There is just no denying it, mobile gaming is on the rise and the reason for this is simple – pretty much everybody has a smartphone these days. This, combined with the fact that a lot of mobile games are free-to-play, makes mobile gaming incredibly accessible.

But even though the hardware is not as big of a deal when it comes to mobile gaming, there is still a number of different factors to consider!

And since gaming phones are officially a thing now, we will be listing some of the best phones for gaming in 2019, covering a wide price range. Furthermore, we will also include a short guide at the end, discussing all the specifics that you need to keep in mind in order to make a well-informed choice.

Zoom Out: The 11 Best Gaming Phones For 2019

CategoryPhoneScreen SizeScreen ResolutionStorage CapacityOperating SystemURL
BudgetNokia 25in720x12808GBAndroid 8
Nokia 3.15.2in720x144016/32GBAndroid 8
Mid-rangeApple iPhone SE4in640x113632/64/128GBiOS 12
Huawei P20 Lite5.84in1080x228032/64GBAndroid 8
Huawei Honor View 105.99in1080x216064/128 GBAndroid 9
FlagshipApple iPhone X5.8in1125x243664/256 GBiOS 12
Razer Phone 25.7in1440x256064 GBAndroid 8
Asus RoG Phone6in1080x2160128/512 GBAndroid 8
Sony Xperia XZ36in1440x288064GBAndroid 9
OnePlus 6T6.4in1080x2340128/256 GBAndroid 9
Samsung Galaxy S95.8in1440x296064/128/256 GBAndroid 8

Budget

The first category is dedicated to the more affordable phones out there. Keep in mind though – just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean they’re bad products! Rather, it just means that the manufacturers cut some corners and focus on improving certain aspects of a device more than others.

Nokia 2

best gaming phone 2019

About the Phone

As you probably know, Nokia did not exactly shine these past couple of years. They were stuck making Windows Lumia phones, and we all know what fate befell the Windows Phone. So, when Nokia finally announced that they would start making new Android-powered phones, long-term fans of the company were overjoyed.

The one we’ll be looking at first is Nokia 2, a seemingly unremarkable yet very well-made budget phone. It may look a bit dated with those bezels, but keep in mind – this phone costs as little as $99! And for that price, it definitely packs some decent features. Most notably, there’s the 4000 mAh battery and the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen, both of which are something that you wouldn’t usually find in a phone this cheap.

Specifications

Screen Size5in
Display Resolution720×1280
Display TechnologyIPS LCD
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 212
CPU CoresQuad-core
CPU Clock Speed1.3 GHz
GPUAdreno 304
RAM1 GB
Internal Storage8 GB
Memory CardUp to 128 GB
Battery4100 mAh
Rear Camera8 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Front Camera5 MP
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1
Weight161g (5.68oz)

Our Thoughts

All things considered, the Nokia 2 is not a bad deal by any means. Granted, it has a dated CPU, very limited RAM and the internal storage that barely makes the cut by modern standards, plus both the rear and front cameras are downright mediocre as well. That said, you shouldn’t expect the Nokia 2 to smoke any benchmarks or have seamless multitasking, but for only $100, it actually offers some good value.

First of all, the screen looks quite good, even though we’re dealing with a 720p display. On top of that, there’s the massive battery which we’ve mentioned in the introduction, and there’s the support for MicroSD cards as large as 128 GB – and a memory card will definitely be a must with only 8 GB of internal storage. And finally, it is also worth noting that the phone has received an Android 8 update despite shipping with Android 7 originally, and OS updates are quite rare in Android phones this cheap.

So, in the end, if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest phone that you can get, you’ll hardly find one better than this. Granted, the bare minimum 8 GB of internal storage will make it tough to keep many games installed beside the usual apps, but once again – for this little money, many OEMs offer less.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkHiwy8pLlc

What We Loved

  • Decent display
  • Excellent battery life

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very limited internal storage
  • Underwhelming performance

Nokia 3.1

Gaming Phone

About the Phone

Our first budget phone was definitely a highly basic solution, but that’s only to be expected in a $100 device. However, you’ll be pleased to know that for roughly $50 more, you can get a faster and more reliable one.

Enter Nokia 3.1. It may look and feel pretty much identical to the above model, but when you look under the hood, you’ll find a device that is quite a bit better than the Nokia 2, and at a relatively minimal increase in price, too.

