Best money-no-object: iPhone 12 Pro Max
It’s no surprise, then, that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is our pick for the best money-no-object gaming phone around. Its A14 Bionic chip absolutely trounces the opposition on gaming applications, and this is allied to a huge and beautiful (though only 60Hz) 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. iOS is where the best mobile games are, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers the best way to play them.
Best pure gaming: Asus ROG Phone 3
The Asus ROG Phone 3 packs a ridiculously fluid 144Hz display, a custom cooling system, a stupidly huge 6000mAh battery, an ecosystem of controllers and other gamer-focused accessories, 16GB of RAM, and the fastest Android processor around in the Snapdragon 865+. Not many phones bothered with that last spec in 2020.
Best all-rounder: OnePlus 8 Pro
But that’s the OnePlus 8 Pro for you. Possibly this writer’s favourite phone of 2020, it packs a stunning 120Hz AMOLED display that can simultaneously run at a QHD resolution (something the likes of Samsung still can’t manage), which lays on a stunning canvass for games. With a Snapdragon 865 CPU, it can also run them at full whack. All that plus a great camera and lovely clean software make it a cracking all rounder.
Best budget: Poco X3 NFC
The best of the bunch for gamers, we’ve found, is the Poco X3 NFC. It’s got a number of surprisingly gamer-friendly features, including a faster-than-usual Snapdragon 732G CPU, a 120Hz Full HD+ Display, and stereo speakers. For the money, you won’t do better.
The Oppo Find X2 was a close cousin to the OnePlus 8 Pro, but without the great camera, wireless charging or clean software. Swinging things back in its favour, we’ve seen the Oppo Find X2 on sale for less than £500 just recently, which is an absolute bargain for a classy powerhouse.
Finally, the Black Shark 3 offered a stand-out pure gaming experience with its physical pop-out shoulder buttons and bespoke cooling system. It’s a hefty, ugly beast, but if you’re into that whole overt pro-gamer aesthetic, you might dig it.