Thanks to the exponential growth of the smartphone gaming industry we now have a unique category of mobile devices that goes by the name of gaming smartphones.

Even though mainstream smartphones can effortlessly run graphics-intensive titles they are still not ideal for professional and enthusiastic mobile phone gamers.

If you classify yourself as anyone of the two and are scouting for the best gaming phones out there then this article might help you.

In this article, I have enlisted some of the most feature-packed gaming smartphones.

RELATED: Asus ROG Phone 3 VS Lenovo Legion Phone Duel


Best Gaming Phones In 2020

1. Asus ROG Phone 3: Best Overall

The latest addition to the ROG gaming smartphone series is the Asus ROG Phone 3. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor coupled with Adreno 650 GPU this gaming smartphone can comfortably withstand long gaming sessions.

ASUS ROG Phone 3

To prevent CPU throttling, Asus has offered a Copper 3D vapor chamber with larger graphite film that helps dissipates the heat faster. ROG Phone 3 features a visually impressive 6.59-inch Full HD+ AMOLED 10-bit HDR display with a resolution of 2340 × 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

Apart from gaming, the display is also ideal for media consumption and regular day to day usage.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 6.59-inch Full HD+ 144Hz OLED 10-bit HDR display, 270Hz touch sampling rate, 113% DCI-P3, 10-bit HDR, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection
  • 3.1 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 865 Plus 7nm processor
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB / 12GB / 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB (UFS 3.1) internal storage
  • Android 10 with ROG UI custom skin
  • Dual SIM (nano + nano)
  • 64MP rear camera with Sony IMX686 sensor, 0.8micrometer pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, 13MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.4 aperture, 5MP macro sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 8k video at 30 fps, 4k at 60fps, slow-motion 4K at 120 fps, 1080p at 240fps
  • 24MP front-facing camera with 0.9µm pixel size, f/2.0 aperture
  • USB Type-C Hi-Res audio, 7-magnet stereo speaker with dual NXP TFA9874 smart amplifier, Quad microphones with ASUS Noise Reduction Technology, OZO Audio
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • 5G SA/NSA, Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Galileo(E1+E5a), QZSS(L1+L5), NavIC(L5), USB Type-C, NFC
  • 6000mAh battery with 10V 3A 30W HyperCharge fast charging

ROG Phone 3

TwinView Dock 3, AeroActive Cooler 3, and ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad are some of the best first-party accessories offered by Asus. The base variant of the ROG Phone 3 retail for a price of US$ 669 / Rs. 49,999 / 574 Euros.


2. Lenovo Legion Phone Duel: The Runner-Up

As mentioned in our comparison article of Asus ROG Phone 3 VS Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, the Asus ROG Phone 3 and Lenovo Legion Phone Duel are more or less similar to each other.

Legion-Phone-Duel

The first-generation gaming smartphone from Lenovo is also powered by the flagship Snapdragon 865+ process and it can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM. Some of the major highlights of Legion Phone Duel are two ultrasonic trigger buttons, GAE game acceleration engine, and a side-mounted 20-megapixel pop-up camera.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 6.65-inch Full HD+ 144Hz AMOLED HDR display with a resolution of (2340 × 1080 pixels and DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Octa-Core Snapdragon 865 Plus 7nm processor
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB / 12GB / 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB (UFS 3.1) storage
  • Android 10 with Legion OS custom skin
  • Dual SIM (nano + nano)
  • 64MP rear camera with 0.8micrometer pixel size, f/1.89 aperture, 16MP 120° ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture, dual-LED flash
  • 20MP pop-up front camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • USB Type-C audio, dual AWINIC 88264, 1.4cc dual speakers, 4 microphones
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • 5G, Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, QZSS(L1+L5), 2 x USB Type-C, NFC
  • 5000mAh battery with 45W/65W/90W fast charging

Lenovo-Legion-Phone-Duel

The two USB ports on this device can be used to simultaneously charge the two 2500mAh batteries which makes it the best mobile for PUBG. Similar to Asus, Lenovo has also focused on the problem of thermal throttling, and to prevent it the company has offered 45767.32mm² dual liquid cooling solution.

The base variant of Lenovo Legion Phone Duel costs 3499 yuan / US$ 500 / Rs. 37,320.


3. Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro: Ideal For Big Screen Gaming

Launched in March of 2020, Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro is another great smartphone for gaming in 2020. Dedicated to hardcore gamers, the humungous 7.1-inch AMOLED display of Black Shark 3 Pro offers obvious advantages.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

This feature-packed gaming phone is powered by Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+) processor coupled with the capable Adreno 650 GPU. In comparison to Snapdragon 865 Plus, Snapdragon 865 is slightly slower but it’s impossible to notice any performance differences unless the two are compared side-to-side.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 7.1-inch Quad HD+ 90Hz display with a resolution of 3120 × 1440 pixels, 483PPI,  HDR 10+, 500 nits brightness
  • 2.84GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 865 7nm processor
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB / 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB (UFS 3.0) internal storage
  • Android 10
  • Dual SIM (nano + nano)
  • 64MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, LED flash, 13MP 120° ultra-wide sensor with f/2.25 sensor, 5MP camera with f/2.2 aperture for portrait shots
  • 20MP front-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • 3.5mm audio jack, Dual 1217 super linear speakers
  • 5G SA / NSA, Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ax (2×2 MU-MIMO ), Bluetooth 5, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, USB Type-C
  • 5000mAh battery with 65W fast charging

Few noteworthy features of Black Shark 3 Pro are SA / NSA dual-mode 5G, sandwich liquid cooling system, solarCore intelligent game acceleration engine, and gaming triggers with 1.5mm keystroke.

