Gaming may not be for everybody, but it’s safe to say the mobile gaming industry is expanding nonetheless. In part this is due to natural progression in a tech space that doesn’t seem to have many boundaries or limits. As long as private developers are able to upload mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, we’re going to see a continual stream of new and updated games. However, the introduction of entire new gaming styles and genres plays a part as well.

Most notably, augmented reality has introduced a whole new category for app-based games. Building off of early concepts like Pokémon GO, as well as newly implemented development platforms like Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit, augmented reality has become the “next big thing” in personal gaming, with a market projected to reach $9.6 billion by 2022. This means more games, more people interested in mobile gaming, and of course a growing need for devices to keep up with app needs.

There’s also a large-scale migration to mobile devices by online casino gamers that has yet to fully take place. This type of gaming on mobile devices has been steadily rising with each passing year, but is still moving toward the “mainstream” in some respects. Mostly it’s the legalization of real money gaming in regions and countries that currently prohibit it that stands to help this particular corner of the gaming market grow. But in many cases that seems inevitable – which again means more games, more players, and more incentive for phones to keep up.

The above examples don’t paint a comprehensive picture but they should convey the idea that mobile gaming is only going to get bigger, and the games more exciting. For this reason, we may begin to see gaming capabilities become more serious considerations as people shop for new smartphones. So along those lines we wanted to highlight some of the current smartphones best equipped for high-end mobile gaming.

Apple iPhone X

The iPhone X is now the biggest and best Apple has to offer, and while turning to Apple for a top smartphone in any category almost seems cliché at this point, it certainly belongs on the list. Its A11 Bionic processor, 1080p resolution and IPS LCD screen make for a sharp, reliable display of any and all gaming material. Its touchscreen is incredibly responsive, and of course it has access to all iOS apps and the growing ARKit collection.

Google Pixel 2 XL

The Snapdragon processor and OLED screen typical of high-end Android products these days are particularly impressive in this vaguely iPhone-esque body. In addition to access to the Android operating system and app collection (including AR), the Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch screen (which actually outstrips the iPhone X by a fraction of an inch), and is known for impressive battery life – which gamers will always appreciate.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

As of now the Note 8 represents the pinnacle of the Samsung Galaxy line, and is a terrific gaming device for some of the same reasons you might want to try the Pixel 2 XL. The Note 8’s 6.3-inch screen and 1440p resolution give it arguably the most impressive gaming display among these options so far as well.


Razer is one you may not have heard of unless you’ve specifically researched smartphones for gaming before. That’s because it’s essentially made as a sharp Android phone for gamers, with gaming representing the top priority of the device. For nearly $300 cheaper it matches the 1440p resolution of the Note 8, and also has the same IPS LCD screen as the iPhone X. It operates on Android and with the same Snapdragon processor as the Note 8, and has a battery life that can blow the others away. For just gaming, it might truly be the best option.