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 8 Pro (Best Option) Check Price on Amazon
2 Nubia RedMagic 9 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Check Price on Amazon
4 Black Shark 5 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
6 Google Pixel 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
7 OnePlus 12 Check Price on Amazon
8 Google Pixel 7 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon

 

1. Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro (Best Option)

Best Phones for Emulation

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Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | OS: Android 14 | Refresh Rate: 165Hz | RAM: 16GB/24GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB | Front Camera:  32MP | Rear Cameras:  50MP, 32MP, 13MP | Size: 163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9 mm | Weight: 225g | Battery: 5500mAh

Pros

  • Powerful performance
  • Long battery life
  • Improved design
  • Gorgeous display
  • Wireless charging 

Cons

  • Pricey

The best phone for emulation is the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro. Asus ROG Phones have dominated the mobile gaming scene with their unbeatable combination of raw power and innovative features. But what if a gaming phone could do more?

The ROG Phone 8 Pro breaks the mold. It maintains the ROG Phone legacy of exceptional gaming with the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a whopping 24GB of RAM, and a massive 1TB of storage. This translates to smooth gameplay, seamless multitasking, and lightning-fast app loading.

Surprisingly, the ROG Phone 8 Pro is sleek and comfortable to hold, making it ideal for everyday use. Elsewhere, this gaming beast can withstand splashes, spills, and even a dip in the pool.

While some gaming-focused features might be slightly toned down, the ROG Phone 8 Pro offers a perfect balance between exceptional gaming performance and everyday functionality. It’s the ideal choice for gamers who also want a powerful and versatile phone for everything else they do.

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2. Nubia RedMagic 9 Pro

Best Phones for Emulation

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Nubia RedMagic 9 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.8 inches | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | OS: Android 14 | Refresh Rate: 120Hz | RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Front Camera:  16MP | Rear Cameras:  50MP, 50MP, 2MP | Size: 164 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm | Weight: 229g | Battery: 6500mAh

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Top-notch performance
  • Long battery
  • Unique design
  • Improved software

Cons

  • Average main camera

Nubia’s RedMagic line continues its legacy of top-tier performance at competitive prices with the RedMagic 9 Pro. This powerhouse boasts the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, ensuring ultra-smooth gameplay and unbeatable responsiveness.

But the RedMagic 9 Pro goes beyond raw power. A dedicated gaming mode, integrated RGB cooling fan, and a blistering 520Hz touch response rate display create a lag-free, immersive experience. Precise control is guaranteed with the phone’s capacitive shoulder buttons.

While the feature-rich RedMagic software might not be for everyone, it caters specifically to gamers with its suite of helpful tools. The combination of unmatched performance and a competitive price tag makes the RedMagic 9 Pro a compelling choice for serious mobile gamers who won’t compromise.

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3. Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate 

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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4. 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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5. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Best Phones for Emulation

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus Key Specifications

Display: 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 120Hz (LTPO) | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | OS: Android 14 | RAM: 12GB  | Storage: 128GB/256GB/1TB | Front Cameras: 12MP | Rear Cameras: 200MP, 50MP, 10MP, 12MP | Size: 162.3 x 79 x 8.6 mm | Weight: 233 g | Battery: 5000 mAh

Pros

  • Outstanding performance
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Excellent cameras
  • Durable design
  • Impressive display

Cons

  • Pricey

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is packed with the latest technology and features to elevate your mobile experience.

Tucked inside the S24 Ultra is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor.  This processor within the S24 Ultra is a powerhouse. It outperforms even the iPhone 15 Pro in some benchmarks, especially graphics. Unlike other S24 models, every S24 Ultra globally comes equipped with this top-of-the-line chip, guaranteeing best-in-class Android performance.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is not just powerful, it’s efficient too. The S24 Ultra delivers an impressive 16 hours and 45 minutes of battery life on a single charge. While wired charging remains at 45W, it still provides a fast and reliable way to keep you powered up.

Elsewhere, the S24 Ultra boasts innovative Galaxy AI features. Translate languages, transcribe conversations, and get automatic summaries – all powered by on-device artificial intelligence. Tools like “Circle to Search” and note auto-formatting seamlessly integrate into your daily routine, making the S24 Ultra an AI powerhouse.

Now to the camera system. While the telephoto lens may seem like a downgrade on paper, the 50MP sensor captures stunning 5x zoom photos. And with the ability to crop 50MP images, you can still achieve impressive 10x zoom results. Plus, the 100x Space Zoom remains unmatched. Overall, the S24 Ultra delivers superior camera performance with improved color accuracy.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a worthy splurge for a seamless and speedy mobile experience. Highly recommended.

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6. Google Pixel 8 Pro

best phones for emulation

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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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7.  OnePlus 12

Best Phones for Emulation

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OnePlus 12 Key Specifications

Display: 6.82 inches | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 | OS: Android 14 | RAM: 12GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Front Camera:  32MP | Rear Cameras:  50MP, 64MP, 48MP | Size: 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm | Weight: 220g | Battery: 5400mAh

Pros

  • Excellent display
  • Long battery life
  • Powerful performance
  • Super-fast charging

Cons

  • Slippery curved frame

OnePlus is aiming to reclaim its position as the king of value-driven flagships with the OnePlus 12. Its starting price undercuts competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and Google Pixel 8 Pro while offering a compelling package.

The phone boasts a large, smooth 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, a massive 5400mAh battery for all-day use, and a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor to handle anything you throw at it. The camera system, while not the absolute best, features a competent 50MP main lens and two additional lenses. Plus, OnePlus throws in a sweet $100 discount for trading in any old phone, making the deal even more attractive.

But the true star of the show is the charging. The 80W wired charging can take the phone from near dead to 50% in just 10 minutes, with a full charge taking less than 30 minutes. OnePlus has also finally added 50W wireless charging, a feature missing from last year’s model.

Overall, the OnePlus 12 offers a well-rounded flagship experience with top-of-the-line specs, super fast wired and wireless charging, and a more affordable price tag than most competitors. It might not be the absolute best in every area, but it delivers excellent value for the money.

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8. Google Pixel 7 (Budget Pick)

Best Phones for Emulation

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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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9. Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick)

best phones for emulation

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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 8 Pro (Best Option) Check Price on Amazon
2 Nubia RedMagic 9 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Check Price on Amazon
4 Black Shark 5 Pro Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
6 Google Pixel 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
7 OnePlus 12 Check Price on Amazon
8 Google Pixel 7 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon

 

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