best gaming phones 2020

Best Gaming Phones of 2021 | Buying Guide

More and more manufacturers have understood this and are getting on board: gaming phones are on the rise! Let's face it, smartphones today are true marvels of technology and are replacing our good old portable consoles with disconcerting ease!
Mobile gaming is also more and more sophisticated (whether on Android or iOS) and some of them require a lot of resources to run smoothly. So if you spend most of your time playing on your phone rather than using it for other purposes, you should obviously turn to a smartphone dedicated to gaming

Looking for your new gaming phone? You'll love our buying guide! Let's get started! ⤵️

Features to look at before buying your gaming phone

There are several criteria to consider when looking for a smartphone for gaming. First, you need to determine your needs in terms of storage, RAM, screen size, battery life, etc. Gaming phones are better optimised than regular phones. So it's essential to take a good look at the various features to get the best possible gaming experience on your phone. And for that, we give you a little help 😉

1. RAM = Random Access Memory

First of all, make sure that the smartphone you are targeting has enough RAM. Some games are very resource-intensive and to run efficiently, they need a lot of RAM. Its role? As on a PC, it allows you to store certain data to facilitate loading (roughly). As a result, the more RAM your phone has, the smoother and faster the navigation is.

RAM memory strips

2. Storage capacity

If you're a mobile game enthusiast and download more games than you have time to play, then you'll need plenty of storage. Aim for at least 64GB of storage. And ideally, if the phone allows it, a micro SD slot will allow you toincrease your storage capacity at will. 

3. Battery life

A long battery life will obviously allow you to play longer. There are many factors that affect battery consumption and mobile gaming is one of them. A longer battery life means you won't be hanging on to your charger! A very robust battery reaches 5,000 - 5,500 mAh.

smartphone charger

Did you know? You can play all your mobile games on a PC simply by using an Android emulator (it's free and totally allowed).
Big plus: You save your phone battery ! (And on top of that, you gain in gaming comfort!) 👌

4. The screen and resolution

The screen is obviously very important. What you have to look at is the refresh rate. The higher it is, the better. It makes for a smoother experience and allows you to be extremely responsive in FPS games in particular. The ultimate is to aim for 120 Hz or 144 Hz screens (for a 120 IPS display). In addition, good brightness and contrast are essential for a better image. The resolution should be at least 2400 x 1080.

5. The processor and graphics chipset

As any buyer's guide will tell you, this duo is the heart of your smartphone. They will be the deciding factor in your choice of new device. They'll provide the power to run your favourite mobile games! The most powerful processor? It's Qualcomm's technological marvel with its latest Snapdragon 888 processors (of course, the 865+ is still a great processor!).

Qualcomm's Snapdrgaon processor for gaming phones

Best phones to play with: entry-level

Are you on a budget, but still looking for a smartphone to play with? Don't panic! Here is our selection of cheap gaming phones

Realme 8 Pro: excellent value for money for gaming

Photo by realme-8-pro

Realme 8 Pro

  • Camera: 108 MP
  • Screen size: 6.4 inches
  • Resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Battery: 4500 mAh
  • Refresh rate : 60 Hz
  • Storage : 128 GB

Best prices

  • Amazon 259.37 € See Amazon
  • Fnac 269.00 € See Fnac
  • Cdiscount 398.14 € See Cdiscount
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's Opinion on the Realme 8 Pro

Realme 8 Pro

The Realme 8 Pro deserves all the attention of gamers thanks to the good performance it offers. Its price is very attractive and makes it an excellent choice for a cheap gaming phone. The biggest negative point is the screen refresh rate of 60 Hz (no 90 or 120 Hz mode), so you'll have a bit of trouble if you play Battle Royale, for example. Whether you like or dislike the big slogan on the back of the phone "dare to leap" is a matter of taste. The grip, the light weight (176g) and the round finish are interesting assets. Its processor is ok, far from being the latest generation, the Snapdragon 720G fulfils its functions well.


Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro: quality gaming experience at a great price

Photo by xiaomi-black-shark-2-pro

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro

  • Camera: 48 Mpx 2 sensors
  • Screen size: 6.39 inches
  • Resolution: 2,340 x 1,080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor
  • RAM: 8 GB, 12 GB RAM
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz

Best prices

  • Amazon 429.00 € See Amazon
  • Cdiscount 949.72 € See Cdiscount
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's review of the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro
Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro

We have here a smartphone 100% dedicated to gamers. By that I mean that its design, performance and screen are optimised to increase gaming comfort and meet the expectations of mobile gamers. The Black Shark 2 Pro is a very good entry-level choice, with a reasonable price for very decent features. Where the Black Shark 2 had already performed well, the Pro version presented here represents an evolutionary model that ticks all the boxes. We'd appreciate a battery that can hold up better, as games are becoming more and more demanding. A good phone to play with, without a doubt!

