5 best gaming phones under $500 in 2021

Here's the list of top mid-budget gaming phones (Image via Sportskeeda)
Here's the list of top mid-budget gaming phones (Image via Sportskeeda)

Gaming phones was a concept of sci-fi movies once upon a time where some of those would show some out-worldly devices that seemed too good and futuristic to be true. With advancements in the electronic departments across all areas, mobile phones are no longer a bare means of communication anymore.

Gaming has always been part of mobile phones, with games like Space Impact and Snakes an integral part of many childhoods. But with superior advancements in the mobile processor and GPU sectors, dedicated mobile phones have arrived over the last couple of years.

These are the only games on my phone😂Not counting using to emulate retro, does anyone play a lot/any mobile games?

While gaming phones have all the typical functionalities of a standard mobile phone, these devices are built with a prime focus on the gaming side. These devices have much more advanced specifications over the benchmark to support games that are no longer binary digits in appearance.

What are the main angles to cover when buying an excellent gaming phone?


Every game, be it on consoles or mobiles, has an incredible amount of details in them. Missing out on them entirely or even partially provides less than satisfactory results. Hence, it may not be a gold standard, but having a gaming phone with at least a 6.2" display is preferable.

Additionally, screens like OLED are also preferable because of the non-reflection on those screens. Since gaming exerts a lot of pressure on the eyes, having a display on the gaming phone that is soothing to look at is a must.

Processor and GPU

To put it in a simple manner, the processor and GPU of gaming phones are the equivalents of the heart and muscles of the human body. Without a sufficiently powerful processor and GPU, performance will be terrible. Good gaming mobiles must have an efficient processor, a powerful enough GPU, and preferably a cooling mechanism as well.

Sound quality

Sound is the dimension of games without which the experience can only be half-fulfilling at best. It is not simply about esthetics. As in genres like battle royale, picking up the sound of enemy footsteps can make the difference between killing or being killed.

Build quality

Having a gaming phone that feels cheap on hand is a strict no-no. Many gaming phones focus on having ergonomic designs to ensure that players do not get sore hands after a long gaming session with their friends.

Battery and charging

Unlike consoles or PCs, mobiles run on batteries. Gaming phones can efficiently run some of the most demanding games in the mobile market, but they also sap the battery. An excellent gaming phone should not only have a big battery capacity, but it should also have fast charging to enable the device to be charged quickly.

This is the fast charging of mobile phones ten years later.😆


Nobody has an infinite gold reserve at their disposal. While gaming phones may be relatively costlier than standard phones, knowing the budget and doing thorough research beforehand is always good practice. Doing so prevents wastage of money from the customer and helps increase the utility-cost ratio, making it sweeter for the player.

Top five gaming phones in 2021 that players can afford within a $500 budget

5) Google Pixel 4A with 5G

Google Pixel 4A with 5g (Image via Lifewire)
Google Pixel 4A with 5g (Image via Lifewire)
Specifications6.2" Full HD display, Qualcomm[R] Snapdragon[TM] 765G 64-bit Octa Core processor, 6 GB LPDDR4x RAM - 128 GB storage

The Google Pixel 4A with 5G is an upgrade over the 4A with a larger screen without necessarily costing more.

4) Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite (Image via Xiaomi)
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite (Image via Xiaomi)
Specifications6.55" AMOLED, 8GB+128GB. Qualcomm Kryo 670, octa-core CPU, up to 2.4GHz GPU, Qualcomm Adreno 642 GPU, 4250 mAh, 33W fast charging

Xiaomi's Mi Lite 5G is a power-packed release in the collection of gaming phones that doesn't compromise on quality for the sake of price.

3) Xiaomi Poco F3

Xiaomi Poco F3 (image via Xiaomi)
Xiaomi Poco F3 (image via Xiaomi)
Price$439.50 (MRP $477)
Specifications6/67" AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 870 CPU -8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1, LiquidCool 1.0 Plus technology, 4520 mAh battery

Xiaomi's POCO F3 is a bit less power-packed than the One Plus 8T but is available under the $500 bracket even without any discount, unlike One Plus 8T.

2) One Plus 8T 5G

One Plus 8T (Image via One Plus)
One Plus 8T (Image via One Plus)
BrandOne Plus
Price$499 (MRP $599)
Specifications6.55" FHD, 256GB/12GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 + X55, Fast Charging, 4500 mAh battery, 

One Plus 8T is the latest offering from the One Plus series, available at a discounted price of $499. Although it looks like a camera phone, its specifications make it a top pick for mid-budget gaming phones as well.

1) Nubia Red Magic 5G

Nubia Red Magic 5 (Image via YouTube/Zollotech)
Nubia Red Magic 5 (Image via YouTube/Zollotech)
Price $539.90 (wait for discount)
Specifications6.65" AMOLED, 8GB+128 GB, Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 585), 4500mAh, 18W fast charging

As of the moment, Nubia Red Magic 5G is not at a discounted price which makes it slightly above the $500 price point. However, with Black Friday coming up, there could be a chance of a discount that makes Nubia Red Magic 5G a great value for its price and the go-to one on this list of gaming phones.

Edited by Yasho Amonkar
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now