Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (2022)

There has never been a better time to turn to our phones for gaming. Their screens are bigger and brighter than ever, and more and more of them are offering fast refresh rates on the display for smoother visuals. The power inside the best gaming phones also make them as capable as ever at running popular mobile games locally while 5G connectivity and faster Wi-Fi 6 improves the experience on the ever-improving cloud gaming services, including Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass.

The market for gaming phones is also getting extra spicy. It’s not just brands known for making gaming gear like Asus that are churning out compelling options, so you won’t be limited to just over-the-top, sometimes gaudy gaming phones to get a smartphone capable of offering a compelling gaming experience. We’ve rounded up our top picks of high-performance gaming smartphones that will give you the best chance of getting to the top of the scoreboard whether you’re on iOS or Android.

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Phones:

1. Asus ROG Phone 5S

Best Gaming Phone

Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (1)

Asus ROG Phone 5S

If you’re ready for some next-level mobile gaming, the Asus ROG Phone 5S will blow you away. This device takes the already great Asus ROG Phone 5 and packs it with even more power. You’re still getting a whopping 16GB of RAM, but it now comes running on the Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset to boost its performance a little further. It's also loaded up with 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. We struggle to imagine a situation where that's not enough memory for mobile multitasking and storage for the biggest mobile game library.

All that brawn is going to driving the 6.78-inch AMOLED display at serious speeds – we're talking 144Hz. While that's plenty of screen space to let you use the improved 360Hz touch sample rate with the on-screen controls and still see your games, you don't have to. This phone includes ultrasonic side buttons that can detect taps to simulate triggers or even detect swipes. And, the phone's motion sensors can be used to enable special gesture controls that will register phone movements. The Asus ROG Phone 5S may be marketed as a gaming phone, but you’ll love it for streaming movies or scrolling through TikTok, too, thanks to its solid stereo speakers and bright display.

2. Nubia RedMagic 7

Best Budget Gaming Phone

Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (2)

Nubia RedMagic 7

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The Nubia RedMagic 7 packs a lot of performance prowess. It’s loaded with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is a chipset powering the best Android phones out there, though the phone manages to cost hundreds less. Using this CPU, the device runs faster and uses less power than the Nubia RedMagic 6. All that capability is put behind a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a speedy 165Hz refresh rate. It also offers an insanely responsive 720Hz multi-touch sample rate perfect for keeping you in the game’s action.

There’s a whole lot more the Nubia RedMagic 7 offers for gamers, including handy touch-sensitive shoulder triggers. These can be mapped to on-screen controls, letting you activate buttons you'd normally need to use your thumbs for. When you're attempting to walk, aim, and shoot at the same time in FPS games, they can be super helpful. Plus, the 12GB memory and 128GB of storage help the phone handle whatever you can throw at it. There's even active cooling built-in to help ensure clock speeds stay high. It’s hard to find much to dislike about this phone other than it’s a bit bulky and the battery life could always be improved. So, if you’re in the market for a gaming phone, this is an excellent, affordable option.

3. iPhone 13 Pro

Best iPhone for Gaming

Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (3)

iPhone 13 Pro

With the plethora of games on iOS, you can't be blamed for wanting the best iPhone to play them on. Apple’s latest iPhone 13 Pro is the one you’ll want. It improves upon last year’s already impressive iPhone 12 Pro. Most notably, the new A15 Bionic processor provides the phone with an additional GPU core, which helps to power the new 120Hz ProMotion display–this makes for smoother scrolling on par with some of the impressive Androids on our list. The 6.1-inch all-screen OLED display provides plenty of room to play the impressive amount of games offered in Apple Arcade.

The support of 5G means that you can still get into some cloud gaming if you don’t have Wi-Fi access. Also, a minimum of 128GB of storage is standard on the phone, but it can go up to an excessive 1TB, so you have plenty of space to save games. If you still aren’t sold on the iPhone 13 Pro, the stunning cameras, longer battery life, and improved MagSafe charging may justify the splurge.

