The Best Budget Gaming Phone Options Out There

Do you want to buy the best budget gaming phone model? Today, smartphones have almost taken up the place of handheld gaming consoles. And, there’s a good reason for that. Smartphones often have plenty of power and excellent screens. Now, both Google Play Store and App Store have an ever-growing and large selection of gaming apps.

At the same time, not all mobile devices are perfect for games. There are other things to consider than raw power. There is no denying that phones from Nubira, Lenovo, and Asus are built with gaming in mind. Thus, they feature higher refresh rates, cooling systems, touch-sensitive triggers, etc. Plus, flagship phones like iPhone 12 Pro and the OnePlus 9 are great due to their high-end specs and stunning screens.

In this article, we have listed some of the best cheap gaming phone models, ranked from the best to the cheapest gaming phone. In the end, there are some standard handsets that are good for gaming too.


Best Cheap Gaming Phone Models

#1 Best Budget Gaming Phone – Asus ROG Phone 5

Asus ROG 5 Phone is the best budget gaming phone even for non-gamers.

Best Budget Gaming Phone - Asus ROG Phone 5

Specifications:

  • Released on April 2021
  • It weighs about 238g
  • 172.8×77.3×10.3mm dimension
  • Android 11 OS
  • The screen is of 6.78 inches
  • 1080×2448 resolution
  • Snapdragon 888 CPU
  • 8GB/12GB/16GB RAM
  • 256GB/128GB Storage
  • 6,000mAh battery
  • Rear cameras – 64MP+13MP+5MP
  • Front camera – 24MP
  • Available at $649

Pros

  • Incredible performance
  • Remarkable speakers and display

Cons

  • Heavy, dense, and large
  • No telephone camera

Asus ROG Phone 5 is the best cheap gaming phone. Its highlights feature premium power from the blending of Snapdragon 888 chipset and 16GB RAM. Also, there is a display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 300Hz touch sampling rate. These rates are higher than many smartphones and important for gaming options.

Plus, there’s a big screen that is backed up by dual front-facing speakers. Asus ROG 5 features a large 6,000mAh battery with 65W charging. Thus, you can play games for a long. Along with that, there are programmable RGB lights, responsive shoulder tabs, and compatibility with numerous gaming-focused accessories. This smartphone is a complete gaming package for users. However, the camera is not good. When it comes to gaming, you can go with this phone model.

PS: here are the top adult Android games for your reference.

#2 Best Budget Gaming Phone – Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

Top software and gaming

Best Budget Gaming Phone - Lenovo Legion Phone Duel

Specifications:

  • Released on October 2020
  • 239g weight
  • 169.2×78.6×9.9mm dimensions
  • Android 10 OS
  • 6.65-inch screen size
  • 1080×2340 resolution
  • Snapdragon 865 Plus CPU
  • 12GB/16GB RAM
  • 256GB/512GB storage
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 64MP+16MP rear camera
  • 20MP front camera

Pros

  • Great processing power
  • Super-fast battery charging

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Software problems

This is the best cheap gaming phone from Lenovo. It matches impressive gaming-dedicated features with incredible features and specs. Lenovo supports 90W fast charging and features a pop-up camera. It has a powerful processor that makes it good for gaming.

However, it is quite expensive. Plus, you might experience some software issues and an average camera. So, if you are looking for the cheapest gaming phone model, then it is not a bad choice.

#3 Best Budget Gaming Phone – Nubia Red Magic

Great for gaming

Best Budget Gaming Phone - Nubia Red Magic

Specifications:

  • Released in March 2020
  • Weighs 218g
  • 168.6x78x9.8mm dimensions
  • Android OS 10
  • 6.65-inch resolution
  • 1080×2340 resolution
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU
  • 12GB/8GB RAM
  • 256GB/128GB storage
  • 4,500mAh
  • 64MP+8MP+2MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • Available at $655

Pros

  • The ideal display for gaming
  • Handy shoulder triggers

Cons

  • Software problems

Nubia Red Magic is the first 144Hz screen model in the world. This makes this phone perfect for gaming. It has a smooth refresh rate. Nubia Red Magic has shoulder triggers for enhanced control. Plus, its devoted Game Space allows you to customize the gaming experience. The ‘4D Shock’ feature adds a vibrating effect to your games.

