Mobile games have become more demanding than ever. What were 20 minute time sinks now feature 3D graphics and caters to different genres. Hence, there is a niche market for gaming smartphones to cater to hardcore gamers.
Before we deep dive into our picks, first we must understand what makes a smartphone ideal for gaming. While most smartphones can play games just fine, gamers tend to prioritise on performance, RAM, battery and display refresh rate in order to have superior gaming experiences relative to their price point.
With that being said, let’s move on to our gaming smartphone picks.
Best Flagship Gaming Smartphone: ROG Phone 7
If you are looking for a smartphone that offers flagship levels of gaming performance, the ROG Phone 7 is as good as it gets. It packs a blazing fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a 165Hz AMOLED display, and a large 6,000mAh battery.
The ROG Phone 7 also comes with a host of gaming related features, such as Armoury Crate, which can organise your game library, set up Air Trigger mapping, and turn on X-Mode for more performance.
Speaking of Air Triggers, they are located at the left side of the smartphone, acting as left and right triggers when held horizontally. You are no longer limited to using your thumbs, or have to buy third party trigger buttons to get this feature.
During our review of the ROG Phone 7, we found that it could handle any game we threw at it, be it MLBB, Genshin Impact, PUBG Mobile or Honkai Star Rail. Battery life is also excellent, easily lasting more than two days of use. I could also play for long hours without worrying about the phone overheating thanks to the excellent vapour chamber cooling at the back.
At the time of writing, the ROG Phone 7 retails for RM3,599 for the 12GB + 256GB model, and RM4,299 for the 16GB + 512GB model.
Best Midrange Gaming Smartphone: POCO F5
The POCO F5 features Qualcomm’s latest midrange chipset, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. It is quite peppy for its class, and comes with a powerful Adreno 725 GPU. Complementing this speedy processor is up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
The POCO F5 boasts a speedy 120Hz AMOLED display for fluid visuals, and a 5,000mAh large battery. In case your phone runs out of juice, the 67W fast charging allows your phone to be fully charged in under 50 minutes.
As of time of writing, you can get the POCO F5 for RM1,699. If you have a bit more to spend, we suggest bumping it up to a POCO F5 Pro for the faster Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and a higher resolution display.
Best Entry Level Gaming Smartphone: Infinix Note 30 Pro
Coming at only RM899 is the Infinix Note 30 Pro. We would be hard-pressed to find a gaming smartphone this affordable. At the time of writing, the Infinix Note 30 Pro has just officially released in Malaysia, delivering unprecedented value to mobile gamers.
It boasts an efficient MediaTek Helios G99 chipset with a Mali-G57 MC2 GPU. It also comes with 8GB of RAM that can be expanded to a total of 16GB and 256GB of storage to store your game library. You also get a large 6.67-inch FHD+ display with a refresh rate of 120Hz.
The Infinix Note 30 Pro is also equipped with a large 5,000mAh battery with 68W fast charging, allowing you to game all day long. If you are on a stricter budget, the Infinix Note 30, or the Infinix Hot 30 are good alternatives.