The best gaming phones in 2024

You'll make mincemeat of your (online) enemies with the best gaming phones' capabilities, although many of the devices on our list have more going for them than just their power and beautiful screens.

Of these phones, some are familiar flagship phones from big companies like Apple or Samsung, with the camera and software quality (and price) that you'd expect as a result. Others from companies like Asus ROG and RedMagic are specifically aimed at gamers and have extra features like trigger buttons, enhanced cooling and unique software. Neither is strictly worse than the other, it'll just depend on what else you want from your phone, if anything.

Whatever your needs are, these are the best gaming phones you can get right now.

The quick list

The best gaming phone overall

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro playing PUBG

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Your best phone for gaming right now

Specifications

Display size: 6.8-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080)
Refresh rate: 165Hz
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM: 16GB, 24GB
Storage / Expandable: 512GB, 1TB / No
Cameras (back / front): 50MP main, 13MP ultrawide, 32MP 3x telephoto / 32MP selfie
Weight: 7.9 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 18:48 (adaptive battery mode)

Reasons to buy

+
Battery lasts longer than ever
+
Powerful chip with generous RAM
+
New water-resistant design
+
First telephoto camera for an ROG Phone

Reasons to avoid

-
Overall photo quality below average
-
Expensive compared to most other gaming phones
-
Limited two-year update schedule

By adding in some features normally found on non-gaming flagship phones, Asus has made the ROG Phone 8 Pro a far better-rounded product while keeping true to its gaming focus.

The phone's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, joined by up to 24GB RAM, offers the best performance you can get on an Android phone right now, while its capacitive triggers and customizable gaming software add-ons let you reach even more of your playing potential. And when you're done gaming, you can appreciate the 3x telephoto camera Asus has added, and the fact the phone's now waterproof, meaning less risk of catastrophic damage.

Just prepare to spend a lot of money to get the ROG Phone 8 Pro: $1,199 minimum. Also while we are happy to see a camera upgrade for this phone, its images still don't match up well with more photo-focused phones. Plus we wish Asus offered more than two years of software updates in a world where four years or more is becoming the norm.

That said, this is a gaming phone that's still a practical choice when the time comes to use it for more productive purposes. And that counts for a lot.

Read our full Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review.

Best gaming iPhone

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in handEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best gaming phone for iPhone users

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2778 x 1284)
Peak refresh rate: 120Hz
CPU: A17 Pro
RAM: 8GB
Storage / Expandable: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / No
Cameras (back/front): 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP 5x telephoto / 12MP
Weight: 7.8 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 14:02

Reasons to buy

+
A17 Pro chip is a big step forward
+
120Hz display is bright and colorful
+
Strong battery life
+
Action button has potential gaming uses

Reasons to avoid

-
20W charging is slow
-
Even more expensive than before

Apple's gone in hard on gaming with the iPhone 15 Pro series and its new A17 Pro chip, and the best way to experience that is on the iPhone 15 Pro Max's large 6.7-inch display. 

As well as having a more spacious screen, the Pro Max comes with a fantastic battery life and a 5x telephoto camera that the smaller Pro can't match.  The new titanium frame means the phone's lighter and less exhausting to hold for long sessions, and the Action button's impressive flexibility means with a little fiddling you can turn it into an instant gaming shortcut, or you can simply leave it to do one of Apple's pre-set actions.

As with all Pro Max iPhones, this phone's very expensive, even more so than previous years (although you get 256GB storage by default now). Also, Apple's gone another year without upgrading its charging systems, meaning it'll take a while to fill up the iPhone when it does finally drain its power cells. But in the end, these are minor problems for a phone that'll not only serve your gaming needs and then some, but provide one of the best-rounded phone experiences you can buy today.

Read our full iPhone 15 Pro Max review.

