Everything you need to game on your phone

Cell Phones & Accessories

When setting up a gaming phone, consider if you want it to be more mobile or stationary. Mobile setups often include a controller that attaches to the phone. Stationary setups usually require a dock.

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Which phones and accessories for gaming are best?

Mobile gaming is extremely popular, especially for those who are frequently on the go or don’t want the hassle of a gaming console or computer. But gaming on the phone comes with certain drawbacks. The phone’s screen may be too small or dim or the battery life may run out too quickly. Even mobile games can be demanding to an extent.

That’s why you need a great phone and a few key accessories like a mobile recharging station. With the right setup, you’ll be able to play mobile games without a problem.

What are the best phones for mobile gaming to buy?

Whether you want to improve your mobile gaming experience or you’re looking for a new phone that lets you play games on the go, here are some great options to consider.

Top phone for mobile gaming

Apple iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12

What you need to know: Fully unlocked and ready to use, this iPhone has a powerful processor and clear resolution, making it a great mobile gaming device.

What you’ll love: Along with a crystal-clear resolution (2,532-by-1,170 pixels), this phone has a moderately sized OLED display for easy viewing. It also has a long battery life and a high frame per second rate for more intensive mobile games. Plus, with a 5G connection, this phone will last a long time.

What you should consider: This phone is pre-owned and not Apple-certified. However, it’s backed by the 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee.

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Top phone for gaming for the money

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

What you need to know: At a lower price point than the previously mentioned iPhone, this offering by Samsung is still powerful and a great option for casual to moderate mobile gamers.

What you’ll love: This unlocked phone has a high-performing processor, 120-hertz refresh rate and is 5G, meaning it’s lightning-fast and capable of handling nearly anything. The screen is 6.5 inches, making it large enough for most users. For those who want to download a lot of games, the phone also comes with 128 GB or 256 GB storage options.

What you should consider: The glass screen is easily scratched, cracked or shattered without a proper cover.

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Worth mentioning

Nubia Red Magic 5G Gaming Phone

Nubia Red Magic 5G Gaming Phone

What you need to know: This midrange gaming phone is compatible with T-Mobile and AT&T.

What you’ll love: With a 144-hertz refresh rate and a stunning AMOLED High Definition display, this phone offers a crisp, user-friendly experience. It comes with 8 GB RAM and can play games that run anywhere from 30 to 60 frames per second.

What you should consider: The phone is on the fragile side and may break easily.

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What to know before you buy phones for gaming

There are a few, very important things to consider when looking for a mobile phone suitable for gaming.

Locked vs. unlocked

If you plan on using a phone with a phone plan, check if the phone you’re about to purchase is locked or unlocked. Locked phones are phones that only work with specific phone providers, such as Sprint or Consumer Cellular. If you have a different provider than what is listed on the phone, you won’t be able to use the phone unless you can find a way to unlock it or join an eligible service provider.

When the phone is unlocked, you can have nearly any service provider and still use the device. It’s still a good idea to check with your service provider if the phone is compatible. In most cases, however, this shouldn’t be a problem.

If possible, get an unlocked phone. If that isn’t an option, check which service provider or providers are compatible with the locked phone to make sure you can use it.

5G vs. 4G

While many phones are still 4G, the new and improved 5G offers better speed and performance for gaming, entertainment and other usages. 5G phones usually have better bandwidth and lower latency than 4G phones. Some older phones are being phased out due to advancements in technology. So, if you want a phone that will last for years, consider getting a 5G.

Battery life

While many phones claim to have around 10 to 15 hours of battery life, this number can drastically decrease with heavy usage and mobile gaming. Games like Fortnite, Pokemon Go, Candy Crush and Clash of Clans take up a lot of even the best phone’s battery. If you play those types of games, consider getting an external battery or charger.

Display

Phones seem to get bigger with every new model or generation. Some people prefer a larger screen size, while others want something a little smaller. Think about what types of games you play when choosing a phone based on its size.

Additionally, not all phones can play games at high frames per second or have fast refresh rates. Simple puzzle games only require around 15 frames per second, while more intense shooter games may require 45 or 60 frames per second. Most mobile games require 60 hertz to run well, so keep this in mind as well.

Other features

Some gaming phones come with neat or useful features like cooling solutions, shoulder buttons and built-in vibration. These types of features give the player a more console-like experience without the issue of being stationary.

Things you need to game on your phone

Even the most powerful phone can benefit from a few accessories. Here are some options to consider.

Ayeway Battery Pack

Ayeway Battery Pack

One of the best ways to drain a phone’s battery life is to play mobile games for hours on end. That’s where a good external battery pack comes in. Compatible with several different types of phones, like the Samsung Galaxy and some iPhones, this battery pack offers around 26,800 milliamp hours or around 26 hours of charge. It also has an LCD to let you know how much power is left. Although it lasts during long gaming sessions, it does require a USB C port for input and can take a while to charge fully. 

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Ekrist Portable Charger Power Bank

Ekrist Portable Charger Power Bank

For something a little cheaper, this power bank uses a USB and Micro USB connector and lasts 25,800 milliamp hours. It also has four LED lights to indicate its charge level. The only downside is its short cord, so consider getting a separate, compatible cord if you go with this one. 

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Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller

One of the biggest issues with mobile games is the touch screen. A good solution is a game controller peripheral. From a well-known gamer brand, this controller is compatible with both Android and iPhone devices. With an ergonomic design and several buttons to turn your phone into a controller, this portable accessory is perfect for people who enjoy playing fast-paced shooter games like Fortnite. It also comes with an App to tell you which games are compatible with this device. 

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Lamicall Cell Phone Stand

Lamicall Cell Phone Stand

This phone dock is perfect for anyone using a Bluetooth-connected controller to turn their phone into a mini console. Compatible with different types of phones with a resting groove to keep the phone upright, this dock provides an excellent viewing angle. It also has space behind it to hide any cords. With this stand, you can easily switch from working to playing in no time. 

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Otium Bluetooth Headphones

Otium Bluetooth Headphones

A good pair of headphones with excellent audio quality is essential for fast-paced mobile games. With 8 hours of battery and a built-in microphone, these headphones will allow you to hear every sound in any game you play. Plus, they have a range of 30 feet, which is great for when you need to get up and leave your phone for a moment. 

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Shure SE425 Sound-Isolating Earbuds

Shure SE425 Sound-Isolating Earbuds

On the pricier side, these wired earbuds are Bluetooth-compatible and provide optimal audio while keeping unwanted sounds out during gaming sessions. In addition, this model features Bluetooth and 3.5-millimeter connection options, up to 10 hours of battery life and 30 feet of wireless range. 

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USB C Cable 60 Watts

USB C Cable 60 Watts

If you want to keep your phone charged but don’t want to be stuck in place while playing, this USB Type C cable is a must. It’s compatible with several Samsung Galaxy S20 phones and Google Pixel. It also has a data transfer rate of .48 gigabits per second and is sturdy enough to last. Make sure it works with your phone’s ports. 

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Anker Wireless Charger

Anker Wireless Charger

This two-way wireless charging pad is essential for anyone who doesn’t want to rely on a cord or wants to reach 100 percent battery life faster. It’s compatible with all Qi-enabled devices, such as the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note 10. Unfortunately, the AC adapter used to plug it into a wall is not included. 

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Sunany Flash Drive

Sunany Flash Drive

For additional storage, consider this USB memory stick. It offers 128 GB of space and is compatible with many mobile devices and computers. 

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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