Specifications

Screen Size5.2in
Display Resolution720×1440
Display TechnologyIPS LCD
CPUMediatek MT6750
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed1.5 GHz
GPUMali-T860MP2
RAM2/3 GB
Internal Storage16/32 GB
Memory CardUp to 256 GB
Battery2990 mAh
Rear Camera13 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Front Camera8 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 8
Weight138g (4.87oz)

Our Thoughts

One look at the spec sheet and you can immediately see all the improvements that the Nokia 3.1 offers over its more affordable counterpart – a higher screen resolution, a newer CPU with double the core count, increased RAM, increased internal storage, better cameras, plus it is lighter as well. Not only that, but on the software front, it uses Android One – stripped-down, unadulterated Android with zero bloatware.

But of course, it’s definitely not a perfect phone at $150. For one, it comes with a 2990 mAh battery, which is not bad for a 5.2-inch phone but still a big step down from the 4100 mAh found in the Nokia 2. Plus, while the 2GB of RAM found in the standard model is an improvement on the Nokia 2, it is still not exactly plenty for Google’s memory-hungry operating system.

At the end of the day, the Nokia 3.1 is an all-around decent phone for the money – it has a good display, good enough specs, and the 16 GB of internal storage will be sufficient with some management. It goes without saying that the 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant is a better choice, but that model is not as readily available as the base one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mfwHav4ac0

What We Loved

  • Good display
  • Decent specs for the money
  • Great value

What We Didn’t Like

  • Average battery life
  • Slow multitasking

Apple iPhone SE

best phone for gaming

About the Phone

When it was first launched, the iPhone SE was a very important product in that it represented the very first instance of Apple offering their customers a more affordable non-flagship iPhone. This model, now unfortunately discontinued, takes the familiar and highly popular iPhone 5 design and packs it full of newer and better hardware.

Now, as with most iPhones (and many Apple products in general), the hardware specs don’t seem that great on paper, though you’ll find that iOS runs almost as smoothly on this little phone as it does on the newer and more expensive ones.

Specifications

Screen Size4in
Display Resolution640×1136
Display TechnologyIPS LCD
CPUApple A9
CPU CoresDual-core
CPU Clock Speed1.84 GHz
GPUPowerVR GT7600
RAM2 GB
Internal Storage32/64/128 GB
Memory CardN/A
Battery1624 mAh
Rear Camera12 MP ([email protected] FPS; [email protected]0 FPS)
Front Camera1.2 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemiOS 12
Weight133g (3.99oz)

Our Thoughts

Many will agree that, when considering the iPhone SE, the screen will make it or break it for some people. On one hand, it is downright diminutive by today’s standards, since even the cheapest Android phones come with 5-inch screens now. But on the other hand, that’s precisely what makes the SE so special – you just can’t find a good 4-inch smartphone anymore, and this was the key to the popularity of the iPhone SE, in addition to the price.

Speaking of the screen, the phone comes with an IPS LCD Retina display, as has been the tradition with all pre-X iPhones. The resolution may seem low, but for a 4-inch screen, it is more than sufficient. Inside, we have more seemingly underpowered hardware, but as already mentioned, the iPhone SE is more than fast enough thanks to superb iOS optimization. That, combined with the small screen, makes the phone’s battery life quite good, too.

All in all, the iPhone SE should be your number one choice if you want a 4-inch phone or just the cheapest iPhone that you can get. It is mainly this miniature screen that makes the device so special, but it goes without saying that if you actually want a larger screen (as most people seemingly do), this isn’t the phone for you. Should you want to get a new SE while they’re still around, keep in mind that it should be receiving iOS updates up until at least 2021.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WMBQwci5SI

What We Loved

  • Highly compact design
  • Excellent performance
  • High-quality build

What We Didn’t Like

  • Tiny by modern standards

Huawei P20 Lite

Best Budget Gaming Phone

About the Phone

Next up, we have a phone from Huawei – the Huawei P20 Lite. This Chinese giant has had a great track record when it comes to mid-range devices since the phones they’ve been offering in this price range for the past few years have been nothing short of excellent. The P20 Lite is a perfect example of this.

The phone looks and performs better than what you’d expect from a device at this price point, featuring an octa-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, a high-resolution screen, plenty of internal storage, and it even sports a sleek high-end design that makes it feel more expensive than it really is. Because of that, this phone just might be the ideal mid-range phone for 2019.