Best value gaming phone

Motorola Edge Plus 2023 best gaming phones

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best gaming flagship phone for less

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch pOLED (2400 x 1080)
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB
Storage / Expandable: 512GB / No
Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.8) main; 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide; 12MP (f/1.6) portrait
Front camera: 60MP (f/2.2)
Weight: 7.1 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 15:47 (auto), 13:18 (165Hz)

Reasons to buy

+
165Hz display
+
Epic battery life
+
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset deliver best Android performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Curved display can lead to accidental touches

You don't have to pay top dollar for top-of-the-line Android performance. The Motorola Edge Plus (2023) features the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset found in leading Android phones like the Galaxy S23 series and the OnePlus 11, but at $799, it's a much more affordable option than a lot of competing devices. Throw in a 6.7-inch display that can offer a 165Hz refresh rate, and you've got a phone that mobile gamers will certainly find appealing.

Don't worry that a drained battery will cut short your gaming sessions. The Motorola Edge Plus held out for more than 15 hours on our battery test — one of the best times we've seen posted in the last 18 months. Even when the screen was set to its maximum 165Hz refresh rate, the phone still lasted more than 13 hours, which is an outstanding result. Motorola may not be the first name you think of when it comes to gaming phones, but all the features you'd want are certainly there in the Motorola Edge Plus.

Read our full Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review.

Best value gaming phone for performance

OnePlus 11 displayEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
An Android flagship phone with strong gaming cred

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (3216 x 1440)
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB, 16GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No
Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.8) main, 48MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 32MP (f/2.0) 2x telephoto
Front camera: 16MP (f/2.45)
Weight: 7.2 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 13:10 (adaptive), 12:48 (60Hz)

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing battery life
+
Cheaper than average price
+
Top performance among Android phones

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging
-
2x telephoto camera lags behind rivals

Like the Motorola Edge Plus, the OnePlus 11 features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 system-on-chip. As a result, even the most demanding games play like a dream on this device.

Gamers will also appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate on the phone’s 6.7-inch display, as well as the long battery life — over 13 hours even with that adaptive refresh rate enabled. But perhaps the most attractive thing about the OnePlus 11 is its price. While other flagships flirt with $1,000 price tags, the OnePlus 11 comes in at $699. It’s hard to find a top-line phone that delivers so many premium features at that cost.

Read our full OnePlus 11 review.

Best phone for gaming features

best gaming phones: black shark 5 pro review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Another top dedicated gaming phone

Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB
Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No
Rear cameras: 108MP (f/1.8), 13MP (f/2.4) ultrawide, 5MP macro
Front camera: 16MP (f/2.5)
Weight: 7.8 ounces (220 g)
Battery life: 11:02 (Adaptive), 9:42 (144Hz), 9:53 (90Hz), 10:53 (60Hz)

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life and super fast charging
+
Solid performance
+
Nice display
+
Very useful physical shoulder buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging

The Black Shark 5 Pro is the first dedicated gaming phone that we can honestly recommend. Not only does it feature powerful hardware, a beautiful display and excellent battery life, but it offers unique gaming features that we love. Not to mention that the main and ultrawide cameras are surprisingly good.

The best part about the Black Shark 5 Pro, however, are the physical shoulder buttons. These magnetic triggers pop up when you want them, offering real, tactile feedback during gameplay. If you've struggled with ultrasonic triggers in the past, you might like these.

Starting at $799 / £629 / €799 for the base 8GB/128GB model, the Black Shark 5 Pro is the best dedicated gaming phone. If mobile gaming is all you care about, this is the phone for you.

Read our full Black Shark 5 Pro review.

Best gaming phone cooling tech

The RedMagic 9 Pro playing Asphalt 9

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Strong value with a built-in cooling fan

Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED (2480 x 1116)
Peak refresh rate: 120Hz
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM: 12GB, 16GB
Storage/Expandable: 256GB, 512GB / No
Cameras (Back/Front): 50MP (f/1.9) main, 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide / 16MP (under-display, f/2.0)
Weight: 8.07 ounces

Reasons to buy

+
Latest Snapdragon silicon means fantastic performance
+
Battery is larger and charges faster
+
Cooling fan and other gaming features 
+
Cheap starting price

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing cameras
-
Poor translation of software

It's hard to find more a gaming-focused phone than the RedMagic 9 Pro. It's got its own RGB cooling