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Best 10 irresistible gaming smartphones for every budget | June 2018

12 June 2018 10

Buying a smartphone solely for the gaming purpose isn't really a task anymore considering there are so many options available right now. The manufacturers are launching smartphones solely for the purpose of gaming. They know the requirements of hard-core gamers and that's how we see specific application-based smartphones now and gaming smartphones are one of their kinds.

However, still, for the mainstream smartphones, manufacturers have to maintain several tradeoffs to take care of every aspect. We do have several high-end phones available right now with powerful processors and massive RAM so that every task works smoothly. However, you may not experience the same lag-free gaming experience from every other premium phone.

If we talk about a gaming smartphone, there are many aspects like the GPU, of course, that work together and serve a masterpiece. If you’re a hard-core gamer, you would definitely require a smartphone which isn’t only fast but also has a great battery life so that you could play at maximum levels in one go. Not only these two aspects but also, audio plays an indispensable role while playing games. Furthermore, there isn’t any charm if a high-end game with its graphics set at the high level is giving your phone a trouble.

Are you a game addict? If yes, do you know what your smartphone should possess?


For game addicts, speed matters a lot and you should buy a phone with higher RAM, for example, 4GB RAM and above, though 2GB RAM is enough as a minimum requirement here, we’re considering phones for heavy gaming use only.

Today, you can easily find many gaming smartphones below $300 with above average overall experience. Well, thanks to the evolvement of the chipsets, even the mid-range smartphones are delivering great performance overall but when compared to high-end smartphones, the differences are visible. There isn’t any problem with them, but, there’s a reason that manufacturers are choosing high-end specifications and optimizing every aspect to provide you a great gaming experience. Furthermore, battery capacity with 3500mAH and above should be enough to let you continue your amazing gaming experience.

The frame drop is a no no!


More importantly, the smartphone shouldn’t show frame drops while playing high-end games for an extended period or a number of frame drops should be minimal that it could not disappoint you. High-end games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3 require brilliant hardware to offer you a lag free and smooth gaming experience. The low dips in heavy action areas can be CPU related but there are certain aspects associated like multitasking that directly relates to RAM management and here it should be taken care of as the highest priority while playing heavy games.

Ok! without further ado, let's know about the best smartphones to play high-end games

Best mobile phones for playing high-end games

There are many gaming mobiles today serving the cravings of the gamers. They bear the title of the gaming smartphone so you can choose them without really a second thought. However, there are several other mainstream options that also promises a good gaming experience. We have compiled the list of such gaming smartphones for almost every budget. Let's have a look at them.

Razer Phone

Here comes the smartphone that truly dedicates itself towards the mobile gaming. The smartphone gets its identity as the gaming mobile phone with tough specifications for the hardcore mobile game lovers. One of its kinds, the smartphones holds the profile that a mobile game lover would require. Apart from this, it's the design that definitely catches the eyes and looks fantastically captivating.

Razer Phone is powered by Snapdragon 835 processor and is powered by the humongous 8GB RAM. It carries 64GB as the internal memory that comes with the expansion option so as to carry more complex and heavy mobile games.

The dual front-facing speakers give out loud enough audio while you're playing games, which is one of the most important requirements for any gamer. Furthermore, its 5.7-inch display (5.7-inch LCD IGZO QHD with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution) packs the world’s first 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone, so it's just tuned all over so as to offer you a great gaming experience. It's the LCD display type that delivers higher refresh rates and frame rates.

Xiaomi Black Shark

Xiaomi launched the Black Shark for gaming with a 6-inch, 2,160 x 1,080 resolution display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It comes powered by Snapdragon 845 processor along with the 6GB or 8GB RAM options together with enough storage that could store many heavy games.

The looks of the Xiaomi Black Shark are sturdy and the green and black aesthetics make it more beautiful. Along with the powerful hardware, the Xiaomi Black Shark include an advanced liquid cooling tech that helps in cooling down the phone when it undergoes any extensive usage. It's actually a PC-like cooling system that prevents the device from overheating. A special One-touch SHARK key puts the device into the high-performance mode that boosts up its endurance for longer hours. The speakers available offers nearly-surround sound and according to the company, the battery is quite enough to play for longer hours. The Black Shark gaming phone is available only in China for now.

Nubia Red Magic

Here's another smartphone for gaming, Red Magic from a Chinese company, Nubia which is a subsidiary of ZTE. It has an angled rear design that beautifies the device. Nubia claims that the angular design of the Red Magic keeps the smartphone cool since it offers more surface area. The rear panel of the device also shows a horizontal RGB LED light that can be customized to show up in 16 million color variations. Well, apart from the angular design there are three vents that throw out the heat in heavy usage thus keeps the device cool.

It also comes with a Gameboost, that is supposed to improve performance while gaming.

