Mobile gaming has come a long way since the days of Snake. Today our phones are full-blown gaming consoles with specs good enough to handle the likes of PubG: Mobile and Fortnite.
Or at least… some of them are. If you're a big fan of the old vidya games, you'll want a smartphone that can handle them. That usually means:
- powerful processors that can run games as smoothly as possible
- a good-sized, crystal clear display so you can see all the details
- enough storage space for all your favourites
- decent battery life
- good speakers to get you completely immersed in what you're playing
- and even some clever apps to help improve performance.
Here's our pick of the top five best smartphones that we think tick all the boxes.
5. OnePlus 6T
Processing power: For a quality performance at a mid-range price, pay attention to the OnePlus 6T with its effective Snapdragon 845 processor. There are faster and more powerful processors on the market, but the 6T is a great gaming-phone if you’re concerned about budget.
Screen: An enormous 6.3-inch AMOLED screen at this price is a win-win.
What else?: Its 6 or 8GB of RAM (depending on which model you opt for) should be enough to handle most games you throw at it. The downside is there’s no wireless charging and headphone jack - but these shouldn’t be deal breakers.
Processing power: Huawei have packed the impressive Kirin 980 processor into the Mate 20 Pro to assure you of a smooth and powerful gaming experience. If you’re interested in the science, this is the first mobile processer in the world to be built on a 7nm chip. If you’re not, this means it can pretty much handle any game you play on it to superb effect.
Screen: A 6.39-inch curved OLED display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The Mate 20 Pro’s screen is a beauty and makes the most of its available real estate.
What else?: A 4,200mAh battery means you’ll get plenty of hours of intensive gaming in.
3. Sony Xperia XZ23
Processing power: Like the OnePlus 6T, the Sony Xperia XZ3 boasts the Snapdragon 845 processor, which means significant power and a great mobile gaming experience. This is a fast phone.
Screen: With good colours from a crystal-clear display, the XZ3 comes with a stunning 6-inch OLED screen which makes gaming a joy.
What else?: In the sound department, the Xperia XZ3 packs some real wallop with powerful S-Force dual front-facing speakers. And there’s also a big 3300mAh battery which is more than adequate to satisfy your gaming demands.
2. iPhone XR
Processing power: The perfect gaming smartphone for Apple disciples, which comes equipped with the powerful Apple A12 Bionic for an optimum performance.
Screen: A large and bright 6.1-inch LCD screen which works hard to give you a lavish gaming experience.
What else?: Sure, it helps if you intend to link it up to all sorts of Apple kit, but as iPhones go - from battery life to storage - the XR is your best bet for gaming.
1. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Processing power: Another smartphone that houses the Snapdragon 845 chip is the S9 Plus, which means more processing power than you can shake a stick at. It’ll handle pretty much any game you send its way.
Screen: While we’re showering the S9 Plus with praise, check out its gorgeous 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED curved screen. Samsung have helpfully restricted the size of the bezel too, so gamers can benefit from as much screen as possible.
What else?: For a more efficient performance still, go for the Plus model over the S9 for the 6GB of RAM.
Along with the incredible screen and Hulk-strength processors, the S9 and S9 Plus come with a special Game Launcher to make your gaming just that bit better. With the Launcher, you can block notifications while you're playing, take screenshots and video, alter the quality, lock the keys, and more. The phone is even water-resistant so you can game in the bath (go ahead, we won't judge).