Top 5 Gaming Mobile Phones Launched in India in 2019: MSP’s Best Gaming Phone Picks

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Best Gaming Mobile 2019

When mobile gaming-centric phones first entered the market, everyone thought that they’re gimmicks and that their time will pass. However, such devices have now cemented their position, especially with the rise of mobile gaming, some excellent new gaming titles, and fairly fast internet connectivity. 2019 has seen some particularly great gaming smartphones, and we’ve chosen our top five gaming mobile picks for this year after reviewing and testing a lot of devices over the past year.

For choosing the best gaming phones of the year, we evaluated various aspects that are useful for gaming on the go, including fast processors, RAM and storage, quality screens, high screen refresh rates, stereo speakers, headphone jacks, useful accessories, gaming-centric software tuning and tools, high-capacity batteries, and even the library of games that are available for a particular device.

Best Gaming Mobile 2019: MSP’s Top Picks

  1. ASUS ROG Phone II – Best Overall.
  2. Nubia Red Magic 3s – Least performance throttling.
  3. Realme X2 Pro – Least expensive pick.
  4. OnePlus 7T Pro – A notch-less screen.
  5. Apple iPhone 11 – Best gaming library.

Let’s start with our top gaming smartphone pick!

1. ASUS ROG Phone II

Asus ROG 2 Phone

Why Is It Our Pick?

The ROG Phone II, by far, the best gaming smartphone of 2019, thanks to its power-packed performance, great audio and video quality, a high-refresh-rate display, and a humungous battery that can last all day even with multiple gaming sessions. And, there’s a dedicated headphone jack that we think is a must on gaming phones.

At just Rs 37,999, this phone offers the best gaming and battery life performance, without skimping too much in other areas such as cameras, build quality, or software.

The huge notch-less AMOLED screen with HDR, complete with 120Hz refresh rate screen and HDR10 helps immensely while gaming. Various game developers have implemented high-frame-rate settings in their games to fully utilize this phone’s various high-refresh-rate settings. Plus, the screen has high brightness and inky blacks for an immersive gaming experience.

The phone also has stereo speakers with two dedicated amplifiers, and they are some of the best speakers we’ve ever heard on phones. There’s a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, complete with DTS:X Audio, and we can’t stress enough on the importance of a dedicated headphone jack, especially for gaming.

The AirTriggers (capacitive shoulder buttons) make it easier to control games. There are two USB Type-C ports so that you can charge the phone while gaming in a way that it doesn’t come in the way of your palms. Plus, there is a whole ecosystem of official gaming accessories that you can buy for the ROG Phone II if you have enough money.

The phone’s build quality is great, and there are RGB lights to show off. However, some people might feel that it is too big and bulky, but you also get a huge screen and a humungous 6000mAh battery that can last an entire day on a single charge even with hours of gaming sessions.

In terms of software, you get an option of stock Android-like UI theme and various software features for better gaming. The only area where we feel that the phone is slightly lacking is in the camera department. While it’s not bad by any means, other non-gaming phones have slightly better cameras, and we’re really nitpicking here.

For

  1. Amazing gaming performance with negligible throttling.
  2. Notch-less AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sensing, HDR10.
  3. Front-facing stereo loudspeakers are one of the best in the industry.
  4. Dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack.
  5. Capacitive shoulder buttons (AirTriggers) with customizability.
  6. The best set of official gaming accessories ever (if you have enough money).
  7. Great build and gamer-ish looks with RGB lighting.
  8. Excellent software and gaming tools.
  9. 6000mAh battery lasts long, really long.

Against

  1. Large and bulky.
  2. Cameras not as good as some other high-end phones.
  3. No IP rating.

2. Nubia Red Magic 3s

Nubia Red Magic Set to Launch in India on December 20

Why Is It Our Pick?

The Nubia Red Magic 3s might not have a good camera or an exquisite design, but it more than makes up for those things by offering a great mobile gaming performance. It has a built-in fan that actively cools the chipset and keeps it from throttling even under heavy load.

