The best gaming phone of 2022
If you want a smartphone that excels at mobile gaming, these are the phones to consider
Gaming on phones has been a thing since we first fired up our Nokia 3310s for hours on Snake, long before our iPhones were clogged with hours of Candy Crush Saga. But increasingly, smartphones are becoming viable gaming devices for more than just on-the-go distractions that sit alongside home consoles in an increasingly serious gamer’s collection.
Such is the power of modern smartphones. Gaming blockbusters like Fortnite and Call of Duty Mobile can thank their mobile platform and portability for their ridiculous success. And no wonder considering the power within
the best smartphones around
While the latest Apple and Samsung phones are capable of running the most demanding mobile games, the market is so popular that there are also dedicated gaming phones from Asus ROG, Red Magic and Black Shark. Since there are only a handful, we’ve also included the odd “normal” phone that also offers a good gaming experience.
Below are our recommended best gaming phones. Take the time to consider which has the best features for you at the best price for the games you want to run.
Red Magic 7 – the best overall
- 6.8-inch 165Hz OLED display 720Hz touch sample rate Great performance
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 heavy battery life – not 8+
Nubia Red Magic smartphones have a reputation for having some of the best gaming-focused displays, and that goes for the latest in the collection, the Red Magic 7.
At its heart is a fast 6.8-inch 165Hz OLED panel with an impressive 720Hz touch sample rate that beats virtually every other smartphone on the market. While you might not notice much of a difference in real-world performance, it will certainly satisfy gamers’ need for the best of the best.
That’s paired with flagship specs including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 12/16/18GB of RAM, 128/256GB of storage, and an updated three-fan cooling system to keep things running smoothly during longer games.
There’s also a wealth of gaming features, including side-touch shoulder triggers, advanced haptic feedback and the ability to control performance on a per-game basis, all presented in Red Magic’s ‘Game Space’ mode.
The rear triple camera setup remains unchanged from the Red Magic 6S, which itself was the same as the Red Magic 5S, but software tweaks mean it does a bit better this time around.
The only real disappointment is the battery life; it’s smaller than its predecessor with a relatively average 4500 mAh, and combined with a 165Hz display, it drains much faster.
Black Shark 5 Pro – Best for physical launchers
Strong gaming performance Fast, responsive 144Hz display Built-in magnetic triggers Great main camera
Fixed focus on the ultra-wide-angle camera Can get hot when sitting for a long time. JoyUI takes some getting used to
The Black Shark 5 Pro may not be redoing the steering wheel, but it suits gamers: it has a smooth 144Hz refresh rate, top-notch performance, gaming features like magnetic triggers and gesture-activated shortcuts, and much more.
120W charging, while unchanged, provides some of the fastest charging times around reaching a full 100% charge in less than 30 minutes, although the downside is a smaller battery than the alternatives.
Unlike touch triggers on some rivals, the Black Shark 5 Pro has magnetic triggers that pop out of the phone’s body for a more traditional control experience, delivering a great portable gaming experience without the need to carry around extra accessories.
Although not usually aimed at gaming phones, the Black Shark 5 Pro has an impressive 108Mp rear camera that’s capable of taking decent pictures, despite the decision to include autofocus features on the macro lens rather than the more popular 120-degree ultra-lens. wide is an odd decision that leaves some ultra-wide shots a bit soft.
It’s more expensive than the rival Red Magic 7 Pro, but the magnetic triggers in particular make the Black Shark 5 Pro a compelling gaming smartphone that negates the need for a controller in many games.