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Best Gaming Phones 2024: The top smartphones for gaming on the go

Gaming smartphones are now an established category, with top-notch performance, innovative display and cooling technologies, plus much more – here's Trusted Reviews' pick of the best

If you’re obsessed with playing the likes of Call of Duty or PUBG: Battlegrounds on the go, then you’ll want to consider buying one of the best gaming phones for the job.

There are now dedicated gaming phones that prioritise performance above all else. They can also come stuffed to the brim with gaming features too, making the gaming experience as seamless as possible. We’ve made sure to review all of the latest models to see which is worth your money, and listed the cream of the crop below.

Every phone that we include in this list has been fully tested by one of our experts, using both real-world experience and synthetic benchmark tests to determine how each device stacks up against the competition.

We’ve also made sure to include a few smartphones that aren’t necessarily certified gaming phones, but still offer superb performance while also excelling in other areas such as camera quality. These will be superb options for those who like to game on a phone, but also want a balanced performance for everyday use.

If you’re after the best all-round phones that are excellent at a range of other skills besides just gaming, then you should check out our best phones guide. If you’re on a tighter budget, then take a glance at our best mid-range phones and best cheap phones articles for a selection of more affordable handsets. Otherwise, check out our Best Gaming Phone list below.

Best gaming phones at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test gaming phones

Every phone we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, screen accuracy, battery life, performance and camera prowess.

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real-world checks, such as how much battery it loses per hour streaming video. For gaming phones, we pay particular attention as to how well they run some of the most popular mobile titles.

We also make sure to use every phone we review as our primary handset for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible. You can see a more detailed breakdown of our testing methodology in our how we test phones guide.

RedMagic 9 Pro

Best overall gaming phone
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  • The fastest Android phone we’ve tested to date
  • Beautiful, bright and uninterrupted display
  • Slick design with customisable lighting
  • Competitive pricing


  • The under-display camera is still terrible
  • No wireless charging
  • No IP rating
  • Minor software bugs to iron out

If you want a proper gaming phone with all of the RGB glam, then the RedMagic 9 Pro is our top recommendation. Unlike most phones on this list, RedMagic isn’t afraid to show off its gaming identity, with a motherboard pattern on the rear and customisable bright lighting. 

There’s a number of excellent gaming features here that sets this phone apart from Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy. Most notably, the RedMagic has integrated touch triggers, allowing you to use the rim of the phone as makeshift triggers rather than having to slap on a controller accessory instead. 

This is also one of the most powerful gaming phones ever tested, going toe to toe with the excellent Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition. This means you’ll be able to play any mobile game with ease, with a huge battery ensuring you can keep gaming for hours. 

The RedMagic 9 Pro does come with compromises beyond gaming. There’s no support for wireless charging, and the camera pales in comparison to other phones at this price point. But if gaming on the go is your priority, and you want a flashy design to show off, then there’s no better choice.

Reviewer: Luke Baker
Full Review: Nubia Red Magic 9 Pro review

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition

Most powerful gaming phone
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  • Blazing fast gaming performance
  • Smaller design with improved waterproofing
  • Camera has been upgraded with 3x optical zoom
  • Still packed with excellent gaming features


  • Rear gets scratched very easily
  • Downgraded speakers
  • Camera still not as good as the competition

When it comes to performance power, there’s no better option than the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition. It has the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip that you’ll find in most new handsets, but Asus has paired this model with a whopping 24GB of RAM as well as bundling it with a cooler accessory to eke out every drop of performance. 

Like the RedMagic 9 Pro, this phone is brimming with gaming features such as the AirTriggers, key mapping and Macros. The software is excellent too, enabling you to make tweaks on the fly, even in the middle of an intense match. 

Asus has made a controversial decision to dial down the gaming design elements. This means there’s very little RGB lighting here, while the rear looks plain. The light-up AniMe Matrix feature is a great addition though, using a Mini LED panel to display the likes of notifications, battery status and the time.

Despite the inclusion of a new Telephoto lens for improved zoomed-in shots, the camera still can’t compete with efforts from Apple and Samsung. But if you’re happy to make that sacrifice in the name of gaming performance, then this is a great option.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Asus ROG Phone 8 Ultimate review

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Best Apple gaming phone
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  • It has USB-C (finally)
  • 5x zoom is welcome
  • Much comfier to hold and use; so much lighter


  • The Action Button is welcome – but it could do more
  • No 128GB option means higher price

The iPhone has long been a great choice for mobile gamers, especially with the fantastic value offered by Apple Arcade. But Apple has taken impressive strides forward with the new iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thanks to the cutting-edge A17 Pro chip, the flagship iPhone is remarkably able to play AAA games such as Resident Evil 4 and Assassin’s Creed Mirage. You obviously won’t be getting a performance to the same standard as a PS5 or Xbox Series X, but it’s nevertheless impressive that you can play some of the latest games on the go.

