Mobile gaming was once an afterthought in the gaming industry. It wasn’t a high priority because the vast majority of gamers all over the world preferred PC or console gaming. This was, in part, a vicious cycle. Gamers preferred PC and console gaming because the mobile options weren’t as good, and the mobile options were never further developed because there was not enough interest in them for them to make good business sense.
These days, mobile gaming takes up the lion’s share of the gaming market and accounts for over 40% of the gaming industry’s total profits on a yearly basis. You can choose from desktop or mobile bingo, mobile or console FPS games, and a host of other options. Now that mobile games are a priority when games are developed, their format is fine-tuned to be enjoyed on a mobile device. Graphics are sharp and clear, all choices and options are available on mobile, where often they were limited before, and mobile phones can keep up with the refresh rate requirements of modern games.
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Since mobile gaming is now such a huge market and there is money to be made, mobile phones have risen to the challenge magnificently. Gaming phones are an entirely different breed from the average smartphone that Joe from round the corner has in his pocket.
They are tailored to the gaming experience and made to prioritize gaming functionality above everything but the basics, like text and calls. If you’re already a mobile gamer or looking to get started, you’ll be needing a mobile gaming phone that can keep up with your favorite high-speed games. We’ve gathered the best of the best here for you to check out.
Best Gaming Phones 2023
ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G
This phone is something special in the gaming world. In terms of Android devices, it delivers at the tippy top end of the specs pool, including the Snapdragon 865 chipset. It is a remarkably uncompromising device for the price point (just over $600). The display goes all the way: AMOLED, which runs as fast as 144Hz. The storage and memory capacity don’t slouch either, and neither does the battery life.
If you work near water a lot, you’ll need to be careful because this device has minimal water resistance. Why? The open port on the phone actively cools the hard-working processors with a fan. This device does not stop giving, and that includes RGB lighting on the back and shoulder buttons that make gameplay even easier.
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iPhone 12 Pro
The range of games released straight to iOS is staggering, so it’s hardly a surprise that Apple is keeping up with its gaming phone releases. The 12 Pro is the top of the range as far as we’re concerned. The 6.1-inch display offers as much room as you could want to play on, and the OLED panel offers incredible visual quality.
The insides are equally as impressive as the outsides. An A14 Bionic chip offers gaming capabilities that many never believed Apple phones would have, and 128 GB starting storage means you’ll have loads of room for saves. You’ll be able to play anything from the well-stocked Apple Arcade, and the 12 Pro’s support of 5G will keep it smooth sailing even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi.
OnePlus 8 Pro
If you’re looking for an Android device that can easily rival the well-established Galaxy S20, you’ve found it in the OnePlus 8 Pro. Retailing at around $900, it offers a remarkable gaming experience in many ways. A 6.78-inch AMOLED screen running at up to 120Hz means a bright, shining display that’s never going to disappoint on visuals.
At its full potential of 1.440 x 3.168 resolution, it can crack 120Hz, a sizable screen with excellent graphic quality. “Gaming mode” automatically engages when you open a game: it improves visual details, strengthens haptic feedback, and boosts network and bandwidth simultaneously. Cloud gaming is a real possibility on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
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Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro
The successor to the Back Shark 2, the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro, is worthy of the name. Another device featuring the Snapdragon chipset, the 3 Pro offers a 7.1 inch, 1,449 x 3,120 AMOLED display, which pretty much wipes the board with most other displays on the market today, including the Nintendo Switch.
This behemoth runs at 90Hz and offers fluid gaming with a 270Hz refresh rate. Not only is the screen absolutely top tier, but the 3 Pro offers the addition of mechanical trigger buttons and an extra two hotkeys, which means you don’t have to fuss with a touch screen if you don’t want to. The fact that the device offers Wi-Fi, 5G support, and fast charging is just the cherry on top.
If you want to treat yourself, any of these devices will do the trick! Up your game with one of the best gaming phones available this year.