So, this smartphone is the best budget gaming phone. It features powerful specs and 5G support. However, you might face some software issues.

#4 Best Budget Gaming Phone – Black Shark 3

The best cheap gaming phone with 5G and high-end specs

Black Shark 3

Specifications:

  • Released in March 2020
  • It weighs about 222g
  • 168.7×77.3×10.4mm dimensions
  • Android OS 10
  • 6.67-inch screen
  • 2080×2440 resolution
  • Snapdragon 865
  • 12GB/8GB RAM
  • 256GB/128GB storage
  • 4,720mAh battery
  • 64MP+13MP+5MP rear camera
  • 20MP front camera
  • Available at $620

Pros

  • Good camera quality
  • Affordable considering its specs

Cons

  • Divisive appearance
  • Low refresh rate

Black Shark 3 is the cheapest gaming phone from the sub-brand of Xiaomi. The smartphone is pretty big and bold in its design. It features LED lights and powerful specs. Thus, if you are looking for the best cheap gaming phone, then you can consider this model.

This smartphone’s cameras are effective, particularly in a low-light setting. It has a refresh rate of about 90Hz that is lower than other phone models listed here. Also, it does not have many dedicated gaming functions.

#5 Best Budget Gaming Phone – Razer Phone 2

The best budget gaming phone considering its power specs

Best Budget Gaming Phone - Razer Phone 2

Specifications:

  • Released in October 2018
  • Weighs about 205g
  • 158.5×78.9×8.5mm dimensions
  • Android OS 9
  • 5.72-inch display
  • 2560×1440 resolution
  • Snapdragon 845 CPU
  • 8GB/6GB RAM
  • 128GB/64GB storage (expendable)
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • 12MP+12MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera

Pros

  • High-end specs
  • Logo at the back glows in RGB hues
  • 120Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Low storage

Razer Phone 2 is somewhat better than the previous Razer model. If you are looking for the cheapest gaming phone, then you may consider it. However, the display and camera of this model are not impressive. When it comes to mobile gaming, this model is not a bad option, though.

This smartphone has a good processor and a glass back case for Qi wireless charging. Also, it has a slick vapor chamber for cooling the device off. So, its 120Hz refresh rate display, 8GB RAM, beefy chipset, 4,000mAh battery, and good speakers make it awesome for gaming.

#6 Best Budget Gaming Phone – Oppo Find X3 Pro

The best cheap gaming phone with nice specs

Oppo Find X3 Pro

Specifications:

  • Weighs about 6.81 ounces
  • Snapdragon 888 CPU
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • 50M P front camera
  • 6.7-inch screen
  • 50MP+50MP+13MP+3MP cameras

Pros

  • Powerful performance
  • Stunning display
  • Flexible camera and attractive design

Cons

  • Average microscope lens

Another best cheap gaming phone is Find X3 Pro from Oppo. It has a 6.7-inch screen with a 5-120Hz refresh rate. Thus, it offers a smooth performance when you play games on it. Plus, the cameras of this smartphone are pretty amazing.

Oppo Find X3 Pro has 128GB RAM and Snapdragon 888 chipset. When talking about performance, this model is the best budget gaming phone. Its unique body design and camera position make it comfortable on the eyes as compared to other devices. This is actually better than those devices with flashing lights and bright colors.

The problem with this smartphone model is that it is not presently on sale in the United States. However, it is a great option for people staying in the United Kingdom or beyond. Also, it is quite an expensive smartphone, priced at £1,099. But this is the cheapest gaming phone model than other rival models. If you are ready to spend the money, then go for it!

