There are plenty of things that smartphone owners use their devices for on a daily basis. One of the biggest uses, to no one’s surprise, is for gaming. These days almost any high, mid-range, and even many budget devices are capable of playing the majority of mobile games on the market. Of course some phones do a better job at the experience than others.

The ideal gaming phone has a sizable high-resolution display, a great better, and plenty of CPU and GPU power to run games at their max settings. So what is the best phone for gaming? The answer to that will vary depending on your tastes and needs, but we decided to offer a selection of what we think are the best phones for gamers. We took into account factors like screen size and resolution, along with battery life and even if it had extra features specifically for gaming.

Keep in mind that these are the best phones for gaming at the moment, but we will update this post with new handsets as they become available. One of them that was recently announced, but is not out just yet as of this writing, is the Xiaomi Black Shark. It will be launched first in China and will have features like a 6-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and support for an optional gamepad that attaches to the back of the Black Shark that will reportedly let you play games for up to 30 hours on a single charge.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

The Galaxy S9 is all about refinement. Design, display, photography, and performance were all strong areas for the Galaxy S8 line, and the S9 does all of them better. These are new Samsung flagships, so it’s no surprise that they feature the most top-of-the-line specs currently available. They come with 5.8- and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED displays that have been ranked as the best ever made for a smartphones, which makes them excelllent for gaming. The S9 comes with 4GB of RAM, while the S9 Plus has 6GB of RAM, which should help with gaming performance.

Both phones have 64GB of storage, with a microSD slot for adding more storage, which again helps for games that need extra space.  Both come with a 3.5mm headphone jack, and both are powered by either the Exynos 9810 or Snapdragon 845 SoC depending on your region. The Galaxy S9 Plus may be the best phone for gaming at the moment, but the smaller S9 is not far behind.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S9

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 processor (depending on region)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm, 163 g

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 529 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 processor (depending on region)
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,500 mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm, 189 g

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 Samsung Galaxy Note 8

See more Galaxy Note 8 photos

After a controversial 2016, Samsung’s Galaxy Note line returned in late 2017 with full force. With top-of-the-line specs, a stunning design, an all-new dual-camera setup, and new software features, the Galaxy Note 8 is the best Android phone you can buy right now, and definitely on our best phone for gaming list.

As with earlier Samsung phones, the Note 8 includes Game Tools which lets users play games in Full Screen mode, which fills the entire edge-to-edge display, instead of seeing them in letterboxed mode. You can also still quickly take screenshots or record gameplay on the phone along with a way to temporarily disable the phones’ digital home button and cuts off any notifications from showing up on your screen in the middle of gameplay. It’s definitely pricey, but it may be worth it for your gaming needs.

The Note 8’s near-bezel-less 6.3-inch QuadHD+ Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio is one of our favorite parts about this phone. DisplayMate agrees with us too. It’s big, maybe too big for some people, but at least the company puts that screen to good use. The Note 8 might be the best phone for gaming for you. Check out our full review below!

Specs

  • 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 521 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor (depending on region)
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 64/128/256 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm, 195 g

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Razer Phone

Razer, who have already been highly successful with their wide ranging of gaming PC and console hardware and accessories, decided they wanted to make a gaming and entertainment oriented smartphone. The result is the recently launched handset that’s simply called the Razer Phone. The fact that it packs in 8GB of RAM shows you they want to make gaming on a phone smoother and better than on a normal device.

Besides 8 GB, the Razer Phone includes a big 5.7-inch display with a 120 Gh refresh rate. That feature can be combined with the phone’s other major feature,  Ultra Motion, which syncs up its GPU with the high  refresh rate, which allows games made for the phone to have silky smooth framerates with little to no lag or graphics tearing.

Besides the display features, the Razer Phone also has a big 4,000 mAh battery, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, loud twin front speakers with Dolby Atmos support, and more to make it perhaps the best phone ever made specifically for gaming. You can purchase it now from Razer for $699.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch-inch LED display with 1,440 x 2,560 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, MicroSD slot available
  • Dual 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 158.5 x 77.7 x 8 mm, 197 g
The Motorola Moto Z2 Play has been on the market might be nearing the one year old mark, but if you’re looking for a cheaper mid-range alternative for gaming — it’s worth a look. There’s a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display that’s perfectly suited for gaming and a Snapdragon 626 which might not be the latest or greatest by a long shot, but should handle all your games without skipping a beat. The phone is also optimized for longevity and you’ll find that the 3,000 mAh battery can easily make a through a full day even for the most avid gamers. 
 
 
There’s also one more factor in the Moto Z2 Play’s favor in the best phone for gaming category. It can use any current and upcoming Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories that Motorola first introduced in 2016. That includes the upcoming Moto Mod GamePad, which will place a control sticks on either side of the phone. It will also add a D-pad and four tactile action buttons, and it will have its own 1,035 mAh battery that is supposed to offer even more gaming time for any Moto Z phone. It’s due out later this summer for $79.99.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor
  • 3/4 GB of RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2 TB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1. Nougat
  • 76.2 x 156.2 x 5.99 mm, 145 g

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Best phone for gaming – Conclusion

Obviously, the world of smartphones sees new devices released almost every week, so this best phone for gaming list will be updated when new handsets that are game worthy are launched. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. What do you think of these phones on this list? Which one would you pick as the best phone for gaming, or do you want to see another phone placed on this list? Let us know your opinions in the comments.