Best Phones for Call of Duty: Mobile Android Central 2021
Thanks to the rise of popular games like Fortnite and PUBG, not to mention streaming services such as Stadia and xCloud, mobile gaming has taken off like crazy in the past couple of years. One of the most notable titles to hit the scene is Call of Duty: Mobile, which brings the fully-fledged CoD experience right to your phone. From multiplayer, battle royale, and even zombies, Call of Duty: Mobile has it all. If you want to take your experience to the next level, you need a phone like the ASUS ROG Phone 2 — or any of the handsets mentioned below.
- Best Overall: ASUS ROG Phone 2
- Best Display: Samsung Galaxy S20
- Best Value: OnePlus 7T
- Best Budget Pick: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
- Best Controls: LG G8X
- Best Overkill: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Best Overall: ASUS ROG Phone 2
At the top of our list, we have the gaming phone of our dreams — the ASUS ROG Phone 2. ASUS has established quite a name for itself in the PC gaming world and using its iconic Republic of Gamers brand, the ROG Phone 2 delivers a Call of Duty: Mobile experience unlike anything else.
Starting first with the display, the ROG Phone 2 has one of the best out there for gaming. The 6.6-inch size is plenty big, the AMOLED panel with 2340x1080 resolution means everything is bright and sharp, and the 120Hz refresh rate allows for buttery smooth animations. In other words, it's kind of perfect. Under the hood, ASUS continues to impress. The phone is equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855+ processor, 12GB of RAM, and your choice of 512GB or 1TB of internal storage. Then there's the battery, which comes in at a jaw-dropping 6,000 mAh capacity.
All of that results in a fantastic experience for Call of Duty: Mobile, but ASUS doesn't stop there. On the side of the phone are two ultrasonic triggers, allowing for enhanced controls in your games. For a shooter like CoD: Mobile, this means much more precise and comfortable aiming/shooting. Adding to the list of goodies is a USB-C port for charging, 3.5mm headphone jack, and (of course) RGB lighting on the back of the phone.
Is the ASUS ROG Phone 2 perfect? No. The design definitely isn't for everyone, the lack of Qi wireless charging is lame, and not having an IP rating for water resistance is a bummer considering how expensive it is. However, if none of that bothers you, there's no doubt that this is the best way to play Call of Duty: Mobile.
- Large AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
- Snapdragon 855+ with 12GB RAM
- Base storage of 512GB
- Downright massive 6,000 mAh battery
- Ultrasonic triggers for extra controls
- Design isn't for everyone
- Lacks wireless charging
- Doesn't have water resistance
Best Display: Samsung Galaxy S20
Our next pick is much more mainstream, and for some buyers, it will be a better overall fit. The Samsung Galaxy S20 is arguably one of the best Android phones in general, but it also lends itself quite nicely to the world of Call of Duty: Mobile.
Just like the ROG Phone 2, the S20 has a phenomenal display. The 6.2-inch size is smaller, but it strikes a wonderful balance of offering plenty of room to game while also still being easy to manage for people with smaller hands. You also get Samsung's latest and greatest Dynamic AMOLED tech, paired with a Quad HD+ resolution and a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate. You are limited to Full HD+ if you want to use the 120Hz setting, with the S20 switching to 60Hz if you up the resolution to Quad HD+. Even so, there's no denying that the S20 has the best and most advanced smartphone display you can buy in 2020.
Moving beyond the display, there's plenty more to like about the S20. It has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage that can be expanded up to 1TB. Rounding out the phone is a generous 4,000 mAh battery, fantastic triple rear cameras, Qi wireless charging, an IP68 dust/water resistance rating, and support for sub-6 5G networks.
Since the Galaxy S20 isn't a gaming-specific phone, you won't find any special controls or RGB lighting — or a headphone jack. That might be a turn off for some, but if the ROG Phone 2 just isn't clicking for you, the Galaxy S20 is an incredible alternative.
- The best display on a smartphone
- Blazing fast performance with the Snapdragon 865
- Expandable storage up to 1TB
- Large 4,000 mAh battery
- Qi wireless charging
- There isn't a headphone jack
- Limited to Full HD+ on 120hz refresh rate
- No gaming-specific controls
Best Value: OnePlus 7T
Yes, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 and Galaxy S20 are both top-notch phones for Call of Duty: Mobile, but they're also extremely expensive. If you're searching for a phone that can rip through your Nuketown free-for-alls without totally destroying your wallet, you'll want to pick up the OnePlus 7T.
The OnePlus 7T is a few hundred dollars less than the ROG Phone 2 and Galaxy S20, but the experience isn't considerably worse in any regard. When it comes to its display, the OnePlus 7T has a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with a 2400x1080 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. While not the most impressive out there, it's still gorgeous to look at and one of the best you'll find in this price range.
On the specs front, the OnePlus 7T is a beast. It's rocking the Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The 3,800 mAh battery isn't as large as what you'll find in more expensive handsets, but with OnePlus's Warp Charge 30T system, you can charge the 7T from 0% to 70% in just 30 minutes. Yeah, it's that fast. Then there's OnePlus's Fnatic Mode, which blocks incoming notifications and optimizes CPU, GPU, and RAM performance while you're gaming.
