Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central
Best phones for PUBG Mobile Android Central 2021
PUBG Mobile is a graphics-intensive game that demands a powerful phone.If you want the best results and more Chicken Dinners, you’re going to need a phone for that truly stands out from the pack, and in 2021 that’s the OnePlus 9 Pro .Not only is it a great phone packed with the latest internals and a 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display, but you also get the best software on Android right now.
Best overall: OnePlus 9 Pro Best value: Samsung Galaxy S21 Best all-purpose: ASUS ROG Phone 5 Best for less: Nubia Red Magic 6 Best display: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Best for international gamers: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 Best for iOS: iPhone 13 Pro Max Best overall: OnePlus 9 Pro Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central
PUBG Mobile has been developed to run pretty well on old and new phones alike, but you’ll need a phone with admirable specs to run it at the highest graphics settings.The OnePlus 9 Pro fits the bill, with 8GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 888 chipset, which both deliver enough memory and processing power for great gaming performance.
OxygenOS continues to deliver a simple and speedy software experience that allows for customization, including the gaming mode, which offers fine controls for avoiding distractions while gaming.You can limit notifications to alarms and calls or set custom notifications for displaying messages while you game.
You also get a 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED panel, making it a delight to play games on the phone.That means everything will look silky smooth to your eye, whether you’re blasting your way to glory in PUBG Mobile or scrolling through Instagram.
OnePlus offers stereo sound as well, with a secondary speaker tucked away above the display.Additionally, there’s 65W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, IP68 dust and water resistance.For what you end up paying, you’re getting a lot for your money.
Pros: 65W wired charging and 50W wireless charging Smooth 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display Incredible internal hardware IP68 dust and water resistance Customizable gaming mode Cons: No 3.5mm headphone jack No expandable storage Sub-par battery life Best overall OnePlus 9 Pro A truly incredible gaming phone
With a stunning 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED display and the latest internal hardware, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the best gaming phone in 2021.
$970 at Amazon From $920 at Best Buy Best value: Samsung Galaxy S21 Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
Big names like Samsung have fallen into the habit of launching not one, not two, but three flagship models each year.The Samsung Galaxy S21 is this year’s base flagship, and it’s rather fetching in terms of looks as well as internals.If you want a big beautiful display but don’t have Galaxy S21 Ultra kind of money, the Galaxy S21 will run PUBG just fine.
On the inside, the Galaxy S21 is very similar to the Galaxy S21 Ultra with some key differences.It has the same Snapdragon 888 SoC and a smaller but identical 6.2-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X display.
The two top-of-the-line phones from Samsung also share a lack of expandable storage and headphone jack.The Galaxy S21 has 8GB of RAM just like the S21 Ultra’s base model and 128GB or 256GB storage variants.
The Galaxy S21 sports a smaller 4,000mAh battery but you also get 15W wireless and 4.5W reverse wireless charging and IP68 dust and water resistance.With the Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung didn’t include anything over the top but you won’t feel like anything is missing.PUBG plays beautifully well thanks to the phone’s stellar performance and gorgeous 120Hz display.Yes, the cameras are a significant downgrade from the S21 Ultra, but the Galaxy S21 is still the best value buy on this list.
Pros: Beautiful 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz refresh rate Game Booster software is really useful Game Genie cuts out distractions 15W wireless and 4.5W reverse wireless charging IP68 dust and water resistance Cons: No headphone jack No expendable storage Cameras aren’t as good as Galaxy S21 Ultra Smaller 4,00mAh battery Best value Samsung Galaxy S21 Everything you need and nothing you don’t
The Samsung Galaxy S21 brings some great specs to the table while maintaining its price, making it the ultimate value buy for PUBG.
$660 at Amazon $700 Best Buy $690 at Walmart Best all-purpose: ASUS ROG Phone 5 Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central
The ASUS ROG Phone wasn’t the first gaming smartphone to hit the market, but it did deliver a number of compelling features that helped it stand out from the pack.For the follow up, ASUS stepped up the specs with the Snapdragon 888, RAM options from 8-16GB, and 128GB / 256GB of internal storage.
