Best Gaming Phones for 2021 (Android and iPhone)

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Best Gaming Phones
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Smartphone gaming is becoming a growing trend nowadays. You will need to buy the best gaming phones for the best mobile gaming experience. Earlier, gaming hardware manufacturing companies were focusing only on the PC related requirements. But, over time, game manufacturing companies were able to generate the game titles for mobile devices that are no way less than the hit PC titles in terms of graphics, game experience, etc.

There’s nothing like playing heavy-duty games (capable of challenging the PC titles) right in your hands. Right after the gaming consoles, smartphones are the most comfortable gaming hardware loved by gamers.

Nowadays, game production companies have recognized the potential and impact of powerful mobile devices in the gaming industry.

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Thus, they have started focusing more on releasing the mobile versions of their games along with the PC ones. The recent examples include the PUBG and the Fortnite ones.

These games have contributed towards shaping the present and the future of the mobile gaming industry at a very high level all over the world but, especially in countries like India, China, etc.

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Hence, this is a great time to grab an excellent mobile gaming device and start gaming. But, the problem here is that since there are a lot of smartphones already available in the market, it is a little bit tedious task to find out the best gaming phones to buy to experience the top gaming titles.

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To tackle this problem and help our readers, we have prepared this list of best gaming phones, which one can look out for in 2021, and select the best gaming beast according to the features offered, brand trust, and the price.

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1. ASUS ROG Phone 3:

Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix

ASUS is already an established player in the PC gaming industry with their ROG branded gaming laptops.  Its ROG Phone series with the ASUS ROG Phone 3 being the latest iteration are some of the best gaming phones for Android lovers. This smartphone was launched back in July 2020 alongside the ASUS ROG Phone 3 Strix.

Weighing just 240g, it is equipped with a 1080 x 2340 pixels, 6.59-inch AMOLED dsiplay. Having 171 x 78 x 9.9 mm dimensions, ROG Phone 3 fits in the hands quickly and makes sure that the user will get a killer gaming experience.

It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor. It is available in the market in an 8GB RAM variant offering 128GB storage, a 12GB RAM variant offering 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options, and a 16GB RAM variant offering 512GB storage.

The gigantic 6000 mAh battery will make sure that you will be playing your most favorite gaming titles most of the time.

Asus ROG Phone 3 Key Specs

  • 6.59 inch AMOLED Display, 1080 x 2340 pixels (391 PPI), HDR10, 19.5:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Android 10, ROG UI
  • Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 865+ (7nm+)
  • 12GB RAM / 16GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Built-in Storage
  • 64MP + 13MP + 5MP Triple Rear camera
  • 24MP Front Camera
  • 5G Support
  • Fingerprint Scanner (Under Display)
  • 30W Fast Charging Capacity
  • 6000 mAh Non-Removable Li-Po Battery

2. Lenovo Legion Pro

Lenovo Legion Duel

This another gaming phone from a company that has made its name in the PC gaming industry. With its Legion gaming laptop series, Lenovo has carved a niche for itself in the PC gaming market. They hope to do the same in the mobile gaming market with its Legion phone series.

The Lenovo Legion Pro and Lenovo Legion Duel are essentially the same device, it just depends on which is available in your country. They are some of the best gaming phones if you are considering value for money.

It features an Octa-core Qualcomm snapdragon 865+ processor. RAM options of either 8GB, 12GB or 16GB, storage options of 128GB, 256GB or 512GB. You also get a non-removable 5000 mAh battery.

It supports impressive fast charging, however this depends on the variant you pick. While the 8GB RAM variant comes with 45W capacity charger, the 12GB RAM variant offers 65W charging capacity, and the 16GB RAM variant boasts of an impressive 90W fast charging capacity that can charge to 50% capacity in just 10 minutes and 100% in 30 minutes.

Lenovo Legion Pro Key Specs

  • 6.65 inch AMOLED Display, 1080 x 2340 pixels (388 PPI), 144Hz Refresh Rate, HDR10+
  • Android 10, Legion OS/ ZUI12
  • Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (7nm+)
  • 8GB / 12GB / 16GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Built-in Storage
  • 64MP + 16MP Dual Rear camera
  • 20MP Motorized Pop-up Selfie Camera
  • 5G Support
  • Ultrasonic Trigger Buttons
  • Fingerprint Scanner (Under Display)
  • 45W / 65W / 90W Fast Charging
  • 5000mAh Non-Removable Li-Po Battery

3. Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

Manufactured by Xiaomi, Black Shark 3 Pro is a little bulky to hold but added an excellent grip while playing the games, which require a swift hand response.

It runs on the flagship Qualcomm SDM8250 Snapdragon 865 SoC processor and comes in three variants with 8GB / 256GB, 12GB / 256GB, and 12GB / 512GB, respectively.

It has a 1440 X 3120 resolution 7.1-inch AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10+, which can deliver the best viewing experience while playing the favorite mobile gaming titles. It’s 5000 mAh battery will make sure that you can play your favorite games for a long time.

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The phone features a liquid cooling system and is one of the best gaming phones around. There is also the more compact and more affordable Xiaomi Black Shark 3. The Xiaomi Black Shark 3S is another option.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro Key Specs

  • 7.1 inches AMOLED Display, 1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~484 ppi density)
  • Always-on display
  • Android 10
  • Octa-core Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+)
  • 8GB RAM / 12GB RAM
  • 256GB / 512GB Built-in Storage
  • 64 MP + 13 MP + 5 MP Triple Rear Camera
  • 20 MP Front Camera
  • 4G LTE Network
  • 5G Network
  • Fingerprint Scanner (under display, optical)
  • 65W Fast Battery Charging
  • Magnetic charging 18W
  • 5000 mAh Non-removable Li-Po Battery

4. ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G

ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G

Released back in March 2020, the Nubia Red Magic 5G is a very stylish device. Weighing 218g with a 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution 6.65-inch AMOLED, Nubia Red Magic 5G is also a great option among the gamers.

