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Best gaming phones in India for January 2022

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review
(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Today, a mainstream flagship smartphone or even a good mid-range phone can double up as a great gaming device. These phones are quite powerful and can handle both CPU and GPU intestine games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, FIFA 16, PUBG, and so on. 

That said, this doesn’t lessen the value of a true gaming smartphone that actually brings a lot to the table. If you’re a hardcore gamer and have already played heavy games on some of the best mainstream phones, you will agree that playing games in a phone designed for games may always feel different.

Die-hard gaming lovers like to have a specially crafted mobile gaming phone that packs extra punches way beyond the routine specifications. One of the biggest advantages of gaming mobile phones is hardware. These include touch-sensitive buttons or ‘shoulder’ buttons that give an edge to your gameplay. 

Best gaming phones in India

1. Asus ROG Phone 5

2. OnePlus 9/ 9 Pro

3. Samsung Galaxy S21

4. Apple iPhone 13/ 13 Pro

5. Poco X3 Pro

Another reason to have a true gaming device is some attractive accessories tailored to the phone, for instance, the ROG 5’s Kunai 3 gamepad.

Well, whatever your choice is, the basic requirements for a gaming smartphone remain the same. These include a powerful processor, sizeable RAM, big battery capacities so that you never run out of juice in your long gameplay sessions. Of course, fast charging is a plus. Also, a well integrated cooling system to take care of extensive usage is now a must-have as well. Other important factors include low network latency for a lag-free experience, the audio quality so you do not miss the fun, and high-refresh-rate displays.

Apart from Asus ROG 5, in India, we do not have any other major gaming smartphone makers like Black Shark and Nubia. However, brands like Poco, Xiaomi, iQOO, Samsung offer some good phones that can handle games.

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Display: 6.78" FHD+ AMOLED, 144Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Rear camera: 64+13+5MP
Front camera: 24MP
Battery: 6000mAh
Charging: 30W (supports 65W)
OS: Android 11
Weight: 242g
Thickness: 10.3mm

Reasons to buy

+
Remarkable performance
+
Neat built-in gaming features
+
Great display and speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky
-
No 65W fast charger in the box
-
Still no telephoto lens

The Asus ROG phone 5 features a 6.78-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It packs incremental improvements and is a superior choice among mobile gaming enthusiasts. 

The ROG Phone 5 comes in three variants - the ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro, and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. On paper specs across all three variants are the same with the only difference coming in the form of RAM and storage. The major change, however, comes in terms of the design. The Pro and Ultimate come with a monochromatic design while the vanilla ROG Phone 5 offers an RGB logo. 

All three phones are powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor with up to 18GB of RAM. In addition to the cooling technology inside, you can also get the additional AeroActive Cooler 5 fan (included in the box for Pro and Ultimate).

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Buy Asus ROG Phone 5 on Flipkart (opens in new tab) 

Price starting at Rs. 49,999

OnePlus 9

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch display, 1080 x 2400 pixels, AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh, 66W wired, 15W wireless fast charging
Rear camera: 48+50+2MP
Front camera: 16MP
OS: Android 11
Weight: 183g
Thickness: 8.1mm

Reasons to buy

+
Performance
+
Vivid 120Hz display
+
Good ultra-wide camera
+
Fast-charging speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Good cameras but not great

With the powerful Snapdragon 888 processor, the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro offer great performance and is pretty suitable for mobile gaming. You can play games like Gentian Impact at high graphics settings without any issues. 

It has got a Pro Gaming mode as well that blocks notifications and lets you concentrate on your gaming. The mode also ensures that all the required resources are dedicated to your game.

However, OnePlus 9/OnePlus 9 Pro gets heat up if you play and charge them at the same time. Staying on the battery power alone wouldn’t cause you any heating issues, though. Nevertheless, there is a built-in vapor chamber on both the devices that keeps things in check and cools down the system in case of extensive usage.

S21 Sthlm

(Image credit: Mats Karlsson/Techradar)

Specifications

Display: 6.62" Dynamic AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor: Exynos 2100
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Rear camera: 12+64+12MP
Front camera: 10MP
Battery: 4000mAh, 25W fast-charging
OS: Android 11
Weight: 169g
Thickness: 7.9mm

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic, versatile camera
+
Cheaper than the Galaxy S20
+
Powerful and capable phone

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD support
-
Screen isn’t the best
-
No charger in the box

With Exynos 2100 chipset under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy S21 phone offers smooth performance while gaming. It has crisp AMOLED display and the refresh rate is set to Adaptive, which means it will change dynamically based on the content on the screen. However, you do get the option to lock it to 60Hz to preserve battery life.

At very high settings for both graphics and frame rate, the phone shows no lag or stutter during the gameplay. Overall, the performance is great and you get to enjoy other things as well. 

The Galaxy S21 offers great cameras as well. So, if you want to spend extra to experience a flagship device, you will get some additional benefits as well, other than the performance. 

iPhone 13 Pro Max

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Specifications

Display: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
Processor: Apple A15 Bionic
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Rear camera: 12+64+12MP
Front camera: 10MP
Battery: 4000mAh
Charging: 25W
OS: iOS 15
Weight: 164g
Thickness: 7.7mm

Reasons to buy

+
Strong battery life
+
Great design
+
Powerful internals

Reasons to avoid

-
Minimal design changes
-
No 120Hz screen
-
No Ceramic Shield on rear

Apple iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro with the company’s new A15 Bionic chipset offer an overall great performance. As per Apple, the chipset is 50% faster CPU and 30% faster GPU than the competition. The GPU upgrades are particularly noticeable while playing games. The graphics of high-end games look fantastic on the OLED panel of the iPhone 13. 

The everyday experience is largely the same, but it’s a significant step up from much older iPhone models like iPhone 8. Compared to Android phones enlisted here, Apple doesn’t seem to need a lot of RAM to make the most of the A15 Bionic. The iPhone 13 gets only 4GBB RAM and it’s pretty good to handle some CPU-hogging tasks. Your have storage options 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB to choose from.