#7 Best Budget Gaming Phone – RedMagic 5G

The best cheap gaming phone model

RedMagic 5G

Specifications:

  • Weighs about 7.68 ounces
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU
  • 6.65-inch screen
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 8GB/12GB RAM
  • 256GB/128GB storage
  • 64MP+8MP+2MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera

Pros

  • Fast charging and long battery life
  • Impressive performance
  • Top-leading 144Hz screen
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Low camera quality

RedMagic 5G is another option that you can go with. It is the cheapest gaming phone model that is priced only at $579. The phone has a powerful processor, Snapdragon 865, from Qualcomm. It has a top-notch chipset with 12GB RAM.

The screen of this phone model is 6.65 inches. Along with slim bezels and a flat design, the smartphone has an a144Hz AMOLED display. This display is quite important from the gaming perspective. However, if you are looking for camera performance and pretty good software, then this phone is not for you.

So, these are some of the best budget gaming phone models present in the market today.


Best Non-Gaming Smartphones for Gaming

Above, we have mentioned some of the best budget gaming phone models. However, if you like to buy a more mainstream smartphone, there are many options. Along with their strengths, these non-gaming phone models are great for playing games too.

Undoubtedly, the following gaming phone models feature high-end specs and impressive screens. Thus, they are good for experiencing an amazing gaming experience outside of gaming-intended devices.

1. iPhone 12 Pro

The best budget gaming phone model available out there

Best Budget Gaming Phone - iPhone 12 Pro

Specifications:

  • Released in October 2020
  • Weighs 189g
  • 146.7×71.5×7.4mm dimensions
  • iOS 14
  • 6.1-inch screen
  • 1170×2532 resolution
  • A14 Bionic CPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 512GB/256GB/128GB storage
  • 2,815mAh battery
  • 12MP+12MP+12MP rear camera & LiDAR scanner
  • 12MP front camera
  • Available at $999

Pros

  • Impressive display for gaming
  • Experience the best game ecosystem

Cons

  • No charging blocks
  • Expensive

This is the best budget gaming phone model present out there. This iPhone model is the latest one from Apple. Its display of 6.1 inches looks fantastic, which is perfect for a nice gaming experience. With good storage space and a very powerful processor, it won’t be a disappointment if you buy this model.

Also, there are numerous gaming options available on the App Store. However, iPhone 12 is pretty expensive, where 5G is not relevant to many users.

2. Galaxy S21 Ultra from Samsung

A big smartphone with high-end specs

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Specifications:

  • Released in January 2021
  • Weighs about 228g
  • Android 11 OS
  • 6.8-inch screen
  • 1440×3200 resolution
  • 12GB/16GB RAM
  • 512GB/256GB/128GB storage
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 108MP+10MP+10MP+12MP – rear camera
  • 40MP – front camera
  • Available at $999.99

Pros

  • Stylus support
  • Amazing camera

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No SD card slots

If you are in search of the best budget gaming phone, then you can go with Galaxy S21 Ultra. It is the latest premium flagship smartphone from Samsung. However, the problem with this model is that not many people will purchase it due to its price. It is extremely expensive, where only a few people consider buying it.

So, if this model fits your budget, you can consider this model. It is good for gaming due to its good-looking display and high-end processing power. Plus, you get impressive camera quality!

3. One Plus 9 Pro

The best cheap gaming phone model

One Plus 9 Pro

Specifications:

  • Released in March 2021
  • Weighs 197g
  • 163.2×73.6×8.7mm dimensions
  • Android OS 11
  • 6.7-inch screen size
  • 1440×3216 resolution
  • Snapdragon 888 CPU
  • 8GB/12GB RAM
  • 256GB/128GB storage
  • 4,500mAh
  • 48MP+50MP+8MP+2MP rear camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • Available at $1,069.99

Pros

  • Impressive camera quality
  • Great power

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No SD card slots

OnePlus 9 Pro is an amazing all-around flagship. This smartphone comes with a feature called ‘Hyper Touch.’ This feature boosts the touch sampling rate to 360Hz from 240Hz. So, the screen becomes extraordinarily responsive to inputs. Now, gamers can take advantage of this function.

