Devices

Best gaming phones in 2023

Gaming smartphones have a lot in common with the best flagship smartphones, and they usually provide a similar experience when it comes to performance. However, they usually apply more cooling solutions, better gaming aesthetics, and specific purpose-built features. Gaming phones are excellent for mobile gamers who take gaming seriously, and they typically come with several built-in features to ensure users can improve their skills and perform better, whether that’s a racing game, a first-person shooter, or a battle arena.


We collected some of the best gaming devices and high-end flagships that provide the best gaming experience on mobile. We included the likes of the Nubia RED MAGIC, ASUS ROG Phone series, and premium devices from Samsung, Google, Apple, and others.

These are the best gaming smartphones in 2023

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Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

Best Overall

$1379 $1599 Save $220

The ASUS ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is one of the best gaming smartphones in 2023. It has a flagship chipset, a highly responsive 165Hz display, pressure-sensitive zones, and an air vent to help you get the best gaming experience.

Pros

  • Large 165Hz AMOLED display
  • Excellent gaming features, cooling, and pressure-sensitive zones
  • Great performance

The ASUS ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is one of the most powerful gaming devices. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powers it, with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage. It has a cooling air vent, pressure-sensitive zones, and a 2nd OLED display on the back to complement the gaming aesthetics better. Despite all of these features, the Phone is IP54 rated, meaning it can withstand splashes of water and even dust.

WRegardingthe display, the Phone 7 Ultimate has a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with 165Hz refresh r up to 1500 nits of peak brightness. It’s bright, colourful, and supports HDR10+, making it a great entertainment center for watching movies and consuming media.

The Phone has a 50MP snapper, a 13MP ultrawide, and a 5MP macro setup on the back, as well as a 32MP front-facing camera. Like most gaming phones, it’s not exactly a Pixel or a Galaxy, but it gets the job done. The Phone has a large 6,000 mAh battery with ort for 65W wired charging, and it can be fully topped up in just 42 minutes.

It can’t get any better if you’re after a beautiful display, powerful performance, and all the gaming bells and whistles.

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RedMagic 8S Pro

Runner-up: Best Overall

The Nubia REDMAGIC 8 Pro is the company’s latest gaming smartphone. It’s powered by an overclocked version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, features up to 24GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It has physical shoulder triggers, RGB lights on the back, and even a physical cooling fan. If you play games on your Android device a lot, this is the best Phone for you.

Pros

  • Great display
  • Fast performance
  • Fast charging & long battery life

Cons

  • The software could be improved
  • The camera could be better

The Nubia REDMAGIC 8S Pro is the company’s laoftengaming phone and the most powerful flagship to date. Unlike the ASUS ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, the REDMAGIC 8S Pro has the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 chipset, providing even faster performance. It’s more efficient and has up RAM and 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage. There are RGB lights and even a cooling fan on the fan, as well as pressure-sensitive shoulder buttons on the side.

When it comes to the display, it features a massive 6.8-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, plenty enough for a butter smooth and enjoyable gameplay experience. It has 1300 nits of peak brightness, making it a viable gaming device even outside in direct sunlight.

On the back, the 8S Pro contains a triple camera setup consisting of a 50MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro sensor. It captures great photos during daylight conditions, and while it won’t win awards, it’s a decent snapper. The Phone has a beefy 6,000 mAh battery, with the global variant supporting 65W wired charging. Nubia says it can go from zero to 100% in just.

The REDMAGIC 8S Pro is ideal for anyone looking to level up their gaming experience and save money, since it’s significantly cheaper than most flagship devices from other well-known brands, su Apple, Samsung, and Google.

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iPhone 14 Pro Max

Best from Apple

iPhone 14 Pro is the latest large-screen premium smartphone from the brand. It features a new pill-shaped ‘Dynamic Island’ notch, 48MP primary camera sensors, an A16 Bionic chipset, and more.

