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Gaming phones

Super-fast processing, ultra-responsive touch and a pixel perfect screen – that’s what makes a great gaming phone. Whether you’re in a tense battle royale, exploring an open world or levelling up on a platform game, find the perfect smartphone to make it to the top here. Phones with a higher refresh rate display more images per second. That means smoother motion, better precision and stunning graphics.

There was a day, many moons ago, when Snake was the height of mobile gaming technology. Thankfully, things have moved on quite considerably since then. Nowadays, with console-level gaming available on your phone, the gamers amongst will want - no, require - a phone which will do these games justice.

So, what makes a good phone for gaming? You’ll want a high-performance mobile phone - something with a super-fast processor that can keep up with your games. When it comes to the best processor for gaming phones, the two biggest brands are currently Apple and Snapdragon, so watch out for their latest offerings. You’ll also want a large, pixel-perfect screen with good resolution and a high refresh rate for smoother motion, better precision, and stunning graphics.

There are gaming phones on the market that are specifically designed with gamers in mind. They focus on the areas that will give the best gaming performance and often include extras, such as trigger buttons. But they’ll usually give less attention to non-gaming areas, like the camera. The other option for gaming is a ‘regular’ smartphone. With plenty of handsets powerful enough to rival the dedicated gaming phones, these are the best phones for gamers who want a more rounded smartphone experience.

If you’re buying a gaming phone to play a specific game - PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) or Call of Duty: Mobile, for example - it’s a good idea to check the game’s system requirements online before you buy. It would be devastating to sit down for the first gaming session on your new phone and find that you weren’t getting the best game play.

Whether you’re in a tense battle royale, exploring an open world, or levelling up on a platform game, find the perfect smartphone to make it to the top in our huge range of SIM-free phones.

Large screen phones

When it comes to getting lost in the world of your game, size is important. A large screen mobile phone with a big - at least 6.5in - bright screen can make all the difference in giving you a truly immersive gaming experience.

There are loads of mobile phones with large screens to choose from but which ones regularly come up in best large screen phone lists and best gaming phone lists? Unsurprisingly, it’s the latest flagship models from the mobile phone giants - the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Also worth a mention are the Google Pixel 7 Pro and Motorola Edge 30 Ultra. Though none of these top-of-the-line phones were specifically designed for gaming, their high-tech specs allow them to excel at it.

But is bigger always better? The top dog of the large screen phones is currently the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. And while most people agree that it’s a superb phone, it’s dividing opinion in the gaming world. Some love the large screen on the phone but others have a problem with the aspect ratio. Most smartphones have a 19:9 ratio widescreen and this is what games are designed to be played on. But the inner screen on the Z Fold 4 is almost square giving you a vastly different field of view, which can be a hindrance for some games. If there are certain games you love playing, do some research before you buy the Z Fold 4 - or any other foldable, for that matter - it’s an expensive phone and you don’t want to be disappointed.

Best graphics phone

It’s not just about the size of the screen though, there are other things to consider. Firstly, the resolution - a high resolution phone screen will give you clearer, sharper graphics. If you’re comparing screens of the same size, you can just look at the resolution and see which is the highest - for example, 2560 x 1440 (QHD) is better than 1920 x 1080 (FHD). But if you’re choosing between phones with different screen sizes it can be a bit trickier to know which phone will give you the best graphics. The important number to look for in the technical spec is pixels per inch (ppi) - and the more, the better.

Screen refresh rate - the number of times per second the image refreshes on the screen - is also an important factor. The best graphics phones will have a higher refresh rate for faster response and smoother graphics. You’ll find most top-of-the-range phones have a very-respectable 120Hz refresh rate - 120 refreshes per second - but the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra comes in at a gaming-grade 144Hz.

Samsung gaming phones

Samsung phones are known for their stunning screens - particularly the high-spec flagship models - so the best Samsung phones for gaming would be anything in the Galaxy S23, S22, and S21 ranges. These Samsung large screen phones will give you excellent gameplay.

There are still some great options if you’re looking for the best budget Samsung phone for gaming. The new Galaxy A54 5G is a good, mid-range place to start. While it may not have a premium Snapdragon processor like its more expensive siblings, it still packs a powerful enough punch for gaming. And its 6.4in display with 2400 x 1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, is crisp and bright. If it’s cheap Samsung phones for gaming you’re after, the also new and even more budget-friendly Galaxy A34 5G will cope well with most games, though it may struggle a little with the more demanding titles.

Cheap gaming phones

If your wallet’s feeling a little light, no big deal, there are plenty of cheap gaming phones out there that won’t break the bank. Professional gamers may find budget gaming phones lacking a bit in processing power, but for the casual gamer, these phones will be more than enough.

A definite contender for best cheap gaming phone is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. You get far more than you’d expect for its low price tag, including a Snapdragon processor and a huge 6.7in screen. The Motorola G62 5G is also a great budget gaming phone offering smooth and stutter-free graphics.

And just sneaking in with its mid-range price tag is the perfectly pocket-sized iPhone SE - ideal for those who find phones with large screens too big to hold. The screen may only be 4.7in but it looks gorgeous, and with Apple’s powerful A15 bionic processor, you get incredibly fluid gameplay.

Check out our special offers for our latest cheap deals on gaming phones.

Gaming phones FAQs

What is the best processor for mobile gaming?

If you love gaming when you’re out and about, you need a phone with a processor that can keep up. When it comes to the best processor for gaming in mobile phones, the two biggest brands are currently Apple and Snapdragon. So, if you’re looking for the fastest phone, keep an eye out for their latest offerings and you’ll be sure to find the best processor for mobile gaming.

What makes a good phone for gaming?

There are plenty of good gaming phones out there, but what should you look out for? For a start, you’ll want something with a fairly large screen and good resolution so you can keep your eye on the action.

But you’ll also want a high performance mobile phone- something with a good processor that can run your game quickly. And, finally, a good phone for gaming will have decent speakers too- so you can hear everything loud and clear.

Why not check out our SIM free phones to see if you can find the right one for you.