Best gaming phones: mid-range

More moderate budgets will certainly find a gamer phone among this selection. Discover the best value for money in the rest of our buying guide!

Xiaomi Black Shark 3: a gaming phone that sends heavy stuff

Photo by xiaomi-black-shark-3

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

  • Camera: 64 Mpx 3 sensors
  • Screen size: 6.67 inches
  • Resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8 GB, 12 GB RAM
  • Battery: 4,720 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz

Best prices

  • Amazon 449.00 € See Amazon
  • Cdiscount 569.00 € See Cdiscount
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's note on the Xiaomi Black Shark 3

Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Xiaomi Black Shark 3

Xiaomi's results with the Black Shark models are more than successful. The Black Shark 3 has an excellent price/performance ratio thanks to a powerful processor-graphics chipset (Snapdragon 865), a 90 Hz refresh rate and a battery that holds up very well. The features are well thought out for gamers: power, endurance and display quality. On the other hand, it is really imposing, which is a bit of a drawback.

Note that the Black Shark 2 is also still in the race, but with a less powerful processor (855) and a tendency to overheat. So for the minimal price difference, I might as well go for the model 3, which I think is much more optimal.


Asus ROG Phone 2: a power beast to play with

Photo by asus-rog-phone-2

Asus ROG Phone 2

  • Camera: 48 Mpx 2 sensors
  • Screen size: 6.59 inches
  • Resolution: 2,340 x 1,080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor
  • RAM: 12 GB RAM
  • Battery: 5,999 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 120 Hz

Best prices

  • Cdiscount 379.00 € See Cdiscount
  • Darty 499.00 € See Darty
  • Fnac 599.00 € See Fnac
  • Amazon 825.00 € See Amazon
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's note on the Asus ROG Phone 2

Asus Rog Phone 2 gaming
Asus Rog Phone 2

The ROG Phone 2 is without a doubt one of the best gaming phones in its class! Its design is hyper gamer oriented, so it will not suit everyone. But, let's face it, it's dedicated to an audience that knows what they want! The gaming experience is optimized thanks to a great battery endurance (the best on the market!), 12 GB of RAM (that's excellent!) and a Snapdragon 855+ (okay, it's not the latest, but it still works great). Cherry on the cake: the 120 Hz refresh rate is the best we can do today. This smartphone is literally a powerhouse optimised for gamers. The package comes with a lot of gaming accessories, but we'll come back to that in a later article.

💡 A quick note on the Asus ROG Phone 3 : if you have a slightly larger budget, rather than treating yourself to the Asus ROG Phone 2, I strongly advise you to opt for the 3. More powerful than its little brother, this smartphone is a real revolution for all mobile gamers. 100% gaming in its design, this very responsive 144 Hz screen and this Snapdragon 865+ processor will make all gamers happy!


Realme x50 Pro: the winning combo for gamers

Photo by realme-x50-pro

Realme x50 Pro

  • Camera: 64 Mpx 4 sensors
  • Screen size: 6.44 inches
  • Resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6 GB, 8 GB or 12 GB RAM
  • Battery: 4,200 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz

Best prices

  • Cdiscount 499.00 € See Cdiscount
  • Amazon 509.00 € See Amazon
  • Fnac 635.94 € See Fnac
  • Darty 690.67 € See Darty
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's opinion on the Realme x50 Pro

Realme x50 Pro
Realme x50 Pro

Take the best processor on the market (as a reminder, the 865+ was released in late 2020), add good heat management, extremely fast battery charging and you have a great smartphone for gaming at a competitive price. No headphone jack or storage expansion could be a negative for gamers. However, the storage can be sufficient with 2 choices: 128 and 256 GB. It provides excellent value for money, where other high-end competitors fall short. It definitely belongs in this buying guide!

Best gaming phones: high-end

Do you have a big budget? Good for you, you will be able to enjoy yourself by choosing from this selection that will meet your gaming expectations!

Xiaomi Mi 10: top of the range at a low price

Photo by xiaomi-mi-10

Xiaomi Mi 10

  • Camera: 108 Mpx 4 sensors
  • Screen size: 6.67 inches
  • Resolution: 2,340 x 1,080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Battery: 4,780 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz

Best prices

  • Amazon 513.75 € See Amazon
  • Darty 743.82 € See Darty
  • Cdiscount 782.20 € See Cdiscount
  • Fnac 799.00 € See Fnac
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's opinion on the Xiaomi Mi 10

Xiaomi Mi 10
Xiaomi Mi 10

Here's a truly high-end smartphone that breaks the price codes. While its rivals will tickle the £1,000 mark, the Xiaomi Mi 10 offers top-end performance at a lower cost. For gaming, it's got all the bells and whistles: the latest Snapdragon 865 processor, a well-calibrated screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, and welcome wireless charging. One flaw is the lack of optimisation, with performance a little below some other models. It's a perfect compromise between a high-end smartphone and a decent price.


