Top gaming smartphones: May 2017 edition

“Looking for a smartphone to take care of your mobile gaming needs? Here’s our roundup”

Gaming is a recreational activity that most of us enjoy in our spare time – whether its racing simulators, arcade games, action RPGs or even a good old puzzle. Mobile gaming is a phenomenon that has blown up in the past few years and there has been no better time to enjoy gaming on your smartphone than now. With screens getting larger, processors becoming faster and audio quality at its best, now is the time you can sit back and experience high-end games on your smartphone. For all you adrenaline junkies out there, we have curated a list of the top gaming smartphones money can buy right now.

Samsung Galaxy S8S8+ 


A list for the best gaming phones wouldn’t do justice without the mention of a Samsung flagship. The S8 and S8+ are the company’s latest offerings and are considered pretty much the most powerful Android phones in the world currently. Besides featuring Exynos 8895 CPUs which works alongside 4GB of RAM, the handsets also come with the company’s latest innovation dubbed the Infinity display, which has allowed Samsung to squeeze in larger screens on compact devices. Moreover, the 2K resolution Super AMOLED display is a thing of beauty and reproduces punchy and vibrant colours which are ideal for gaming. 

The S8 duo are IP68 rated, making them waterproof and dustproof, and feature 12MP Dual Pixel camera sensors. Prices for the Galaxy S8 start at Rs 57,900 whereas the S8 Plus will set interested buyers back by Rs 64,900 with the only major difference between the two smartphones being the screen size (5.8-inch on the S8 vs 6.2-inch on the S8+) and the battery (3,000mAh on the S8 vs 3,500mAh on the S8+). 

Related reads: Samsung Galaxy S8+ review 

Google Pixel / Pixel XL


Last year, Google made a bold move to end its long-standing Nexus line of smartphones and replaced it with the Pixel and the Pixel XL. Backed by the quickest app updates and Google’s Vanilla software, you can bet that the smartphones offer the smoothest Android experience which is a must for any gaming enthusiast. Moreover, the handsets come loaded on the hardware front too and feature a Snapdragon 821 processor which works in tandem with 4GB of RAM. For displays, the Pixel gets a 5-inch full HD screen whereas the Pixel XL gets a 5.5-inch quad HD display. Fuelling the Pixel is a 2,770mAh battery which goes up to 3,450mAh on the Pixel XL.

Related read: Google Pixel XL review

HTC U11 (Upcoming)


With the HTC U11, the Taiwanese giant has tried to stand out from other flagships. Be it its signature Boomsound stereo speakers or the Edge Sense feature, that lets the user interact with the phone by squeezing the sides. 

But what matters for gaming enthusiasts is the hardware under the hood and it doesn’t disappoint there with the latest Snapdragon 835 processor and up to 6GB of RAM. It also has an improved design that not only acts as an eye-candy, but also offers ergonomic comfort while playing for long sessions. 

 The HTCU11 is expected to launch in India soon.

Related read: HTC U11 first impressions

OnePlus 3T


If the price of a smartphone is a concern, then meet the OnePlus 3T. The newest smartphone from OnePlus offers solid specifications and won’t burn a hole in your wallet either. Rocking a 5.5-inch full HD display with high-end internals like 6GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 821 processor, the OnePlus 3T is, by all means, one of the best Android phones out there. Pair that with the near-stock Android OS of the device and buyers will get incredibly fluid performance from it.

The OnePlus 3T is available at a starting price of Rs 29,999 exclusively via Amazon India.

Related read: OnePlus 3T review

Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus


The iPhone 7 / 7 Plus are currently Apple’s best, and solid options for mobile gaming. Although the handsets don’t offer a lot of changes in terms of design (as compared to their predecessors), the internals are a different story. The handsets are backed by Apple’s latest A10 fusion chips which work in parallel with 2GB of RAM on the iPhone 7 and 3GB of RAM on the iPhone 7 Plus. As the name suggests, the iPhone 7 Plus is bigger than the iPhone 7 and features a 5.5-inch screen compared to the 4.7-inch panel found on the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 Plus is juiced by a 2,900mAh battery whereas the iPhone 7 is fuelled by a 1,960mAh battery. 

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is available in India at a starting price of around Rs 61,000 whereas the iPhone 7 starts at Rs 47,999. 
Related read: Apple iPhone 7 Plus review



The G6 is the latest flagship from LG and unlike its predecessor, is a no-nonsense, non-modular flagship. The smartphone features a bezel-less display similar to the one we’ve seen on the Samsung Galaxy S8 duo, which puts its screen-to-body ratio at a staggering 80 percent. This allows the LG G6 to pack a 5.7-inch quad HD display in the body of a much smaller smartphone. Moreover, the handset comes with top-of-the-line specifications in the form of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM, allowing it to run any game at the highest possible graphics setting. 

The G6 is available in India at a starting price of Rs 49,999 through Amazon. 

Related read: LG G6 review 

Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro


Samsung jumped on the 6GB RAM bandwagon with the Galaxy C9 Pro, which is the Korean giant’s first smartphone to come with a whopping 6 gigs of memory. This, paired with the handset’s Snapdragon 653 octa-core chip, paves way for smooth gaming experience. And there’s more. The Galaxy C9 Pro features a massive 6-inch full HD display which gives its buyers enough screen real estate to comfortably play games on. Moreover, the handset has been backed by a massive 4,000mAh battery which ensures you don’t have to sit next to a power outlet whilst gaming. 

The Galaxy C9 Pro is available in India at a price of Rs 36,900 from most leading retailers.

Related read: Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro review

ASUS Zenfone 3


ASUS’s Zenfone 3 is as stylish as it is powerful. The handset comes with a 5.2-inch full HD display and is powered by the tried and tested, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. The handset comes with 3GB of RAM with 32GB storage. There’s another variant that comes with a 5.5-inch FHD display, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Keeping the lights on is a 2,650mAh (3,000mAH on the high-end variant) battery with the smartphone running Android Marshmallow (upgradable to Nougat) upon boot. 

Related Read: ASUS Zenfone 3 review

Okay, so those were all the high-end flagship smartphones that offer an unparalleled gaming experience. But what if your budget is limited and you can spend not more than Rs 15,000 on your new smartphone. You can get one from the following suggestions.

Lenovo Z2 Plus


The Lenovo Z2 Plus is the most affordable smartphone to come equipped with a Snapdragon 820 processor. The SoC works in hand-in-hand with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM depending on which storage variant you opt for. Although the 820 chip is somewhat dated, it is still perfectly capable of handling any game available on the Play Store. If that’s not reason enough to buy the smartphone, then you’ll be glad to know that the handset comes with a 5.1-inch full HD display which makes for crisp pictures and sharp in-game textures. Fuelled by a massive 3,500mAh battery, the handset runs Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box which can be upgraded to Android Nougat. 

The Lenovo Z2 Plus is available in India at a starting price of Rs 14,999 on major e-commerce websites. 

Related read: Lenovo Z2 Plus review 

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

The first pick in the list is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. An ample 4,100mAh battery, a large 5.5-inch full HD screen, a snappy Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB of RAM make this a mid-range beast. 

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is available in India at a price of Rs 12,999 through various e-commerce retailers. Buyers can also opt for the Xiaomi Mi Max Prime, which comes with a bigger 6.4-inch full HD display and retails for approximately Rs 18,999. 

Related read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review / Xiaomi Mi Max review

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