Specifications

Screen Size5.84in
Display Resolution1080×2280
Display TechnologyIPS LCD
CPUHiSilicon Kirin 659
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.36 + 4×1.7 GHz
GPUMali-T830 MP2
RAM4GB
Internal Storage32/64 GB
Memory CardUp to 256 GB
Battery3000 mAh
Rear Camera16 MP + 2 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Front Camera16 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 8
Weight145g (5.11oz)

Our Thoughts

As already mentioned in the introduction, what makes the P20 Lite so appealing is precisely the hardware and the design that it offers at an approachable price – a good CPU, plenty of RAM, and a large high-resolution screen, all greatly improved compared to what Huawei and other companies were offering in this price range as little as two years ago.

However, while it may look like a flagship, it most certainly misses some features that you’d expect from a flagship phone. While both the front and rear cameras boast a high resolution, are not as good as what you’d see in pricier models, the phone is not water-resistant, nor can it compete with flagships in terms of performance.

In any case, this is a very good mid-range phablet that’s bound to appeal to those who like larger phones. Just keep in mind that Huawei isn’t exactly known for their timey updates, especially on cheaper devices, so while the P20 Lite will definitely get Android 9, don’t hold your breath.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igbKsOsipR4

What We Loved

  • Large, good-looking display
  • Sleek design
  • Good performance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the best cameras
  • Not IP-certified

Huawei Honor View 10

Best Phone For Gaming

About the Phone

Next up is another Huawei phone, only this one belongs to their Honor brand – the Honor View 10. This somewhat pricier phone does a good job of fixing the shortcomings of the more affordable P20 Lite, adding better cameras and a faster 10nm chip.

Specifications

Screen Size5.99in
Display Resolution1080×2160
Display TechnologyIPS LCD
CPUHiSilicon Kirin 970
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.4 + 4×1.8 GHz
GPUMali-G72 MP12
RAM4/6 GB
Internal Storage64/128 GB
Memory CardUp to 256 GB
Battery3750 mAh
Rear Camera16 MP + 20 MP ([email protected] FPS; [email protected] FPS)
Front Camera13 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 8
Weight172g (6.07oz)

Our Thoughts

As you can see, the View 10 is an upgrade over the P20 Lite, particularly when it comes to the internals. On the outside, it borrows more from Samsung’s Galaxy series rather than featuring the near-ubiquitous notch that so many phones implement these days, and on the inside, it features a has CPU and a larger battery, improved cameras, and some models have a greater amount of RAM and greater internal storage capacity.

All in all, it is a phone that offers a lot for the money, and the only qualm we have with it is the dated design reminiscent of the Galaxy S7 and the earlier models. There’s just no denying that the cheaper P20 Lite looks sleeker and more modern.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX8C7kn0OZU

What We Loved

  • Massive screen
  • Improved performance
  • Great overall value

What We Didn’t Like

  • Dated design

Apple iPhone X

gaming phone

About the Phone

When the iPhone X was released on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, the reactions were mixed, to say the least. Regardless, the X broke the chain of near-identical iPhones that started with the iPhone 6, and it popularized the notch which most OEMs implement in their high-end and mid-range models today.

But enough about the influence of the iPhone X – what about the phone itself? Well, the A11 Bionic chip is definitely an upgrade over the A10, and though the 3GB of RAM and a 2716 mAh battery may seem very underwhelming on paper, we’ve already mentioned that the hardware specs are hardly indicative of an iPhone’s performance due to unmatched OS optimization. Perhaps the most important change was the inclusion of an OLED display, as opposed to the IPS LCD used in all the iPhones leading up to the X.

Specifications

Screen Size5.8in
Display Resolution1125×2436
Display TechnologyAMOLED
CPUApple A11 Bionic
CPU CoresHexa-core
CPU Clock Speed2.39 GHz
GPUApple GPU
RAM3 GB
Internal Storage64/256 GB
Memory CardN/A
Battery2716 mAh
Rear Camera2×12 MP ([email protected] FPS, [email protected] FPS)
Front Camera7 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemiOS 12
Weight174g (6.14oz)

Our Thoughts

Now, we know what you’re thinking – why the X and not the Xs? Well, as most of us know, Apple really only introduces incremental upgrades year after year, apart from the big jumps that happen every few years such as with the change from the 3GS to the 4, from the 5s to the 6, and most recently, from the 8 to the X.