The 4500 mAh battery is just enough to enable you to play most of the high graphics games straight for a couple of hours. However, it features fast charging with the manufacturer boasting battery can be charged from dead to 56% in about 15 minutes and fully charged in about 40 minutes. It runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with a built-in cooling fan.

It’s 144 Hz AMOLED display delivers a great viewing experience. Another point of attraction here is that it comes with a customizable RGB light panel at the back. It comes in four different variants being the 8GB / 128GB, 12GB / 128GB, 12GB / 256GB, and 16GB / 256GB. A more affordable variant is the ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G Lite. There is also a Nubia Red Magic 5S.

ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G Key Specs

  • 6.65 inches AMOLED Display, 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~388 ppi)
  • 240Hz Touch-Sensing
  • Android 10.0; Redmagic 3.0
  • Octa-core Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865
  • 8GB / 12GB / 16GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB Built-in Storage
  • 64 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP Triple Rear Cameras
  • 8 MP Front Camera
  • RGB light panel
  • Pressure Sensitive Zones (300Hz touch-sensing)
  • Built-in Cooling Fan
  • Fingerprint (under display, optical)
  • 4G LTE Network
  • 5G Network
  • 55W Fast Charging
  • 4500 mAh Non-removable Li-Po Battery

5. OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro was launched in April 2020. Weighing just 190g, this smartphone is not a traditional gaming smartphone, but has top notch hardware that makes it one of the best gaming phones to buy right now.

Its 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED with a resolution of 1440 x 3168, 120Hz screen refresh rate, and HDR10+ makes it great for gaming. OnePlus 8 Pro also has a powerful processor in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ for a super-smooth gameplay. You also have more affordable options like the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8.

OnePlus 8 Pro Key Specs

  • 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED Display, 1440 x 3168 pixels, (513 PPI)
  • Android 10.0; OxygenOS 10.0
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+) Processor
  • 8GB / 12GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB Inbuilt Storage
  • 48MP + 8MP + 48MP + 5MP Quad Rear Camera
  • 16MP Front Camera
  • Fingerprint Sensor (Under Display, Optical)
  • IP68 Dust / Water-Resistant
  • 4510 mAh Non-Removable Li-Po Battery

6. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

This smartphone may not be a traditional gaming phone, but it has the specs to compete at the highest level. With its top notch hardware and software, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and its less premium siblings in the Galaxy S21 5G and Galaxy S21 Plus 5G can compete with the best gaming phones in the market.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Key Specs

  • 6.8-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, 1440 x 3200 Pixels (515 ppi), 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • 12GB RAM / 16GB RAM
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (USA) – Octa-core Exynos 2100 (Global)
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Built-in Storage
  • 108MP + 10MP +  10MP + 12MP Quad Rear Camera
  • 40MP Front Camera
  • S-Pen Support
  • Fingerprint Sensor (Under Display, Ultrasonic)
  • 25W Fast Charging
  • 15W Wireless Charging
  • 4.5W Reverse Charging
  • Water and Dust Proof (IP68 certification)
  • 5000mAh Non-Removable Li-ion Battery

7. iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro Max

This is the best gaming phone for Apple fans and consumers who have invested in Apple’s gaming ecosystem. iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most powerful smartphone from Apple right now and offers the best gaming experience on an iPhone.

It is however expensive, so you might want to look into the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. For more bargain, its predecessor, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and siblings the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are also worth your consideration.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Key Specs

  • 6.7 inch Super Retina XDR OLED Display, 1284 x 2778 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (458 ppi)
  • Apple A14 Bionic (5nm)
  • iOS 14.1
  • 6GB RAM
  • 12GB / 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Built-in Storage
  • 12MP + 12MP + 12MP + TOF 3D LiDAR scanner Rear Cameras
  • 12MP Front Camera
  • Magsafe
  • 5G / 4G Connectivity
  • Fast Wired Charging (20W)
  • Qi Wireless Charging (15W)
  • IP68 Water / Dust Resistance

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

This is another non-traditional gaming phone with the performance capability of a full-fledged gaming phone. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features a large brilliant display. It can also stream XBox titles. You can also cast your game play on a bigger display using Samsung Dex or Miracast.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is one of the best gaming phones from Samsung. If you want a more affordable option, you should consider the Galaxy Note 20 and its 5G sibling the Galaxy Note 20 5G.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Key Specs

  • Android 10, One UI 2.5
  • 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED Display, 1440 x 3088, Up to 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Octa-core Exynos 990 (Global)
  • Octa-core Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (USA)
  • 108MP + 12MP + 12MP Triple Rear Camera
  • 10MP Front Camera
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Built-in Storage, SD-Card Support
  • 12GB RAM
  • 5G Support
  • Fingerprint (Under Display, Ultrasonic)
  • Fast Charging (25W Capacity)
  • Reverse wireless charging (9W)
  • 4500 mAh Non-removable Li-ion Battery

There you have it, our list of some of the best gaming phones, I hope you found the list useful.

Read More:

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  4. How to Buy a Mobile Phone
  5. Best 5G Phones
Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Best Gaming Phones for 2021 (Android and iPhone) was written by Manoar Molla. The article was last modified: August 10th, 2021

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