Plus, there’s a 90Hz AMOLED screen, great-sounding stereo speakers, a headphone jack, capacitive shoulder buttons, and a 5000mAh battery for long battery life. The Red Magic 3s not only performs well while gaming but also looks flashy, thanks to its long RGB LED light bar at the rear.

If you’re looking for a gaming-centric phone but can’t spend Rs 37,999 on the ROG Phone II, the Red Magic 3s is a good choice at Rs 35,999.

For

  1. Excellent gaming performance, and no throttling at all, thanks to a built-in fan.
  2. 90Hz AMOLED screen has no notch. Features 240Hz touchscreen refresh rate.
  3. Stereo loudspeakers sound great.
  4. There’s a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack.
  5. There are pressure-sensitive shoulder buttons.
  6. RGB lighting effects with a long lightbar on the rear.
  7. 5000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.
  8. Official accessory for simultaneous charging, headphone jack, and ethernet adapter.

Against

  1. The software appears very bland and unfinished in some areas.
  2. Below par camera performance, and there’s only a single rear camera.
  3. No IP rating.
  4. Design isn’t as exquisite as some other competing phones.

3. Realme X2 Pro

Realme X2 Pro

Why Is It Our Pick?

The company isn’t marketing the recently launched Realme X2 Pro as a gaming phone because it can also do other tasks really well. It performs really well while gaming, thanks to Snapdragon 855+, 6GB RAM, 128GB UFS storage, and a 90Hz AMOLED screen. Plus, it has stereo speakers, a dedicated headphone jack, and additional gaming-centric optimizations in the gaming mode.

The Realme X2 Pro’s AMOLED screen with 1000-nit HDR brightness and a price tag of just Rs 29,999 makes up for the notch. The phone’s 4000mAh battery lasts longer than many other similarly specced phones, and the 50W charging tops up the battery within 30 minutes!

The 64MP quad-camera setup on the Realme X2 Pr’s rear performs better than most other phones in this list. Even the 16MP selfie camera captures some really good selfies, even in low-light conditions, thanks to the Nightscape mode.

For

  1. AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate, HDR, and up to 1000 nits brightness.
  2. Fast performance, thanks to Snapdragon 855+, 6GB RAM, and 128GB UFS storage.
  3. Really well-made phone with premium looks.
  4. 64MP quad-camera is among the best we’ve seen in its price segment.
  5. Stereo speakers and dedicated headphone jack, both with Dolby Atmos audio.
  6. 4000mAh battery lasts longer than its capacity suggests.
  7. A whopping 50W fast charging (and the 50W charger is supplied in the box with all variants).
  8. Linear vibration motor for quality haptic feedback.
  9. Relatively affordable price.

Against

  1. Notch in the screen.
  2. No IP rating.
  3. No RGB lighting.
  4. No capacitive shoulder buttons or official gaming accessories.

4. OnePlus 7T Pro

OnePlus 7T Pro

Why Is It Our Pick?

OnePlus was the first brand to offer a high-refresh-rate screen with the OnePlus 7 Pro, and it has made it even better with the OnePlus 7T Pro.

The company is known for offering fast and smooth performance in its phones, and the 7T Pro is no different. The phone performs really well, thanks to Snapdragon 855+, 8GB RAM, 256GB UFS 3.0 storage, and a notch-less AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate as well as HDR10+.

The phone might lack a dedicated headphone jack, but it at least has a set of great-sounding stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos.

And, I don’t need to remind you about OnePlus’ OxygenOS, which is the fastest and smoothest performing phone software in the industry. The phone already runs Android 10 and might receive at least two more major Android software version updates. There are a few gaming-centric software features integrated into OxygenOS.

The phone has a 48MP triple-camera setup, which might not match the likes of Apple, Huawei, and Samsung, but offers better performance than most phones in this list. The company has improved the imaging performance by a lot over the OnePlus 7 series.

The phone’s 4085mAh battery might not seem as good as the ROG Phone II or the Red Magic 3s on paper, but it lasts all day long and doesn’t feel very bulky. Plus, Warp Charge 30T fully charges the phone’s battery in just an hour.