The phone features a top-notch Snapdragon 888 chipset and 12GB RAM. Plus, the resolution and screen size is good, with a 120Hz refresh rate. Plus, it supports 50W wireless charging and 65W charging.

Besides, let’s figure out How to unlock iPhone with a broken screen and how to Transfer Data from Old Phone to OnePlus with ease.

4. LG V60 ThinQ

The cheapest gaming phone with a free second screen

Best Budget Gaming Phone - LG V60 ThinQ

Specifications:

  • Released in February 2020
  • 213g weight
  • 169.3×77.6×8.9mm dimensions
  • Android OS 10
  • 6.8-inch screen size
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB/128GB storage (extendable up to 2TB)
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 64MP+13MP+0.3MP rear camera
  • 10MP front camera
  • Available at $415

Pros

  • Great dual screen
  • Extensive battery life
  • Powerful chipset

Cons

  • The dual screen tool is unremarkable outside the dual-screen

LG V60 ThinQ is the cheapest gaming phone model out there. It is unique due to its dual-screen peripheral. This dual-screen feature lets you run two activities at the same time. Also, there is an incredible gaming mode that converts the second display into an input touchpad. It has a powerful battery and a great processor.

5. Motorola Edge Plus

Handy trigger tabs and gorgeous display

Best Budget Gaming Phone - Motorola Edge Plus

Specifications

  • Released in May 2020
  • 203g weight
  • 161.1×71.4×9.6mm dimensions
  • Android OS 10
  • 6.7-inch screen
  • 1080×2340 resolution
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU
  • 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
  • 5,000mAh
  • 108MP+8MP+16MP rear camera
  • 25MP front camera
  • Available at $475.61

Pros

  • Large display
  • Digital trigger tabs

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low 18W charging

Motorola Edge Plus is the latest flagship smartphone from Motorola. It has a gorgeous, big display. This phone model also features powerful specs. It comes with an amazing gaming feature that is digital trigger tabs over the edge.

The phone features HDR10+ support and a 90Hz refresh rate. So, this is the cheapest gaming phone model available out there. However, you should check its availability. It is just available on Verizon.


How to Select the Best Cheap Gaming Phone Model

Just like other things, selecting the right smartphone for gaming is based on priorities. So, if you seek the best gaming experience, then you need a device with Snapdragon 8-series chipsets or Apple A14 Bionic. Go for Snapdragon that is the best silicon for Android devices! This chipset is available on Android devices from most manufacturers.

However, should you bother about higher refresh rates? This is something you can find only with more expensive models available on the market. This feature descends to modestly-priced smartphones over time. Panels that are rated 90Hz or above provide smooth overall graphics and scrolling than traditional screens. This makes you experience as if each tap, action, and swipe is responding smoothly without any delay. If you are a serious competitive player, then higher refresh rates need to be ensured not to miss any action.

Of course, when devices are pitched toward gaming with the apt features, smartphone manufacturers overlook other considerations. As you know, battery life is significant to gaming. This is because gaming options consume more power.

So, it becomes quite difficult to find gaming smartphones with amazing cameras, software, hardware, and other conveniences, such as water resistance and wireless charging. If you are considering these things, then look for smartphones that are not strictly projected for gaming. Such devices include iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.


Final Verdict

Now, you know a great deal about the best budget gaming phone options available out there. In this article, we have listed every possible smartphone model that fits the category of the best cheap gaming phone. So, read the listed specifications of these models to find the best option for you. If you are a casual player, then these models will be a good choice.

However, you can go with the top models reviewed here, such as Asus ROG 5, Lenovo Legion, etc. These smartphones are perfect for playing mobile gamers. If you are checking out the cheapest gaming phone model, then RedMagic 5GB is a good option to consider. Now, check out our guide on how to select the best budget gaming phone. Now, get the device and experience a smooth gaming experience.