Smartphones are one of the most versatile pieces of tech that we own. Beyond the basics, people regularly choose a phone based on its secondary abilities. Quite often, this will be a device's capacity to act as a camera – something that both the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
and Huawei Mate 40 Pro
For others, a smartphone's ability to serve up mobile gaming apps on the go is a priority. Some of today's models can even rival the likes of Nintendo's Switch
in terms of enjoying various video game titles. What makes a smartphone excel in this sense is fairly straightforward, starting with a large screen.
Similarly important are a powerful processor and a lightning-fast refresh rate. For gaming away from home, a long-lasting battery is also vital. Taking all of this into account, several of today's most popular smartphones for mobile gamers stand out from the crowd, including the OnePlus 9 Pro.
The OnePlus 9 Pro
is an impressive smartphone in its own right that's nicely suited to gamers at the same time. But what if gaming is the number one priority, above all else? Thankfully, brands like Asus and Lenovo now produce smartphones with this at their core.
Asus ROG Phone 5
The Asus ROG Phone 5
is the follow-up to the company's ROG Phone 3. Arguably the most well-known smartphone in its class, there's no mistaking the fact that it's designed for gaming. Even a quick glance at the Asus ROG Phone 5's specs reveals that the handset is tailored very much toward gamers.
Powered by a Snapdragon 888 chipset with up to 16GB of RAM, its 6.78-inch screen has a 144Hz refresh rate and a touch sampling rate of 300Hz. In comparison, the latest iPhones have a refresh rate of just 60Hz and a sampling rate of only 120Hhz.
To further add to the experience, the Asus ROG Phone 5 packs dual front-facing speakers and, thanks to a massive 6,000mAh battery, you can expect many hours of gameplay on a single charge. However, what really sets the ROG Phone 5 apart from more mainstream smartphones for mobile gamers are features like its dedicated shoulder buttons and programmable RGB lights.
The phone's also compatible with a variety of video game-focused add-ons and accessories. With that, it's hard to imagine a better phone for buyers where gaming is the main priority.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel
Another impressive smartphone with a central focus on gaming is the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel
. Unlike the ROG Phone 5 from Asus, this is Lenovo's first attempt at a phone primarily for gameplay. Still, the manufacturer has pulled out almost all of the stops with the Legion Phone Duel. However, its Snapdragon 865+ chip can't quite compete with the more powerful processor in the ROG Phone 5.
It does impress elsewhere, though. Its 5,000mAh battery is likely to be plenty adequate, and, once empty, the Lenovo offers 90W super-fast charging. That's compared to the 65W provided by Asus. Accordingly, the Legion Phone Duel will be back to 100 percent in no time.
A pop-up camera is a nice touch, too, meaning that the 6.65-inch screen remains uninterrupted – perfect for playing video games. That said, it's a mediocre camera at best. And while the phone's operating system is optimized for landscape mode, crucial in this market, it falls somewhat short of the software now offered by most other manufacturers.
At the same time, it's a handsome device that feels nicely put together. Overall, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel is a good alternative where the Asus ROG Phone 5 isn't an option for one reason or another.
Razer Phone 2
Finally, the Razer Phone 2
. Like the ROG Phone 5 from Asus, it's another second-generation model. Of course, this bodes well for the handset, and it does indeed improve in several areas over the original Razer Phone.
Make no mistake; both models have been designed from the ground up exclusively for gamers. As far as the Razer Phone 2 in particular, what it lacks in more mainstream functionality, it makes up for with other gaming-led features. Perhaps chief among these is its vapor chamber, designed to cool the handset during hardcore gameplay.
Unfortunately, neither its Snapdragon 845 chip, 4,000mAh battery, or 5.72-inch screen can quite live up to either the Asus ROG Phone 5 or Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. Hence, the Razer Phone 2 only gets third billing on this list of the best smartphones for mobile gamers.
Best Gaming Smartphone Warranty for Mobile Gamers
For those looking for a top-tier smartphone that's good for general gaming but which doesn't make it the number one priority, the OnePlus 9 Pro is tough to beat. Similarly impressive are the LG V60 ThinQ Dual Screen
and Motorola's Edge Plus
. These handsets are ideal when an emphasis on gaming is desired but where functionality across the board is more important.
Whichever model you choose, all of today's most cutting-edge smartphones are expensive to buy. Moreover, they're becoming increasingly costly to fix if something goes wrong. To better protect your phone from drops, spills, and cracks, you should purchase an Upsie subscription warranty
. Upsie offers smartphone warranty
packages for models from all major manufacturers sold in the U.S., including Asus, Lenovo, and Razer.
Crucially, all Upsie smartphone warranties also include accidental damage protection, which covers screen cracks and problems caused by liquid spills or submersion. For the best protection for the best price, choose Upsie.
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