Black-Shark-3

The base variant of this phone for gaming with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage costs 3499 yuan / US$ 502 / Rs. 36,605.

RELATED: Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro Beats Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra


4. ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G: Most Advanced Features

ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G is also considered to be one of the top gaming phones of 2020. The 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED display of this device comes with a 144Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate, and a response time of 14.9ms. Clearly, the high refresh rate and low latency touch response will ensure smoother and highly responsive gameplay.

zte-nubia-red-magic-5g

The reliable Snapdragon 865 processor powers the Red Magic 5G and this SoC is cooled by an L-shaped cooling pipe accompanied by a new Active Liquid-Cooling with Turbo Fan 3.0.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 6.65-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 × 2340 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, 144Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • 2.84GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 865 7nm Processor
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB /12GB / 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB (UFS 3.1) internal storage
  • Android 10 with Redmagic OS custom skin
  • 64MP rear camera with 1/1.72? Sony IMX686 sensor, 0.8?m pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, LED flash, PDAF, 8MP 120-degree ultra-wide lens, 2MP macro camera
  • 12MP front-facing camera
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Dimensions:168.56×78×9.75mm ; Weight: 218g
  • 5G NSA & SA, Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 6 802.11 ax (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 5.8GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C
  • 4500mAh battery with 55W fast charging

red-magic-5g

For an improved gaming experience, Red Magic 5G features dual IC game shoulder trigger buttons that have 300Hz touch-sensing. Available in Black, Red, and Gradient color variants, this 5G smartphone costs 3799 yuan / US$ 540 / Rs. 40,265.


5. OnePlus 8 Pro: Perfect For Gaming And Casual Usage

If you are eyeing an Android phone for gaming that doesn’t look like a dedicated gaming device then OnePlus 8 Pro might impress you. Similar to Black Shark 3 Pro and Red Magic 5G, OnePlus 8 Pro is also powered by Octa-Core Snapdragon 865 SoC.

OnePlus 8 Pro

Since OnePlus 8 Pro is not strictly meant for gaming you will notice drastic improvements in the display, design, and camera department.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 6.78-inch Quad HD+ 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display with a resolution of 3168 x 1440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.8:9, up 1,300 nits brightness, 3D Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • 2.84GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 865 7nm Processor
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB / 12GB LPDDR5 RAM with
  • 128GB /256GB (UFS 3.0) storage
  • Android 10 with OxygenOS 10.0 custom skin
  • Dual SIM (nano + nano)
  • 48MP rear camera with Sony IMX689 sensor, f/1.78 aperture, LED Flash, 0.8micrometer pixel size, OIS + EIS Hybrid stabilization, Dual Native ISO,  48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with 119.7° ultra-wide lens and f/2.2 aperture, 8MP telephoto sensor with f/2.44 aperture, 3x hybrid zoom and 30x Digital Zoom, OIS, 5MP color filter camera with f/2.4 aperture, 4K video at 60 fps, 720p slow motion at 480fps, 1080p slow motion at 240fps
  • 16MP front-facing camera with Sony IMX471 sensor, f/2.45 aperture, EIS
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • USB Type-C audio, Dual Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, Audio 3D, Audio Zoom, OZO Audio
  • Water-resistant (IP68)
  • 5G SA/NSA, Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 6 802.11 ax 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS (L1+L5 Dual Band) + GLONASS, NFC, USB Type-C
  • 4510mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T Fast Charging (5V/6A), 30W Wireless fast charging, Wireless reverse charging

OnePlus-8-Pro

Available in Onyx Black, Glacial Green, and Ultramarine Blue color variants the base variant of OnePlus 8 Pro costs $899 / Rs. 68,290.


Editor’s Choice

So these were the five best gaming smartphones that offer excellent gaming experience. All of them are capable of running demanding titles at high settings. You won’t regret getting any one of these devices. Depending on your requirements, you can compare the specifications of these smartphones and make a purchasing decision.

If I have to pick one among the bunch, then I would for the most recently launched Asus ROG Phone 3.


Gaming Phones That Didn’t Make It To The List

  1. Razor Phone 2: Despite being powered by a two-generations old SoC, Razer Phone 2 is still ideal for high-end gaming. Moreover, the device is presently retailing for a really low price tag which makes it one of the cheapest gaming phones of 2020.
  2. iPhone 11: Yes, you read it right even the newest iPhone is ideal for both casual and professional gaming. Even though it lags behind in the cooling and battery life department it still performs well while playing games.
  3. Sony Xperia 1: If you heavily rely on a smartphone for media consumption and gaming then Sony Xperia 1 might impress you. The 6.5-inch 4K resolution screen on this device is truly immersive.

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