Best gaming phones for 2023

Take your mobile gaming up a level with our expert pick of devices from Asus, Samsung, Apple and more. These are the best gaming phones available right now.

Three of the best gaming phones on a dark purple background

Do you want to know what the best gaming phone is? Of course you do. There are all sorts to consider when it comes to choosing the correct device. Luckily, the team at Pocket Tactics is well-versed when it comes to this sort of tech – we’ll help you pick out the right device for you.

You first need to consider the amount of money you’re willing to part with, the games you play, where you play (at home or on the go), and what you want your phone for. Besides gaming, there are a lot of other things to consider, especially if you’re also after a device that can take great pictures, for instance. Such devices to consider if you want to play the best mobile games are the Google Pixel 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S23 ultra, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max – each has much to offer as both a gaming phone and a typical smartphone.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At Pocket Tactics, our experts spend days testing games, phones, tech, and services. We always share honest opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

In this day and age people like to pick up a gaming phone due to how versatile they are, especially in comparison to the best portable gaming consoles on the market. With a phone, you can access social media, send messages, receive calls, take photos, access your work emails, and, of course, play games. The best part is you don’t even need to spend a fortune for a decent gaming phone; you can check out the best cell phone providers and compare their phone deals if you don’t want to buy a phone outright.

Here are the best gaming phones to buy right now:

  1. Asus ROG 7 Ultimate – best gaming phone
  2. iPhone 15 Pro Max – best gaming iPhone
  3. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – best Samsung gaming phone
  4. Google Pixel 7 Pro – best Pixel gaming phone
  5. Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G – best budget all-rounder
  6. RedMagic 8S Pro – best mid-range gaming phone
  7. OnePlus 10 Pro – great value high-refresh-rate gaming phone
  8. Motorola Edge Plus – great value for a flagship gaming phone

best gaming phones - the front and back of the Asus ROG 7 Ultimate handset in white

1. Asus ROG 7 Ultimate

The best gaming phone overall.

Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate specs:

Chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Display 6.78-inch 165Hz AMOLED (1080 x 2448)
Storage 512GB
Battery Li-Po 6000 mAh


  • 6000 mAh battery for long gaming sessions
  • Gamecool thermal system to prevent overheating
  • Best screen available in a smartphone
  • Air triggers for an excellent FPS experience


  • Cameras are very poor for the price
  • Fingerprint sensor less responsive than competition

If you want the best there is when it comes to a gaming phone, we strongly suggest you take a look at the Asus ROG range, the most recent of which is the Asus ROG 7 Ultimate, a powerhouse of a smartphone that’s more than capable of running any mobile game that you can get your hands on. The Snapdragon Gen 2 chipset ensures that this device can run even the most demanding of games, while the RAM and storage make sure it doesn’t run slowly not take up too much space.

The innovative device features the air trigger system to help with shooters, as well as a 6000 mAh battery, which ensures you can spend hours upon hours playing games on your phone. Not only that, but the built-in gamecool thermal system ensures overheating is unlikely to occur.

Read our Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate review.

Best gaming phones - the iPhone 15 Pro Max laying screen-down on a wooden table

2. Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The best iPhone for gaming.

iPhone 15 Pro Max specs:

Chipset Apple A17 Pro
Display 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED (1290 x 2796)
Storage 256GB-1TB
Battery Li-Ion 4441 mAh


  • Gorgeous 6.7-inch display
  • Fast A17 Pro chip


  • A pricey option
  • Insufficient cooling for marathon gaming

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the most powerful iPhone on the market and features Apple’s A17 Pro chip, which is more efficient than the previous A16 bionic chip found in iOS devices. This helps to ensure a smooth gaming experience. Of course, there’s also no denying that the display is sublime, bringing any mobile game to new heights (you just have to remember such a device comes with a premium cost).