As such, the Xs is only a minor upgrade over the X. Sure, it has an improved CPU, an extra 1GB of RAM and there’s a 512GB storage option, but that’s about it. When you take into account that the X already has all the important features such as an AMOLED display, FaceID, and superb dual cameras, as well as the fact that it will receive OS updates for years to come, it becomes abundantly clear as to why we consider the last year’s model to be a better pick – especially now that you can get it for less money in this era of quadruple-digit iPhone prices.

However, even though it’s not as expensive as before due to not being the latest model, it is still quite expensive. But unless you want to go with an even older iPhone 7 or 8, we can hardly think of a better iOS device to get in 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvVKnC6gGtg

What We Loved

  • Beautiful AMOLED display
  • Superb performance
  • Very thin bezels

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive

Razer Phone 2

Gaming Phones

About the Phone

The Razer Phone is widely considered to be the OG gaming phone, that is, the first phone marketed specifically as a gaming device. As such, it is no wonder that its successor – the Razer Phone 2 – has found its way onto this list.

Released in October 2018, the Razer Phone 2 runs Android 8 out of the box, comes with a snappy (no pun intended) Snapdragon 845 10nm CPU, an ample 8 GB of RAM and a humongous 4000 mAh battery, but most importantly, it also keeps the most standout feature of its predecessor – the first ever mobile 120 Hz display.

Specifications

Screen Size5.72in
Display Resolution1440×2560
Display TechnologyIPS LCD
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 845
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.8 + 4×1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 630
RAM8GB
Internal Storage64GB
Memory CardUp to 256 GB
Battery4000 mAh
Rear Camera2×12 MP ([email protected] FPS, [email protected] FPS)
Front Camera8 MP ([email protected])
Operating SystemAndroid 8
Weight220g (7.76oz)

Our Thoughts

The Razer Phone 2 keeps everything that was great about its predecessor, and then adds some extra tricks of its own, including an RGB logo on the back, as well as a glass back that enables wireless charging.

On the inside, it comes with an excellent 10nm octa-core CPU, has a massive battery, and a QHD display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz which makes it feel much more responsive than a regular 60Hz display. Of course, we can’t not mention the THX-certified stereo speakers that come complete with Dolby Atmos support. All in all, the Razer Phone 2 is a real pocket powerhouse!

But no phone is without some drawback, and the key drawback of this phone is its weight. Namely, at 220g, it is quite a bit bulkier than most phones, and you’ll definitely feel the difference if you’re used to something lighter. Speaking of bulk, the design, too, diverges from the current trends, as the phone is quite blocky and has a prominent “chin and forehead”, although it is understandable considering the large speakers.

In any case, the Razer Phone 2 is actually surprisingly affordable compared to other flagships and considering the kind of hardware that it offers, so it is definitely one of the best gaming phones on this list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIuSElb3Ous

What We Loved

  • Excellent 120Hz QHD display
  • Powerful speakers
  • Approachable price
  • Great overall value

What We Didn’t Like

  • Bulky design
  • A bit heavy by modern standards

Asus RoG Phone

Best Android Phone For Gaming

About the Phone

Once Razer entered the smartphone scene and kicked off the “gaming phone” trend, Asus was quick to put forward their own competing solution. Unlike Razer, Asus had prior experience with manufacturing smartphones with their ZenFone series, though this gaming phone belongs to their Republic of Gamers brand which is focused on gaming products.

If you’ve ever seen or owned a RoG product, then chances are you’ll know exactly what to expect from the RoG Phone. It boasts a gaudy exterior design, complete with an RGB logo on the back, and as you might have guessed, the internals don’t disappoint either.

Specifications

Screen Size6in
Display Resolution1080×2160
Display TechnologyAMOLED
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 845
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.96 + 4×1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 630
RAM8GB
Internal Storage128/512 GB
Memory CardN/A
Battery4000 mAh
Rear Camera12 MP + 8 MP ([email protected] FPS, [email protected] FPS)
Front Camera8 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 8
Weight200g (7.05oz)

Our Thoughts

From the get-go, you can see that the RoG Phone comes with the same internal hardware as the Razer Phone 2, so the performance offered by these two devices should be more or less the same. However, Asus does make some changes.