Pros

  • Superb display
  • Great camera
  • Excellent performance

Cons

  • Large and heavy
  • Expensive

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is undoubtedly the best iPhone in 2023 so far, and it’s the perfect iOS device for those wanting to game on an Apple mobile device. It’s fast, powerful, and has everything a gaming phone needs. It’s well-optimized, and it’s a beast when it comes to gaming.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need the iPhone 14 Pro Max to play demanding games, but if it’s the best Apple offers, you’re looking for a smartphone with all the power, camera, battery, and features; it has a 6.7-inch OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 2000 nits. While it lacks shoulder triggers and doesn’t have fancy RGB lights, it’s an excellent device for extended gaming periods.

The smaller iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 and 14 Plus will also do an excellent job with similar results. However, the non-Pro variants will miss o few photography, hardware, and software features limited to the Pro models. That said, if you’re after an excellent gaming experience on an iPhone, the 14 Pro Max is our go-to recommendation.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best from Samsung

$450 $1200 Save $750

The new Galaxy S23 Ultra is the go-to flagship from Samsung in 2023. It’s powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, carries the same price tag as its predecessor, and has improved gaming and camera capabilities to let you capture the perfect moment.

Pros

  • Support for S Pen
  • Great display and performance
  • Long battery life
  • Flagship camera quality

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the best Android flagships today. It’s powerful and has a gorgeous 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 12a 0Hz refresh rate and 1750 nits peak brightness. It’s perfect for watching movies, and responsive enough to play all the demanding games you might want to play. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powers it, and there’s up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, plenty to store games, photos, music, and video.

Samsung has a few gaming features built-in to its smartphones, and recently, Samsung even enabled gamers to pause USB power for delivery to prevent overheating and strictly rely on the power adapter to keep the lights on.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t just an excellent gaming phone and the perfect smartphone. It has one of the best camera setups on a modern mobile device, and it captures beautiful images all day and night. It can last for over a day on a single charge thanks to me and a battery, and while it might not support rapid charging, technologies like the specific capturing support up to 45W charging speeds.

Of course, if you don’t want to spend that much, you could go with the standard Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ flagships, which offer the performance, albeit in smaller form factors. If you want the best performance and experience, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Google Pixel 7 Pro
Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best from Google

$699 $899 Save $200

The Google Pixel 7 Pro, powered by the new GoogIfor sensor, provides great graphics performance and computing power to let you easily play all your favourite games and multitask. The device also has a highly capable camera setup that’s backed by a unique post-processing algorithm that helps achieve great results.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Responsive and bright display
  • Improved battery life

The Google Pixel 7 Pro comes with a 6.7-inch LTED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 1500 nits of peak brightness. The Google Tensor G2 chip powers it with up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It’s perfect, and while it might not be as powerful as some Snapdragon-powered devices on benchmark tests, it’s an excellent gaming phone for those looking for a stock Android experience.

The Pixel 7 Pro has a superb camera setup on both the front and back, capturing some of the best images we’ve seen yet from the company. The device comes with a large 5,000 mAh battery with support for 23W wired and wireless charging, and it’s the best Google phone for those wanting to play games.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are recommended for users looking for an excellent bang for the buck and a great smartphone experience. It’s powerful, has a beautiful display, design, a long-lasting battery, and all the essential features.

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OnePlus 11

Best from OnePlus

$750 $800 Save $50

Featuring a large 6.7-inch AMOLED LTPO 3.0 display and powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, the OnePlus 11 is one of the best Android flagships you can buy right now. It also has a Hasselblad- tuned camera system and a big 5,000 mAh battery that supports fast charging.

Pros

  • Beautiful display
  • Two-day battery
  • Great performance and hardware

Cons

  • Camera quality could be improved

The OnePlus 11 is a great premium smartphone, and it’s often cheaper than most other competing devices in the same category, including the iPhone, Galaxy, and Pixel phones. The OnePlus 11 has a 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC powers it. It has up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and a beefy 5,000 mAh battery with support for 80W fast wired charging.

The OnePlus 11 is a great recommendation for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC powers. It offers a great bang for the buck and an excellent smartphone with great features. It’s cheaper than other flagship devices and widely available at retailers and online storefronts such as Amazon and carriers.

The OnePlus 11 can often be found for up to $250 off at selected retailers, and we recommend it for everyone looking for a great overall smartphone and gaming experience.