The Red Magic has a 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It's powered by Snapdragon 835 processor and has 3800mAH battery. Nubia made the device available via the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, but now the device isn't available via this channel.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Coming with the full screen, the Galaxy Note 8 does offer a great gaming experience. Also, the display quality of the phablet is great and thus the graphics of the games looks quite vibrant on it. Galaxy Note 8 is indeed a better option for those who love to have a larger display to play games. The Super AMOLED display type with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution and the 18.5:9 aspect ratio is the best screen option to play games.

It's powered by Snapdragon 835 processor and coupled with a massive 6GB RAM option. Well, if you're a high-end phone lover then you won't think further about this purchase.


Like any other Galaxy phone from Samsung, Galaxy Note 8 also includes the gaming center that keeps the games, categorizes them, and provides a few other tools and options that you would require for playing. Having a centralized option that could let you access the games from just one place is a great option. You can also customize a few other features so as to keep everything according to your taste while you play games.

Apple iPhone X

This is the gadget that doesn't need any introduction, be it's the design, features, performance, basically everything, which is even visible to a non-tech person. The features it possesses, the performance it provides, and the seamless experience it offers, the iPhone X is indeed Apple of everyone's eye. This is the handset with so many virtues and the only drawback is that it's not just obtainable just everyone, well, not every new iPhone is generally attainable by the masses, but, this time the price has actually dropped many jaws.

Powered by the latest Apple's A11 Bionic chip, iPhone X delivers smooth performance for just every complex task you offer to it. iPhone X is indeed a bona find gaming handset. The full display of this iPhone is enough to give you an experience that you would not find in any other handset. The iPhone X comes has a notch on the top of the screen and this design does annoy many and in fact, developers have to optimize their apps according to its design so that nothing could get hid.


iPhone X just not runs the complex games with heavy graphics well but, it's also well-suited for running the AR apps. AR is an area on which Apple is reportedly betting high and iPhone X is that source that will run the dreams of the company and will definitely give rise to more powerful and enhance devices in near future. For now, there are so many games, which have been optimized especially for iPhone X, these are The Talos Principle, Monument Valley 2, Super Mario Run, Phoenix 2, and many more.

Bonus - Apple's other new iPhone models launched alongside iPhone X offer the same performance and lag-free experience when it comes to gaming. These are the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus that ​are powered by the same Apple's latest A11 Bionic chip. The two new phones may not entice the users who are already using the iPhone 7, but, they are definitely worth the try if you haven't used an iPhone yet or thinking to switch from your older iPhone models.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Here comes a smartphone from Sony that is truly a gaming flagship for the mobile game lovers. It can work with the PlayStation console 4. It's the world's first smartphone with 4K HDR display. This offers a vibrant display and thus it's quite helpful with the games that have high graphics.

The HDR display means it will render black much deeper and pop up colors quite well, something really liked by the gamers. If you have a PlayStation 4 you can stream games on Xperia XZ Premium with the help of the PlayStation app.

You can use your phone as a second gaming screen, or to access the PlayStation Network for downloads, multi-player chats, and news updates.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium offers faster memory access that makes the gameplay smooth and responsive always. It is powered by Snapdragon 835 processor and coupled with 4GB RAM and runs the latest Android 8.0 Oreo OS.

Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei P20 Pro is one of the latest offerings from the company and the device lets you play the games smoothly without any choppiness in frames or whatsoever lags. The device holds enough potential to let you play heavy games. Also, the build quality of the device is quite great and feels sturdy in hands. What puts the Huawei P20 Pro into the limelight is its triple cameras on the back, comprising a 40-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/1.8 aperture, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor with f/1.6 aperture, and an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.4 aperture.

The Huawei P20 Pro has Kirin 970 processor and many AI features, thanks to the built-in NPU. It’s backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, alongside the Mali-G72 MP12 which handles most tasks well. The Huawei P20 Pro has a notch display but it automatically adjusts itself if it detects that a particular game isn't supporting the new resolution. When the phone recognizes such game apps, it automatically blacks out the notch area, removing it from play.

Of course, higher the specifications better is the experience of gaming. But, these high-end games aren’t made solely for the high-end smartphones. The makers of these games do set different levels of graphics levels so that their games could reach every type of audience, be it the budget-friendly smartphones, mid-range phones, or the high-end smartphones. However, in mid-range and affordable phones, you may not able to grab the same lag-free experience as a high-end smartphone user. But, still, today the smartphones market has evolved much and you would easily find gaming smartphones according to your budget.

Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

The new flagships from Samsung, Galaxy S9, and S9 Plus have an extra edge over the other mainstream devices mentioned here. The endless display, which Samsung likes to call Infinity Display, Bixby, Google's Daydream support and much more.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus hold large screens and high resolution and this combination makes the overall experience so good. It's no lesser than an immersive experience when your favorite game covers the entire screen and lets you enjoy what you might have been craving for. These beauties are packed with bold and powerful hardware from inside, thus making it an overall perfect device for playing games.

Also, the flagships are perfect for the VR gaming, so if you're done with those conventional smartphone games, then these could satisfy you with their capabilities.

