To play on a mobile phone, here are the Best Gaming Smartphones under 20,000 with large and responsive displays, dedicated buttons, and high-level hardware.
All mobile phones, starting from the legendary Nokia 3310. It allows you to pass the time with a few video games in the doctor’s waiting room or during a journey on public transport. But if you are looking for a smartphone on which to play seriously, a model is not good. any.
Gaming smartphones are high-end or medium/high-end devices. They share some characteristics: excellent technical specifications ( in particular an excellent CPU and a generous amount of RAM), and large and excellent-quality displays. Often with a higher refresh rate than the media, and a responsive touchscreen. It maybe even have a battery that prevents you from running dry after a few hours of a gaming session.
In this ranking of the best gaming smartphones. You will find models designed specifically for this purpose. But also popular models for common use, which we believe are in any case equipped with all the hardware necessary to guarantee a high-end gaming experience level.
ASUS Rog Phone 5
Asus Rog Phone 5 is the best high-performance gaming smartphone. Suitable for those who are willing to invest a significant amount to get an uncompromising gaming experience.
First of all, its beautiful 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2448 x 1080 pixels and a 144 Hz refresh rate is striking. Which reproduces images flawlessly, guaranteeing maximum fluidity and responsiveness during games.
As for the hardware equipment, the Asus Rog Phone 5 is equipped with the Snapdragon 888, top of the Qualcomm range, and with 16 GB of RAM. With similar features, you can expect flawless performance with any title currently on the Play Store.
Excellent battery life from 6000 mAh (dual 3000 mAh battery), which allows you to play for several hours continuously. Using this gaming smartphone as a normal mobile phone, the battery will really take many days to discharge.
The design of the Asus Rog Phone 5 includes a pair of buttons on the back. This further enhances the gaming experience, making it almost resemble that obtainable on a console like the Nintendo Switch. It also presents an efficient cooling system with an external clip fan, called GameCool 5. On the other hand, it must be said that this smartphone is certainly not compact. The dimensions (17.3 cm in height) and the weight (239 grams) are definitely superior to those of a normal cell phone.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel
Legion Phone Duel is the best gaming smartphone proposed by Lenovo for those who play at a competitive level. The phone has excellent performance and a nice display, and, despite the large battery, it charges very quickly.
The display of Lenovo Phone Duel measures 6.65 inches and is of the AMOLED type with Full HD + resolution. As with all the best gaming smartphones, it features a 144Hz refresh rate. Which guarantees a smooth and immersive visual experience during games and watching videos.
Under the body, we find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor with an Adreno 650 graphics card, flanked by 16 GB of RAM. The operating system of the mobile phone. It is based on Android 10, has been optimized by Lenovo for horizontal use, and its in-game performance is excellent.
The double battery with a total capacity of 5000 mAh allows you to obtain excellent autonomy. But if we consider that during the game it is possible to recharge it quickly. Thanks to the 90 W Type-C double turbocharging function. It will be really difficult to have to interrupt on the nicest a lot because of low battery.
Lenovo Phone Duel has an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable for prolonged use. It is equipped with a liquid cooling system and its design is enriched by rear blue led sets. It shares a weight that is not exactly trivial with most of the best gaming smartphones, which in this case is 239 grams.
iPhone 14 Pro Max
For those who want to stay within the bitten apple ecosystem. The best gaming smartphone is definitely the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Which combines the typical characteristics of Apple phones (classic design with surgical steel chassis, excellent cameras) and also those ideal for gaming a little more stringent.
The OLED screen is in fact among the largest in its category: 6.7 inches, Super Retina XDR technology with truly extraordinary colors and a level of realism. It has a refresh rate of 120Hz, an element that shows the particular attention paid to the design for multimedia and gaming use.
The processor mounted on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the A16 Bionic. One of the most powerful chips currently on the market, which includes a 5-core GPU. It is therefore impossible to see this phone stumbling even during the most demanding tasks and video games.
Nothing to complain also on the battery side. The autonomy is excellent and recharging can also take place wirelessly; there is also support for fast charging.
Anyone wondering about the availability of games on the Apple Store can rest assured because they will find all the main mobile titles (in some cases even better optimized than the Android version). While there are some more limitations from the point of view of emulators of other platforms. Retrogaming lovers will have to focus on other products.
