We’re so used to owning cell phones now that they’ve become the central hub for almost every aspect of our daily lives. We plan our lives with them using their in-built calendar functions. We install apps on them that connect to our personal email accounts, our business email accounts and all of our social media accounts. We may still occasionally use them to send text messages the old-fashioned way, but it’s more likely that we’ll use WhatsApp, Kliq or another of the more modern messaging solutions. When we buy a new phone, we take the product’s ability to do all of these things into account. To put it another way; it’s been a long time since we bought a phone just because it can make and take calls, and send messages.

There’s another facet of owning a phone that’s becoming increasingly important as a consideration when buying a new model, and that’s mobile gaming. We’re a generation of gamers. Almost seventy percent of Americans play video games of some description, and an increasing share of that number have moved away from just using the latest PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo device. Games are now just as prevalent on cell phones as any other app, with 2.8 billion people worldwide stating that they play games on their mobile at least occasionally as of two years ago. It would be reasonable to assume that number has increased since. It would, therefore, be good to know what the best phones on the market for mobile gaming are as of the start of this year.

Before we get into the list, it’s important to define what we mean by ‘mobile gaming.’ We’re talking about the kind of games that would put serious demand on the processing or graphical display ability of a phone, not casino gaming. There are millions of people who enjoy casino games on their phones, but any good online slot website ensures that their games are accessible on any device. It doesn’t demand a great deal from your phone to log on to Rose Slots and play Enchanted Prince. Mobile slots and slot games are designed with ease of access in mind, and so you don’t need to worry about your next phone’s ability to load them, as long as your phone has an internet connection. Instead of finding you a phone that can play Enchanted Prince, we’re looking for the enchanted prince of the cell phone world. Ideally, we’ll be able to find it for you without the need for you to kiss any frogs on the way! Here are the top three as we see it.

  1. The Sony Xperia XZ2

If you’re going to buy a phone to play games on, you should at least consider one made by Sony; the developers of the PlayStation. The display, which measures 7.7 inches and boasts 1080 x 2160 HD resolution, is sharp enough to pick out even the most intricate details of any game easily. Powering the handset is the Snapdragon 845 chipset; the same technology you’ll find in Samsung’s latest top-end phones.

This phone was developed with gamers in mind, and comes with two tell-tale signs that demonstrate that fact; firstly, it has twin speakers on the front to provide a stereo-like sound experience, even if you don’t have your headphones in. Secondly, it comes with Sony’s patented ‘Dynamic Vibration System.’ That means when impacts happen in a game you feel it in your hand, just as you do with a PlayStation controller. Small things can make all the difference, and this is one of them.

  1. The iPhone XS

Almost everyone will consider the latest iPhone when they’re looking at their next potential purchase, and the good news is that the iPhone XS is a gamer’s dream. There isn’t a massive difference between this model and its slightly older relative the iPhone X when it comes to the power and processor, but the larger screen size (6.5 inches rather than 5.8 inches) makes it the better choice for gaming between the two.

Both the iPhone XS and the newer-build iPhone X models come with Apple’s latest processor, the A12 Bionic. The chip is believed to be a massive step up from the A11, being both 50% more powerful and 40% more efficient than its now-obsolete predecessor. In real terms, that means a faster experience both loading and playing games for users. As we live in a time where people are playing Fortnite on their phones, speed is of the essence, and the iPhone XS provides it in spades. The only thing that’s put us off giving this phone the top spot is the price tag; as always, iPhones come in at the higher end of the market when it comes to cost, and we feel you can get the same quality for a lower investment.

  1. The Asus ROG

We considered two purpose-built gaming phones for the top spot, and this one won out over the Razer Phone 2. We should point out that the Razer Phone 2 has some advantages over the Asus ROG when it comes to gaming, especially the screen refresh rate, which no other phone on the market can touch. However the Razer Phone 2 is so specifically designed for gaming that it isn’t a very good phone. The display and the camera aren’t up to scratch when compared to most other modern smartphones, and so we went with a better all-round player.

The Asus ROG is a solid phone. It does everything you’d want a cell phone to do, and it does those things well. What you want to know about is the gaming spec, though, and here it is: a Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with 8GB of RAM and a screen refresh rate of 90hz. That’s second only to the Razer, and better than the other two phones we’ve looked at. Battery life is also unrivaled, with a 4,0000mAh battery that will let you play for extended periods without needing to plug in anywhere.

What marks it out as the perfect gaming phone is Asus’ ‘AirTrigger’ feature; a couple of touch buttons on the outer rim of the phone which work like the shoulder buttons on a gaming console controller. They’re intelligently located so you’ll never press them accidentally when operating the phone for normal use, but they’re invaluable during a gaming session. Throw in the fact that Asus offers phone-specific add-ons for purchase, including a clip-on controller and a docking platform that almost turns your phone into a Nintendo Switch, and you’ve got a real winner.