The best handsets for gaming

November 30, 2017


So you’re just about to blow your budget on a brand-new blower. There are some people who head for the camera – and others who plump for a swanky design, but us? We always check how a handset can handle our deep-set love for The Game – whether that’s fluoro-bright candy crushing, hi-octane kung-fu fighting or epic journeys into mythical, battle-rich territories.  There are more and more smartphones that can take on our gaming needs with their incredible displays, superb battery power AND the kind of gaming ecosystems that will make the Nintento Switch cry into its sleeve. 

Here are our top five favourite gaming phones – and if you really want an incredible gaming experience, don’t forget to check out 5G for gaming.

Samsung Galaxy S8


This is a no brainer, really. The super-immersive display courtesy of the curved edges, fantastic battery life and a frankly outrageous pixel-per-inch ratio makes the Samsung S8 a great choice for gamers.

It still has the headphone jack output, so use with your favourite cans, but say goodbye to the home button. It’s not like we needed it anyway – pah. What it does have is Samsung Gear VR, which you can team with your phone to immerse yourself in some of the most exhilarating, innovative games around today.

The S8 incarnation makes perfect use of Vulkan API; the lack of lag and battery drain on the games developed with the API are, frankly, obvious. You get a folder to put all your games in, so access can be easy when you want to deep-dive in and tucked-away when friends borrow your phone as well. 

And if you are a die-hard gamer, you will love how the S8 not only lets you take screenshots while gaming but also record gameplay to share with friends on YouTube.

Lenovo P2


This phone will not be beaten on battery. No sir! The Duracell of smartphones has a 5100mAH battery, which means you can go for days without charging.

Add a Super AMOLED display on a large 5.5″ screen to that enormous battery and you have in your hands a pretty nifty handset for gaming.

And the surprises don’t end there… The Lenovo P2 comes with 24W fast-charging functionality, so you can just juice it up super-quick between gaming sessions. 

The fast processor on the handset and the sweet bargain pricing mean that you can splash the cash on gaming apps once you get the phone.

Apple iPhone X


It’s the A11 chip that gives iPhone X the arsenal to fight back in the race to be the ultimate gaming phone. It’s been helped along the way with the iOS App Store, which has always been the favoured platform for game developers – plus the superior 2436 x 1125 resolution on the OLED screen.

Games might be a teeeensy bit more expensive than the ones on the Google Play Store, but the range is enough to keep you occupied for months and years. Whether it’s Super Mario Run – which was released on iOS first – Real Racing 3 or even just Pokemon Go and Zelda Wind Waker, with the iPhone X you can say bye-bye to juddering gameplay and frequent crashes.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium


A 4K display on a 5.5” screen with full HDR support and Snapdragon 835 under the hood… Sony released their highly anticipated XZ Premium handset earlier this year and it is a cracker.

With the same water-resistant body that first set Sony’s Xperia range of smartphones apart from the competition, the XZ Premium comes with Remote Play onboard that lets you carry your gaming through from PS4 console to phone and then back to the console. All you need to do is hook your phone and PS4 to the same Wi-Fi connection and sync both devices via the PS4 app on your phone.

Do these sound like they can sate your gaming appetite? If you’ve still got room for dessert we’ve got the Daddy of all gaming phones, exclusively on Three:

Razer Phone


If gaming is your absolute, positive number one priority in a phone, then your prayers have been answered this autumn with the release of Razer’s first ever phone. It’s dubbed ‘the ultimate gaming phone’, so you know you’re in safe hands with this one.

Chances are you’ll already know all about the gaming peripheral and laptop manufacturer’s expertise – and it’s certainly not lacking in the Razer Phone. It has a stonking 8GB of RAM to crunch the most demanding of games, and a MicroSD slot that can accommodate up to 2TB of storage… How many games is that again?

Its 5.72-inch screen boasts 120Hz refresh rate for the smoothest possible gameplay, and Dolby ATMOS tuned front-facing speakers make the sound incredible. And if you’re on headphones, that sound is certified by THX.

With a long-life 4000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+, you’ll find it hard to use up the battery in a day.