5 Best Smartphones for the Mobile Gaming Era 2022 Edition

min read
BetMGM Feb 10, 2022, 10:59 PM

High-quality gaming experiences on your mobile phone, once considered a complete pipedream, have become a reality, with even entry-level smartphones able to offer reasonable gaming performance for some modern mobile gaming titles. However, if you’re interested in more than just reasonable when it comes to gaming, which smartphones would be able to provide you with the best experience, regardless of whether you’re playing online casino games or the latest blockbuster titles? 

Join us as we take a look at the five best smartphones for all aspects of mobile gaming in 2022.

Top 5 Smartphones

With so many different phones to choose from, here are our five favorite picks if you’re a gamer looking for the best gaming smartphone experience:

1. Asus ROG Phone 5

Display: 6.78 inches, 1080×2448 pixels with 395 PPI density, 144hz, AMOLED display

Body: 6.80 x 3.04 x 0.41 inches, 238g

Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G

Memory: From 128GB storage with 8GB RAM to 256GB storage with 16GB RAM

Cameras: Triple camera setup with 64 MP, 13 MP and 5 MP, capable of 8K video at 30fps, and a selfie cam with 24 MP, capable of 1080p video at 30fps

Battery: Li-Po 6,000 mAh with 65W fast charging

Price range: Starting at approximately $800

The ASUS ROG series of smartphones have been very popular among gamers for the incredible specs and performance they offer, and the ROG Phone 5 delivers the same great experience as its predecessors. This phone is focused on speed with incredible specs that can power virtually any mobile gaming experience on the market. Of course, such performance would be meaningless without a high-quality display to back it up, with the ROG 5 using the latest AMOLED technology to provide even richer colors, a brighter display, incredible 144hz refresh rate and other benefits, all while consuming less power. As a gaming device, you’d expect the phone to have high-quality sound as well, which undoubtedly elevates it above many other mobile devices.   

This is not to say the phone is perfect, and at 238g, some may consider this phone a bit on the heavy side. Its size also makes it less than ideal for one-handed use, and due to all the hardware it crams inside, it may get a bit too hot for extended play for some users. If you’re snap-happy, you may also be a bit let down by the quality of the cameras, although the lenses are likely fine for the majority of people.

2. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Display: 6.7 inches, 1284 x 2778 pixels with 458 PPI density, 120hz, Super Retina XDR OLED

Body: 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches, 240g

Chipset: Apple A15 Bionic

Memory: From 128GB storage with 6GB RAM to 1TB of storage with 6GB RAM

Cameras: Quad camera setup with three 12 MP lenses (wide, telephoto and ultrawide) and TOF 3D LiDAR scanner, capable of video up to 4K, 60fps, and a selfie cam with 12 MP, capable of video at 4K, 60fps

Battery: Li-Ion 4,352 mAh with 27W fast charging

Price range: Starting at approximately $1,099

It’s unsurprising to find an Apple device on this list, with this tech producer regularly producing hit after hit in the high-end category. Even though Apple themselves are unlikely to market this smartphone as a gaming device, there’s no doubt that it has the specs to deliver an excellent gaming experience. Multiple reviewers have highlighted how Apple’s custom A15 Bionic chips outperform the competition, with Notebookcheck aptly titling one review “Power-hungry Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 gets trounced by the Apple A15 Bionic in real-world gaming test.” Combine this with Apple’s glorious (as always) displays, with the 13 Pro Max delivering crystal clear imagery with its 458 PPI screen, smooth performance at 120hz, and the greater color range and high brightness that the Super Retina XDR OLED provides, and you’ve got a visual powerhouse. 

Of course, this is not to say the phone is perfect, as the weight of this large phone may be an issue for some, coming in 2g heavier than our first entry at 240g. Add in the fact that high-end Android phones are moving away from the notch, and some users may be asking how Apple dropped the ball in regards to that latest feature. There’s also the fact that the fast charging could be a bit faster, as some of the competition offers more than double the charge speed.

3. One Plus 9 Pro

An excited man uses his mobile phone.

