Gaming Smartphones | The best of 2023

Gaming Smartphones | The best of 2023

In the last period, the gaming smartphone market has recorded considerable growth, with more and more manufacturers who have decided to enter it by launching one or more products. Gaming smartphones are decidedly more versatile than portable consoles such as Nintendo Switch, therefore they represent the ideal solution for those who intend to combine the "useful" of a smartphone with the "pleasure" of a console.

In fact, compared to traditional smartphones, gaming smartphones are much more performing, have a fluid and responsive screen and can count on a long-lasting battery for (almost) limitless gaming sessions.

Among the other exclusive features of these jewels there are undoubtedly the back buttons (present only on some models), designed specifically to replicate those of the classic gamepad. Don't worry, though: not all gaming smartphones are so recognizable. It is true, the design of most of them is not exactly sober and could even be intimidating, but the following selection is made in order to meet even those who do not like the aggressiveness of Black Sharks (for example) and are looking for something more sober (in the latter case, have you ever considered buying a non-gaming smartphone, but with equally high-level performance?).

Whatever your tastes and needs, in short , in this guide you will find the right solution for you.

The best gaming smartphones of January 2023

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

Asus has been the most active company in the production of gaming smartphones for years. Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro, the current flagship of the brand, is capable of delivering epic performance thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform coupled with Adreno 730 GPU. The substantial difference compared to the "non-Pro" version lies in the 18GB RAM, against the "only" 12/16GB of the 6; in addition, Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro has a mini rear display called "ROG Vision", a color PMOLED on which different animations are displayed depending on the various usage scenarios (starting the game, incoming call, connected charger, etc.) .

After talking about the rear screen, we cannot fail to dwell on the front one, a 6.78″ Samsung AMOLED with 165Hz refresh rate. The 6,000mAh battery fully complies with the standards of gaming smartphones. And, since speed is a prerogative of gamers, this Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro doesn't even lack support for 65W fast charging.

There are 2 additional buttons; 6, if the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 external cooling fan is hooked up to the smartphone (which you can get for free in the first weeks of the smartphone's sale). In fact, the accessory has 4 physical buttons that give a feeling very similar to that of a real console.

Buy Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

RedMagic 8 Pro

RedMagic 8 Pro is the first gaming phone of the year equipped with Qualcomm's new generation SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. In short, RedMagic 8 Pro is pure power and very soon we will be able to tell you more about it with analyzes and reviews as it is arriving in Italy and we are already testing it.

If in past models the body tended to heat up faster, RedMagic 8 Pro seems to have solved this problem, certainly thanks to the new ICE 11 cooling system and the 20,000rpm (revolutions per minute) fan. Even the greater efficiency of the top-of-the-range chip certainly plays its role and the extra power allows the smartphone not to have to strain to the max even in the most demanding current games, reducing consumption and heat.

Speaking of design , RedMagic 8 Pro distinguishes itself from previous models thanks to an all-new square design. The screen, a 120Hz AMOLED, has a slightly higher resolution than FullHD+ and practically covers the entire front of the smartphone. The frequency is a little lower when compared to the other competitors, however this RedMagic has a hidden camera under the display so as not to interrupt the display of games or multimedia content.

The sampling rate of the two capacitive keys placed on the right side is 500Hz, while the touch response is only 8ms. The battery is 6000mAh and recharges at 80W.

Buy RedMagic 8 Pro

Black Shark 5 Pro

Black Shark 5 Pro certainly has a particular design, but not as much as that of the above devices. Overall, this smartphone still gives an idea of ​​dynamism and speed, thanks above all to the finishes of the rear body and the customizable RGB LED.

On the right side we find additional pop-up keys (pop-up) that outside of game scenarios they work as shortcut buttons for taking screenshots, turning on the flashlight, freeing up RAM and more.

Black Shark 5 Pro arrived in Italy relatively late, but still has it on board Qualcomm's excellent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Its display is also AMOLED and the refresh rate can be set manually, choosing between 60Hz, 90Hz and 144Hz. The sampling frequency of the touch, on the other hand, reaches 720Hz.

But the real hallmark of Black Shark 5 Pro is the Fast Charge, more "fast" than ever, from a good 120W, which allows you to fully recharge the 4650mAh dual cell battery in just 15 minutes.

Buy Black Shark 5 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro/Max

Let's now review the characteristics of some smartphones from gaming in pectore , which have not been officially presented as such, but have all the credentials to compete with the flagships mentioned above.

Of course, for gaming, more or less any top of the range is fine; the reason we selected iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max is that the gaming experience on iOS could represent an added value, at least for some users. Also, with the arrival of the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the 13-series models will face a reduction in price.

A huge selection of games is accessible through Apple Arcade, the Apple gaming platform with hundreds of original titles, timeless classics and – of course – all the best games downloadable directly from the store.

The Apple Arcade gaming service is paid (4.99 euros/month after the first 30 days of free trial). In reality, the iPhone is only one of the devices from which you can play: Apple Arcade offers a multi-device experience, so you can go from iPhone to iPad, from Mac to Apple TV in no time. say. Furthermore, for some games, it is also possible to use a controller (available for sale on the Apple store).

For the rest, there are several specifications that make the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max perfect smartphones from gaming. Let's start by clarifying that the only difference between the two devices lies in the size of the display, 6.1″ for the Pro and 6.7″ for the Pro Max. The larger size corresponds to a larger battery, of 4.373mAh (against the 3.125mAh of the basic Pro). As for the "quality" of the screen, on both sides we find a Super Retina XR panel with ProMotion, i.e. a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 10Hz to 120Hz to optimize battery life.

The performance offered by both models are not in question: the new A15 Bionic chip guarantees killer performance in all usage scenarios, including the most demanding ones such as "extreme" gaming sessions.

Buy iPhone 13 Pro

Buy iPhone 13 Pro Max


There are two variants of POCO F4, a "GT" and a "non-GT". The difference is that only one of these models – the GT version – has been officially presented as a gaming smartphone.

If, however, the GT Edition can cost almost 500.00 euros, the "smooth" F4 ” costs just under 350.00. This is why it is the ideal choice for those with a tight budget but still want to have access to a high-performance device.

What makes POCO F4 the perfect gaming smartphone is a set of features that we briefly outline below : 1) 6.67″ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling; 2) Snapdragon 870 processor; 3) 8GB of RAM for the most expensive version. In summary, in the light of these data, POCO F4 can very well compete with the other smartphones on the list.


iPhone SE 2022

There is a only reason to choose iPhone SE 2022 as a gaming smartphone (apart from those listed about the 13 Pro / Max with Apple Arcade): it has the exact same chip as Apple's current flagship, but it costs much less. The RAM has also improved, compared to the SE that preceded it: the 2022 version buys 1GB more, for a total of 4GB (still lower than that of the 13 Pro and Pro Max, both 6GB).

If the SoC is worthy of a top of the range, the same cannot be said of the battery, 1,821mAh alone, far too few to support a standard game session. In exchange for all this power, however, someone could also give in to a compromise…

Buy iPhone SE 2022

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