Rise Of The Gaming Smartphones! 🎮 Top 5 Android Gaming Phones

What are the Best Dedicated Gaming Phones of 2023? Let's find out!

Android Gaming Smartphone

Looking for the best gaming phone you can get your sweaty hands on in 2023? Scroll down now!

When it comes to mobile gaming, gone are the days of janky graphics, hot palms and battery life that drains faster than Bolt’s 100m record.

On a trip around Asia in 2018… I saw just how popular mobile gaming had become. In every coffee shop, shopping mall and just about anywhere with high-speed WiFi you’d find packs of serious looking kids… necks bent at 90 degrees… with a look of hyper-focus on their faces…

Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 14 Pro

Fast-forward 4 years to now and the US e-sports market is huge. Set to become the biggest e-sports market in the world by 2025.

Why such a boom in popularity? because mobile gaming got so damn good.

Even your basic mid-range smartphone can handle a 3D FPS online multiplier game in 2023.

But who cares about a phone that can only… ‘handle Genshin Impact on medium-to-low settings’?

The latest Snapdragon flagship chips play better than last-gen consoles, while at super high-frame rates and they’re only getting better!

Plus the huge increase of MOBA styles games has managed to addict even the most unsuspecting casual gamer and turn them into a bent-necked adrenaline-pumped touchscreen-bashing enthusiast!

But you might be thinking to yourself… “Why don’t I just use one of this year’s popular flagship phones?”

I’ll give you 5 reasons!

  1. CPU throttling! It’s huge!
  2. Basic game-enhancing software!
  3. Slow display touch-sampling!
  4. No shoulder buttons!
  5. … and you can save money!

So let’s find out… What are the best ‘dedicated’ gaming phones in 2023?

First off, to be classed as a dedicated gaming smartphone, every phone in this list has:

  • Flagship Mobile Graphics
  • Shoulder Buttons / Extra Inputs
  • 120Hz+ Display
  • Ultra-fast touch-sampling rate
  • Epic cooling system
Red Magic 8 Pro Gaming Phone

No.1 Nubia Red Magic 8 Pro – The Best Gaming Phone

Knocking the Red Magic 7S Pro off the ‘Best Gaming Phone of 2023’ pedestal is none other than the Red Magic 8 Pro.

Gone is the curved back panel of the 7 series. With the 8 Pro, we’re getting ultra-futurist, ultra-flat design that even has a window letting you see into components and fan.

It’s awesome to see a phone that wouldn’t look out of place in Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivian, actually being available and sold worldwide.

The big upgrades this year are the display (much brighter) and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which runs much cooler, offers better battery life and outperforms the Gen 8+ Gen 1 for sheer gaming grunt!

The battery has also been expanded to 6000mAh (+20%) while managing to drop the weight by 6 grams.

Also worth noting is that Red Magic is now offering a Matte Black (non-transparent, non-RGB) version for those who want a more understated casual look. Personally though, I think the Titanium White model with transparent window and RGB lights is awesome.

Gaming Performance + Frame-rate Stability (Turbo Fan)

Red Core 2 Dedicated Gaming Chip

Haptic Shoulder Triggers

Gaming Software

The Display

The Battery


Red Magic Studio

Available Now

View on Amazon

Display: Epic (6.8″ HDR 2480×1116 AMOLED 120Hz, 1300nits Brightness)
Performance: Epic (Fan Cooled Snapdragon (8 Gen 2) + Max 12/16GB LPDDR5 RAM) + 256GB UFS4.0
Battery: Epic (6000mAh Dual-Cell + 65w Fast Charge)

Red Magic 7S Pro

Nubia Red Magic 7S Pro – More affordable than ever!

Nubia has been pumping out its ‘Red Magic’ line of gaming phones for over 4 years.

Known as the company that isn’t afraid to stick an 20,000RPM fan inside a phone… Let’s just say they know how to push the boundaries when creating the ultimate gaming phone.

Related: RedMagic 7S Pro Vs RedMagic 8 Pro – Let’s Compare!

At the start of 2022, they announced both the Red Magic 7 & Red Magic 7 Pro.

Even though the Red Magic 8 Pro is now available with it’s cutting edge gaming performance, the Red Magic 7S Pro is at it’s lowest price since release making it a great flagship-yet-budget option in 2023.

That’s not taking into account the massively increased sustained performance the Snapdragon 8 gen 1 Plus has over its predecessor.

Let’s talk about gaming-specific features that set the Red Magic 7S apart from the competition!

Red Core 1 Dedicated Gaming Chip

Haptic Shoulder Triggers

Gaming Performance + Framerate Stability (Turbo Fan)

Gaming Software

The Display

The Battery


Available Now

View on Amazon

Display: Excellent (6.8″ HDR 2400×1080 AMOLED 120Hz)
Performance: Epic (Fan Cooled Snapdragon (8/8+ Gen 1) + Max 18GB LPDDR5 RAM)
Battery: Excellent (5000mAh Dual-Cell + 65w Fast Charge)

Razer Kishi 2 Gamepad

Razer Gaming Phone in 2023?

If you’re looking for Razer’s latest 2023 gaming phone… then sadly you’re out of luck.

The last gaming-centric smartphone that they produced was the Razer Phone 2 way back in 2019. Shortly after, Razer announced it was shutting down its mobile handset department and with it, cancelled the Razer Phone 3.

It’s not all bad news though.

After shutting down their mobile design department, they re-focussed their efforts back towards their consumer 3rd party tech peripheral roots.