Display: 6.7 inches, 1,440 x 3,216 pixels with 525 PPI density, 120hz, LTPO AMOLED

Body: 6.43 x 2.90 x 0.34 inches, 197g

Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G

Memory: From 128GB storage with 8GB RAM to 256GB storage with 12GB RAM

Cameras: Quad camera setup with 48 MP, 8 MP, 50 MP and 2 MP cameras (with wide, telephoto, ultrawide and monochrome lenses, respectively), capable of video up to 8K 30fps or 4K 120fps, and a selfie cam with 16 MP, capable of video at 1,080p 30fps

Battery: Li-Po 4,500 mAh with 65W fast charging, as well as fast wireless charging of 50W

Price range: Starting at approximately $600 (albeit with cut-down features)

If you’re looking for an affordable, all-round great device, you can’t go wrong with the One Plus 9 Pro. This phone not only offers the latest in performance with the Snapdragon 888, but has an absolutely beautiful and smooth display. This screen has a massive 1,440×3,216 resolution with an incredible 525 PPI density, meaning even more pixels are crammed in, providing even more clarity than Apple’s current flagship phone. Not only that, but the resolution can be adjusted if you’re interested in manually cutting back on power usage, a welcome and interesting feature that you don’t see on many other phones. Gamers will also be pleased to know that this device does provide the latest in fast charging technology, and even if it’s not quite as fast as wired charging, the Warp Charge 50 wireless charger will keep your device topped up at an incredible rate, even if it’s not plugged in.

However, as great as this device is, it’s not flawless. Despite having such incredible charging features, the battery may not last as long as some would like, and the higher-end versions of this device are far more costly than some of the lower-end versions, coming in at $800 or higher to get all the best features.

4. Oppo Find X3 Pro

Display: 6.7 inches, 1,440×3,216 pixels with 525 PPI density, 120hz, LTPO AMOLED

Body: 6.44 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches, 193g

Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G

Memory: From 256GB storage with 8GB RAM to 512GB storage with 16GB RAM

Cameras: Quad camera setup with 50 MP, 13 MP, 50 MP and 3 MP cameras (with wide, telephoto, ultrawide and microscope lenses, respectively), capable of 4K at 60fps, and a selfie cam with 32 MP, capable of 1,080p at 30fps

Battery: Li-Po 4,500 mAh with 65W fast charging, fast wireless charging at 30W, and reverse wireless charging of 10W

Price range: Starting from approximately $800

The fourth entry on our list is the Oppo Find X3 Pro, and some may notice the similarity of the specs with our number three, the One Plus 9 Pro. Yes, these devices are very similar, with similar displays and chipsets, but if you’re someone who is unable to find the One Plus 9 Pro, we thought it worthwhile to include an alternative. Gamers will find the performance between these two devices virtually impossible to tell apart, so this phone is undoubtedly something to keep in mind if stocks of the One Plus 9 Pro are lacking in your area. 

The one downside that users will want to keep in mind is that, unfortunately, this phone doesn’t have as fast wireless charging as the One Plus 9 Pro, but it does offer reverse wireless charging, which is great if you have friends or family members who need a top-up on their devices and you can’t get your hands on a charger. It also comes in a tiny bit lighter than the One Plus, but at four grams, most people aren’t likely to notice the difference.

5. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

 A person playing a shooting game on their phone.

Display: 6.8 inches, 1,440×3,200 with 515 PPI density, 120hz, Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Body: 6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches, 227 g

Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G / Exynos 2100

Memory: From 128GB storage with 12GB RAM to 512GB storage with 16GB RAM

Cameras: Quad camera setup with 108 MP, 10 MP, 10 MP and 12 MP cameras (with wide, periscope telephoto, telephoto and ultrawide lenses, respectively), capable of 8K at 24fps, and a selfie camera at 40 MP, capable of 4K video at 60fps

Battery: Li-Ion 5,000 mAh with 25W fast charging, wireless charging of 15W and reverse wireless charging of 4.5W

Price range: Starting from approximately $800

Where the crown for the greatest smartphone manufacturer was once fought between Samsung and Apple, the tech giant has decided to take a step back from the mobile phone “arms race,” allowing other competitors to catch up and compete with Samsung and Apple. That being said, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is no slouch at all, offering either the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset or Samsung’s own Exynos 2100. Yes, Samsung has taken a page out of Apple’s book and decided to start designing their own chipsets, and we’ve been following their partnership with AMD on this front. But for now, the S21 Ultra is still a great phone, with a beautiful and large 6.8-inch display (almost too large for some) with a great 1,440×3,200 resolution, and the third-highest PPI on our list. Combine this with the Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel and you have a great display. Snap-happy gamers are also most likely to be interested in this device with its incredible 108 MP main camera, but others may not be so interested in this feature.

All this being said, if you are a Samsung fan and a gamer who is interested in this device, you will probably want to look at getting the Snapdragon 888 version of this device. Reviews put the Exynos 2100 version as slightly less desirable when it comes to gaming performance, which hopefully Samsung will be able to rectify in the Galaxy S22 with the Exynos 2200.

A final word

No matter what your final decision is, the most important thing to remember when picking a smartphone for gaming is that you need to pick a phone that’s right for you. Whether you just want a device to play casino table games, want a high refresh rate screen to avoid eye fatigue, or prefer a gaming phone with a comfortable weight over anything else, you need to pick a device that suits your needs. 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.