That’s plenty of power and storage to get the best performance playing PUBG Mobile — and anything else you do with your phone.
You’ll also be able to play longer thanks to the massive 6,000mAh battery.Things will look incredibly smooth on the 6.78-inch AMOLED display, which has an improved and incredible 144Hz refresh rate.
ASUS built two USB Type-C ports into the phone, with one on the side so it doesn’t get in the way when you charge and play at the same time.
One of the best returning features, aside from the 3.5mm headphone jack, is the AirTrigger controls.This feature give mobile gamers customizable capacitive shoulder buttons on the edge of the phone that can be mapped to areas of the screen.ASUS has reduced the latency and lowered the actuation force, meaning the AirTriggers will respond faster to the touch in the heat of the battle.
All in all, the new ASUS ROG Phone 5 is as future-proof a gaming phone as you’ll find.If the raw power and AirTriggers doesn’t help you get more Chicken Dinners in PUBG Mobile, then it isn’t the phone that’s the problem.
Pros: 6.78-inch 144Hz AMOLED Display Up to 16GB of RAM 6,000mAh battery Two USB Type-C ports Enhanced AirTrigger controls Game Genie cuts out distractions Cons: No water resistance No wireless charging Best all-purpose ASUS ROG Phone 5 All the extras you need
The ASUS ROG Phone 5 is a premium gaming phone that was designed specifically for those who demand the best performance.
$730 at Amazon $680 at Walmart Best for less: Nubia Red Magic 6 Source: Nubia
Nubia isn’t a name you would’ve come across a lot, but the Red Magic 6 is one of the best gaming phones you can get for under $600.The phone is packed with the latest hardware, including a 6.8-inch AMOLED panel with an unbelievable 165Hz refresh rate.
The screen sets the Red Magic 6 apart from other devices on this list, and you also get global 5G connectivity thanks to the Snapdragon 888 chipset.
There’s a dedicated gaming mode that ensures your games aren’t throttled, and you get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage on the base model.
The phone also has an aggressive design that’s aimed at gamers, and you get shoulder-mounted air triggers that let you assign in-game actions.There’s a 64MP camera at the back, and under the hood, you get a 5,050mAh battery with 66W fast charging.There really isn’t anything missing here on the hardware front, and when you consider the number of features on offer for under $600, the Red Magic 6 is a fantastic choice for gamers.
Pros: Insane 165Hz display refresh rate 5G connectivity Unique cooling system Shoulder buttons 66W fast charging Cons: Software has its share of issues Design not for everyone Best for less Nubia Red Magic 6 The latest features money can buy
The Red Magic 6 has an incredible 165Hz screen and the absolute latest hardware, including global 5G connectivity.
$540 at Amazon Best display: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
There’s a lot of things that make the Galaxy S21 Ultra an easy recommendation for gamers, but we’re going to focus on the display.Samsung continues to lead the pack with a beautiful and massive 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that offers the best brightness and color clarity available.The best part about this Samsung flagship, however, is that it packs a 120Hz display so everything will run smoothly.
It’s also running the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset and offers 12GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage on the base model.All of that, along with a 5,000mAh battery and Samsung’s Game Booster software, means you’re going to get obscene performance while gaming on this phone.
Samsung has been including these gaming-centric software enhancements for years.They disable the navigation buttons so you don’t accidentally exit out of the game in the middle of a match, and give you quick access to screen recording and other tools while you’re playing PUGB Mobile.
Samsung has ditched the headphone jack, but this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker given industry trends.
Pros: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X is stunning 120Hz refresh rate makes things smooth 15W wireless and 4.5W reverse wireless charging IP68 dust and water resistance Game Booster software is really useful Game Genie cuts out distractions Cons: No headphone jack Costlier than other picks Best display Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra All the upgrades you care about
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a gorgeous 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X display and offers the latest internals available today.