Oneplus 9 Pro
If you are among those who do not particularly appreciate the flashy look of real gaming smartphones, a model like the Oneplus 9 Pro is right for you. The mobile, one of the best high-end phones today, has a classic and very pleasing-to-the-eye design. Thanks to the use of premium materials, it has all the power needed to be used to play without problems even with very demanding titles such as Call of Duty Mobile or Asphalt 9.
The display of this Oneplus measures 6.7 inches. It is AMOLED with QHD resolution, which reproduces extremely detailed and bright images. It has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, higher than that of classic medium/high-end smartphones.
Which allows you to enjoy maximum fluidity even during the most frenetic game sequences. The picture is completed by the presence of the Hyper Touch functionality. It’s useful for maximizing the reaction speed of the touch display. So as not to miss a single input during your games.
The chip on board is the excellent Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, the top-of-the-range processor of 2023. Alongside it, we find 12 GB of RAM and a storage space of 256 GB (non-expandable).
The autonomy of this mobile however is quite average, including we find a 4500 mAh unit that guarantees about 5-6 hours of play and which, in case of normal use, arrives quite calmly at the end of the day.
Nubia Red Magic 7S Pro
Red Magic 7S Pro is one of the top-of-the-range models of the Nubia brand and its technical characteristics wink above all at the most passionate gamers. We recommend it to those looking for a high-end phone with excellent hardware features with a design that also knows how to get noticed.
The first thing that stands out in this gaming smartphone is certainly the display: it is a 6.8-inch AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, and high responsiveness to tactile inputs. This Nubia shows very fluid and natural scenes, both during the game and when watching streaming video content.
Nubia Red Magic 7S Pro includes the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip among the Qualcomm solutions, which includes the excellent Adreno 730 GPU. The technical specifications are completed by 18 GB of RAM (but to save something, you can also choose the 12 GB version). The performances are always excellent and, thanks to the high refresh rate, this phone is particularly suitable for games such as shooters or racing.
The cooling system integrated into the phone is very efficient and keeps temperatures under control during the game, avoiding drops in performance. However, it is quite audible (a sort of hiss is perceived), especially if headphones are not used.
The 5000 mAh battery is good, which allows you to easily get to the end of the day and which supports fast charging at 65W.
Black Shark 4
Black Shark 4 is the gaming smartphone proposed by Xiaomi for the most avid gamers. Its minimal design might fool the casual observer at first, but on closer look, you’ll notice the RGB lighting on the back and pop-up magnetic buttons for use when playing games held horizontally for a controller-like experience.
The display is undoubtedly one of the strengths: it is a 6.67-inch AMOLED that returns bright, detailed, and very realistic images, perfect both for gaming and for viewing multimedia content. It has a refresh rate of 144Hz, the same that we find on many gaming monitors, and high responsiveness to tactile inputs, so you don’t miss a beat when playing fps or other titles characterized by frenetic action.
The chip chosen by Xiaomi for this Black Shark phone is the Snapdragon 888, top of the 2021 range still present today on most of the best phones for playing. There are 8 or 12 GB of RAM (depending on the version chosen) and it is possible to go up to 256 GB of internal storage memory.
As a graphical interface we find the JOYUI 12: those who know Xiaomi’s MIUI, on which it is based, will find it familiar, while those used to stock Android may have some difficulties at first, but a little patience is enough to get used to it. Everything is optimized for gaming, but some features or menus may be difficult to navigate in the initial phase.
The Black Shark 4 battery has a capacity of 4500 mAh, not very high, but the optimization done on the phone is very good and you can easily reach a day of autonomy using it normally. Playing, especially when it comes to challenging titles, things change, but we can still expect a few hours of duration. The 120W fast charge, on the other hand, is really excellent, the phone is fully charged in less than half an hour.
Samsung Galaxy A51
Samsung Galaxy A51 is the ideal choice for those who prefer a traditional-looking smartphone, but still want to enjoy a few games in their spare time. It costs around 350 euros and does well not only for casual gaming but also for slightly more demanding titles.
It has a beautiful 6.5-inch AMOLED display with 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution; the generous size makes it suitable for gaming and ensures an immersive visual experience. It’s detailed and bright, so using it outdoors won’t be a problem.
The Galaxy A51 is equipped with the Samsung Exynos 9611 chip, it is a quad-core CPU supported by a GPU (Mali-G72) with performances similar to those of an Adreno 610. Then there are 4 GB of RAM and a storage space of 128 GB, expandable via micro SD.
