HomeSmartphones9 Best Phones for Emulation in 2024 (Latest Models)

9 Best Phones for Emulation in 2024 (Latest Models)

Retro gaming is having a moment. With classic consoles becoming increasingly expensive and hard to find, emulation has become a popular way to revisit the games of our youth. And what better way to do that than on a device you already carry with you everywhere: your phone.

But not all phones are created equal when it comes to emulation. Some can barely handle classic 8-bit games, while others can power through even the most demanding 3D titles. So, if you’re looking for the best phone for emulation, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the top contenders in the world of emulation phones. We’ll compare their specs, performance, and features to help you find the perfect device for your retro gaming needs. Here’s our picks for the best phones for emulation right now.

Round Up of the Best Phones for Emulation

1 Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (Best Option) Check Price on Amazon
2 Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Black Shark 5 Pro Check Price on Amazon
4 Google Pixel 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
6 OnePlus 11 Check Price on Amazon
7 Google Pixel 7 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon
8 Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon

 

1. Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (Best Option)

best phones for emulation

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Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Key Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | OS: Android 13 | Refresh Rate: 165Hz | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Front Camera:  32MP | Rear Cameras:  50MP, 13MP, 8MP | Size: 173 x 77 x 10.3 mm | Weight: 239g
Battery: 6000mAh

Pros

  • Unmatched gaming performance
  • Powerful audio and visuals
  • Impressive battery life and charging
  • Unique gaming features and customization

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy design
  • Expensive price

Are you tired of choppy frame rates and frustrating lag? Do you crave pixel-perfect graphics and buttery-smooth gameplay? Then unsheathe your inner champion with the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, the undisputed king of mobile gaming. The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is the best phone for emulation.

This beast of a phone boasts a heart of fire: the blazing-fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Backed by a mighty 16GB RAM army and a 512GB storage war chest, it tackles even the most demanding titles effortlessly, letting you conquer every battlefield with the highest graphics settings cranked up.

But the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate isn’t just about raw power. It’s a gamer’s paradise, meticulously crafted for ultimate comfort and control. The phone’s sharp lines and angular edges scream “game on!”, while the LED pulse on the back adds a touch of electrifying flair. And unlike most gaming phones that feel like bricks after an hour, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate’s ergonomic design keeps your hands happy even during marathon sessions.

Heat? Don’t sweat it. Asus has equipped this monster with a cooling system that rivals a dragon’s icy breath. A vapor chamber, a massive heat sink, and the optional AeroActive Cooler 7 fan work together to keep your phone cool under pressure. This detachable fan also boasts programmable buttons and customizable LED lights, letting you personalize your gaming experience further.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate isn’t just hardware; it’s a software arsenal. The Game Genie app lets you fine-tune performance settings, monitor vitals like temperature, and silence pesky notifications. Background mode lets you multitask like a pro, recording your epic victories or jamming to your favorite tunes while dominating the leaderboard.

This phone isn’t for casual players. It’s for the elite, the hardcore, the champions who demand the absolute best. It’s the most powerful gaming phone on the market, packed with features that give you an unfair advantage over your rivals. But with great power comes great responsibility… ahem, I mean, a hefty price tag. Be prepared to invest in your gaming glory.

The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is a no-holds-barred statement piece. It’s a declaration of your dedication to gaming excellence. If you’re ready to ascend to the mobile gaming throne, this is your chariot. So grab your controller, strap on your headphones, and prepare to unleash your inner legend. With the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate by your side, victory is inevitable.