At Rs 53,999, the phone is a bit overpriced if you look at just the gaming performance, but when you consider the company’s track record with software optimization and updates, and consider the phone’s better cameras as well as design, the price doesn’t seem so overpriced in the end.

For

  1. Fast performance with minimal speed throttling. Snapdragon 855, 8GB RAM, 256GB UFS 3.0 storage.
  2. Notch-less AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, 1000-nit brightness, and good color accuracy.
  3. Gaming-centric software features with
  4. Extremely well-made phone with beautiful design.
  5. 48MP triple-camera clicks really good images, even in low-light conditions.
  6. OxygenOS: One of the best in terms of UI design, software optimization, smoothness, and update frequency.
  7. 30W Warp Charge 30T charger bundled in the box.

Against

  1. No dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack.
  2. No IP rating.
  3. No dedicated shoulder buttons.
  4. No official gaming accessories.
  5. High price for the features.

5. Apple iPhone 11

iPhone 11 Pro Gaming

Why Is It Our Pick?

The iPhone 11 might not have an AMOLED screen with high refresh rates or HDR, a dedicated headphone jack, or official gaming accessories, but it makes those shortcomings disappear with its absolutely brutal gaming performance (thanks to A13 Bionic chipset), excellent stereo speakers, industry-leading haptic feedback, and a vast library of games that are available on the App Store.

It also offers a great all-round smartphone experience, thanks to an excellent set of cameras. There’s a 12MP+12MP dual-camera on the rear with 4K 60fps HDR video recording, Night Mode, and industry-leading image quality. Even the front-facing camera offers 4K video recording and good picture quality.

The phone’s 3110mAh battery might appear smallish compared to the competition, but it holds its own in real life, thanks to software optimisations and the A13 Bionic’s power efficiency.

At just Rs 69,999, it might seem overpriced compared to other gaming phones on this list, but it more than makes up for its steep pricing with a much better camera performance and premium features like water resistance, wireless charging, and an international warranty.

For

  1. Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset decimates the competition in terms of performance even without fancy cooling mechanisms.
  2. Gaming library on iOS is much wider and larger than on Android.
  3. Excellent cameras, complete with Night Mode, 4K 60fps video recording with wide color gamut, and even 4K front-facing video camera.
  4. Stereo loudspeakers sound really good.
  5. Linear vibration motor for best-in-industry haptic feedback.
  6. Top-notch build quality with an IP68 rating.
  7. Long battery life and 18W fast charging.
  8. Wireless charging.
  9. Suitable for those who prefer Apple’s ecosystem.

Against

  1. No high-refresh-rate or AMOLED screen.
  2. No dedicated headphone jack.
  3. Huge notch in the screen.
  4. No special gaming-centric software features.

So, these were our top five gaming smartphone picks for this year. There are a few other good smartphones who didn’t make it to the list, and those include the Apple iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max, OnePlus 7T(review),  and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.

The iPhone 11 duo didn’t make the cut due to extremely high prices, while the OnePlus 7T couldn’t be shortlisted as the ROG Phone II makes more sense as a gaming phone at that price. Moreover, the Galaxy Note 10+ lacks a high-refresh-rate screen and it costs significantly higher than other phones on the list.

Top 5 Gaming Mobile Phones: Price In India

Phones Price In India
1 ASUS ROG Phone II Rs 37,999 Onwards
2 Nubia Red Magic 3s Rs 35,999 Onwards
3 Realme X2 Pro Rs 29,999 Onwards
4 OnePlus 7T Pro Rs 53,999 Onwards
5 Apple iPhone 11 Rs 64,900 Onwards

Asif heads the editorial team at MySmartPrice. He has more than six years of experience in reporting consumer technology, and has been quoted in various esteemed publications, including TheVerge, TWiT, and SamMobile. Asif has immense interest in CPUs, GPUs, mobile chipsets, camera sensors, and apps. Asif can be tagged as one of the most patient team members as we often pick his brains when it comes to learn about complex tech topics like camera sensors.

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