Asus ROG Phone 3 face down on table

Asus ROG Phone 3
Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

You could argue that almost every smartphone is a gaming phone of some kind, but what if you want the smoothest performance? Maybe you need physical-style buttons or a display with a high refresh rate? Either way, that’s where gaming phones come in, and there are loads of devices that fit the bill. We’ve got you covered with our list of the best gaming phones you can buy.

The best gaming phones:

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list as more gaming phones hit the market.


1. Asus ROG Phone 3

Asus ROG Phone 3 display best gaming phone

Our number one pick for the best gaming phone goes to the Asus ROG Phone 3. This should come as no surprise, since it was designed and marketed with gamers in mind. Apart from top-of-the-line specs like a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, a 144Hz refresh rate screen, 512GB of storage, and up to 16GB of RAM, this phone has one of the largest batteries on the market at a whopping 6,000mAh.

Read also: Asus ROG Phone 3 battery tested: Is it the new battery life champion?

Like previous iterations, the ROG Phone 3 also has a variety of mobile gaming accessories that enhance the smartphone gaming experience. One of these is the AeroActive 3 cooling fan, which is essential to keep your phone cool during long gaming sessions. It also adds a headphone jack, which is one of the few things missing on this device.

The ROG Phone 3 also offers air triggers that act as shoulder buttons, as well as a triple camera setup that’s a solid improvement over last year’s model.


ROG Phone 3 specs:

  • Display: 6.59-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 24MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

2. OnePlus 8 Pro and 8T

OnePlus 8 Pro back on table

The company might have hit the ball out of the park with last year’s OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro, but with the latest iterations, OnePlus has finally embraced the mantra “Never settle”. Their latest devices are some of the best phones for gaming. 

Read also: These 6 flagship killers are the best alternatives to the OnePlus 8 series

First we have the OnePlus 8 Pro, which took things up a notch in 2020. With fast wireless charging, an official IP68 rating, and great battery life, this phone is what the OnePlus 7T Pro should have been. It’s also one of the most expensive devices OnePlus has ever released, though. 

Those looking for another great option from the same manufacturer should also consider the OnePlus 8T. It offers the performance and experience of the OnePlus 8 Pro, but with some sacrifices and a more accessible price point. It has a great 120Hz display, super fast 65W charging, and great software. On the downside, the camera isn’t as great, and the build quality is more in line with the lower-end OnePlus Nord. 


OnePlus 8T specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, 5, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

OnePlus 8 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 48, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,510Ah
  • Software: Android 10

3. Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra back at angle

Samsung’s 2020 flagships aren’t branded as gaming phones, but they are true powerhouses that offer exactly what most gamers need in a handset. The lineup includes the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and super-premium S20 Ultra.

Read also: Tested: Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra the best Android phone for emulation?

All three Galaxy S20 models offer 120Hz AMOLED displays, Snapdragon 865 (or Exynos 990) processors, 12GB of RAM, and microSD card support. The premium S20 Ultra even offers 16GB of RAM, although that’s certainly an overkill for anything you’d want to do on a phone.

It isn’t just about the hardware, either. All three models offer Samsung’s Game Launcher and Game Tools options, allowing you to tweak performance in individual games. The Game Tools suite also lets you easily adjust resolution, take screenshots, record videos, and more.

Finally, we have the Galaxy S20 FE. It was introduced after the others, and it slots in as the most budget-friendly option of the bunch. The Galaxy S20 FE comes in a veritable rainbow of colors, and it’s nearly as powerful as the other iterations.

None of these phones are cheap, but any of the Samsung Galaxy S20 phones are a great choices for those looking for one of the best gaming phones.


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12, 64, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,00mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 64, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB and 1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 16MP
  • Front cameras: 10 and 8MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. LG V60 ThinQ

LG V60 dual screen keyboard mode 1

The LG V60 ThinQ makes our list of the best gaming phones thanks to one major feature that separates it from the rest of the pack: two screens. Like the previous LG G8X ThinQ, it has an attachment that’s basically a second phone, which allows for some truly unique gaming possibilities.

This Nintendo DS-style setup makes the device perfect for retro gaming by setting up a controller on the bottom screen. Combined with a Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot, you’re looking at an all-around great performer.

Read more: 10 things the LG V60 does well, and 5 things it doesn’t

The folding phone also sports a sizeable 5,000mAh battery and both Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 and wireless charging to keep your gaming sessions going long into the night. LG phones have long been lauded for their great audio performance, and the LG V60 ThinQ is no different with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Quad DAC support.

But the real kicker is the price. With folding devices costing up to $2,000 or more, the LG V60 ThinQ with the second screen accessory comes in at half that or less. Plus, you can always take the second screen off and have a normal, pocket-sized gaming phone that still packs a mean punch.