Asus ROG Phone 5: the most powerful 100% gaming phone on the market

Photo by asus-rog-phone-5

ASUS Rog Phone 5

  • Camera: 64 MP
  • Screen size: 6.78 inches
  • Resolution: 2,340 x 1,080 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+
  • RAM: 8 GB, 12 GB, 16 GB RAM
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh
  • Refresh rate : 144 Hz
  • Storage : 128 GB, 256 GB

Best prices

  • Fnac 656.00 € See Fnac
  • Cdiscount 703.00 € See Cdiscount
  • Amazon 859.00 € See Amazon
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's opinion on the Asus ROG Phone 5

Asus ROG Phone 5

The Asus ROG Phone 5 deserves the full attention of mobile gamers because of the huge performance it offers. Its great performance makes it one of the best choices for a high-end gaming phone. No negative points on the horizon (even the price is very acceptable for the power of the beast). 3 choices of storage capacity, 8, 12, and 16 GB for the greedy. Its latest generation Snapdragon 888 processor is impressively powerful. A great screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and QHD+ definition complete the picture. We highly recommend it, gamers will be delighted!


One Plus 8 Pro: the best Android choice, not just for gamers

Photo by one-plus-8-pro

One Plus 8 Pro

  • Camera: 48 Mpx 4 sensors
  • Screen size: 6.78 inches
  • Resolution: 3,168 x 1,440 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8 GB, 12 GB RAM
  • Battery: 4,510 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 120 hz

Best prices

  • Darty 647.80 € See Darty
  • Fnac 686.00 € See Fnac
  • Cdiscount 689.20 € See Cdiscount
  • Amazon 899.00 € See Amazon
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's review of the One Plus 8 Pro

One Plus 8 Pro
One Plus 8 Pro

One Plus' premium smartphone has all the ingredients for an absolutely brilliant gaming experience. First of all, the One Plus 8 Pro is equipped with the latest processor(Snapdragon 865 5G), it comes with 8 or 12 GB of RAM, an incredible display with a 120 Hz refresh rate (the best!) and fast wireless charging. No doubt you get what you pay for! The downside (but you have to be really picky!), is that the photos are taken in low light. In short, One Plus attacks the high-end market and it is rather successful! The advantage is that its design is not gaming oriented and that it is therefore suitable for a wide audience.

The bonus: One Plus is partnered with the 2 most famous Battle Royale of the moment to allow players to play Fortnite and PUBG Mobile with 90 FPS (while the less privileged players will have to settle for 60 FPS...)!


Apple iPhone 11 Pro: the ultimate choice for iOS gamers

Photo by apple-iphone-11-pro

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

  • Camera: 63 Mpx 3 sensors
  • Screen size: 5.8 inches
  • Definition: 2,436 x 1,125
  • Processor: Apple A13 Bionic
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Battery: 3,046 mAh
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz

Best prices

  • Cdiscount 1 039.00 € See Cdiscount
  • Darty 1 159.00 € See Darty
  • Fnac 1 159.00 € See Fnac
  • Amazon 1199.00 € See Amazon
These prices have been updated on 20/09/2021 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and exclude delivery costs. Only the prices displayed by the merchants are binding.

🔎 Editor's opinion on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro
Apple iPhone 11 Pro

This is an iPhone of unparalleled power! TheiPhone 11 Pro features the A13 Bionic chip (the most powerful chip in a smartphone to date). The iPhone 11 Pro lives up to all gaming demands. Resource-intensive licenses run smoothly. It's not even a question. It's amazingly smooth and fast, it never flinches. The big negative point (and not the least), its storage capacity... The iPhone 11 Pro starts with a 64 GB version, very insufficient today. For the price, we would like to be able to download all the games without any storage constraints (some games on Apple Arcade are very heavy, almost 2 GB). For the time being, it makes up for it with a battery that holds up well (and that's a feat for Apple!).


This buying guide is coming to an end, the latest gaming smartphones of 2021 have no more secrets for you! The advantage is that there's something for just about every budget. So you can have fun with a phone adapted for gam ing and enjoy these new generations of portable consoles to the fullest!
So, which new gaming phone have you chosen?

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Former editor-in-chief of JeuMobi and a real sniper of spelling mistakes. Very good audience, laughter is my fuel. Life is a game, isn't it!

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