What should a smartphone have so that you can use it not only for social networks or surfing, but also to spend an hour or so playing your favorite games? First of all, it is, of course, the hardware. It should be powerful enough to run voracious modern games. Second, you need a good-quality display, and it is desirable that the refresh rate is higher than the basic 60 Hz for brighter impressions. Third, a large battery and support for fast charging will come in handy, because games ‘eat up’ the charge quite quickly.
Flagships are well suited for such characteristics, but they cost a lot. But in this selection, we offer to get acquainted with cool smartphones that will run most modern games smoothly with a price tag under $350.
F3 is a real flagship killer from Poco. Let’s start with the fact that with a price tag of $330, the smartphone works on the basis of the top 8-core Snapdragon 870 5G with a maximum clock frequency of up to 3.2 GHz, which scores about 719,000 points in AnTuTu. It has 6 or 8 GB of LPDDR5 type operating memory, depending on the modification. Graphics are supported by Adreno 650, and the LiquidCool cooling system is also provided. There are also two options for permanent memory (UFS 3.1) – 128 GB or 256 GB, but there is no microSD support.
The screen here is a 6.67-inch AMOLED with resolution of 2400×1080, aspect ratio of 20:9, pixel density of 395 ppi, refresh rate of up to 120 Hz and HDR10 support. It is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The fingerprint scanner is combined with the power button on the side. Wireless connections include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS, and an IR port. Poco F3 did not get a 3.5-inch audio jack, but it offers decent stereo speakers for emotional gameplay.
The front camera has a resolution of 20 MP and shoots in Full HD format. The main camera consists of 3 modules: Sony IMX582 at 48 MP (f/1.8, shooting in 4K), ultra-wide Sony IMX35 at 8 MP (f/2.2, 119°) and a macro lens at 5 MP. It has a 4520 mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging (33 W), which can charge the smartphone to 100% in less than an hour.
Poco X3 GT
The Poco X3 GT is powered by the Dimensity 1100 5G with a maximum clock speed of 2.6 GHz, which scores more than 591,000 points in AnTuTu. Graphics are handled by Mali-G77 MC9. The smartphone has 8 GB of RAM (LPDDR4x) and 128 GB of permanent memory (UFS 3.1), but there is no microSD support. Like the Poco F3, the X3 GT is equipped with LiquidCool 2.0 technology, which is able to ‘cool the barrel’ by 11°C during ‘heavy’ games.
Among the interfaces here, you can find Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS and an IR port. There is no headphone jack, which is compensated by pleasant stereo sound. The screen here is a 6.6-inch IPS (2400×1080, 20:9, 399 ppi) with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, HDR10 and Gorilla Glass Victus. The case has IP53 protection, and the fingerprint scanner is placed on the side, in the power button.
The rear camera consists of a 64 MP sensor (f/1.8, 26 mm, 1/2″), an 8 MP wide-angle (f/2.2, 120°, 1/4″) and a 2 MP macro lens (f/2.4 ). For selfies, a 16 MP module with f/2.5 aperture is provided. The battery is quite large (5000 mAh), fast charging Power Delivery 3.0 (67 W) is supported, which will take only 42 minutes to charge the smartphone to 100%. You can buy a smartphone from $337.
Motorola Moto Edge 20
Motorola’s Moto Edge 20 costs a little more than $350 (from $364), but the smartphone definitely deserves to be in our selection. Like the Realme GT Master Edition, it works on the Snapdragon 778G with Adreno 642L. The smartphone has a single modification – 8/128 GB without support for memory cards. You can use your smartphone as a game console with Ready For technology and Miracast support, which allow you to display images on a large screen. Connect a wireless controller to the device and you can play your favorite games big time.
The Edge 20 OLED display is 6.7 inches with resolution of 2400×1080, aspect ratio of 20:9, pixel density of 393 ppi, refresh rate of up to 144 Hz, and HDR10+ support. The fingerprint scanner is built into the power button. There is a full set of wireless connections – Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and GPS.
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The rear camera is triple and consists of a 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor (f/1.9, 1/1.52″), a 16-megapixel wide-angle module (f/2.2, 13 mm, 119°) and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens (f/ 2.4, 79 mm). It is complemented by a 32 MP (f/2.3) front camera. The battery is designed for 4000 mAh and supports Motorola TurboPower fast charging (30 W). And Moto Edge 20 will be appreciated by fans of ‘pure’ Android without extras (and sometimes annoying) additions.
Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition is a mid-range smartphone with quite attractive features. Inside is an 8-core Snapdragon 778G with a frequency of up to 2.4 GHz with an Adreno 642L GPU. In terms of memory, there are two options: 6/128 GB and 8/128 GB, but there is no support for memory cards. The smartphone runs on Android 11.
The screen here is a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED with resolution of 2400×1080, aspect ratio of 20:9, 409 ppi, refresh rate of up to 120 Hz and HDR10+, and the fingerprint scanner is placed under the display. There is Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS, and a headphone jack located at the bottom.
The rear camera has three sensors: 64 MP (f/1.8, 25 mm, 81°, 1/2″, support for shooting in 4K), 8 MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.3, 16 mm, 119°, 1/ 2.3″) and a macro lens of 2 MP (f/2.4). The front camera received a 32 MP module with an aperture of f/2.5 and a viewing angle of 85°. The battery has a capacity of 4300 mAh, and there is also a 65 W Realme Dart Charge fast charger that allows you to charge the smartphone up to 100% in 33 minutes. Realme GT Master Edition costs $342.
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Realme 9 Pro
Another fresh smartphone of 2022 in our selection is Realme 9 Pro. This cute device runs on a Snapdragon 695 processor (up to 2.2 GHz), which scores more than 400,000 points in AnTuTu, and the graphics are supported by Adreno 619. There are two options for the amount of RAM – with 6 GB or 8 GB. Flash memory is only 128 GB, but there is support for microSD. There is a full set of wireless interfaces (Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and GPS services), and there is also a jack for a headset. It all runs on Android 11.
It uses a 6.6-inch IPS matrix (2400×1080, 20:9, 399 ppi) with support for 120 Hz and HDR10+. The fingerprint scanner is in the power button. On the back is a triple camera consisting of a 64-megapixel lens (f/1.8, 26mm), an 8MP wide-angle (f/2.3, 16mm, 119°, 1/4.0″) and an additional bokeh lens on 2 MP (f/2.4). For selfies there is a module on 16 MP (f/2.5). The battery in Realme 9 Pro is 5000 mAh, fast charging has a power of 33 W. You can buy a smartphone from $333.
Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
Another decent smartphone for games is the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. Under its hood is the Snapdragon 695 5G (up to 2.2 GHz) with the Adreno 619 graphics accelerator. The permanent memory options are 64 GB or 128 GB (UFS 2.2), the RAM is 6 GB or 8 GB (LPDDR4x). Both characteristics can be expanded: flash memory – due to microSD (up to 1 TB), RAM – increased by 3 GB due to permanent memory.
The display is a 6.67-inch AMOLED (2400×1080, 20:9, 395 ppi) with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, a brightness of up to 700 nits, HDR10 and Gorilla Glass 5. Stereo sound and a 3.5 mm headphone jack are both provided, so you can play the way you want. Wireless interfaces consist of Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS and an IR port. The body is protected against dust and splashes according to the IP53 standard, and the fingerprint scanner is combined with the power button.
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The camera here already has 4 modules – 108 MP (f/1.9, 26 mm, 1/1.52″), a wide-angle 8 MP (f/2.2, 118°, 1/4″) and two 2 MP lenses (macro and auxiliary). However, the video is shot only in FullHD at 30 fps. For selfies, a 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.4 aperture is used here. It is worth noting the increased battery capacity (5000 mAh) and fast charging Power Delivery 3.0 (67 W), thanks to which you can charge the smartphone up to 51% in 15 minutes. The price for the junior version (6/64 GB) starts at $306.
The mid-range OPPO Reno7 is powered by a Snapdragon 680 4G with a maximum clock frequency of 2.4 GHz, paired with an Adreno 610 GPU. It has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of permanent storage (UFS 2.1) with support for memory cards. The operating system is Android 12 with a ColorOS shell, and wireless connections have everything you need – Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and GPS. They didn’t forget about the 3.5 mm connector here either.