$1,000 at Amazon $1,000 at Best Buy From $1,500 at Walmart Best for international gamers: Lenovo Legion Duel 2 Source: Lenovo
Lenovo launched the Legion Duel 2, also known as the Legion 2 Pro, in international markets in April 2021.None of the Legion phones have made it to the U.S.but fortunately, you can always get the global version shipped to you.The Legion Duel 2 sports a unique design with RGB lights on the back and rear cameras situated in the center.
Visuals aside, this phone also delivers serious specs for gamers.
The Lenovo Legion Duel 2 features a gorgeous 6.92-inch 144Hz AMOLED panel that is unmarred by any notch or cutout thanks to the unusual side-mounted front camera that pops out of the phone.This means you can take in every little detail while you game without a distracting camera lens.
Powering this beast of a phone is the latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 chipset and 8GB/128GB memory specifications on the base model.You can get higher RAM variants of the Legion Duel 2, with the top-of-the-line option offering a whopping 18GB of RAM .Lenovo incorporated four ultrasonic shoulder triggers on the top of the phone and two capacitative touch buttons with Dual HaptiX feedback on the back.
These six customizable gaming buttons are called an ‘Octa-Trigger’ setup and they deliver an experience similar to console controllers.
There’s also a large 5,500mAh battery paired with 65W fast charging to keep your phone juiced up and ready for action.The Lenovo Legion Duel 2 may be missing the headphone jack, but apart from that, it’s an excellent all-around device for long hours of PUBG Mobile sessions.
Pros: Big 6.92-inch bezel-less AMOLED display 144Hz refresh rate 6 gaming buttons Delivers excellent performance for gaming 65W fast charging Cons: No headphone jack Not widely available in the U.S.Best for international gamers Lenovo Legion Duel 2 Great if you can get your hands on it
The Legion Duel 2 is a unique gaming phone with outstanding features and you’d be lucky to own one if you could find it.
From $526 at AliExpress Best for iOS: iPhone 13 Pro Max Source: Toms Guide
Even though this is Android Central, we know that not everyone who plays PUBG Mobile is down with the green droid.In fact, there are millions of iPhone users who play PUBG Mobile, making it one of the most popular free-to-play games for both Android and iOS.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max stands out as the best gaming iPhone because it delivers all-day battery life, runs on Apple’s latest A15 Bionic chipset, and has 6.7-inch display with a 120hz refresh rate and increased brightness over its predecessor.Those are the biggest factors for you because you definitely want a big and bright display to better see your enemies and battery life that won’t leave you scrambling for your charging accessories in the middle of a match.
PUBG Mobile and any other app should run nice and smooth thanks to Apple’s focus on software optimizations.
However, one tip we can give to iOS gamers is to avoid downloading the latest iOS betas since those can occasionally cause issues with games like PUBG Mobile.
The lack of a headphone jack might be an issue but there’s always the Lightning-to-3.5mm dongle, which lets you use your favorite pair of wired headphones.Otherwise, your AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones will serve you just as well here.
Pros: iOS is very user friendly 6.7-inch display is dynamic and bright Excellent performance IP68 dust and water resistant Over 12 hours of battery life Cons: No headphone jack Expensive Best for iOS iPhone 13 Pro Max The biggest and best iPhone to date
The iPhone 13 Pro Max is Apple’s top flagship phone offering superb performance, superior battery life and a large and brighter display.
From 1,154 at Amazon From $1,100 Best Buy From $950 at Walmart Bottom Line The wild popularity of PUBG Mobile has proven that there is indeed demand for a smartphone designed with gamers in mind.The core specs you’ll want are a great display, long-lasting battery life, and enough RAM to keep things running smoothly — and you can find that on any of the phones on our list.
But what sets the OnePlus 9 Pro apart from other devices on this list is the combination of features and the overall software experience.
All phones on this list deliver incredible performance and pack high-end hardware, but when it comes to software, OxygenOS has a huge leg up over the rest of the industry.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide.