Best gaming smartphones in 2021: Top 5

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ASUS ROG PHONE 3. ©ASUS
ASUS ROG PHONE 3. ©ASUS

No iPhone or Samsung Galaxy in this list, we focused mainly on phones made especially for gaming. Here are our top 5 of the best gaming smartphones.

snapdragon

ASUS ROG Phone 3 as a specialist

ASUS’ Republic Of Gamers (ROG) line of notebook PCs, monitors, and smartphones is dedicated to the gamer market. Revealed the ROG Phone 3 is arguably the best in the world today. Less profiled gamer in terms of design compared to the ROG Phone 2, it gains on the other hand in image quality. With a 6.59-inch AMOLED screen (a type of panel that allows both high resolution and energy savings), the ROG Phone 3 achieves a definition of 2,340 x 1,080 pixels and a refresh rate up to 144 Hz.

While mobile gaming is currently compatible up to 120 Hz, 144 Hz is likely to be the next ceiling sought after by both game and smartphone gaming developers. A trademark of ROG Phone, the Air Trigger adaptive triggers that somehow transform the phone into a controller (playing the role of the L1/R1 and L2/R2 keys of the PlayStation for example) are now programmable (very useful for racing games in particular).

Nubia Red Magic 5G, excellent price-quality

Another rare smartphone to be ahead of its time with this refresh rate up to 144 Hz, the Nubia Red Magic 5G has several things in common with the ASUS ROG Phone 3. Running on Android 10 (as indeed all the phones in this top) and adapted 5G as its name suggests, it displays similar performance in its premium Pulse version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of memory, and is also equipped with adaptive triggers to improve the gaming sensations.

Its AMOLED screen is very slightly larger (6.65 inches), but this phone includes a less powerful version of the Snapdragon processor (the 865 for the Nubia Red Magic 5G and the 865+ for the ROG Phone 3) and a shorter battery life. On the other hand, the Chinese brand specialized in out of the ordinary smartphones offers this phone with a gaming design at a lower price than the ROG Phone 3, despite excellent performance.

OnePlus 8 Pro, a classic gaming smartphone

The OnePlus 8 Pro is the only smartphone that is not specifically designed for gamers. But with such performance, it was impossible not to select it. Another Chinese company, OnePlus launched its latest gem. With its Snapdragon 865 processor and graphics performance (6.78-inch AMOLED panel display, screen resolution of 3,168 x 1,440 pixels, refresh rate up to 120 Hz), the OnePlus 8 Pro offers exceptional image quality and fluidity. 

Of course, it has no adaptive triggers, but it includes a very good camera (with 4 modules) and a 4,510 mAh battery. Its price is important (around $1,000 like the ASUS ROG 3), but it is probably the best model for people who want a complete smartphone.

Black Shark 3, a very affordable gaming smartphone

Launched at less than $600 in its basic configuration, the Black Shark 3 is the latest addition to Xiaomi’s subsidiary specializing in gaming smartphones. Displaying a beautiful AMOLED FHD+ screen of 6.67 inches and a weight of 222 grams on the scale promising a nice grip (but not recommended for people who do not want a phone too heavy), it is equipped like the Nubia Red Magic 5G or OnePlus 8 Pro with a SnapDragon 865 processor (5G compatible) coupled with 8 GB of RAM.

The Black Shark 3 also displays a powerful battery (4720 mAh), but it is a little bit low in refresh rate (at 90 Hz) and in definition (“only” in Full HD+ and 2400 x 1080 pixels). On the audio side, it has two front speakers at each end and a very appreciable 3.5 mm jack plug. Note that an improved version (with 12 MB of Ram) and a Pro version (with adaptive triggers and 3,120 x 1,440 pixel definition) already exist.

Razer Phone 2, a standard anyway

Also in our top best gaming mice, Razer is one of the pioneers in smartphones for gamers. Despite a release at the end of 2018, its Razer Phone 2 is still very popular with gamers. Featuring a 5.72-inch screen with a resolution of 1440 x 2560, it has a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz (the first Razer Phone of the name was the first to reach this level).

The Razer Phone 2 features the Snapdragon 845 processor, which is still powerful enough to run all the latest games, and a 4,000 mAh battery (compared to 4,500 mAh for the Nubia Red Magic 5G). While its LCD panel consumes more power, it is sometimes more enjoyable than an AMOLED to watch all types of multimedia content and will delight gamers who also want to spend time on social networks or streaming platforms with their phones. Waiting for the Razer Phone3.

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