It also has a decent battery life which means you can stay away from an outlet for a fair few hours before needing some more juice. Finally, the size of the device ensures you have plenty of room to maneuver when you use touch controls. You can check out our full iPhone 15 Pro Max review for more information.

best gaming phones - The front and back of a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra along with its stylus

3. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The best Samsung gaming phone.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs:

Chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Display 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED (1440 x 3088)
Storage 256GB-1TB
Battery Li-Ion 5000 mAh


  • Features 6.8-inch display
  • Impressive camera array
  • Comes with a stylus


  • No gaming-specific features

Yes, of course, there’s a Samsung device that’s capable of providing you with the ultimate mobile gaming experience. The Samsung Galaxy S23 features some impressive processing speeds with 2.8GHz, 2.5GHz, and 1.8GHz.

We all know how important this is – nobody wants to be stuck with a laggy phone. Better still, the 6.8-inch display ensures you have plenty of space to utilize touch controls.

However, while 22 hours of playback isn’t bad, it’s not quite as good as the previous two phones, which can impact your gaming experience should you be after a device that can cater to a marathon session. Check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review.

The Google Pixel 7 Pro being used to access the Google Play store

4. Google Pixel 7 Pro

The best Google Pixel gaming phone.

Google Pixel 7 Pro specs:

Chipset Google Tensor G2
Display 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED (1440 x 3120)
Storage 128GB-512GB
Battery Li-Ion 5000 mAh


  • Affordable for a flagship device
  • Stunning camera quality
  • Colorful 6.7-inch OLED screen


  • Battery life could be better

Though it’s no longer the current flagship, the Google Pixel 7 Pro is more affordable than a lot of other phones on the market, considering the specs it has. Although not designed for gaming specifically, it’s ideal for casual mobile gamers who also want a well-designed, high-specced Android phone. Couple the 6.7-inch display coupled with Google’s Tensor G2 chip which sets a powerful GPU benchmark, and you’ve got a pretty solid gaming device.

The camera quality is also stunning, however, the brilliant screen and versatile processor come at the expense of battery life – which is a little disappointing when you’re away from power. If you want to get a full look at what this phone offers, read our Google Pixel 7 Pro review.

best gaming phones - Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G phones in different colors on a purple background

5. Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G

A good budget gaming phone.

Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G specs:

Chipset Mediatek Dimensity 1080
Display 6.67-inch 120Hz OLED (1080 x 2400)
Storage 128GB/256GB
Battery Li-Po 5000 mAh


  • Good value
  • High-refresh-rate screen


  • Lots of alternatives
  • Software issues

The Redmi Note Pro 5G is a great option for someone looking for a gaming phone that can do everything else capably (without breaking the bank!). It has its issues, but with frequent price drops, it’s a tempting option if you’re on a tight budget.

While the MediaTek Dimensity 1080 is a little old, it’s still a decent mid-range chip, offering zippy gaming without decimating battery life. Casual games are a breeze, while any heftier titles on medium settings are generally smooth.

The best thing about the Redmi Note Pro 5G is that it’s a good all-rounder, so if you need a cheap handset that can handle gaming but still fit into your daily life, it fits the bill. Decent cameras, battery life, and build quality all come together to make an ace smartphone.

The main downside is that there isn’t really any standout feature. There are competitors with better processors, higher IPX ratings, and smoother OS. If you need a specific feature, maybe look elsewhere. Read our Redmi Note Pro 5G review.

best gaming phones - both sides of the RedMagic 8S Pro showing a robotic cat on the screen

6. RedMagic 8S Pro

A great value gaming phone.

RedMagic 8S Pro specs:

Chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Display 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED (1116 x 2480)
Storage 128GB-512GB
Battery Li-Po 6000mAh


  • Personalized gaming mode
  • Reasonably priced


  • Cheaper materials than flagships
  • Passable camera

Here we have another device designed specifically for mobile gaming. The RedMagic 8S Pro is one of the best on the market, and given it starts at $659, it’s one of the cheaper options too, within this spec range, at least.

It features a 6000mAh battery to ensure you can have longer gaming sessions, alongside 65W fast charging so you can dive back in quickly after you run out of juice. Oh, and what sort of gaming phone would the RedMagic 8S Pro be if it didn’t have a cooling system?

