 12GB, 16GB – seating the ROG 5 comfortably amongst other top end phones. With storage at 128GB and 256GB, plus 5G and a quick charging 6000mAh battery – the ROG 5 is a wonderful tool for gaming and everything else you do on your mobile.
Nubia Red Magic 5G
The Nubia Red Magic was the first mobile to go to market with a screen that boasts a refresh rate of 144hz, let down only by it’s resolution at 1080 x 2340. However, the Red Magic’s other gaming specific features make up for this.
Because this is well and truly a gaming device that just so happens to be able to make a call, it comes with features like the “4D shock” vibration, shoulder triggers, and even a fan and liquid cooling system for when your sessions get really heated.
As for the other internal components, the Red Magic run on Qualcom’s Snapdragon 865, and 8GB to 12GB of ram. Space should not be a problem as the basic option stars you with 128GB, while the big boy gets 256GB of internal storage. All this comes at an average retail price of $650.
Razer Phone 2
Released in 2018, the Razer Phone 2 may be a little dated around some of the other handsets on the list, but it still makes for a pretty decent buy in 2021. Razer’s mobile gaming device comes with 8GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 845 chip, while internal storage capacities offered start from 64GB, and go up to a respectable 128GB.
Other neat features of the Razer Phone 2 are a refresh rate of 120hz on a good decent quality screen, Qi wireless charging, and a vapour changer to keep the device from overheating.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel
One of the strongest competitors in the market now, Lenovo’s Legion Phone Duel is a wonderful marriage of gaming oriented elements and top of the range features you would expect to find in a high end handset.
The device runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus, while RAM options are 12 & 16Gb. These are then mated to a beefy 6.65 inch screen that boasts 1080 x 2340 resolution, and an equally impressive internal hold of 256 to 512Gb.
The Legion Phone Duel may well be in the running for best gaming phone on the market and, naturally, this comes in at a price point that matches its capabilities.
Black Shark 3
The Black Shark 3 represents Xiomi’s most recent foray into mobile gaming and packs quite a bit of punch on the budget end of this list. The Black Shark 3 uses the Snapdragon 865 chip and gives buyers the option of 8 or 12Gb of RAM.
Storage space options are 128Gb and 256Gb, which is decent. However, the Black Shark 3’s screen and its 90Hz refresh rate are a little disappointing when compared to other offerings on this list.
Best “Normal” Phones That Make For Great Gaming Devices
In much the same way as gaming oriented laptops and computers, the design is usually very striking and this may not be to everyone’s taste. If you find yourself in this position but really get a kick out of gaming on the go, there are a few of the more conventional offerings that still do very well at this particular pass time.
IPhone 12 Pro
This is a brand that the majority of people are quite familiar with already. The IPhone 12 Pro might not be as powerful as the purpose built device, but its A14 bionic chip and 6GB of RAM should be enough to keep your gaming experience seamlessly entertaining for some time to come.
The 6.1 inch screen should be sufficient for most users, and the 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of internal storage should too. All in all, the 12 Pro will get the job done.
OnePlus 8 Pro
A less prominent name with a lot of bang, the OnePlus 8 Pro has one of the best displays on the market. At 6.78 inches and a resolution of 3168 x 1440, the OnePlus is truly a top contender.
Furthermore, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 8GB to 12GB RAM options and Snapdragon 865 CPU put it right on par with some purpose built devices. Internal storage is also respectable at 128GB and 256GB.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Though not specifically built for mobile gaming, every aspect of this device makes it very capable – it’s large and powerful.
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a 6.8 inch display with 3200 x 1440 resolution. A snapdragon 888 CPU, and ships with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB as internal storage options. RAM options are equally impressive at 12Gb and 16GB.