Most importantly there’s an HDR AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. The resolution is also a little lower but many will find AMOLED more preferable to LCD, despite this. Furthermore, the phone is a bit lighter and slightly larger, featuring pressure-sensitive “AirTriggers” on the side that emulate the feeling of a controller’s triggers or shoulder buttons.

Now, the main drawback of the RoG Phone is its hefty $900 price tag. Asus could have definitely sold the device for less simply by offering lower internal storage and Micro SD support, but the way it is, the RoG phone is a bit of a hard sell unless you also plan on buying some of its many accessories. These include:

  1. The TwinView Dock which converts the phone into something resembling a dual-display handheld console similar to the Nintendo 3DS.
  2. The Desktop Dock which essentially converts the phone into a desktop PC, allowing the use of desktop peripherals such as a mouse, a keyboard, an external display, and more.
  3. The GameVice Controller which emulates the feeling of a PSVita much like the TwinView dock emulates the Nintendo 3DS.

Honestly, if it weren’t for these accessories, the RoG Phone would have very little to offer compared to the more affordable Razer Phone, but at the end of the day, it will still appeal to many an enthusiast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF-Fkbm0XjU

What We Loved

  • 90Hz AMOLED display
  • Powerful hardware
  • AirTriggers
  • Variety of unique accessories

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • No MicroSD slot
  • Gaudy design
  • Accessories are quite pricey in their own right

Sony Xperia XZ3

Best Gaming Phone 2019

About the Phone

Next up, we have a device from Sony, and it’s their latest flagship – the Xperia XZ3. Now, Sony is hardly the most popular smartphone manufacturer and their phones always tend to be a step behind the times, but the Xperia XZ3 really is something.

While it still has a hefty “chin and forehead” instead of a notch, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, the phone packs some serious hardware, and the display is quite interesting in particular.

Specifications

Screen Size6in
Display Resolution1440×2880
Display TechnologyPOLED
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 845
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.7 + 4×1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 630
RAM4/6GB
Internal Storage64GB
Memory CardUp to 512GB
Battery3300 mAh
Rear Camera19 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Front Camera13 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 9
Weight193g (6.81oz)

Our Thoughts

As you can see, the performance of the XZ3 should be on even terms with the previous two models, seeing as it, too, utilizes a Snapdragon 845 chip. The 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage in the standard model look good as well, but as already stated, the display is the most interesting aspect of this phone.

First of all, you’ll notice that it used POLED instead of the usual AMOLED display that’s now common among high-end phones. Well, it’s still an OLED, but the key difference is that it uses plastic instead of glass. In regards to visuals, the display of the XZ3 is downright stunning – it has a very high resolution, supports HDR, and is further complemented by Sony’s X-Reality technology, making for a truly superb display.

Combine the above with the great camera and the all-around sturdy build, and it becomes clear as to why the Xperia XZ3 is such a good buy. Its only real shortcoming, apart from the usual issue with the inevitable high price, is the awkward positioning of the fingerprint sensor. Older Xperia models had a sensor placed conveniently on the side of the phone, and now Sony thought it was a good idea to put it on the center of the phone’s back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0hhoVjRehc

What We Loved

  • Stunning QHD display with HDR support
  • Good performance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Unintuitive fingerprint sensor placement
  • Pricey

OnePlus 6T

Best Phone For Games

About the Phone

OnePlus originally rose to prominence because of the way that they managed to cram flagship features into devices that sold at significantly lower prices than ‘actual’ flagships. And while OnePlus phones aren’t as cheap as they used to be, they still definitely offer great value for your money.

The OnePlus 6T, the company’s latest flagship, comes with great specs and is still quite a bit cheaper than most other flagships, all the while packing some unique tricks of its own.

Specifications

Screen Size6.41in
Display Resolution1080×2340
Display TechnologyAMOLED
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 845
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.8 + 4×1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 630
RAM6/8GB
Internal Storage128/256GB
Memory CardN/A
Battery3700 mAh
Rear Camera16 MP + 20 MP ([email protected] FPS, [email protected] fps)
Front Camera16 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 9
Weight185g (6.53oz)

Our Thoughts

The first thing you’ll notice about the OnePlus 6T is its elegant teardrop notch. The next thing you’ll notice is that the phone is just huge, sitting at almost 6.5-inches! Needless to say, this is bound to catch the eye of phablet-lovers. The internals are pretty much what you’d expect – the same high-end Snapdragon 845 chip used in most of the latest Android flagships, along with plenty of RAM and internal storage.

