Gaming Phones on A Budget

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The year 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride and the only thing keeping some of us going was gaming and not everyone can afford the latest and greatest from the tech giants so, we decided to compile a list of gaming smartphones that can handle all your gaming needs but still functioning as a normal phone when you’re out and about during your daily routine. So, here’s our list of the best gaming smartphones you can buy if you’re on a budget.


iPhone X

When looking for a great phone for gaming, the iPhone X is a strong contender. With its larger battery capacity, it can last hours without needing a recharge, and the 8 GB of RAM in even the base model can keep up with the demands of your games. The biggest gaming advantage of this phone is the OLED screen that will show even the smallest of details in your games. It’s powered by the A11 Bionic processor to move fluidly and flawlessly from one scene to the next without jittering or slowing down. For the best sound, it has updated speakers that can be turned up to full volume without affecting the sound quality, letting you focus in on all the sounds that make it immersive. As this model is no longer available for purchase from Apple or many retailers, a refurbished or refreshed iPhone X is a budget-friendly option for your gaming phone.

iPhone 11

iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 with it’s upgraded A13 Bionic CPU and GPU keeps your game moving continuously and fluidly across the screen. Capable of processing 1 trillion operations each second it can keep up with any game, including the AR games that are growing in popularity. Augmented Reality games require a processor that can keep up with not only what is in the game itself but add that to the surroundings as shown by the camera, running several operations simultaneously to make it appear both real and to maintain movement and motion while running both parts of the phone and it handles everything with ease.

iPhone XR

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR is not to be forgotten, while it has a smaller screen that may not be ideal for some games that require a larger screen for the best view, it does have a fast processor that will keep up with any game you choose. The LCD display is clear, and the sound is impressive, especially considering the cost of this phone now. For anyone wanting to get into mobile gaming but not yet immersed and fully invested, this is a great phone. The long-lasting battery offers hours of play and the price point gives it an advantage over more expensive models. While this phone may still be found new, the price comparison to a fully refurbished iPhone XR makes it an easy choice.

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung S10

As a beginning foray into the gaming space the Samsung Galaxy S10 has several characteristics that are created for gameplay and deliver during play. This is the first phone to use an advanced heat pipe system for cooling, making it similar to the Xbox One X in staying cool during long periods of use, without becoming bulky or clunky. Paired with the Infinity O display and the game mode that will create a more immersive experience that keeps you in the game with bright and clear colors, fluid movements, and great detail. It’s a great choice for those who want to game from their phone. Though this model is not easily available now there are many options for a refurbished or refreshed Galaxy 10 to keep you in the game without breaking your budget.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is not to be dismissed among the best phones for gaming. With its Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 processor, it is fast enough to keep up with any game and built to work with the Samsung VR system. Having 4 GB RAM keeps it moving any game smoothly. When completing your set up it may be necessary to go into settings and ensure it’s running the maximum 1440×2960 resolution for the clearest picture, with a Quad HD display and game mode enabled it will run your games at full-screen size and react to your movements and taps quickly and smoothly. The Samsung S8 may be harder to find new, and going for a used one can be a risk, but a certified refurbished phone with a warranty is a safe and affordable way to take your games on the go.

iPhone 8 /iPhone 8 Plus

Released on September 12th, 2017, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus came with a bang and still is one of the best phones you can buy on a budget. It features a glass front and back with Gorilla Glass protection sandwiched between an aluminum frame. It not only does feel premium but also performs like a champ all thanks to the Apple A11 Bionic Chipset. Games feel smooth, obviously, they won’t run on the highest possible settings but the performance you’re getting for the price is unbelievable especially if you go for a refurbished one. The Retina IPS LCD is perfect for gaming as you won’t need to worry about screen burn-in during those long gaming nights. Apple has been known for optimizing its hardware and software perfectly and so, is the case here. You get good battery life and it handles any task you throw at it with ease and on top of that, it also has an IP rating so you don’t have to get worried about those accidental splashes. The 8 Plus variant has a bigger screen and a bigger battery. Both support wireless charging and fast charging up to 15W.  The price of the refurbished iPhone 8 starts at $369 AUD and the iPhone 8 Plus 256GB will cost you $599 AUD from Phonebot.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung S20

The Samsung Galaxy S20 and the S20 Plus are both solid choices for a mobile gaming phone with a 6.2-inch screen and resolution running at 1440 x 3200 the pictures will be clear and bright, allowing you to see every small detail in the game. With the 12 GB of RAM, varied by model and version of the phone, and a battery made to last hours this phone can keep you playing for hours before it needs to charge again. Running a Snapdragon 865 chipset increases the ability of this phone to run more games, as it has become known in the gaming world for its efficiency. The aspect that really puts this phone over the top for gaming is the PlayGalaxy Link that has been created to run PC games through streaming onto the phone, letting you take your games anywhere your phone goes, and the support for cloud gaming through Stadia.


Final thoughts

So, these were our list of the best gaming smartphones on a budget. You can’t go wrong with any of them, pick the one that most suits you and your budget.

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