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2. Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro

best phone for emulation

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Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.8 inches | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | OS: Android 13 | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Front Camera:  16MP | Rear Cameras:  50MP, 8MP, 2MP | Size: 164 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm | Weight: 228g | Battery: 6000mAh

Pros

  • Top-notch gaming performance
  • Unrivaled battery life
  • Good cooling system
  • Unique design

Cons

  • Mediocre camera performance

Forget overpriced flagships; the RedMagic 8 Pro slams the door on overpaid performance. Buckle up for the king of value, packing the powerhouse Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip under its hood, unleashing raw speed at a price that’ll leave the competition sputtering in your dust. Starting at a steal, this beast delivers premium features like super-fast 65W charging and enough RAM (up to a whopping 16GB!) to run every game on max settings like a buttery dream.

But wait, there’s more! RedMagic doesn’t just toss you raw power and call it a day. They throw in a secret weapon – a built-in cooling fan that keeps your game blazing hot (metaphorically, of course) without scorching your palms. Plus, they sprinkle in a treasure trove of gaming-grade software tools, giving you an arsenal to dominate any digital battlefield.

Android 13? Pah! RedMagic throws away the training wheels and crafts a software experience built for champions. Their custom layer goes beyond the call of duty with features like mind-blowing 520Hz capacitive triggers you can program for instant, pixel-perfect actions in any game. Imagine sniping rivals with a hair-trigger tap or unleashing devastating combos with lightning-fast swipes – the possibilities are endless.

The RedMagic 8 Pro isn’t just a phone; it’s a declaration of war on bland gaming experiences. It’s a statement that says you deserve the best, without breaking the bank. So whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rising star, grab the RedMagic 8 Pro and unleash the beast within. Prepare to dominate, redefine, and conquer. The RedMagic 8 Pro remains one of the best phones for emulation.

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3. Black Shark 5 Pro

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Black Shark 5 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.67-inch OLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | OS: Android 12 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Front Camera:  16MP | Rear Cameras:  108MP, 13MP, 5MP | Size: 163.9 x 76.5 x 9.5 mm  | Weight: 220g | Battery: 4650mAh

Pros

  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Buttery smooth display
  • Gaming-focused features
  • Fast charging
  • Decent cameras

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Pricey

The Black Shark 5 Pro is a gaming beast waiting to be unleashed. Packed with the ferocious Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and 12GB of RAM, this phone devours demanding games like Pac-Man gobbles dots. Maximum graphics settings? Psh, that’s just the warm-up. Expect butter-smooth gameplay that’ll have you questioning if you’re even holding a phone, or piloting a spaceship through a neon cyberpunk world.

Tired of clumsy touchscreen controls? This phone has a secret weapon – hidden pop-up triggers that transform it into a miniature console. You can customize them to fit your favorite games, whether it’s trigger-happy shootouts or precision platforming. You’ll be dominating the leaderboard in no time, leaving your thumbs-only rivals in the dust.

Sure, things might get a tad toasty during marathon gaming sessions, and the battery life might not win any awards. But hey, real warriors don’t need constant coddling. When you’re wielding a weapon this powerful, a few minor charges are a small price to pay for gaming glory. So, if you’re a hardcore gamer who craves ultimate performance and control, the Black Shark 5 Pro is your battle cry.

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4. Google Pixel 8 Pro

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Google Pixel 8 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED | CPU: Google Tensor G3 | OS: Android 14 | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Front Camera: 10.5MP | Rear Cameras: 50MP, 48MP, 48MP | Size: 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8 mm | Weight: 213g | Battery: 5050mAh

Pros

  • Superb camera
  • Superb performance
  • Clean and up-to-date software
  • Bright and smooth display
  • Unique and polished design
  • Exclusive features

Cons

  • Pricey

Another Google’s latest masterpiece boasts a camera system tailor-made for capturing life’s moments in breathtaking detail and clarity. Its Tensor G3 chip, a symphony of silicon and Google’s AI prowess, elevates every shot, ensuring photos that resonate with emotion and stories that come alive. 

But the Pixel 8 Pro is more than just a megapixel monster. Its sleek design, a harmonious blend of rounded corners and a flat display, invites you to hold it close and lose yourself in the vibrant world on its Super Actua screen. With a peak brightness that outshines even the sun-kissed beaches of Rio, this display banishes shadows, making every pixel burst with life, be it a captivating movie or an electrifying game.