LG V60 ThinQ specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64 and 13MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. Xiaomi Black Shark 3 series

Xiaomi Black Shark 3 - best phones for gaming

The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 series is great, and while the Pro version is better, it’s not as readily available as the standard Black Shark 3. The main difference is that the Pro iteration comes with a higher definition display and a slightly bigger battery. One thing you might love about the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro is that it has physical shoulder buttons, making it one of the best phones for gaming.

These phones have their downsides, though. Some gamers might feel limited by the 90Hz refresh rate. While this is a good refresh rate, it is underwhelming for gaming screens these days. It also has a dedicated MEMC chip for interpolating content to 90fps.

Other noteworthy specs include a triple rear camera setup (64MP+13MP ultra-wide+5MP depth), a 20MP selfie camera in the top bezel, a 3.5mm headphone port (yes!), front-facing stereo speakers, USB-C, UFS 3.0 storage, and LPDDR5 RAM. It’s also one of the cheapest phones on this list, which should be pretty enticing!


Xiaomi Black Shark 3 specs

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,720mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro specs

  • Display: 7.1-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

6. Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro against the wall - best phones for gaming

At first glance, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro looks like any other high-end flagship smartphone. It’s gorgeous, packs a powerful Snapdragon 865 chipset with 8GB of RAM, and a respectable 90Hz display.

But what might surprise you it that this phone has the best battery life of any phone we’ve ever tested. Battery life is as much about software as it is hardware, and the phone’s 4,500mAh battery managed to outlast even the beefy 6,000mAh battery found on the Asus ROG Phone 3.

Pair that with excellent quad camera performance led by a 108MP main sensor and great stereo speakers, and you’re looking at a solid contender for one of the best gaming phones on the market. That said, it is a bit more expensive than previous Xiaomi flagships, and it isn’t quite as readily available as its competitors from Samsung or LG around the globe.


Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro specs

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 20, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

7. iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 Pro back in hand

We usually talk about Android phones here at Android Authority, but we’d be doing a disservice to all of you by not including the iPhone 12 Pro Max among the best gaming phones. It offers incredible performance, fantastic cameras, and access to a more robust (albeit closed) ecosystem.

There are four phones in this year’s iPhone lineup, but we chose the iPhone 12 Pro Max for this list because of its larger screen. Measuring 6.7-inches, the OLED panel is sharp, bright, and has an excellent contrast ratio at 2,000,000:1. That said, it’s still only 60Hz, so those wanting high refresh rates should look elsewhere.

If the iPhone Pro Max display is too big (or expensive) for you, you should also consider the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. They both feature a smaller 6.1-inch OLED screen and the same great A14 Bionic processor, with the standard iPhone 12 losing the telephoto lens found on the Pro and Pro Max. The fourth phone in the lineup, the iPhone 12 mini, is probably a bit small to use as a gaming phone, but any of the others are solid choices.


iPhone 12 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, XDR OLED
  • SoC: Apple A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,687mAh
  • Software: iOS 14

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra together

Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones have always been among the most ultra-premium phones on the market, so it should come as no surprise that the latest Galaxy Note 20 series are some of the best gaming phones available. This year there are two models available, the smaller (but still big) Note 20 and the enormous Note 20 Ultra.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 series: Which should you buy?

If money is no object, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the obvious choice for gamers. It sports a huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 12GB of RAM. The cameras on this model are also top of the line, with a triple camera setup led by a wide-angle 108MP sensor.

The regular Galaxy Note 20 is no slouch, either. Both phones have the latest Snapdragon 865 Plus processors (or Exynos 990, but you should avoid this model if possible) and, of course, the ever-popular S-pen accessory. You also get all of the standard premium trappings like an IP68 rating and wireless charging, although the less expensive Note 20 is made of a somewhat controversial plastic material instead of glass.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 64, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, WQHD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus or Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

9. Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Game Genie atop of Project Offroad 2 - best phones for gaming

The Asus Zenfone 7 series offers powerful specs for a great price, but we are fans of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro and it’s one of the best phones for gaming. This is because it comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, which is especially made for gaming performance. Other specs include 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery.

While not gaming-related, the phone is also special in that it uses the same cameras for both the front and rear-facing shots. A flipping mechanism is used to turn the comes around and get the best quality regardless of direction.


Asus Zenfone 7 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12 and 8MP
  • Front cameras: Same as rear
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10

10. ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5S

Nubia RedMagic 5S- best phones for gaming

The Nubia RedMagic 5S is the latest in the former ZTE sub-brand’s gaming line, and there’s more to it than a stereotypical, garish design. Nubia’s flagship device packs powerful specs, a gorgeous 144Hz display with 100% DCI-P3 reproduction, active liquid cooling, built-in shoulder trigger buttons, 55W quick charging, and 5G capabilities.

This is definitely one of the best phones for gaming, and it also comes with a very luring price point.


ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5S specs:

  • Display: 6.65-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, an 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

These are our picks for the best gaming phones you can get your hands on right now. Check out some of our gaming accessory guides below: