Best Gaming Smartphones for Early 2021

Gaming smartphones are known for their powerful hardware and large display. These devices are much more than capable for handling casual tasks, such as voice calling, browsing the web, interacting through social media and checking email. For hardcore gamers who are looking for an enhanced gaming experience, they should get the latest devices with impressive hardware. If you are planning to replace a fairly old gaming smartphone this year, here some alternatives to consider:

iPhone 12 Pro Max

The A14 Bionic chipset is very capable for gaming and its display is one of the best in the market, in terms of brightness and clarity. Unfortunately, the display still has 60Hz refresh rate, which is quite disappointing for a $1,099 smartphone. You don’t get power adapter and the charging process is slow, which is disappointing for gamers. Its back side has glass and if cracked, can be expensive to repair. The iPhone 12 Pro Max should crush any gaming at highest setting. Regardless of the slow charging, this device could last for eight hours.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung’s flagship device has excellent battery life for extended gaming sessions. The adaptive refresh rate offers smooth 3D rendering and improved battery life, depending on the use. With its bright display, you can play anywhere and you will be less affected by glare. It’s a quite bulky device and also quite expensive, at $1,200 for the 128GB storage version. The Snapdragon 888 version is one of the fastest chipsets for gaming, but it’s only for the US version. The International version uses Exynos 2100, which has somewhat mediocre integrated GPU. So, it’s probably better to choose a phone with Snapdragon 865+.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

With its Snapdragon 865+ chipset, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is quite powerful for gaming. Probably, the best thing about having this device is the bragging right, because this device is a head-turner. When unfolded, you will get a huge screen real estate and the 120Hz refresh rate ensures smooth animation. The excellent stereo speakers can make gaming experience feels better. However, the device is quite thick when folded and the battery life may take a hit when use the primary display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

It’s another high-performance smartphone with Snapdragon 865+ chipset that ensures snappy and super smooth performance. The outstanding 6.9-inch AMOLED display is excellent for gaming. However, the gigantic size could deter gamers with smaller hands and at $1,300, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is among the most expensive. The battery life is decent, but playing constantly at 120Hz refresh rate could take a toll. With the S-Pen, this smartphone is ideal for professional uses.

Asus ROG Phone 3

This smartphone offers an all-round excellent performance with plenty of RAM and internal storage as plus points. If you don’t want to wear wireless earphone, the ROG Phone 3 offers loud audio. Asus is also offering proprietary accessories for the ROG Phone 3, such as dual screen case, fan and docks. However, the minimum brightness isn’t low enough and there’s no reliable water resistance. Among gaming smartphones, ROG Phone 3 is more affordable at around $799 from Amazon. With 144Hz refresh rate, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ and 12GB of RAM, this smartphone should perform really well.