This story was originally published and last updated .
RedMagic isn't a big name in the US, but it's been busy carving out a niche for budget gaming phones. Gaming phones almost always come with compromises, and a budget option even more so. Still, for $600, the RedMagic 6 is killer on paper with a Snapdragon 888, 12GB of RAM, and a 165Hz display, but prodigious specs aren't always enough when poor support is on the table. Still, some mobile gamers might make that trade-off for super-smooth gameplay when the RedMagic 6 launches later this month.
There's no doubt that the Asus ROG Phone 5 is a beast — as a gaming phone, it packs all of the latest and greatest hardware, and that makes it a really chunky boy. Asus has a laser focus on gaming-centric features that will delight its core demographic, but the ROG 5 isn’t a complete nightmare to use outside of gaming either. The ROG Phone 5 offers stable everyday use with the added benefit of killer specs that can be tweaked and adjusted like a gaming PC. This is indeed a phone for gamers, but that means it lacks some popular features, and the software has some rough edges.
Lenovo has officially announced its newest gaming phone, the Legion Phone Duel 2. A leak from earlier this week already revealed precisely what this strange device looks like, and now that we have all of the details, things are even stranger than expected. Lenovo is boasting twin-fan internal cooling, which explains the bizarre placement of the camera bump. Another oddity is the return of the landscape pop-up camera. Of course, since this is a gaming device, it will offer touch-sensitive triggers for easy button mapping and high framerate support. Availability for the Legion Phone Duel 2 starts this month in China, and the device is coming to select markets in Europe and Asia-Pacific in May.
One of the oddly enduring trends of the last few years is "gaming phones," designs that have been tweaked (sometimes dramatically) for mobile gaming performance. Lenovo made one with its Legion gaming brand last year, and according to a leak posted to Antutu's Weibo account, it's back with another design. This one's outlandish, even for a gaming phone.
Gaming phones are getting more and more popular, and Xiaomi is keeping up the pace with its Black Shark series. The latest iteration, the Black Shark 4 and 4 Pro, have popped up on the Chinese store. You can pre-order one today, with the phones set to release to China on Thursday the 25th. An international release has not been set.
While still a niche, gaming smartphones feature some of the most intriguing hardware and designs. Asus's ROG Phone 3 successor seems to only exemplify this. The upcoming ROG Phone 5 (name not confirmed) has surfaced in a leaked video on Weibo, and it seems to be the wackiest phone from the Taiwanese company yet.
ASUS has finally revealed US pricing for the ROG Phone 3, and it's ambitious to say the least: $999.99 for the 12GB/512GB version, and $1,099.99 for the 16GB/512GB model. Amazon, B&H, and ASUS's own site will be offering this pricey gaming phone.
Gaming phones are a newer niche for Android devices, and Nubia is one of the companies running headlong into this fledgling field. This past May, we took a look at the Red Magic 5, and we did not come away impressed thanks to numerous bugs and compromises. Now that the Red Magic 5S is here, and we can say for certain that features like internal cooling and a high refresh rate come at a cost: the Red Magic 5S is good for gaming but not much else.
The Red Magic 5 isn't a complete wash—its gaming-centric features and performance help to even out the device's lack of polish.
Gaming phones are chunky, overpowered beasts with outrageous aesthetics that most consumers don't need. But if you're someone who doesn't care about looks or weight, they pack incredible oomph. ASUS released its ROG Phone 2 last year, and it earned a place on AP's Most Wanted list. Now the company has unveiled its successor, and the ROG Phone 3 is probably more powerful than your home computer.