On the downside, the phone has no MicroSD slot, meaning that you’ll be stuck with whatever amount of internal storage you pick initially. Furthermore, it is not IP-certified for dust and water resistance, something that is almost ubiquitous among flagships today.

But in the end, the OnePlus 6T offers great performance, a streamlined OxygenOS launcher, and packs a solid display in a relatively inexpensive package, as far as current flagship prices are concerned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKHO0vsVZUE

What We Loved

  • Excellent performance
  • Great launcher
  • Relatively affordable for a flagship

What We Didn’t Like

  • No MicroSD slot
  • Not IP-certified

Samsung Galaxy S9

what is the best phone for gaming

About the Phone

Of course, we can’t talk about flagships without mentioning at least one model from the leading Android OEM, Samsung. The phone which we have here is the Korean giant’s latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Visually, the S9 doesn’t differ much from the S8, and it is quite similar to the other phones currently on the market in terms of specs. Of course, one of the S9’s biggest strengths lies precisely in the area which Samsung has pioneered in – the AMOLED display.

Specifications

Screen Size5.8in
Display Resolution1440×2960
Display TechnologyAMOLED
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 845
CPU CoresOcta-core
CPU Clock Speed4×2.8 + 4×1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 630
RAM4 GB
Internal Storage64/128/256 GB
Memory CardUp to 512 GB
Battery3000 mAh
Rear Camera12 MP ([email protected] FPS; [email protected] FPS)
Front Camera8 MP ([email protected] FPS)
Operating SystemAndroid 8
Weight163g (5.75oz)

Our Thoughts

The Galaxy S9 offers nothing groundbreaking compared to all the other flagships we’ve already mentioned, especially not in the hardware department – there’s the same Snapdragon 845, the now-standard 4GB of RAM, several storage capacity options, and a 3000 mAh battery.

However, this phone’s value lies mainly in its excellent display and in how cheap it is compared to most flagship devices. With a beautiful curved QHD+ AMOLED display that comes complete with HDR support, the Galaxy S9 looks stunning, all the while going for a few hundred dollars less than the average flagship these days.

Ultimately, some might see the S9 as an incremental upgrade over the S8 which is even more affordable now, we’d still go with the S9, if only for the sake of having a more future-proof device.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzy_nCkn88U

What We Loved

  • Top-notch QHD+ AMOLED display
  • Beautiful curved screen
  • Fairly affordable for a flagship

What We Didn’t Like

  • Galaxy S8 may present better value

How to Pick the Best Phone for Your Needs

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best smartphones that you can get in 2019, it’s time to address all the factors that might influence your decision as to which of these is the right pick for you.

Android vs iOS

gaming phones

This is an age-old question. Well, more of a decade-old question, really, not considering that iOS was much more popular than Android devices were in the early years following the release of the original iPhone.

Comparing these two operating systems and the devices they are available on is a bit of a tricky question in 2019 since they both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, while neither is inherently better than the other.

Now, since this is a bit of a complex subject, you might want to check out this article where we discuss the merits and flaws of Android and iOS in greater detail.

If we had to summarize our conclusion, it would have to be as follows:

iOS usually offers better performance, superior long-term support, apps that generally adhere to a higher quality standard, and ultimately, iPhones may present better value in the long run due to their good reselling prices and Apple’s upgrade plans.

On the other hand, Android allows the user a greater degree of freedom, is far more customizable, allows users access to a greater variety of apps, and perhaps most importantly, you can find an Android phone at virtually any price point.

Furthermore, it should be noted that emulators are not available for iOS, whereas there are many emulators for Android, and that’s something that you should keep in mind if you would want to play some old games on your phone.

How to Pick a Display

The Panel – OLED vs LCD

Best Gaming Phones

With phones, the display isn’t quite as difficult to pick as it may be with monitors and TVs. This is mainly because both the panel technology and the resolution play a far lesser role than they do with larger displays right now.