4. Xiaomi Black Shark 4

Made to Game

Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (4)

Xiaomi Black Shark 4

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The Xiaomi Black Shark 4 isn't bred for excess in quite the same way as some of its competitors, but it is certainly bred for excellence among the field of $500 smartphones. The Snapdragon 870 chipset inside may not be a top performer like the Snapdragon 888, but it is no slouch and only lags a little bit behind. Since most mobile games can run on even modest chipsets, this won't likely be an issue anytime soon.

The Black Shark 4 still packs in 8GB of memory and 128GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage. And, its display is just as ready for gaming as the competitors with a sharp, AMOLED panel that can run at 144Hz. The phone also comes with something special in the form of its two magnetic, pop-up triggers. Unlike the touch controls on many competing phones, the Black Shark 4 has physical shoulder buttons that you actually get to push down. They feel great to use, and they can recess back into the phone when you're not using them. Xiaomi also gets bonus points for letting you use the shoulder buttons as camera controls in the camera app.

5. OnePlus 10 Pro

True Full Screen Mobile Gaming

If you want a great phone with a brilliant display that doubles as a gaming-ready beast, then the OnePlus 10 Pro is right up your alley. The OnePlus 9 Pro offers one of the best-looking displays on a smartphone, and this latest model continues the tradition. A 6.7-inch QHD+ display provides plenty of space for gaming along with an enhanced touch polling rate in some games. This AMOLED panel manages an adaptive refresh rate from 1Hz up to 120Hz, giving you smooth gaming when you need it and battery savings when you don't.

The OnePlus 10 Pro packs plenty of high-performance parts under the hood including one of the best mobile CPUs on the market, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. This provides plenty of oomph to cruise through all your favorite mobile games. And, the 5,000mAh battery ensures you get loads of on-the-go game time. But if you find its juice running low, a 65W fast charging option gets your phone ready to take on the day in just 15 minutes. The OnePlus 10 Pro also has a few more advantages over some of the more gaming-focused phones like its refined design, elegant software, and superior camera system.

6. Samsung Galaxy S22

Best Everyday Phone for Gaming

Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (6)

Samsung Galaxy S22

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For a practical, everyday phone, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is a strong pick making some slight improvements to last year’s Galaxy S21. This phone starts at just $700, but it's just chock full of features for gaming and beyond. As a Samsung flagship, it comes running on the latest chipset from Qualcomm, which is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in this case. You also get 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. That provides this smartphone with plenty of speed for everyday use and more than enough power to handle whatever games are thrown at it.

Samsung has also improved upon its screens with the Galaxy S22 lineup. You get a bright, 6.1-inch AMOLED display that offers an adaptive refresh rate from 48Hz to 120Hz. This allows for some pleasant tear-free gaming. And, a versatile camera system is on board, which most gaming phones can’t come close to matching. The only thing it’s lacking is an impressive battery life, otherwise, this is a perfectly capable multipurpose phone.

7. iPhone SE (2022)

Best Budget iPhone for Gaming

You can actually get a fairly strong gaming experience without having to fork out for the most expensive iPhone. The recently released third-gen iPhone SE offers tons of performance prowess thanks to the incredibly fluid A15 bionic chip powering it, yet it still manages a $429 price tag that’s hard to beat. And, since it’s running on iOS, you get access to a treasure trove of games not found on Andriod as well as the collection in Apple Arcade.

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To be honest, the screen on the iPhone SE definitely lacks some luster. It’s only 4.7-inches with thick bezels matching the specs of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. If you’re afraid of using too much screen space when gaming, though, pair it with a phone controller to reveal more of the display. There is also limited storage with only 64GB, however, you can go up to 256GB. Cloud gaming is an easy solution to this issue, especially with the phone's support of 5G when not connected to Wi-Fi.

8. Sony Xperia 5 III

Best Ultrawide Gaming Phone

Best Gaming Phone 2022 - IGN (8)

Sony Xperia 5 III

The aspect ratio on most phones is 16:9, but the Sony Xperia 5 III switches that up thanks to its 21:9 display. This makes it one of the only phones out there providing these dimensions, which allows for the ultrawide, 6.1inch OLED display. If you find that your thumbs get in the way of visuals, this design helps keep them further away from the center of the gaming action.