Speaking of games, the Pixel 8 Pro packs a punch, effortlessly handling even the most graphically demanding titles. While it might not dethrone the reigning champions like the iPhone 15 Pro or the Galaxy S23 Ultra, its smooth performance ensures you’ll be lost in the virtual world, not frame rate jitters.

Elsewhere, the Pixel 8 Pro has your back (and your battery life). Packing a larger battery than both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Plus, this phone can handle a full day of adventures, from sunrise to moonlit strolls, without a single power bank in sight.

And when it comes to updates, Google rewrites the rules. With a staggering seven-year commitment to major updates, the Pixel 8 Pro isn’t just a phone, it’s an investment in the future. Your photos, your memories, your digital life – all safeguarded and enhanced by Google’s unwavering dedication to cutting-edge technology.

The Pixel 8 Pro is more than just a phone. It’s a statement. A declaration that technology can be beautiful, powerful, and built to last. It’s an invitation to capture the world, not just with your lens, but with your heart.

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5. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

best phones for emulation

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Key Specifications

Display: 6.8 inches | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | OS: Android 13
| RAM: 8GB/12GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Front Camera:  12MP | Rear Cameras:  200MP, 12MP, 10MP | Size: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm | Weight: 234g | Battery: 5000mAh

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Outstanding camera
  • Top-notch display
  • S Pen integration
  • Powerful performance
  • Improved battery life
  • Faster charging

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Large size

The Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t just a champion, it’s a revolution in your pocket. Imagine a phone that paints with light, sculpts with pixels, and unleashes your creativity like never before. That’s the S23 Ultra, a masterpiece reimagined.

Picture this: a 200MP camera so sharp, it captures the glint in a hummingbird’s eye. Photos that burst with life, night shots that shimmer like moonlight on water, and portraits that reveal the soul behind the smile. This isn’t just a camera, it’s a portal to a world unseen.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. The S23 Ultra’s display is a canvas, a 6.8-inch symphony of colors that dance at 120Hz. Whether you’re lost in a movie or wielding the S Pen like a digital brush, every detail is a masterpiece. And speaking of the S Pen, its built-in silo makes it an extension of your hand, ready to sketch, write, or unleash your inner Van Gogh.

Powering this artistic powerhouse is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a chip that laughs in the face of lag. Games run like silk, apps fly by, and multitasking becomes a seamless ballet. And with 256GB of storage, your creativity has room to breathe (and grow, and grow).

Sure, the S23 Ultra might not be the budget-friendly option. But let’s be honest, this isn’t just a phone, it’s an investment in your passions, your productivity, and your artistic expression. It’s a statement piece that whispers, “I create, I conquer, I am the master of my digital domain.”

So, if you’re searching for the ultimate Android experience, one that pushes boundaries and ignites your imagination, look no further than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

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6. OnePlus 11

best phones for emulation

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OnePlus 11 Key Specifications

Display: 6.7 inches | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | OS: Android 13 | RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Front Camera:  16MP | Rear Cameras:  50MP, 32MP, 48MP | Size: 163.1 x 74.1 x 8.5 mm | Weight: 205g | Battery: 5000mAh

Pros

  • Powerful performance
  • Beautiful display
  • Fast charging
  • Clean software
  • Good cameras

Cons

  • No wireless charging

The OnePlus 11 is a pocket-sized powerhouse disguised as an eye-catching masterpiece. Its 6.7-inch AMOLED screen is a canvas for vibrant visuals, unfolding like a movie theater in your palm. The 120Hz refresh rate keeps every scroll and swipe buttery smooth, while the 5,000mAh battery fuels your day even when unplugged. Think marathon streaming sessions, epic gaming battles, and endless social scrolling – all without battery anxiety.

