Mobile phones have transcended being tools for calling and texting alone. Now they are multipurpose devices that meet many of our needs, acting as calculators, computers, music devices, and even flashlights.
They even act as gaming platforms. Despite the popularity of console gaming experiences like those offered by Sony and Microsoft, the mobile game market has still brought in 41.7 billion dollars. With mobile gaming acting as such a significant industry on its own, you must ensure you have a phone that can handle the best games. Luckily, whether you’re shopping on Amazon or at Best Buy, you can find devices that are incredibly adaptive to gaming.
What Are the Top Four Gaming Phones in 2022?
With so many phone options for your gaming sessions, it can be tough to sort through the best gaming phones. Gaming smartphones compete with laptops and PCs, as well as Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo consoles as high-end gameplay options. Here are our four picks for the best smartphones with great gaming features:
- Asus ROG Phone 5
- Asus ROG Phone 6
- Black Shark 4 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
Asus ROG Phone 5
The Asus ROG Phone 5 has a 144Hz refresh rate and AMOLED display, and a dot matrix RGB system. It runs on the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset, with front-facing speakers and ESS Sabre ES9280AC Pro DAC audio playback for the best possible wired audio quality.
The phone runs on Android 11 out of the box and utilizes the Asus ROG UI. This UI focuses on gaming, making all your applications easily accessible and prioritizing powering your games. The most expensive version of the ROG Phone 5 even sports 18GB of RAM, far beyond the typical smartphone.
This is a particular experience with a focus on gaming at its core. The processing power and CPU overall, as well as the AMOLED screen, are far beyond the typical smartphone. It would be hard to find a more impressive phone, and there are a wide variety of accessories you can purchase to make it an even smoother experience.
$1000 is a lot of money for a gaming phone that does not lean into other core smartphone features as much. The phone is clunky, given all the hardware upgrades, and it can get hot very quickly if you do not purchase a cooling system accessory.
Asus ROG Phone 6
The newest Asus offering is the ROG Phone 6, the sequel to the ROG Phone 5. It is a refinement of its predecessor, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. It also has a repositioned processor to improve heat management. Otherwise, the device retains many of the specs from the ROG Phone 5. The ROG Phone 6 Pro comes at a higher price but includes additional specs.
The phone sports a powerful gaming system that few other phones can rival. It has a big screen and plenty of accessories, with a fantastic battery life despite how intensive the apps will usually be.
The phone is still clunky and expensive despite its upgrades over the ROG Phone 5. It still will not be worth it for anyone who does not have gaming at the forefront of their smartphone priorities.
Black Shark 5 Pro
The Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro runs on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and you can get it with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. It also has a 144Hz display and a variety of buttons specifically for gaming, such as finger triggers.
The processing power is up to gaming phone standards and charges relatively quickly, which is excellent when you want to get into gaming after a long day. The retractable triggers are a great feature, allowing you to get a gaming experience without buying extra accessories. It rivals the ROG offerings from Asus when it comes to gaming power.
The lack of a headphone jack is unfortunate for a gaming phone where you might want crisper, wired audio. The battery life is relatively low compared to something like the ROG Phone 6 despite the fast charging speeds, so you cannot spend too much time away from an outlet. It also does not have excellent processor placement, so the phone heats up quickly.
iPhone 13 Pro Max
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the most powerful Apple iPhone on the market today, and it is also the first phone on this list that is not tailored specifically for a gaming experience. With a 6.7-inch display, it is the largest iPhone on the market. It has an all-screen 120Hz refresh rate and an OLED display with a 2778 by 1284 pixel resolution at 458 PPI.
As an Apple product, it runs on the A15 Bionic chip. It has a six-core CPU and a five-core GPU with a 16-core neural engine. It runs on iOS 15 and is compatible with all App Store applications.
The Pro Max is one of the premier smartphones in the world, with impressive processing power and a lot of utility. Only the best Android phones hold a candle to the 13 Pro Max. It has a great camera (with an ultrawide telephoto lens), high refresh rate, complex operating system, and sleek design.
This is not a gaming phone; you need to go out of your way if you want a gaming experience. It does not come with extra shoulder buttons or accessories, so you would need to find ones that are compatible with Apple products if you want to use it that way. The screen is also not optimized for gaming either.
There is also the fact that not all games can be played on iOS. Because of the limits of the App Store, you need to be sure the things you want to play are available on the device. Overall, this is a better phone than any phone made for gaming, but it does not do the best job catering to that demographic.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Gaming Phone?
If you want a gaming phone, look for a high-quality display and fast refresh rate. Also, pay attention to processing power and placement, as you enjoy a powerful phone that will also not heat up too quickly. Also, look for compatibility with accessories such as controller add-ons that can improve the experience.
If you also want a phone that works well outside gaming, look into the battery life and camera systems. You want to make sure that your phone can handle 5G browsing and can serve purposes beyond gaming.
Gaming phones, as a niche, are very powerful devices, and choosing the right one could leave you with a miniature gaming PC in your pocket. Asus and Black Shark offer great machines that optimize mobile gaming, and any of these phones would be significant assets to mobile gamers. Meanwhile, powerful phones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max could also be great gaming phones, but you have to be aware of the limitations of devices not catered to gaming.
Of course, with such a strong demand for gaming devices, we couldn’t list all the great options. Some other choices to consider include:
- OnePlus 9 Pro
- OnePlus 10 Pro
- Nubia Red Magic 7 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy Z
- Poco F4 GT
Whether you are looking for a gaming phone or just a regular smartphone, Navi can find the device for you. Navi knows the mobile industry and can help you make sure you never pay too much. Use Navi today to make sure you are buying the phone that fits your needs.
Mobile gaming market in the United States | Statista
Black Shark 5 Pro | Blackshark.com
iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max - Technical Specifications | Apple