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Google Pixel Fold

Best Foldable

$900 $1800 Save $900

The Pixel Fold is Google’s first foldable smartphone offering some of the finest hardware and software. The device features a 5.8-inch cover display and a big 7.6-inch foldable display. It is powered by the Tensor G2 chipset and is backed by a 4,821 mAh battery.

Pros

  • Beautiful displays
  • Great performance
  • Pixel-quality camera

Cons

  • Limited multitasking features
  • Heavy and expensive

The Google Pixel Fold might not be easily accessible just yet. Still, it’s already showing signs of becoming our new go-to recommendation, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold devices. The Pixel Fold is fast, powered by the Tensor G2 chip, which ā€”still powers its it’sagships.

It has a user-friendly 5.8-inch OLED cover display with a 12Hz refresh rate, ideal for using the Phone as a ā€“ you guessed it ā€“ a standard smartphone. The inner display is a 7.6-inch OLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and 1450 nits of peak brightness. It’s large, colourful, and bright. It’s perfect for consuming media, multitasking, and gaming.

Many games are already optimized to provide a great experience on foldables, and if you want a pocket-sized tablet, the Pixel Fold must be on your list of devices to consider. It has a life, an excellent camera setup and stock Android to please those interesfoldablee a true Google experience.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Runner-up

$800 $1800 Save $1000

The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a powerful Qualcomm SoC, a wider display, a better hinge mechanism, and many significant upgrades over its predecessor. Trade in your current device and score up to $1,000 in savings on your new Phone.

Pros

  • More affordable than other foldable
  • Excellent performance
  • Great features and solid hardware

Cons

  • Narrow and tall cover display
  • Slow charging

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is another excellent foldable smartphone, and Samsung is a pioneer in making foldable devices. If you’re looking for the absolute best experience and are a fan of One UI, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is one of the best devices available today.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is equipped with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, and while it might not be as powerful as most mentioned on this list, it’s still more than capable of playing all graphics-intensive games, multitasking, and so much more. It has a great camera setup, and the battery can easily last a full day on a single charge with mixed usage between the cover and the main display.

It has all the gaming features built-in from the standard Galaxy flagships, and it’s one of the best and most widely available devices on the market. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is right around the corner (and might even be available by the time you’re reading this), so it’s best to shop around for a good deal, as you’ll likely be able to buy the Fold 4 for half price, or even less than that in the coming weeks and months as companies will try to get rid of their stock.

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Poco X5 Pro

Best Budget

The Poco X5 Pro is a great midranger with plenty of built-in features, and a powerful hardware. It’s a great gaming device with fast charging, a decent camera setup, and a stylish design. It’s great for anyone looking to game on midrange and those who want to multitask and consume content.

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Large and beautiful display
  • Great camera quality

The Poco X5 Pro is a great budget device, equipped with the Snapdragon 778G 5G at its helm. It has up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. It’s not the fastest device, but given the low price and the great set of features, it offers a great bang for your buck.

If you’re on a budget and want to play games, the Poco will do a great job. It’s powerful and has a triple camera setup consisting of a 108MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro. There’s a 5,000 mAh battery with support for 67W fast wired charging, and the Phone can generally last a full day on a single charge without any issues.

Which should you buy?

Best gaming phones in 2023 so far

Your options are fairly limited if we’re strictly talking about gaming smartphones. Your best bet are either the ASUS ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, or the Nubia REDMAGIC 8S Pro. Both gaming devices offer great built-in gaming-focused features that let you become a better player. Including the cooling insights and shoulder triggers will offer an improved experience that cannot be found in other traditional high-end smartphones.

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Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

Best Overall

$including$220

The ASUS ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is one of the best gaming smartphones in 2023. It has a flagship chipset, a highly responsive 165Hz display, pressure-sensitive zones, and an air vent to help you get the best gaming experience.

However, suppose you’d rather take a more conservative approach and look for a traditional device without all the fancy lights, cooling fans, and RGB lights. In that case, you might want to look at the latest flagship phones from Samsung, Google, and OnePlus.

Suppose you want an even greater smartphone with even more capability and have the budget. In that case, we’d strongly recommend foldable smartphones as they offer larger displays that can further enhance the gaming experience.

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