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It’s likely that everyone from your little brother to your grandmother has a smartphone these days. Chances are that your sibling plays Fortnite while your treasured elder waxes nostalgia with crosswords. Your iOS and Android phones have improved leaps and bounds over the last few years, so having a device that replaces your Xbox is now a reality. With that in mind, here are the 10 best smartphones for gaming.
Dubbed one of the best smartphones for gaming by the likes of T3 and GamesRadar, Razer’s second iteration of its flagship smartphone elevates the standard. Despite looking like a brick, this phone was made by gamers for gamers. It boasts better colour accuracy, a brighter display, and HDR content support. Not to forget those front-facing dual speakers using Dolby Atmos 5.1 Digital Surround Sound on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Rapturous.
Another worthy addition to the Republic of Gamers, Asus is locked in a battle until the end of time with Razer’s gaming hardware. The ROG phone has some of the most high-end specs you can find on a mobile device, with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 6-inch screen – all similar to the Razer Phone 2 barring screen size, where Razer falls short by 0.3 inches. It’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Apple’s newest and most expensive edition has its own gaming accolades. There are two versions on offer, the XS with a 5.8-inch OLED screen and the XS Max’s 6.5-inch OLED display. If you’re choosing a smartphone for gaming, you might as well go with the maxim “bigger is better.” It already showcases an impressive performance boost compared to the iPhone X, with the A12 Bionic chip being 50% more powerful than the iPhone X’s chip. With more games using online environments, you won’t have to worry about a lag of any sort.
Google’s Pixel has emerged as a serious alternative to both the iPhone and Galaxy series. Utilising the best of the Android OS, the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL has one of the best OLED displays out there, and a quarter-hour charge allows usage of up to 7 hours. A superior display without any battery hangups puts this in front of the Galaxy S9.
You have to consider the flagship product from Apple’s primary rival when it comes to gaming smartphones. Cure your iOS allergies with an Android powerhouse capable of running resource-hungry games like Elder Scrolls and Fortnite, displayed on a 6.2-inch screen with sounds blaring from stereo speakers. The only drawback is its relatively short battery life, so you better camp next to a wall socket while you’re gaming away.
If you’re part of the Apple family but refuse to break the $1,000 mark for a purchase, the iPhone XR is the perfect option. It shares the same processor as the XS but is paired with a larger 6.1-inch display to the smaller XS’ 5.8-inch screen. However, you’ll be swapping the XS’ OLED display for an LCD screen.
Another budget option for mobile gamers, the sleek Xperia XZ3 has one of the best displays around. With help from the TV crew at Sony Bravia, that’s no surprise. Using the same processor as the Razer Phone 2 and the Asus ROG, it’s also a heavy-hitting performer capable of handling serious games.
While it’s no longer the perfect budget smartphone on offer thanks to the likes of Honor, OnePlus is a reliable gaming smartphone in the mid-price range. If the price ranges of Apple and Samsung seem excessive, the OnePlus 6T is a frontrunner. A Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM and a 6.4-inch screen mean that you won’t miss those luxury gaming phones out there.
Running Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor on 6GB of RAM, Honor’s list entry is the king among budget gaming smartphones. It’s GPU turbo mode ensures a smooth frame rate and the 4D haptic feedback provides a better gameplay experience with stronger phone vibrations.
The Moto Z2 suffers from middle child syndrome within the gaming smartphone family. It’s not exceptionally gifted, but it’s not a complete disappointment either, with its Snapdragon 835 chipset, 5.5-inch Quad HD display, and a 2,730mAh battery.
Where it surpasses the others is with accessories, working in tandem with the Moto GamePad, which turns the Moto Z2 into a Nintendo Switch with two analogue sticks and a D-Pad. It also integrates with Google Daydream’s VR platform, a close rival to Samsung’s Oculus. If you’re the tinkering techy who loves customised gadgetry, the Moto Z2 is your best bet.
Some models listed here have mastered all the criteria smartphone gamers look at while others chose to focus on a select few. Whatever the case, once you identify your specific needs, from performance all the way down to battery life, you’ll be better informed to buy one of the best smartphones for gaming.
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