Aside from the unorthodox display ratio, a 120Hz refresh rate means smooth scrolling and a 240Hz touch polling rate makes for a quick response to your finger taps and swipes. A special gaming feature lets a wired power connection skip past the battery and power the internals directly, so you can keep playing while holding the temperature down. And when not plugged in, the Sony Xperia 5 III should last the entire day even with a good amount of usage. Other features including a Snapdragon 888 processor, 240Hz motion blur reduction, and custom display and audio settings, make the Sony Xperia III a game-winning ultrawide phone.

What to Look for in a Gaming Phone

Choosing the right gaming phone is a little different than finding the best smartphone. With regular phones, you might be more interested in battery life, the cameras, and a plethora of other specs, but the best gaming phones are all about their screens and processors with everything else being less important. You also rarely need to worry about the battery on a gaming phone, as most pack in some of the biggest smartphone batteries you’ll find.

With that in mind, we’ll start with the processors. Generally, you’re going to get a better gaming experience out of the latest and greatest processor that’s on the market when you’re shopping. At the moment, Android phones will find that in the form of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which packs in a load of powerful processing cores and has strong graphics on board. That said, if you’re on a budget, Qualcomm’s highest-tier chipsets tend to offer so much power you might not even take full advantage of it, so you shouldn’t feel too shy about seeking out a phone with an earlier chipset like the Snapdragon 888 or 865.

For iPhones, Apple makes its own chipsets, and they are extremely powerful. Again, you'll want to stick with the latest iteration for the absolute best performance, and that’ll always be found in the newest iPhone. At present, that's the A15 Bionic in all of the iPhone 13 models from the mini up to the Pro Max. This is another case where there’s still plenty of power in previous-generation chipsets, which is part of what makes Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) so compelling with its inclusion of the A15 Bionic chipset at a $429 price point.

In terms of displays, you should pick out anything that’s a step up from your average phone screen. Often, smartphones made for gaming will feature a display with a refresh rate greater than 60Hz. 90Hz is a good start for extra fluidity, but we’re seeing the top gaming phones start to go to 120Hz and beyond. Some displays are even offering variable refresh rates that can let you take advantage of power savings while you’re not gaming. Faster touch sampling rates on displays are also starting to take off, so it may be a spec to keep in mind when comparison shopping. With many gaming phones adding in shoulder buttons, it may not just be the screen you should look at when thinking about the gaming interface.

That's everything you need to know about gaming phones for now. We'll be updating this list periodically, especially as even more brands are entering the foray with phones that are especially well suited to gaming.

Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

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Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

FAQs

Which is the world's best gaming phone? ›

We think the OnePlus 10 Pro is a better choice if you're looking for the best gaming phone from OnePlus. But if you don't want to pay $899 for that flagship, the OnePlus 10T offers a less expensive option.

What smartphone should I get 2022? ›

Compare SpecsThe Best Phones for 2022
Our PicksApple iPhone 13 See It $929.00 at Amazon (Opens in a new window)Google Pixel 6 See It $498.77 at Amazon (Opens in a new window)
Operating SystemiOS 15Android 12
CPUApple A15Google Tensor
Dimensions5.78 by 2.82 by .3 inches6.2 by 2.9 by 0.4 inches
Screen Size6.1 inches6.4 inches
2 more rows

Which phone is best for study and gaming? ›

  • OnePlus 8 Pro. GET THIS. The OnePlus 8 Pro is a 5G handset that is super powerful and particularly good for gamers. ...
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. GET THIS. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is one of the biggest, most powerful and feature-packed smartphones Apple has ever made. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. GET THIS. ...
  • Realme X50 Pro. GET THIS.
Mar 3, 2022

What Snapdragon is good for gaming? ›

Asus ROG Phone 5

Its highlights include class-leading power from the pairing of a Snapdragon 888 chipset and up to 16GB of RAM, plus a screen that has a refresh rate of 144Hz and a touch sampling rate of 300Hz – both of which are higher than most phones and we found this pairing beneficial to games.

Which is the No 1 phone in world? ›

Top Most Best Selling Mobile Phone Brands in the World
S. No.BrandMarket Share in India
1.Samsung27.94%
2.Apple iPhone27.68%
3.Xiaomi12.18%
4.Huawei6.18%
6 more rows
Jul 7, 2022

How good is Snapdragon 888? ›

Also getting upgraded is Qualcomm's sixth-gen AI Engine. Where the base Snapdragon 888 could perform 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS) for AI tasks, the 888 Plus is approximately 20 percent more powerful, capable of 32 TOPS.