Luckily it does, with a built-in cooling fan and heat sink, making it an all-out gaming powerhouse. Oh, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that it has a personalized gaming mode, a saving grace for those in this for the long haul. Read our RedMagic 8S Pro review to learn more.

best gaming phones - the OnePlus 10 Pro on a purple Pocket Tactics background

7. OnePlus 10 Pro

A high-refresh-rate gaming phone.

OnePlus 10 Pro specs:

Chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Display 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED (1440 x 3216)
Storage 128GB-512GB
Battery Li-Po 5000 mAh


  • A great retail price
  • Fantastic battery life
  • A great 120Hz refresh rate


  • Lacks cool-down qualities
  • Isn’t compatible with 5G

Here we have what we consider to be the king of Android gaming phones. Honestly, there’s a lot to love about the OnePlus 10 Pro, from its lovely 6.7” display to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip it utilizes.

Oh, and then there’s the 120Hz refresh rate it possesses, which just happens to go nicely with the nearly 13 hours of battery life it has. All of those qualities help to push this gaming phone to the front of the pack, and the fact it costs $699 USD also helps.

Yes, you read that right, it’s a good $200 USD cheaper than a lot of its competitors, yet it still has many qualities that help to ensure that you can enjoy long marathon gaming sessions on a responsive screen.

best gaming phones - the front and back of a Motorola Edge Plus on a purple background

8. Motorola Edge Plus

A cheap flagship gaming phone.

Chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Display 6.67-inch OLED (1080 x 2400)
Storage 256/512GB
Battery 5100 mAh


  • Flagship device on a budget
  • Good RAM


  • Other devices have AMOLED screens

If you’re after a decent gaming phone on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Motorola Edge Plus. This 2023 device boasts a decent battery that can maintain a charge for those long gaming sessions, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset ensures the games run well on the phone. With a chipset like this, you can enjoy basic titles and the likes of Genshin Impact.

Moreover, with up to 512GB of storage, you don’t have to worry about running out of space for all of those games. Combine that with 8GB of RAM, and you’re well away. However, while the OLED screen is nice, there are other devices on this list that offer slightly higher refresh rates, so you may want to consider that should that be important to you.

There you have it, what we consider to be the best gaming phones on the market right now. If it’s a standard smartphone that you’re after, our best iPhone and best Android phone guides can help you.

How to choose the best gaming phone

There are tons of phones out there. Different brands, numbers, Pro models, Pro Max models… you name it, it’s out there. Most of these phones can double as a gaming device to an extent, though some are better than others. As mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity, so do the demands of consumers who want bigger and better-looking games – which is where a phone suited to the job comes in.

For that reason, we look at various features and components when determining the best phones for gaming. We consider the chipset, display, RAM, storage – everything. We also take a look at things you might like outside of gaming. The Samsung Galaxy, for instance, isn’t just the best Samsung gaming phone; it’s possibly the best phone on the market right now in terms of cameras.

If you want a full rundown of how we test the phones that make it into guides such as this, give our article a read – we only want to bring you the best, so you can get the best bang for your buck.

What’s the best gaming phone brand?

Picking the right brand of gaming phone is important for several reasons. Some brands focus their efforts on camera technology or content creation features, while brands like Asus, Xiaomi, and even Sony are now making devices tailored specifically for gaming.

First up, do you want to access the best Android games or best iOS games? That will help you to choose between an Android or an Apple device. Next, ask yourself whether you’re a gaming generalist – someone who only really plays while traveling or during downtime – or a hardcore player who wants to run the latest and best games.

Aside from gaming specs and brand affinity, consider any other devices you already own. If you have a Mac computer or Apple Watch or just love the best iOS games, then an iPhone is the better choice.

When you’ve found the right gaming phone for you, check out our picks for the best iPhone gamesAndroid gamesfantasy gamesgames like Dark Soulsgames like The Witcher, and best mobile RPGs to fill up that storage space and make use of your new device.