Unlike the certified gaming phones higher up in this list, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a more complete package for your money. It has one of the best cameras you can buy, a classy durable design, and streamlined software optimised for everyday use. 

You will of course miss out on dedicated gaming features by opting for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but can mostly be solved by purchasing added accessories like the Backbone One.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Review

Poco X6 Pro

Best budget gaming phone
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  • Powerful MediaTek processor
  • Bright 120Hz OLED display
  • Great main and selfie cameras


  • Bloatware
  • Advertisements in some system apps
  • Weak ultrawide and macro cameras

Most gaming phones cost upwards of £1000/$1000 outright, which may well feel excessive considering that’s even more expensive than a PS5 and Xbox Series X. The Poco X6 Pro is an outstanding solution to this problem, offering incredible performance and a slew of gaming features at a very reasonable price. 

Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 8300-Ultra, it’s one of the fastest chips you can find at this price point. Our testing showed the phone is capable of running the likes of Genshin Impact at 60fps, ensuring a smooth performance while keeping temperatures reasonable. 

It also has a few gaming-focused features to improve the experience, including software that will automatically optimise performance for gaming workloads, and a 120Hz refresh rate to keep on-screen motion smooth on that lovely 6.67-inch AMOLED panel. 

Of course, bagging this phone at a cheaper price than the competition does come with compromises. The performance isn’t quite as good as the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition, while the ultrawide and macro cameras will likely disappoint photographers. There’s also a lot of bloatware and in-app adverts that cheapens the experience. Nevertheless, those flaws are easy to forgive when you’re getting such an excellent gaming experience at a budget-friendly price.

Reviewer: Luke Baker
Full Review: Poco X6 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best Android flagship for gaming
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  • 200MP camera delivers in both well-lit and low-light conditions
  • Top-notch performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • All-day battery life
  • Stunningly detailed 6.8in 120Hz display


  • Very expensive
  • Relatively slow 45W charging
  • Difficult to use one-handed

While most of the entries in this list are dedicated gaming phones, built expressly for that purpose and nothing else, this one is a flagship smartphone that boasts excellent gaming performance as just one of its many accomplishments. If you pick this device, you’ll be able to play the best games in style – but you’ll get more than that, too.

In terms of its gaming capabilities, you’ll find a truly excellent performer here that is among the speediest Android phones around with an exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset. It’s also got an utterly brilliant 120Hz WQHD+ screen, arguably the best on any smartphone you can buy, and it makes games a joy to play.

You won’t get some purist gaming enhancements, such as shoulder trigger buttons, but you will get some advantages that other gaming phones may miss out on, including a guaranteed five years of software updates and a brilliant camera system with a suite of lenses that include a main 200MP sensor and impressive zooming capabilities that are head and shoulders above the others on the market.

If you’re looking for an Android device that can handle games with aplomb but offer so much more, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an easy recommendation. Although with the imminent launch of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, it may be worth waiting a little longer for the newer model.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Best cheap phone for gaming
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  • Large 7.6-inch foldable display
  • Most powerful foldable phone around
  • Better app support than other book-style foldables


  • Very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
  • £100/$150 price increase
  • Identical camera setup

If you want something totally different for your gaming experience, look no further than the foldable Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. The foldable nature of the book-style smartphone means you’ve got access to a large, high-res 7.6-inch 120Hz AMOLED display when you want to play games on a big screen while still folding down to a size resembling a standard smartphone.

It’s not just the sheer size of the foldable display that makes the Z Fold 5 the best foldable for gaming either; it also boasts Qualcomm’s custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, just like the S23 Ultra. It’s more than capable of powering high-end AAA gaming experiences with high-level graphics enabled with consistent gameplay even over longer periods of use.

Elsewhere, a 4,400mAh battery should be enough to get you through even demanding gaming sessions, a triple rear camera setup offers more versatility than a regular gaming phone and it has four OS upgrades and five years of security patches to look forward to.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed


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What is the best gaming phone?

Overall, we’d pick the RedMagic 9 Pro as the best overall gaming phone you can buy.

Which iPhone should I buy if I like gaming?

We’d recommend the iPhone 15 Pro Max if you love gaming but want to stick with an iPhone.

Best Gaming Phones: Specifications Comparison

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate
Stated Power

Best Gaming Phones: Tests Comparison

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming online)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming offline)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
60-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (no charger included)
15-min recharge (no charger included)
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

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Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

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