1. iPhone 11 Pro Max / iPhone 11 Pro
The best gaming iPhones available right now
Release date:September 2019
Weight:226g / 188g
Dimensions:158 x 77.8 x 8.1mm / 144 x 71.4 x 8.1mm
Screen size:6.5-inch / 5.8-inch
Resolution:1242 x 2688 / 1125 x 2436
CPU:A13 Bionic chip
Battery:3,969mAh / 3,046mAh
Rear camera:12MP + 12MP + 12MP
The 6.5-inch screen on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is bigger than the one on its 5.8-inch sibling and its larger battery manages to stay working longer than the standard
iPhone 11 Pro.
Those perks will give you more of an edge than with the iPhone 11 Pro, but both benefit from this Apple phone generation's true advantage: the A13 Bionic processor.
In our tests, it loaded up Clash Royale and PUBG even faster (vs the iPhone X), and speed is crucial in online gaming. All this in a Apple's sleek, modern look – though it's the most expensive mainstream phone on the market, even before including all the bells and whistles.
2. OnePlus 8 Pro
The best OnePlus yet
Release date:April 2020
Dimensions:165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm
Resolution:3168 x 1440
The OnePlus 7 Pro used to rank high on this list, but it’s been bettered in every important way by the OnePlus 8 Pro, a phone that has both all the power you need for games, and a screen that helps them look their best.
There’s a top-end Snapdragon 865 chipset inside this phone, along with up to 12GB of RAM, so you get flagship power. As for the screen, the OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch 1440 x 3168 one with a 120Hz refresh rate, so it’s big, sharp, and smooth.
5G is also supported, so you can game online without lag wherever you are (as long as there’s 5G signal), and with its big 4,510mAh battery you’ll be able to game for a long time between charges.
When it comes time to charge you won’t be out of the action for long either, as the OnePlus 8 Pro also supports both fast and wireless charging.
3. Samsung Galaxy S20/S20 Plus
Samsung's top flagships
Release date:March 2020
Dimensions:151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm/161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm
Resolution:1440 x 3200
CPU:Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990
Storage:128GB (S20) or 128GB/256GB/512GB (S20 Plus)
Rear camera:12MP + 64MP + 12MP
The Samsung Galaxy S20 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus are obvious inclusions for this list, seeing as how they’re the latest entries in the most high-profile Android flagship range around.
They’re not just coasting on their name though, these phones really are great for games, thanks in no small part to the top-end computing power at their heart. You get either a Snapdragon 865 chipset if you’re in the US, or an Exynos 990 in most other places, and in both cases these are flagship smartphone chipsets.
You also get 8GB of RAM, so not much should slow these phones down. And games will look great on them, as both models have a QHD+ screen with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. They also pack big batteries, giving you either 4,000mAh or 4,500mAh to play with in the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus respectively.
4. Black Shark 2
The best gaming phone for those on a budget
Release date:March 2019
Dimensions:163.6 x 75 x 8.8mm
OS:Android 9.0 Pie
Resolution:1080 x 2340
Rear camera:48MP + 12MP
The Black Shark 2 is the second generation gaming phone from Chinese firm Xiaomi's gaming arm, and it builds well on its predecessor adding more power and a better screen into the mix.
Combining a great camera, excellent internals and improved gaming credentials over the original, the Black Shark 2 is a triple threat that betters most of its gaming phone rivals.
It's lumbered with a handful of instabilities and quirks, but even with those accounted for, the bang for buck it delivers is off the chart. The only thing to watch out for is its availability. It's not easy to find in some countries, such as the US.
5. Nubia Red Magic 5G
Magic for gaming, less so for some other things
Release date:March 2020
Dimensions:168.6 x 78 x 9.8mm
Resolution:1080 x 2340
Rear camera:64MP + 8MP + 2MP
The Nubia Red Magic 5G has the world’s first 144Hz smartphone screen, which makes it ideal for gaming, as that’s a silky smooth refresh rate.
But that’s not the only thing that makes this ideal for gaming. In fact, it’s designed specifically for this pastime, with shoulder triggers to give you increased control, a fan and a liquid cooling system to keep the handset cool under pressure, a dedicated ‘Game Space’ to let you customize your gaming experience, and a ‘4D Shock’ feature that adds vibration to games.
That last feature isn’t supported by many titles at the time of writing, and nor is the 144Hz display, but if game developers embrace them then this could be one seriously future-proofed phone.
It also supports 5G of course, and has plenty of power. It’s only let down slightly by a 1080 x 2340 screen, which isn’t among the sharpest around, along with some software bugs and a design that will prove divisive.