The gaming results are satisfactory, also considering the presence of the Game Booster mode, which helps to give the system an extra sprint. Particularly heavy titles such as ARK Survival will have to be played with minimum details, PUBG or Call of Duty are a little better and are playable with medium/low details obtaining good results in terms of fluidity.
The 4000 mAh battery does not disappoint or excite, using the smartphone in the traditional way you can easily arrive in the evening, obviously if you add a few gaming sessions the autonomy will be reduced.
Xiaomi Poco F3
If you are looking for a smartphone to play with and have a budget of 350$, Poco F3 is the ideal choice. It is a phone produced by Xiaomi within the Poco brand, which includes mid-range phones with excellent technical characteristics and affordable prices.
Xiaomi Poco F3 is a gaming smartphone with a pleasant design and good build quality; it’s not very light – 196 grams – but it’s definitely less heavy than most of the phones we’ve seen in this ranking. Its screen, a beautiful 6.67-inch AMOLED, has FHD+ resolution and reproduces vibrant and realistic colors. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes it perfect for multimedia in general and, above all, to get a smoother experience while gaming.
Under the body, we find some pleasant surprises: the chip with which Poco F3 was equipped is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, which is flanked by 8 GB of RAM. They are really excellent technical specifications if compared to those offered by competitors in the same price range. Even particularly demanding video games can be played without problems (perhaps in some cases it will be necessary to set the settings to an average level of detail) with this smartphone.
The battery is also good, which has a capacity of 4520 mAh and gets us to the end of an even intense day of use without problems. As for gaming, the manufacturer declares 10 hours of battery life: it seems to us a somewhat optimistic forecast, but it still gives an idea of the good optimization work done on this phone.
As in the vast majority of Xiaomi phones, on Poco F3 we find the MIUI, the brand’s customized graphic interface. There are those who appreciate it and those who don’t (those who aren’t used to it may have a moment of initial disorientation), a pity for the numerous bloatware included, which risks annoying the user a little.
Realme GT Master Edition
A valid option for those who want a smartphone that is not too expensive. But with enough power to play games, is the Realme GT Master Edition. The main strength of this gaming smartphone lies in the price. Which is less than 350$, but the technical characteristics also deserve attention.
Let’s start with the screen, which is a 6.43-inch AMOLED with Full HD+ resolution. It reproduces bright colors, good contrasts, and a level of detail. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, higher than what we find on other smartphone models in the same price range. This frequency allows for a more fluid and natural in-game experience, even when particularly tight sequences are shown.
On board the Realme GT Master Edition we find the Snapdragon 778G, a good mid-level chip: obviously it is not at the level the top of the range that we find on the best gaming smartphones, but it still performs well and is good for not too intensive gaming ( The “smooth” GT version instead includes the more powerful Snapdragon 888, but has a higher cost). The equipment is completed with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of internal memory.
The included battery is 4300mAh and Realme has done a great job of optimizing this phone, with standard usage. It’s easy to get to a day and a half before needing to be recharged. Moreover, the recharge takes place quickly, thanks to the included 65 W charger. In half an hour the recharge is over 95%.
Realme GT Master Edition is a phone that is not bad at gaming, provided you don’t have very high expectations. But it has some small flaws in the other sectors: the cameras are not exceptional. And there is no support for wireless charging. If these are items you pay attention to, you may want to consider a few more models.
TCL 10 SE
TCL 10 SE is the model to consider if you need a real low-cost phone on which to play a bit, obviously without expecting extraordinary performance. If purchased for less than 200$. It is truly the best buy in the entry-level range.
Let’s see its features, starting from the screen: it is a 6.52-inch IPS LCD display with HD+ resolution. Characterized by excellent colors, viewing angles, and brightness, therefore ideal for use in any environmental condition. The generous size allows you to get a good visual experience when playing games or watching videos, stories, etc.
The chip on board is an Helio P22 MediaTek MT6762, an entry-level with decent performance. Which has been joined by 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage memory. During use, it is fluid and responsive, while as far as gaming is concerned, no problem with the more casual titles (with the more demanding ones, such as Asphalt, COD, or PUBG it will be necessary to set the details to a minimum, and some occasional lag may still occur).
Note on the other hand for the battery, the 4000 mAh guarantees excellent autonomy. You arrive without problems in the evening by using the phone normally.
The operating system on board is Android 10 with a TCL UI interface. Which however does not deviate too much from the stock Android experience and runs quite well.