The smartphone is slightly more compact than its competitors – its diagonal is 6.43 inches. The matrix uses SuperAMOLED with resolution of 2400×1080, 409 ppi and refresh rate of 90 Hz. The fingerprint scanner is under the screen.
The main camera consists of a 64-megapixel module (f/1.7, 26 mm, 81°, 1/2″), a macro and an auxiliary lens of 2 MP each. Self-portraits can be taken on a 32-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.4 . The battery in OPPO Reno7 is 4500 mAh, there is a fast charging Oppo VOOC at 33 W. Now the price of a smartphone starts at $ 350.
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Unlike the Galaxy A52, which Samsung introduced last spring, the South Korean company introduced the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G a little later, at the end of summer 2021. Compared to the classic A52, the A52s 5G runs on a more recent chipset – the Snapdragon 778G 5G (2.4 GHz) vs. Snapdragon 750G (2.3GHz). Graphics are processed by Adreno 642L. The smartphone can have 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB of flash memory with microSD support up to 1 TB. The smartphone runs on Android 11 with the proprietary One UI interface.
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The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G uses a 6.5-inch SuperAMOLED matrix (2400×1080, 20:9, 405 ppi) with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, a brightness of up to 800 nits and Gorilla Glass 3. The fingerprint scanner, of course, is located below the screen, and wireless communications include Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and GPS. A headphone jack is in place, and it’s IP67 dust and water resistant.
There are four cameras on the back, including a 64MP main module (f/2.0, 80°), a 12MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.2, 13mm, 123°), a 5MP macro lens (f/2.2) and an auxiliary camera of 5 MP (f/2.4). The battery capacity is 4500 mAh, Samsung Charge 25 W fast charging is provided. The price of the device is starting from $359.
Samsung Galaxy M33
The Samsung Galaxy M33 is an updated 2022 smartphone from Samsung’s mid-range M line. Its main feature was the increased battery capacity – as much as 6000 mAh. This is exactly what gaming needs. It works on an 8-core Exynos 1200 5G (up to 2.4 GHz) with an ARM Mali-G68 GPU. The smartphone has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory, and supports microSD up to 1 TB. In addition, flash memory can be used to expand RAM, and in the case of the Galaxy M33, you can add another 6 GB of RAM.
Wireless connectivity is full – Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and GPS services, and there is a 3.5mm jack. The novelty works on the fresh Android 12.0. The screen in the Galaxy M33 is a 6.6-inch PLS with a resolution of 2408×1080, an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a pixel density of 400 ppi. The fingerprint scanner is placed in the power key.
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The rear camera consists of the main Samsung S5KJN1 sensor at 50 MP (f/1.8, 1/2.76), an ultra-wide lens at 8 MP (f/2.2), an auxiliary lens and a macro lens at 2 MP each. The selfie camera received a module at 8 MP (f/2.2). Yes, the M33 can’t boast of the coolest screen, but it has a ‘living’ battery, fresh software and quite smart hardware. And it costs a little more than $300.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
Let’s finish our Top-10 with a representative of last year’s flagship Mi series from Xiaomi – Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G. Despite belonging to the top line, this is rather a good middle. The smartphone runs on the Snapdragon 780G (up to 2.4 GHz) with the Adreno 642 graphics chip and scores some pleasant 567,000 in the AnTuTu synthetic test. There are two modifications – 6/128 GB or 8/128 GB, microSD is supported. Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS services and an IR port are all there.
The smartphone is only compatible with wireless headphones, because there is no 3.5 mm jack, but there are stereo speakers. The display is a 6.55-inch AMOLED (2400×1080, 20:9, 402 ppi, brightness up to 800 nits) with 90 Hz, HDR10+ and Gorilla Glass 6. The scanner is placed on the side.
There are three rear cameras: 64 MP (f/1.79, 26 mm, 1/1.97″, 4K video recording), 8 MP (f/2.2, 120°, 1/4″) and 5 MP. The front camera received a 20 MP (f/2.2) module. The battery in Mi 11 Lite is 4250 mAh, there is Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging (33 W). And you can buy it from $324.
As you can see from our selection, there are smartphones for games and not for all the money in the world. You can choose a good option with the latest software among the new products, and you can also choose from last year’s models. Especially since last year’s smartphones cost less, and their characteristics are slightly better. However, it is a matter of choice. And which smartphone would you choose?
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