Which processor is best for gaming in mobile Android? ›

Best Processor for Mobile 2022
RankProcessor NameCenturion Mark
#1Apple A15 Bionic
#2Dimensity 9000
#3Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
#4Apple A14 Bionic165
72 more rows
Jun 13, 2022

Is Apple better than Samsung? ›

Another major advantage that iPhones have over Samsung phones is the longevity of the devices. Although Samsung now offers four years of major Android updates for its flagships and mid-range phones, iPhones can easily last for five to six years. However, there's one important caveat to this.

What is the best gaming processor mobile? ›

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Processor.
  • 12 + 8 + 12 MP Triple Rear Camera.
  • 32 MP Front Camera.
  • 6.5 inches Super AMOLED Display.

Which is the best phone for gaming and camera? ›

  • OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G.
  • OnePlus 10T.
  • iQOO Neo 6 5G.
  • OnePlus 10R.
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
  • OnePlus 10 Pro.
  • OPPO K10 5G.
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G.

Is Poco gaming phone? ›

The list of POCO gaming phones with the best price in India was generated on 26th August 2022.
...
Poco Gaming Phones.
Best Poco Gaming Phones ModelsPrice
POCO F3 GT₹28999
POCO X2₹14999
POCO X4 Pro 8GB RAM₹18999
POCO F4 5G 256GB₹33999
6 more rows

Which is the fastest Android? ›

Google Pixel 6 Pro

If you want the best Android experience possible right now, then look no further than the Pixel 6 Pro. It's the new big boy from Google with an expansive 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate. It also sports the new Tensor system-on-chip, Google's own homegrown silicon.

What is the fastest Android mobile? ›

Best Android Phone for software and speed: OnePlus 10 Pro.

What is the strongest Snapdragon processor? ›

The Snapdragon 700 series is essentially an upper mid-range family of processors and the Snapdragon 780G is the most capable and recent of the lot. Released early in 2021, the 780G has the same 5nm design as the Snapdragon 888, supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz flavors of 5G, as well as a triple-tiered CPU design.

Which is fastest phone? ›

The REDMAGIC 7 Pro is the latest edition of the series, and it's the world's fastest gaming phone.
...
The REDMAGIC 7 Pro is the World's Fastest Gaming Phone.
SpecificationsREDMAGIC 7 PRO
ScreenFHD + AMOLED, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 6.8 inches, 1080*2400
Front Camera16MP UDC
Rear Camera64MP + 8MP+ 2MP
8 more rows
Apr 22, 2022

Who is the king of smartphones? ›

The global smartphone market has a new king -- Apple. The US-based iPhone-maker has made a comeback at the top spot after 5 years, beating Samsung. The South Korean giant has been pushed to No. 2 spot in global rankings.

Which phone has the strongest screen? ›

Letting gamers play to win and attack the glass with no fear, the ROG Phone 5 has a next-level, responsive 144 Hz / 1 ms AMOLED display featuring Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus®, the toughest Gorilla® Glass yet.

Is SD 888 overheating? ›

the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 have overheating issues because Samsung's manufacturing process, which affected the performance of Qualcomm's chips. While reviewers downplayed the heating issue, Qualcomm was not a happy customer. ... Qualcomm's 5G chip operated by Samsung not only has an overheating problem.

Is MediaTek better than Snapdragon? ›

According to our estimates, Snapdragon is a more powerful and reliable chipset than MediaTek, but MediaTek is therefore a much more cost-efficient variant.

Is exynos better than Snapdragon? ›

The two SoCs were similarly matched in terms of CPU performance, with the Snapdragon variant edging ahead for single-core performance and the Exynos model pulling ahead on multi-core scores. However, we found that the Exynos model offered better sustained performance in some tests.

Which Snapdragon is latest? ›

The Snapdragon® 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform is our latest premium-tier powerhouse. Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU offers a 10% increase in GPU clock speeds and 30% GPU power reduction while the Qualcomm® Kryo™ CPU provides 10% better CPU performance and 30% CPU improved power efficiency.

Which is the No 1 processor for mobile? ›

At present, the Apple A14, the Huawei Kirin 9000, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus belong to the best smartphone processors. These top processors are built on the currently most advancing 7nm manufacturing process and have good control on power consumption.

What brand CPU best for gaming? ›

Best CPUs for Gaming 2022
  1. Intel Core i5-12400. Overall Best CPU for Gaming. Specifications. ...
  2. Intel Core i9-12900K. High Performance Value Best CPU for Gaming. Specifications. ...
  3. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Overall Value Best CPU for Gaming. ...
  4. Intel Core i5-12600K. Best Mid-Range CPU for Gaming. ...
  5. Intel Core i3-12100. Budget Best CPU for Gaming.
7 days ago

Which is the No 1 phone in world 2022? ›

The best Android phone to buy in 2022

Still, we think that the Galaxy S22 Plus is the best device for most people. The S22 Plus features a big, bright 6.6-inch screen with 120Hz refresh rate, 2022's Android flagship chipset of choice, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and three high-quality rear cameras.

Which is the best phone in Android? ›

Below, we're rounded up the best Android phones on the market today, including models from Samsung, Google, Xiaomi and more.
...
Best Android phones 2022: The best of the rest
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro. ...
  • Oppo Find X5 Pro. ...
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. ...
  • OnePlus 9 Pro. ...
  • Realme GT 2 Pro. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

Is Android better than iPhone? ›

Apple and Google both have fantastic app stores. But Android is far superior at organizing apps, letting you put important stuff on the home screens and hide less useful apps in the app drawer. Also, Android's widgets are much more useful than Apple's.

Which is the No 1 smartphone brand? ›

Xiaomi presently leads the global smartphone sales charts with a market share of 17.1 per cent in June 2021, followed by Samsung at second place with 15.7 per cent, and Apple at third place with 14.3 per cent.

What is the most popular phone? ›

Top 5 Smartphone Model Share For 8 Countries
RankModelsSales Share
1Samsung Galaxy A133%
2Redmi 9A Sport3%
3realme C312%
4Redmi 102%
1 more row
Jun 22, 2022

Is Xiaomi better than Samsung? ›

While Xiaomi only offers three years of major Android updates and four years of security updates, Samsung pips it ahead with four major Android updates and five years of security updates. As you can see: Xiaomi and Samsung hardly have anything to separate between themselves in the flagship market.

What is the biggest phone? ›

An absolute pocket-buster, Sony's Xperia Z Ultra comes in at 6.44 inches, the largest smartphone yet.

Is Samsung better than Huawei? ›

When it comes to pure hardware and performance each phone has its plusses here. Samsung has the sharper display, and bigger battery, but Huawei has much faster charging and more impressive camera capabilities. Samsung has the higher resolution screen, and it also has arguably the ultimate trump card: proper Android.

Which phone is used in USA? ›

Apple and Samsung produce the most popular smartphones

Apple and Samsung are the market leaders in the U.S. smartphone market. Together the two manufacturers account for almost 80 percent of smartphone unit sales in the country. Apple's iPhone is the most popular smartphone with U.S.

Is S22 ultra good for gaming? ›

But I reckon the Galaxy S22 Ultra might just be the best gaming phone you can get today, even though it's not attempting to win that accolade. Plenty of flagship phones are great at mobile gaming, as a good few of them sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which very little can bring to its knees.

Is iPhone 13 good for gaming? ›

Best mid-range: iPhone 13 (2021)

The iPhone 13 still has 5G for faster download speeds, as well as Apple's new in-house A15 Bionic chip. That means you can easily get the games you want and run them well.

Which is the No 1 phone in the world 2021? ›

1. Samsung. Headquartered in Samsung town, Samsung electronics is a South Korean company and is a subsidiary of Samsung group. Samsung is the top number one mobile phone brand in the world in 2022.

Is iPhone 11 good for gaming? ›

The inclusion of the A13 Bionic, probably makes the new iPhones the best gaming phones you could lay your hands on. Despite not having a display with a higher refresh rate, a flashy RGB implementation or dedicated shoulder buttons, here's why the iPhone 11 is a serious contender for the title of the best gaming phone.

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