5 Great Gaming Phones to Buy in 2023

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Gone are the days when you’d have to sit down at a desktop computer or use a gaming console to play video games. While console and PC gaming haven’t gone anywhere, the meteoric rise in high-performance mobile devices means gamers now have the ability to partake in their favorite activity just about anytime, anywhere. But if you want to game on your phone, you need a device that’s capable of handling your favorite games (and doing it well).

The best phones for gaming vary depending on what you’re looking for, but generally speaking, you’ll want a device with a large, crisp screen, long battery life, and a fast refresh rate. Other features, like a decent amount of storage space and user-friendly controls, are also important considerations. If that feels like a lot to keep in mind, don’t sweat it: We’re here to help. Ahead, we’re comparing five great gaming phones currently on the market so you can make the right choice for your needs. Read on for the breakdown.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G

With a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display, 120Hz refresh rate, and up to 512GB of storage space, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G is among the best Android phones for gaming. This top-of-the-line device is powered by the ultra-fast Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 chip, which allows you to juggle high-intensity games, video calls, and multiple apps at once with ease. And the 5,000 mAh battery lasts up to 67 hours on one charge, so you’ll never be left hanging mid-game. When you’re not gaming, you’ll enjoy the phone’s excellent cameras, which you can use to take crisp, clear videos day and night, thanks to Night Mode powered by Nightography.

Specs:

OS: Android 13, One UI 5.1

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Rear Cameras:

200 MP, f/1.7, 24mm (wide)

10 MP, f/4.9, 230mm (periscope telephoto)

10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto)

12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)

Front Camera:

12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide)

Headphone Jack: No

Battery: 5,000 mAh with wireless charging

Sensor: Fingerprint (under display)

Storage / RAM: 256GB 8GB RAM / 256GB 12GB RAM / 512GB 12GB RAM / 1TB 12GB RAM

Benefits

  • Up to 67 hours of battery life
  • Water-resistant for up to 30 minutes
  • Ultra-large screen ideal for gaming
  • Comes equipped with the Samsung S-Pen stylus
  • SIM and eSIM compatible

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G

Those looking for a slightly more affordable (but still excellent) gaming phone should consider the Samsung Galaxy S23+. Like the S23 Ultra, this phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and boasts a 120 Hz refresh rate for a seamless gaming experience. The screen is slightly smaller than that of the S23 Ultra, at 6.6 inches, but still large enough to play even the most detailed games in high resolution. And, with 256GB of memory, you can download and save all your favorite games with plenty of storage space to spare.

Specs:

OS: Android 13, One UI 5.1

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Rear Cameras:

50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide)

10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto)

12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)

Front Camera:

12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide)

Headphone Jack: No

Battery: 4,700 mAh with wireless charging

Sensor: Fingerprint (under display)

Storage / RAM: 256GB 8GB RAM / 512GB 8GB RAM

Benefits:

  • Up to 61 hours of battery life
  • Water-resistant for up to 30 minutes
  • Large, high-resolution AMOLED screen
  • SIM and eSIM compatible

 

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iPhone 14 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a good choice for those looking for an iOS gaming phone. Boasting a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display with 440 ppi, it delivers crisp, clear pictures in high resolution. The 120Hz refresh rate ensures that your gaming experience is seamless, and the phone’s storage capacity—up to 1TB—is very impressive. Plus, it boasts all of the other benefits we’ve come to expect from iPhones, including a fantastic 48MP main camera and a sleek, user-friendly interface.

Specs:

OS: iOS 16

Chipset: A16 Bionic Chip

Rear Cameras:

48 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide)

12 MP, f/2.8, 77mm (telephoto)

12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)

Front Camera:

12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide)

Headphone Jack: No

Battery: Li-Ion 4,323 mAh with wireless charging

Sensor: Face ID

Storage/RAM: 128GB 6GB RAM / 256 GB 6GB RAM / 512GB 6GB RAM / 1TB 6GB RAM

Benefits:

  • Up to 95 hours of battery life
  • Water-resistant for up to 30 minutes
  • Large, ultra-crisp screen
  • 4K video recording
  • High-performance chip greatly reduces lags, stutters, and delays

 

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iPhone SE

The third-gen iPhone SE may not be the newest phone on this list, but it holds its own. Powered by the same A15 bionic chip that you’ll find in the iPhone 13, this sleek and pocket-friendly phone is capable of handling energy-intensive tasks (like game streaming) with ease. At 4.7 inches, the screen is on the smaller side—but the sharp and clear LCD Retina XD display ensures that you’ll get the most out of every pixel.

Specs:

OS: iOS 16

Chipset: A15 Bionic Chip

Rear Camera:

12 MP, f/1.8 (wide)

Front Camera:

7 MP, f/2.2

Headphone Jack: No

Battery: Li-Ion 2,018 mAh with wireless charging

Sensor: Fingerprint (front-mounted)

Storage/RAM: 64GB 4GB RAM / 128GN 4GB RAM / 256GB 4GB RAM

Benefits:

  • Up to 50 hours of battery life
  • Water-resistant for up to 30 minutes
  • 4K video recording
  • Significantly more affordable than newer iPhone models

 

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Moto G Stylus 5G

While not marketed strictly as a gamer phone, the Moto G Stylus 5G is an excellent option for those who want a strong mobile gaming experience (but don’t want to have to shell out thousands of dollars to get it). The budget-friendly phone boasts a 6.8-inch Max Vision FHD+ display with a 120 Hz refresh rate for skip-free, lag-free gaming. Best of all, the 5,000 mAh battery delivers up to 52 hours of usage time, allowing users to enjoy gaming without having to stop mid-game to top up the charge.

Specs:

OS: Android 12

Chipset: Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G

Rear Cameras:

50 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide)

8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚ (ultrawide)

2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)

Front Camera:

16 MP, f/2.2, (wide)

Headphone Jack: Yes

Battery: 5,000 mAh

Sensor: Fingerprint (side-mounted)

Storage/RAM: 128GB 4GB RAM / 128GB 6GB RAM / 256GB 8GB RAM

Benefits:

  • Up to 52 hours of battery life
  • Crisp, ultra-large screen for an immersive gaming experience
  • Built-in headphone jack
  • Budget-friendly smartphone for gamers

 

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