Samsung's own take on other VR headsets can let you play games in the virtual world. Just like Samsung's other flagship phones, these flagships too come with Samsung's Game tools, thus letting you engage more with your playing. The tool comes with an additional feature "Screen mode" that lets you change the display resolution according to your game need. Fairly, Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are the two perfect smartphones for gaming.

Both of them are powered by either Snapdragon 845 processor or company's own Exynos 9810 processor coupled with up to 6GB RAM and enough storage options.

9.2 Hardware
6.7 Price Quality

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

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Honor 8

This is actually a camera-centric smartphone but it’s nearly good handset when it comes to gaming. Yes, Honor 8 is a great option for mobile gaming for under $400 (under Rs.30,000), though some heavy games like Asphalt 8 can make you disappoint just like the Moto G5 Plus. The overall gaming performance of the Honor 8 is smooth and lag free.

There aren’t any overheating issues, no hang-up and anything that could annoy you. It plays the heavy games like Nova 3 and Modern Combat 5 games quite well and without any issues. So, if you’re a gaming freak but the budget is the biggest hindrance then Honor 8 can be your savior and that too with one awesome feature which is camera. So, for under $400 you’re not only getting a gaming mobile phone but also a great camera phone.

Talking about the specifications, Honor 8 is powered by company’s own Kirin 950 CPU – octa-core chipset, Mali-T880 GPU with 4GB RAM.

OnePlus 6

The killer of the flagships has changed its profile too! This is the bezel-less display or the full-screen display that lets you experience the games smoothly and without any lag. OnePlus always offers big for a lesser price compared to the flagships. However, a few things were not really tuned before.

OnePlus' smartphones offer a butter-smooth performance and similar is the OnePlus 6. The company has come a long way to reach a position where it's now. OnePlus 6 is another mainstream option in the Android gaming smartphones category. OnePlus has always been using top-notch hardware for its smartphones but not every smartphone can churn out the best when it comes to gaming. Take for instance the OnePlus 3T, the device gave some surprising results while playing heavy games, for instance, the device used to catch up the heat quite fast even when the games aren't set in their graphics settings. Even after having such a brilliant hardware configuration, the device just disappointed. However, much was solved with the introduction of OnePlus 5T. That's why it was in our list of gaming smartphones before but now its place has been taken by the OnePlus 6.

The newly launched device from OnePlus 6 is powered by Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB RAM. It has a full-screen AMOLED display to enjoy the gaming experience on a wider screen and enough battery so to glue you for long hours.

Bonus here - Xiaomi Mi 6, which has somewhat the similar profile like the OnePlus 5T offers a good gameplay environment. It's powered by Snapdragon 835 processor and coupled with 6GB RAM. It also features a 5.1-inch full HD IPS LCD display and offers an overall great performance in terms of gaming. The device differs in price here, of course, there's a lesser RAM than the OnePlus 5T, but it's no slouch when it comes to mobile gaming.

Moto Z2 Play

Moto Z2 Play is another Android smartphone that can easily play the heavy games without any hassle. It's, in fact, one of the best mid-range gaming phones that not only brings a new design language but also a new concept - modularity. Moto Z2 Play can play the games like Asphalt 8 Nova 3, Modern Combat 5, and Implosion quite well. However, many smartphones do show a few frame drops while playing the Asphalt 8 at highest graphics settings and so is the Moto Z2 Play as well. But, they aren't that annoying and the phone doesn't overheat as well. So, overall Moto Z2 Play is a great handset for gaming.

Moto Z2 Play is powered by Snapdragon 636 processor and coupled with 3GB/4GB RAM options. It has a Super AMOLED 1080p display that adds impressive viewing angles while you play games.

Moto Z2 Play is a great option for extended gaming as well. The device includes a fair amount of battery capacity 3,000mAH which is also enough to provide you a great gaming experience for a longer period of time. The battery supports the TurboPower charging and offers for up to 8 hours of use in 15 minutes (50% charge in 30 minutes).

Along with the Moto Z2 Play, Lenovo also launched a few new Moto Mods including a gamepad which adds dual control sticks, a D-pad, and four tactile action buttons to any Moto Z phone not just to the Moto Z2 Play. The Moto Mod has its own 1,035mAH battery that is supposed to offer owners up to eight hours of gaming.

Bottom line?

Talking about some latest affordable smartphones for gaming, some of them have proven to be a great option. If you're a casual gamer and generally play modest games like casual gaming, then there are several options from Xiaomi and Honor available in the market. (Yes the list has more than 10 smartphones for gaming and it will continue to expand).

So, these were our best mobile phones for gamers. Of course, the choice depends upon once own preferences and make the wise decision in choosing them. Most of these smartphones are an all-rounder, serving not only your gaming demands but also providing more than enough specs. There are gaming phones for under $400 or $300 (under 30,000) as well, so you have many options to choose the right gaming smartphone.

Images credit: various YouTube videos

(last update 15 August 2018 @ 04:03)

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