While Razer was not the first company to release an Android gaming phone, they have fuelled a new trend towards gaming orientated smartphones. With the mobile market stagnating manufactures are keen to find new ways to increase demand in a saturated market.

The sales numbers of the original Razer phone last year are unknown, but Razer classed it as a “limited run” which means it probably wasn’t a huge commercial success. However, that has not stopped many other brands jumping onto the bandwagon to exploit the lucrative gaming market.

All the following phones are currently available to buy today, but some of the options may require you to import them from Chinese distributors.

It is also worth noting that Samsung is apparently developing a gaming phone with its own S-GPU, rather than one built by ARM. So it looks like the trend of gaming phones is set to pick up the pace in 2019.

Razer Phone 2

The Razer 2 is an incremental upgrade from last year, using the exact same design, but bumping the processor up to this year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.

One of the stand out features is the 5.7-inch 120Hz display which offers double the refresh rate of many competing models, and the highest refresh rate on the market. It is only compatible with some games such as Injustice 2, Pokémon Go, Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, and Vainglory, but when enabled it should offer a smoother gaming experience.

The Razer Phone 2 combines the Snapdragon 845 with 8GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 4000 mAh battery. The phone also has a customizable Chroma LED lighting in the back for the Razer logo.

Expect to pay around £780 for this SIM free.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch LED display with 1,440 x 2,560 resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 64GB of onboard storage, MicroSD slot available
  • Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 158.5 x 78.9 x 8.5mm, 220g

Asus ROG Phone

The first phone from Asus and they have gone all out as you would expect from a Republic of Gamers (ROG) branded device.

This phone also uses the Snapdragon 845 combined with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage with a 4000mAh battery. Similar to the Razer Phone this phone features ASUS Aura RGB lighting on the logo which can display a whole rainbow of lighting schemes: static, breathing, strobing or colour cycling.

What makes this phone stand out from the pack is the Air Triggers on the side of the phone giving you two additional programmable buttons for gaming. Then there is a massive range of accessories which includes a WiGig gaming dock that allows you to hook the phone up to a TV and add a physical controller. A Gamevice Controller is giving you handheld console type functions and TwinView Dock which adds a second screen to the phone

Expect to pay around £899 SIM-free.

Specs

  • 6-inch AMOLED 1,080 x 2,160 display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128 or 512GB of onboard storage
  • 12MP and 8MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm, 200g

Huawei Mate 20X

With the launch of their flagship Mate 20 Pro, Huawei also announced a gaming version of the phone.

This shares the same internals at the Mate 20 Pro including the new Kirin 980 SoC, but the phone uses a massive 7.2in 2,244 x 1,080 OLED DCI-P3 HDR display combined with the largest battery on the market at 5,000mAh.

Huawei will also sell a clip-on controller. This accessory adds a joystick and D-Pad to the handset, providing a greater level of precision to your gameplay.

While it doesn’t offer the gaming orientated LED effects that the previous two phones have, the huge screen makes this one of the most appealing gaming phones on the market.

Expect to pay around £750 SIM-free. Alternatively, companies such as Metrofone offer phone contracts with no upfront cost, with the Mate 20 Pro costing just £48.00 PCM with 50GB Data and unlimited texts/data.

Specs

  • 7.21-inch display OLED 2,244 x 1,080 display
  • Kirin 980 processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of onboard storage
  • 40MP, 8MP and 20MP rear cameras, 24MP front camera
  • Non-removable 5,000mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 174.6 x 85.4 x 8.2 mm, 232g

Honor Play

The Honor play is different from the other models on this list, unlike all the other options which offer flagship specifications and unique features that make them gaming worthy, the standout feature here is the affordable price tag of around £270.

Honor has achieved this by making the phone quite basic compared to many premium priced phones, but it achieves its gaming credentials from the inclusion of the Kirin 970 SoC which is the flagship processor from last year. No other phone offers this level of performance for this price point.

The rest of the specification is admirable for the price too with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 6.3-inch full view display. You also get a decent sized battery of 3750mAH and a 16MP+2MP dual AI camera.

Expect to pay around £270 SIM-free.

Specs

  • 6.3-inch display LCD 2,340 x 1,080 display
  • Kirin 970 processor
  • 4 or 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB of onboard storage
  • 16MP and 2MP rear cameras, 16MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,750mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm, 200g

Xiaomi Black Shark/Hello

The Xiaomi Black Shark was launched in April and the Black Shark Hello has just been announced however there has been no official UK availability. This may change soon with the launch of Xiaomi UK, but for now, you would have to rely on a Chinese importer.

Priced at around £400 for the original model or £450 for the updated model you get an impressive specification.

Both phones feature a Snapdragon 845, but the newer model has 8GB of RAM minimum and 128GB of internal storage that cannot be expanded.

The phone has been updated from a 5.99 inch IPS display to a 6.01 inch OLED with them both featuring a dual 12MP/20/MP rear camera and 4000 mAh battery

It is also possible to get a 10GB RAM variant of the phone making it the first 10GB phone on the market.

Expect to pay around £400/450 SIM-free.

Specs

  • 6-inch OLED 2,160 x 1,080 display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6/8/10GB of RAM
  • 128 or 256GB of onboard storage
  • 12MP and 20MP rear cameras, 20MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo