Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Best Gaming Phone 2024: Hit high scores with our favourite picks

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 a dedicated PC or console gamer who wants to take that high-end gaming experience on the go, you should consider buying a gaming phone. But with so many available with varying specs, which are worth your hard-earned cash?

While the idea of high-end gaming on a phone was once a pipe dream, there are now phones that are dedicated to just that. This new wave of gaming phones brings a bevvy of gaming-focused features, from impressive cooling to enhanced screen tech, overclocked processors and even built-in gaming controls, to deliver the very best gaming experience possible – and we’ve hand-picked the very best.

Every phone we’ve included in this list has been thoroughly tested by one of our expert team members, using a combination of real-world use and synthetic benchmark tests to determine how each device stacks up against the competition.

We’ve also included a few recommendations that aren’t necessarily certified gaming phones, but still offer superb performance while also excelling in other areas, like battery life and camera tech. These are a solid alternative for those who like to game on a phone, but also want an all-round experience for everyday use.

If you’re after the best all-round phones that excel in a number of areas, we recommend checking out our best phones guide. If you’re on a tighter budget, then our best mid-range phones and best cheap phones articles provide a selection of more affordable handsets. Otherwise, keep on reading to find out about the best gaming phones available in 2024.

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
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 are a number of excellent gaming features here that set 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. 

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
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

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

Cons

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

Even though the iPhone 15 Pro Max isn’t designed specifically with mobile gaming in mind like some of the other handsets in this list, Apple has gone to great lengths to make the device an impressively powerful machine in this category.

What’s most jaw-dropping here is the raw power that the A17 Pro chip is able to achieve, allowing the 15 Pro Max to run triple-A games natively, without the need for any cloud software.

At the time of writing, titles like Resident Evil 4 Remake Death Stranding and Assassin’s Creed Mirage are all available to download via the App Store. Typically, this is the type of gaming experience that wouldn’t be possible without cloud services like Game Pass and GeForce Now, so if you want to enjoy these games offline on a long journey, then you’re best investing in the 15 Pro Max.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Apple’s latest flagship doesn’t boast the classic mobile gaming experience that we’re more familiar with, far from it. The phone can run hits like Call of Duty Mobile and Genshin Impact with ease, and that’s before mentioning the value proposition that Apple Arcade brings to the table.

If you’re the type of person who spends a great deal of time playing mobile games then you’ll get tons of use out of the Apple Arcade library thanks to titles from big-name companies like Sega, Konami and Disney.

While the iPhone 15 Pro features the same gaming prowess, having the extra real estate of the 15 Pro Max’s 6.7-inch OLED display is a real treat, showing off games in their best light.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, outside of gaming, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is one of the best handsets on the market. With terrific cameras, great software and tremendous battery life, there’s very little to leave you wanting here.

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

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Best Android flagship for gaming
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Genuinely useful AI features
  • Versatile camera setup
  • All-day battery life and then some
  • Seven years of OS upgrades

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Average ultrawide camera

If you want a flagship smartphone that boasts excellent gaming performance as just one of its many accomplishments, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the smartphone to go for.

It can easily deliver some of the best performance around using the exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, with benchmarks not too far from what you’ll see from the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition, while not skimping on the rest of the smartphone experience.

That means you get a truly high-end 6.82-inch Super AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate, LTPO tech, a maximum brightness of 2500nits and a pixel-packed QHD+ resolution. It’s arguably one of the best screens around, gaming phone or not, made even better by the inclusion of an S Pen for note-taking and doodling. There’s also a whopping 5000mAh cell that could go all day and then some in testing, making it an ideal option for long gameplay sessions.

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. That includes a guaranteed seven years of OS upgrades, a brilliant camera system with a suite of lenses that includes a primary 200MP sensor and, of course, all the benefits of the GenAI-powered Galaxy AI too.

If you’re looking for a top-end Android device that can handle games without breaking a sweat and much more to boot, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is an easy recommendation.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full Review: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Poco X6 Pro

Best budget gaming phone
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

  • Powerful MediaTek processor
  • Bright 120Hz OLED display
  • Great main and selfie cameras

Cons

  • 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 cheapen 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 Z Fold 5

Best foldable phone for gaming
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 and 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

15,883

Mobile Phone

See all reviews

FAQs

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

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours
Stated Power

Best Gaming Phones: Benchmark Comparison

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
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

Why trust our journalism?

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

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words