But the OnePlus 11 isn’t just about a pretty face. This phone packs a punch under the hood, powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. It’s like having a mini supercomputer in your pocket, effortlessly handling anything you throw at it, from demanding games to video editing on the go.

And speaking of throws, let’s talk cameras. The triple-lens setup, with a 50MP main sensor as its captain, captures stunningly detailed shots, day or night. Wide-angle landscapes? Check. Up-close magic? Macro mode to the rescue. Portrait mode that blurs the background like a pro? You bet. This phone practically turns you into a photography whiz without breaking a sweat.

But what truly sets the OnePlus 11 apart is its lightning-fast charging. Imagine this: your phone gasping for breath, battery bar flashing red. Plug it in for just 30 minutes, and boom! It’s back to life, ready to conquer the digital world again. Say goodbye to battery-powered panic attacks and hello to uninterrupted adventures.

The OnePlus 11 isn’t just a phone; it’s a statement. It’s for those who demand the best without breaking the bank. It’s for the creators, the explorers, the multitaskers, the gamers, the ones who never settle for second best.

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7. Google Pixel 7 (Budget Pick)

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Google Pixel 7 Key Specifications

Display: 6.3-inch AMOLED | CPU: Google Tensor G2 | OS: Android 13 | Refresh Rate: 90Hz | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Front Camera: 10.8MP | Rear Cameras: 50MP, 12MP  | Size: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7 mm | Weight: 197g | Battery: 4355mAh

Pros

  • Outstanding camera
  • Clean and responsive software
  • Unique, elegant design
  • Competitive price
  • Tensor chip performance

Cons

  • Charging speed won’t win awards

Gone are the days of ho-hum smartphone hues. The Pixel 7 struts onto the scene in a vibrant dance of colors, with the lemongrass option stealing the show. Its sleek metal camera bar, chameleon-like in its ability to morph alongside the chosen color, adds a touch of sophisticated flair. And worry not, clumsy hands – this phone boasts an IP68 rating, shrugging off spills and dunkings with ease, a significant upgrade from its predecessor.

Feast your eyes on the Pixel 7’s vibrant display. Full HD+ resolution dances across a 20:9 canvas, bursting with life. But wait, there’s more! This display is a sun-tamer, reaching peak brightness of 1400 nits, ensuring perfect visibility even when basking on a beach or conquering candy crush under the midday sun.

Now, let’s talk about capturing those memories. The Pixel 7 packs a photographic punch with its triple-threat camera system. A 50MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 10.8MP selfie snapper – this phone is ready to immortalize every epic moment, from breathtaking landscapes to cheeky grins. And if you’re a videography enthusiast, rejoice! The Pixel 7 lets you paint with light in 4K, 60fps glory, or add extra oomph with 10-bit HDR video capture.

Powering this pocket powerhouse is the Tensor G2 chip. While it might not out-muscle every competitor in a raw speed contest, it’s a champion in the AI arena, making everything from voice recognition to photo editing a smooth, seamless experience.

Let’s be honest, battery life is king. The Pixel 7’s 4,355mAh battery might be a slight step back from its predecessor, but fear not, it’s still a marathon runner. Stream, game, scroll through endless TikTok feeds – this phone won’t leave you stranded before bedtime.

The Google Pixel 7 strikes a beautiful balance. It’s stylish, smart, and captures the world around you in stunning detail, all without breaking the bank. So, if you’re looking for a reliable smartphone that’s as much a statement piece as it is a tech marvel, the Pixel 7 is waiting to sing its siren song.

