There once was a time when mobile gaming was very much the second-best compared with consoles and PCs – and phone manufacturers treated it that way too. But we’ve moved on since those days and now a number of phones are effectively being tailor-made for gaming, often from the lesser-known makers who have correctly identified a niche that’s ripe for the taking.

So while Apple may be moving back in time with some of its phones, including the re-launched SE with the return of the home button, others are moving resolutely onwards, including these five great examples.

Asus ROG Phone 2

Let’s kick things off with a phone that’s unashamedly all about the gaming – after all, ROG stands for Republic of Gamers. Driven by a Snapdragon 855, the 6” AMOLED screen boasts a 90Hz refresh rate which means that the action is smooth and the standard 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM are more than enough for most people’s needs. The battery life is great too – although how long the power holds out obviously depends on the intensity of your play. But where it really stands out is in its gaming-focused features like the air triggers which are in the top corners of the screen and the wealth of accessories that are available including a gamepad, cooling fan and desktop dock.

Razer Phone 2

The original Razer was one of the very first phones with gaming in mind which has given them a head start on the competition. It also means that the second model has been designed to address some of the shortcomings in the original. The result is a high-performing device which has all the features you could ask for, and more. The new glass back makes wireless charging possible and it’s also the only one of the gaming phones listed here that’s water resistant – which is good news if mobile gaming’s part of your poolside holiday plans. Battery life is good and the Quickcharge 4.0+ support means it will soon be back and ready for action when it needs charging.

One Plus 8 Pro

You might find yourself paying a premium price for the One Plus 8 Pro, but you’ll probably agree that it’s been worth it. There have been some serious advances in the previous model and one of these is the sumptuous 6.67” AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. This is an especially good feature for video gamers and those who prefer mobile slots, as the action is clear and smooth. So as you’re waiting for the roulette ball to find its home or the online dealer to see if they can hit blackjack, the pin-sharp graphics certainly add to the experience. The cameras on the phone are great too, especially the pop-up selfie one that boasts 16 megapixels.

XIAOMI Black Shark 2

Unlike some gaming phones where the gamepad comes as an optional extra, with the Black Shark 2 it’s included. If you want to use it, simply slide it on to the end of the phone and away you go. The phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and the main drawback is that the screen is only 60Hz which can make the playing experience a little clunky on occasion. On the plus side, it features very sophisticated internal cooling and the phone’s lightweight feel is always easy on the wrists when you’re not using the gamepad.

Red Magic 5G

To end on a real high, we’ve seen the future of mobile gaming, and it’s the Red Magic 5G. Set at a very reasonable price point given the spec, it’s a device that many gamers will find simply irresistible thanks to the 144Hz display as well as the super-powerful stereo speakers that leave others in their wake. The whole build of the phone is chunky and substantial. So much so, in fact, that there will no mistake that this is a phone that’s been built for gaming, not taking selfies in front of beautiful spots.

Of course, selecting a phone for mobile gaming is a very personal choice. But hopefully, this has given you a little guidance along the way. For our money, it’s the ROG Phone 2 that’s the winner – but feel free to disagree!

[Written By External Partner]
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