For a long time, most phones (including flagships) utilized IPS LCD displays, although this did change quite recently when OLED became the new standard for high-end devices. Now, many will agree that OLED is the superior technology of the two, and for several reasons:

  1. They tend to have better color reproduction, so the colors displayed are more vibrant and seem more organic.
  2. They reflect less light, which is great news for those who spend a lot of time outdoors.
  3. They are more power-efficient. Since every pixel functions as its own light source, OLED displays do not need to constantly keep a power-hungry backlight active for as long as the display is turned on. Plus, since black is displayed by turning off individual pixels, an OLED display produces true blacks rather than dark greys, as LCD displays do.

Of course, in spite of these advantages, the main drawback of OLED panels is that they are expensive to manufacture, which is precisely why it took so long for OLED displays to become mainstream in flagship phones. They are yet to fully break into the TV and monitor markets.

The Resolution

Best Smartphone For Gaming

How important is the resolution in a 5-inch or 6-inch display?

Well, obviously, the resolution an important aspect to consider with every type of display, but is not as big of an issue today when all but the cheapest phones come with a 1080p display and a pixel density of about 400 pixels per inch, all the while the more expensive ones can go even beyond 500 PPI.

Now, in a phone, even 300 PPI tends to be more than sharp enough for a 5 or 6-inch handheld device. So, why the 400-500 PPI overkill, you might ask?

Cheap Gaming Phones

Well, there are two reasons.

First, there is marketability. Ramping up the numbers in a spec sheet, even if they are fairly inconsequential specs, can cause the device to be received better.

But more importantly, OLED displays have different pixel matrices, thus requiring an OLED display to have a higher ppi in order to maintain the kind of sharpness that you’d see in an LCD display with a lot fewer pixels per inch.

In any case, the resolution is hardly that relevant when it comes to picking a phone, as the type of panel and the actual quality of the panel plays a much greater role in how good the display looks.

How Much Internal Storage Do You Need?

best android phones for gaming

Today, phones can have anywhere between 8 GB and 512 GB of internal storage. What’s more, 1 TB of internal storage is already a thing with some models. But how much is enough?

Well, in 2019, we’d say that 64 GB is the best option, at least on average. For the most part, 8 GB is a bare minimum, 16 GB will require a lot of rationing, while 32 GB will be quite enough for those who don’t have a habit of installing too many apps or storing vast amounts of multimedia locally.

With that said, anything higher than 64 GB is only really necessary if you have a large music library or want to have some movies or TV shows with you on the go. If that’s not the case, you’d probably find 64 GB of internal storage to be quite sufficient.

But on another note, let’s not forget that internal storage isn’t necessarily all the storage that you’d get. Most Android phones support MicroSD memory cards, which is a great way to expand your phone’s storage capacity at a minimal expense.

Furthermore, cloud storage is more popular than ever now, and you can get considerable amounts of cloud storage for what is essentially pocket change each month.

How Much RAM Do You Need?

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RAM is another important hardware spec that tends to be fairly high on many people’s priority list whenever they’re shopping for a new computer, though it is not as vital for phones as it is for laptops and desktop PC.

Mobile apps are fairly lightweight, so the amount of RAM in a phone will primarily have to do with multitasking. However, it is difficult to ascertain exact performance based on the specs alone, since it will also have a lot to do with optimization.

iOS devices are superbly optimized, so even the iPhones with as little as 2 GB of RAM can easily juggle a number of apps at once without dropping any of them and with no need for the RAM to be cleared every once in a while.

Android, since it’s not as optimized and since it’s available on a wide range of hardware platforms, tends to be more RAM-hungry. Fortunately, adding more RAM to a phone is fairly cheap, so it’s not uncommon to see Android phones come with 4, 6, or 8 GB of RAM these days.

So, how much is enough?

For iOS devices, you don’t even need to think about RAM since you can rest assured that the phone or tablet in question will have excellent OS optimization. For Android phones, 2GB of RAM should be a bare minimum if you want to keep more than two or three apps open and loaded at once, though phones with 4 GB of RAM or more are not an unusual sight these days.

The Best Gaming Phone For 2019 – Razer Phone 2

Best Gaming Phones 2019

At the end of the day, if we had to pick the best phone for gaming in 2019, we’d have to go with the Razer Phone 2 due to its relative affordability, excellent performance, a 120Hz screen, and outstanding stereo speakers.

Of course, if you’d prefer an AMOLED display, a phone that is less blocky, or simply want something cheaper, there is a wide variety of devices to choose from. In any case, you’ll likely find something suited to your preferences and budget on this list.

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