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8. Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

best phones for emulation

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Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED (2488 x 1080) | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1| Refresh Rate: 165Hz | OS: Android 12 | RAM: 18GB | Storage: 512GB | Front Camera: 12MP | Rear Cameras: 50MP, 13MP | Size: 173 x 77 x 10.3 mm | Weight: 0.53 pound (0.24 kg) | Battery: 6000 mAh

Pros

  • Top-of-the-line performance
  • Exceptional display
  • Long battery life
  • Advanced cooling system
  • AirTriggers
  • Extensive customization options

Cons

  • Expensive

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro isn’t just a smartphone; it’s a portal to a world of unbridled gaming glory. Imagine this: your fingers dance across the screen, unleashing devastating combos with pixel-perfect precision. Vibrant explosions erupt on a silky-smooth display, each frame rendered with lightning-fast speed. No lag, no stutters, just pure, unadulterated gaming bliss.

That’s the magic of the ROG Phone 6 Pro. Powered by a monstrous Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip and backed by a staggering 18GB of RAM, it tackles even the most demanding games with the swagger of a seasoned champion. This powerhouse duo ensures buttery-smooth gameplay, whether you’re conquering sprawling open worlds or dominating fast-paced online battles.

But raw power is just the first act. To truly immerse you in the digital arena, the ROG Phone 6 Pro boasts a 6.8-inch AMOLED masterpiece. This beauty flaunts a breathtaking 165Hz refresh rate, making every animation and motion sing with unbelievable fluidity. Images burst with life on the vibrant screen, transporting you to the heart of the action, where every detail matters.

And here’s where the ROG Phone 6 Pro truly sets itself apart from the crowd. Gone are the days of clunky touch controls and overheating anxieties. This phone is built for gamers, body and soul. Its innovative AirTriggers 2.0 offer an arsenal of customizable controls, putting precision power at your fingertips. And fear not, marathon gamers, the upgraded cooling system keeps things cool even when the action heats up.

Of course, no epic adventure is complete without a trusty companion. That’s why the ROG Phone 6 Pro packs a monster 6000mAh battery, ensuring your battles don’t end prematurely. Power through entire campaigns without a battery pit stop, knowing your phone can keep up with your gaming endurance.

So, if you’re a gamer who craves the ultimate mobile weapon, the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is a good buy.

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9. Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick)

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Samsung Galaxy A54 Key Specifications

Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED | CPU: Exynos 1380 | OS: Android 13
Refresh Rate: 120Hz  | RAM: 6GB/8GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Front Camera: 32MP
Rear Cameras: 50MP, 12MP, 5MP | Size: 158.2 x 76.7 x 8.2 mm | Weight: 202g | Battery: 5000mAh

Pros

  • Premium design and display
  • Solid cameras
  • Decent battery life
  • 5G connectivity

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • No HDR support

The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G emerges as a formidable contender in the realm of mid-range smartphones, earning praise for its well-rounded features and seamless integration into the high-speed domain of 5G connectivity. Distinguishing itself with a spacious 6.4-inch display, the device ensures a visually enchanting experience for its users.

Beneath the surface, the smartphone draws power from a robust 2.4 GHz octa-core processor, guaranteeing a fluid and hiccup-free performance across an array of tasks. This device goes beyond the one-size-fits-all approach, presenting users with options of 128GB and 256GB storage capacities, allowing for a tailored selection based on individual preferences and needs.

With regard to multitasking, the Galaxy A54 5G excels by generously providing 8GB of RAM, enabling users to seamlessly handle multiple tasks concurrently. As the name boldly suggests, it is fully equipped for 5G connectivity, ensuring download and streaming speeds that render buffering a distant memory.

For photography enthusiasts, this smartphone offers a haven of possibilities. Its versatile camera setup, complete with multiple lenses, captures a diverse spectrum of photographic moments with ease. Whether you are capturing scenic landscapes or candid portraits, the Galaxy A54 5G has the imaging capabilities to bring your vision to life.

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Round Up of the Best Phones for Emulation

1 Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (Best Option) Check Price on Amazon
2 Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Black Shark 5 Pro Check Price on Amazon
4 Google Pixel 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
6 OnePlus 11 Check Price on Amazon
7 Google Pixel 7 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon
8 Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon

 

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