Five great budget phones under US$250 for gaming

Aloysius Low
·Contributor
·4 min read

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Mobile gaming is huge in our region of Asia, but high-end gaming phones can be a bit too expensive for most of us. But that's not to say we can't get our game on with the right gear. Here are five budget phones that will do the job, and then some.

Realme C15

Realme C15
Realme C15

Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460, a 6,000mah battery, and a 6.5-inch display, the Realme C15 looks made for gaming. The large screen means you'll always be able to see everything quickly, without having to squint.

The Snapdragon 460 is capable of giving you a great gaming experience, paired with the Adreno 610 GPU. It's almost as good as the Snapdragon 600 series chips, so you'll have a blast with games such as PUBG, provided you don't cranked up your graphics too much, of course.

Factor in the 4GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, 13-megapixel camera, microSD card slot for more space, this phone is pretty much set.

If the C15 is not available in your region, the Realme C12 is also a good alternative to consider. Note though it uses the MediaTek Helio G35, which has a performance slightly under the Snapdragon 460.

Buy now: C15 (Singapore, Philippines), C12 (Singapore, Philippines)

Xiaomi Poco X3

Xiaomi Poco X3
Xiaomi Poco X3

The Poco X3 is a worthy gaming phone that's easy to recommend. Xiaomi cut no corners with the X3 despite the price. While it's a bit more expensive than the other phones here, it does come with much more compared with the others. It features a Qualcomm SM7150-AC Snapdragon 732G processor, a 120Hz HDR10 6.67-inch display with 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage.

Other things you need to know is that the X3 has a 6,000mAh battery with fast 33W charging. The Poco X3 is impressive for its price and should make all your MLBB games run lag free. You'll definitely have a leg up compared to your opponents (unless they are using the same phone, of course).

Buy now: Poco X3 (Singapore, Philippines)

Redmi Note 9 Pro

Redmi Note 9 Pro
Redmi Note 9 Pro

While you can get the Redmi Note 10 Pro now with its silky smooth 120Hz screen, last year's Redmi Note 9 Pro is still a great option considering its price. Loaded with a Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G processor, 6GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, this phone easily fits right in.

This phone will give you all the power you need for gaming — more than other budget handsets in fact. Expect smooth performance even with some graphical tweaks enabled, or you can turn them all off for even more frame rates on the 6.67-inch display. Other specs include quad cameras with a 64-megapixel main, a 5,020mAh battery and fast 30W charging.

If you have a bit more budget to spare, the Redmi Note 10 Pro which checks in at US$310 is something you can consider as well.

Buy now: Redmi Note 9 Pro (Singapore, Philippines), Redmi Note 10 Pro (Singapore, Philippines)

Samsung Galaxy A31

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

Samsung makes great phones, so it's no surprise to find the Samsung Galaxy A31 on our list. The A31 packs a Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, and a Super AMOLED 6.4-inch screen.

Expect smooth performance that slightly edges out phones using the Snapdragon 460, and you'll enjoy the bright, vibrant colors of the Super AMOLED display. With 2,400 x 1,080 pixels of screen to look at, you'll be able to spot details on screen to give you a leg up. Other specs include quad rear cameras, including a 48-megapixel sensor, and a 5,000mAh battery.

If you're willing to fork out more, there's also the US$275 Galaxy A51 to consider. It features an Exynos 9611 processor for more power for your games.

Buy now: Galaxy A31 (Singapore, Philippines), Galaxy A51 (Singapore, Philippines)

Oppo A31

Oppo A31
Oppo A31

If budget is a concern, the Oppo A31 will get the job done at a low price. Like the Realme C12, the A31 uses a MediaTek Helio G35, comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. If space is a concern, like the other phones mentioned here, it has a microSD card slot.

The 6.5-inch IPS LCD display isn't anything to shout about, but it's big enough you will be able to see all the important details. The 4,320mAh battery is good enough for your gaming sessions, but it doesn't come with fast charging.

Buy now: Oppo A31 (Singapore)

Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com

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