One success to come from the restructuring is the Razer Kishi. A smartphone wrap-around controller that turns your phone into a dedicated buttons-galore mobile gaming device.

Last summer, Razer released their updated version of the Kishi, the Razer Kishi 2, with improved support for larger type-c phones and a more sturdy design.

Related: Best Android Phone Gamepad

Black Shark 5 Pro Specs

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro – Best Value Gaming Phone

Made by the gaming branch of Xiaomi, the latest Black Shark 5 Pro carries on its tradition of being the most affordable gaming phone, and even one of the most affordable Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones full stop.

Thanks to the epic cooling in this gaming beast, it doesn’t suffer much from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s poor sustained performance issues.

Now is the time to grab yourself a bargain, as the Black Shark 6 is soon to be released with the upgraded Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus.

What makes the Black Shark line of dedicated gaming phones unique is their pop-up magnetic shoulder triggers coupled with one of the best (non-fan) cooling systems ever designed.

Magentic Popup Triggers

Gaming Performance + Framerate Stability (Vapour Chamber)

Sharkspace 4.0 Gamecenter

Display & 3D Touch

The Battery (120w Dual-Cell)


Related: What is the Best Value Xiaomi Phone?

Available Now

View on Amazon

ROG Phone 6

Asus ROG Phone 6 – Skip The Pro

Asus is no stranger to the gaming market, and their ROG Phone lineup smashes expectations this year with the caveat of being more expensive than both the Red Magic & Black Shark.

There’s no denying the Storm White colourway is gonna turn heads, but can it justify the extra price?

This year, the Pro model offers an extra 2GB of RAM (18GB total) and features a 2″ OLED display on the back. Compared to the non-Pro ROG Phone 6, which uses RGB LEDs on the back and comes with either 12GB or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM.

Spending an extra 20% for more RAM you won’t use doesn’t seem like good value for money. It’s up to you whether you want to pay through the roof, for the added functionality of the OLED rear display.

The All-Round Gaming Phone

Ultrasonic AirTrigger 6

Gaming Performance + Framerate Stability (Vapour Chamber + BN Compound)

ASUS Armoury Crate & Game Genie Software

Display & 3D Touch

The Battery (6000mAh Dual-Cell)


Available Now

View on Amazon

ROG Phone 6D Ultimate

Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate – MediaTek Alternative Gaming Phone

It was only a few years ago that MediaTek was a budget option, for budget phones and paled in comparison to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon alternative.

So while it might seem ludicrous that Asus has chosen the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ as an option for their flagship gaming device in 2023. You’re about to find out just how far the Taiwanese MediaTek company has progressed its gaming hardware.

In benchmarking software, the Dimensity 9000 Plus beats the Snapdragon Gen 1 Plus for both Geekbench 5 and PCMark.

When it comes to gaming though, the Adreno 730 inside the Snapdragon inches ahead of the ARM Mali-G710 inside the Dimensity.

Sustained performance is also slightly better on the Dimensity chip.

If it’s gaming performance you’re after. Stick with the regular ASUS ROG Phone and its Snapdragon chip. You also get the benefit of better emulation performance & compatibility, if that’s your thing.

Available Now

View on Amazon

2021 Gaming Phones – End-of-life Deals

The three phones above are the ‘best of the best’ gaming beasts available.

If you’re willing to let a little performance slide, there are still some great last gen gaming phones currently on sale.

  • Asus ROG Phone 5
  • Nubia Red Magic 6
  • Black Shark 4
Android Gaming Smartphone

Gaming Phone FAQs

Should you buy a dedicated gaming smartphone?

In 2022 and beyond, it’s more important than ever to have a smartphone with great cooling.

Modern games can take full advantage of the latest Flagship CPU’s and the bottleneck isn’t performance or graphics… it’s the heat.

With phones completely replacing traditional consoles for some people, you’re going to want to get the best experience you can.

Will Gaming Phones replace consoles?

It’s already happening in many parts of the world.

Whether you like it or not, mobile gaming is where the money is at.

As phones become more powerful, we’re now seeing the option to connect a Bluetooth controller to your phone and then hook it up to your TV for the big screen experience.

In terms of graphical performance, consoles are still a big leap ahead of mobile chipsets. But for emulating PS3 and below, a dedicated gaming phone connected to your TV is a great option.

Gaming Phone Vs Gaming Controller Grip – What’s best?

You might be wondering whether you should opt for a gaming phone with built-in triggers or grab yourself a gaming controller grip? Or do both?

For emulation gaming on Android, a Gaming Controller grip is a way better experience thanks to having the tactile feedback of many buttons. You don’t need the extra grunt of a gaming phone for most older console emulation making the controller grip much more cost-effective than a new Gaming Phone.

If you’re going to be playing modern Android games, then you’ll want to opt for a gaming phone. Why? This will enable you to get the best graphics and you’ll also need easy access to the touch display.

Gaming Smartphone
Liquid Cooled Smartphone
MOBA Smartphone
PUBG Smartphone
Previous articleXiaomi Pad 6 Vs Xiaomi Pad 6 Pro – Which Tablet is Best?
James Gil
Technology Writer / Full Time Geek. When I'm not hacking my home entertainment system or importing Chinese gadgets you can find me drinking unhealthy levels of Coffee in Manchester, UK. Feel free to get in touch.
best-gaming-smartphones Looking for the best gaming phone you can get your sweaty hands on in 2023? Scroll down now! When it comes to mobile gaming, gone are the days of janky graphics, hot palms and battery life that drains faster than Bolt's 100m record. On a trip...



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here