OnePlus cuts out things like wireless charging, expandable storage, and an IP rating for dust/water resistance, but at its core, it has everything you need for amazing gameplay in CoD: Mobile.
- 90Hz AMOLED display
- Incredibly powerful Snapdragon 855+ processor
- Warp Charge 30T is insane
- Fnatic Mode for distraction-free gaming
- Outstanding price
- Wireless charging is a no-go
- Doesn't have expandable storage
- No IP rating
Best Budget Pick: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Speaking of saving money, let's go even cheaper. There's no denying the fact that the OnePlus 7T is a great deal, but for some people, it still may be too expensive. If you're really trying to cut costs but still need a phone that can keep up with Call of Duty: Mobile, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 is worth a good, hard look.
This is the cheapest phone on this list by a large margin, but its spec sheet would suggest otherwise. For its display, the Redmi Note 8 has a 6.3-inch LCD panel with a crisp 2340x1080 resolution. It's limited to 60Hz for the refresh rate, but it's plenty sharp and colorful that your matches will still look gorgeous.
On the performance side of things, the Redmi Note 8 delivers a Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage that can be expanded up to 256GB, and a very strong 4,000 mAh battery. Paired with a power-efficient Qualcomm processor and less-intensive 60Hz display, you should be able to get some great endurance out of the phone. We're also happy to see a 3.5mm headphone jack and 18W USB-C charging.
Before you go ahead and buy the Redmi Note 8, keep in mind that this is an international phone. That means it isn't officially sold in the country, and as such, doesn't have a U.S. warranty. That's not ideal, but if it isn't a big deal to you, this is one of the best ways to play Call of Duty: Mobile while sticking to a budget.
- Wonderfully low price
- Striking, modern design
- Crisp Full HD+ display
- Good mid-range performance
- 4,000 mAh battery
- Missing a U.S. warranty
- Display is only 60Hz
Best Controls: LG G8X
LG is far from the most popular or noteworthy smartphone brand in 2020, but that's not to say the company's phones should be completely overlooked. In fact, when talking about devices that are perfect for Call of Duty: Mobile, the LG G8X stands out as an extremely unique option that could be just what some folks are looking for.
In regards to the phone itself, it's a proper flagship through and through. It's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a hefty 4,000 mAh battery. For the display, the G8X is equipped with a 6.4-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2340x1080. As for the refresh rate, it's capped at 60Hz. We're also thrilled that the LG G8X has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is paired with a Quad DAC for impressive wired audio.
All of that creates for a pretty strong gaming phone, but where the G8X kicks things up a notch is with its Dual Screen attachment. The second screen is great for running two apps side-by-side, but where it really shines for CoD: Mobile is its ability to transform into a virtual controller. You can customize the layout of the controller to your exact liking, and with the virtual thumbsticks and buttons moved to the second screen, you get precise gameplay without hogging up precious screen real estate on the actual phone.
- Second screen is fantastic for gaming
- Headphone jack with Quad DAC
- Battery is 4,000 mAh
- Fast performance
- 128GB of expandable storage
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Dual Screen accessory is pretty bulky
- LG's software needs some work
Best Overkill: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Hold on a second, didn't we already talk about the Galaxy S20? Yes, but now it's time to shine a light on its bigger brother — the Galaxy S20 Ultra. While the Ultra has a lot in common with the regular S20, there are enough spec improvements that benefit Call of Duty: Mobile that we wanted to give it its own mention as an overkill option.
The display is the same Dynamic AMOLED panel with a Quad HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, but it's bumped up from 6.2-inches all the way to 6.9-inches. Having a phone with a screen this large does make it kind of impossible for comfortable one-handed use, but as far as gaming goes, having so much space to work with is a dream come true. You also get the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, but if 12GB of RAM isn't enough for you, you can upgrade to a mind-blowing 16GB. The same is true for storage, with options for 128GB or 512GB.
Ensuring the Galaxy S20 Ultra keeps on chugging is a 5,000 mAh battery, which can be charged up using blazing-fast 45W wired charging or fast wireless charging. 5G performance is also better on the S20 Ultra compared to the S20, offering support for sub-6 and mmWave networks. 5G on the mmWave standard is only really available in select urban areas right now, but if you happen to live in one of these markets where it's available, the speed potential offered by it is tremendous.
- Huge 6.9-inch AMOLED display
- 120Hz refresh rate is glorious
- Up to 16GB RAM and 512GB of storage
- 5,000 mAh battery
- 45W wired charging and wireless charging
- It's a massive phone
- The price will destroy your budget
Call of Duty: Mobile continues to be one of the best mobile games on the market, and if you want a phone that'll allow you to enjoy the game to its full potential, you'll want to grab the ASUS ROG Phone 2. It's big, expensive, and not the best all-around phone out there, but it simply dominates in the gaming space.
That all starts with the 6.6-inch AMOLED display and 120Hz refresh rate. This allows everything on the ROG Phone 2 to move with buttery smoothness, and once you get used to it, it'll be hard to go back to anything else. Then there's the monstrous performance, including the Snapdragon 855+ processor, 12GB of RAM, and the insane 6,000 mAh battery.
We'd consider that to be a pretty complete package on its own, but once you factor in the ultrasonic triggers for enhanced controls in Call of Duty: Mobile, it's a no-brainer that the ASUS ROG Phone 2 is the device to get if you're serious about upping your game.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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