10 Best Phones for Emulation in 2024 – Budget Android Phones

best phones for emulation

This guide x-rays the best phones for emulation. We’ve made the best selections for you after comparing and researching lots of smartphones available on the market.

Our top picks for the best phones for emulation ship with the latest processors. Additionally, our recommendations boast excellent refresh rates and have ample RAM, and storage. These Android phones are suitable for GameCube and Wii games.

From Asus to Samsung, we look at the best phones for emulation in greater depth.

Best Phones for Emulation at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (Editors’ Choice)  Check Price on Amazon
2 Nubia Red Magic 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
4 OnePlus 11 Check Price on Amazon
5 Google Pixel 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
6 Black Shark 5 Pro Check Price on Amazon
7 OnePlus 10 Pro (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon
8 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Budget Pick)  Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy S21 (Budget Pick)   Check Price on Amazon
10 Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick)  Check Price on Amazon

 

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1. Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (Editors’ Choice)

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For some, the best gaming phone is the fastest phone — pricing be damned! Asus’ ROG Phone 7 Ultimate caters to this category of users. It packs as much oomph as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Right now, our absolute favorite gaming phone is the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, which also leads our list of the best phones for emulation.

The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is a gaming phone that brings significant improvements in its design, internals, and software. It inherits several features of its predecessor, Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro, including an LED indicator, 6,000-mAh battery, and a 720Hz touch sampling rate. However, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has upgraded to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, new software features, and a hidden door called the AeroActive portal that opens with the included AeroActive Cooler 7 fan.

Asus’ Phone 7 Ultimate comes with a commitment of two years of software updates and four years of security updates, and it also includes a background mode feature to run automatic tasks while playing games. Although the phone lacks wireless charging, it offers a speedy wired 65-watt charging system, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage space.

What’s more, the phone’s cooling system is a priority, whether using the AeroActive Cooler attachment or not. However, the accessory can be uncomfortable when playing touchscreen-heavy games, but it has programmable buttons and LED lights on it, and a kickstand for using a Bluetooth game controller.

Overall, the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate prioritizes gaming over other features. If you’re on the market for an impressive gaming phone for emulation, this should be your first port of call.

PROS

  • Outstanding display
  • Very fast performance
  • Impressive cooling system
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Pricey

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

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2. Nubia RedMagic 8 Pro

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The RedMagic 8 Pro boasts exceptional value with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, offering top-notch performance at an unbeatable price point. It outshines its counterparts, starting at a price point that is less than the competition, while still offering premium features such as 65W charging and up to 16GB RAM. Additionally, it has some distinct and useful features like a cooling fan and a plethora of in-game software tools.

Although the RedMagic 8 Pro is built on Android 13, its gaming-centric enhancements and features go above and beyond Google’s standard phone software. A standout feature is the inclusion of 520Hz capacitive triggers, which can be customized on a per-game basis to activate specific areas of the touchscreen.

The RedMagic 8 Pro boasts RedMagic’s distinctive feature – the inbuilt cooling fan, which has been improved. This is one of the best phones for emulation. Period.

PROS

  • Fast performance
  • Ample gaming features
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Good internal fan

CONS

  • Poor cameras

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

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3. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

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The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra made waves as the best Android phone in 2022, and the newly released Galaxy S23 Ultra is poised to repeat the feat in 2023. Based on its testing, the device boasts a winning combination of a stunning display, powerful camera, and an S Pen stylus for creative expression.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out for its high-resolution 200MP camera and its 256GB storage, which is double that of the previous year’s model. The phone is also equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which provides top-notch gaming performance.

The redesigned form factor is more ergonomic and easier to grip, making it ideal for note-taking and sketching. Despite its premium features and unbeatable performance, the S23 Ultra is not cheap. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate Android phone for emulation, the Galaxy S23 Ultra should be near the top of your list. 

PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Very good cameras
  • Fast performance
  • Ample storage
  • Integrated S Pen
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Pricey

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

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4. OnePlus 11

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Another outstanding Android phone for emulation that is well worth your while is the OnePlus 11. This phone comes loaded with features that make it worth the investment.

The 6.7-inch AMOLED 120Hz display is spacious and offers clear visuals, while the 5,000mAh battery ensures long hours of use without having to constantly plug it in. The triple camera setup, anchored by a 50MP main lens, is another standout feature, along with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.

Its beefy internals aside, the OnePlus 11 has several selling points, and one of them is its price tag.

Another feature that sets the OnePlus 11 apart from its competitors is its lightning-fast charging speed. When it runs dry, can juice the phone back up in 30 minutes.

PROS

  • Great display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Fast charging in 30 minutes
  • Decent cameras
  • Good pricing
  • Up to five years of software updates
  • Long battery life

CONS

  • No wireless charging
  • Only splash-resistant, not dunk-resistant

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

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5. Google Pixel 8 Pro

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The Pixel 8 Pro is Google’s most ambitious Pixel yet, featuring serious camera upgrades satisfying professional photographers. It boasts a Tensor G3 chipset tailored for Google’s machine learning features.

With regard to design, it has rounded corners and a flat display enhance grip and content visibility. The finish is aesthetically pleasing with classy and inviting colors.

The Pixel 8 Pro’s display, branded as Super Actua, outshines the iPhone 15 Pro Max with peak brightness of 2,400 nits.

While handling games and graphics well, it may not surpass competitors like the iPhone 15 Pro or older Android phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The Pixel 8 Pro boasts a larger battery than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, ensuring a full day of use.

Google promises an unprecedented seven years of major updates, surpassing industry standards. Are we recommending the Google Pixel 8 Pro? Yes, of course. It wouldn’t have made the list if we weren’t happy with it. 

PROS

  • Impressive camera quality
  • Advanced AI features
  • Sleek design
  • High-quality display
  • Smooth performance
  • Fast charging capability 

CONS

  • Minimal design changes

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

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6. Black Shark 5 Pro

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The Black Shark 5 Pro stands out as a true gaming powerhouse, delivering exceptional performance without breaking the bank. Powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and backed by a whopping 12GB of RAM, this device effortlessly tackles high-end games at their maximum graphics settings, ensuring a smooth and immersive gaming experience.

Taking gaming to the next level, the phone incorporates pop-up physical triggers that can be personalized for in-game functions, essentially turning it into an all-in-one gaming controller. This innovative feature enhances the overall gaming experience, catering perfectly to the demands of passionate gamers.

However, it’s essential to be aware that the Black Shark 5 Pro tends to heat up during prolonged gaming sessions, and there is room for improvement in terms of battery life. Despite these minor drawbacks, its robust gaming capabilities make it an excellent choice for gaming enthusiasts who are always on the move.

PROS

  • Powerful performance
  • Impressive display
  • Advanced gaming features
  • Large battery capacity
  • Innovative cooling system

CONS

  • High price tag
  • Heavy and bulky design
  • Limited availability
  • No wireless charging

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

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7. One Plus 10 Pro (Budget Pick)

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Suddenly feeling like your OnePlus 9 Pro is a bit old? The Chinese phone maker has replaced it in the range with the OnePlus 10 Pro. The OnePlus 10 Pro is not going to be a hit with everyone, but, oh, man, it is one of the best Android phones on the market right now.

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 10 Pro has a very gorgeous 6.7-inch, 120Hz display.

The OnePlus 10 Pro is loaded up the impressive Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and OnePlus’ version of Android 12. The base model ships with 128GB of storage. You can also opt for models equipped with 256GB or 512GB of storage.

You’ll find three rear cameras on the 10 Pro, including a 48MP main camera, 50MP ultrawide, and 8MP telephoto sensor. The front holds a 32MP selfie sensor. For raw photography power, the cameras are good, but lag slightly behind the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

A minor but here, is mostly to do with the unavailability of 5G on the AT&T’s 5G network. Support for 5G on AT&T may or may not come in the future.

On the plus side, the OnePlus 10’s 5,000mAh battery life is fantastic. It will certainly last you through a full day of web browsing, calls, and other light use without visiting a wall plug. Then there’s support for fast charging. Plus, you get a charger in the box.

Overall, this is the best OnePlus phone – and one of the best Android phones period. If you want a Pro phone for emulation without breaking the bank, the OnePlus 10 Pro is your best bet.

PROS

  • First-rate design
  • Beautiful display
  • Excellent cameras
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Fast performance
  • Fast charging feature
  • Good price
  • Charger in the box


CONS

  • No 5G on AT&T
  • No auto Night Mode

OnePlus 10 Pro Key Specifications

Display: 6.7 inches, Fluid AMOLED, 3168 x 1440 pixels
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
OS: Android 12, OxygenOS 12.1
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Front Camera: 32 MP
Rear Cameras: 50 MP, 48 MP, 8 MP
Size: 163 x 73.9 x 8.6 mm
Weight: 0.44 pound (201 g)
Battery: 5000 mAh

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8. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Budget Pick)

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The Galaxy S20 FE features a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display and comes with either a Snapdragon 865. The device is available with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The battery capacity is 4,500mAh, ensuring sufficient power for everyday usage.

In terms of design, the Galaxy S20 FE features a glass front with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, a plastic back, and an aluminum frame. It is available in various color options, offering users a choice of personalization.

The device supports dual SIM functionality in the form of either a hybrid SIM slot or a dedicated single SIM slot, depending on the model. It also includes features such as IP68 dust and water resistance, providing durability and protection for everyday use.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE offers solid performance, a vibrant display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a powerful camera system, all at an affordable price point.

PROS

  • High-quality display
  • Powerful performance
  • Long battery life
  • Android version updates and warranty
  • Wide range of colors

CONS

  • Inconsistent low-light camera performance

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Key Specifications

Display: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
OS: Android 10, upgradable to Android 13
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
RAM: 6GB/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Front Camera: 32MP
Rear Cameras: 12MP, 12MP, 8MP
Size: 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm
Weight: 190g
Battery: 4500mAh

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Best Budget Android Phones for Emulation

The Samsung Galaxy S21, and Samsung Galaxy A54 are very good budget Android phones for emulation worth mentioning.

9. Samsung Galaxy S21 (Budget Pick)

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PROS

  • Affordable flagship
  • Top-tier performance
  • Sleek design
  • Long-lasting battery

CONS

  • No microSD support
  • No charger included

Samsung Galaxy S21 Key Specifications

Display: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
OS: Android 11, upgradable to Android 13
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Front Camera: 10MP
Rear Cameras: 64MP, 12MP, 12MP
Size: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 169g
Battery: 4000mAh

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10. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G (Budget Pick)

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PROS

  • Updated design
  • Affordable
  • Premium Display
  • 5G Connectivity
  • Good Cameras
  • Excellent battery life

CONS

  • Charging speed could be better
  • Average performance

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 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

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No. Item  
1 Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (Editors’ Choice)  Check Price on Amazon
2 Nubia Red Magic 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Check Price on Amazon
4 OnePlus 11 Check Price on Amazon
5 Google Pixel 8 Pro Check Price on Amazon
6 Black Shark 5 Pro Check Price on Amazon
7 OnePlus 10 Pro (Budget Pick) Check Price on Amazon
8 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Budget Pick)  Check Price on Amazon
9 Samsung Galaxy S21 (Budget Pick)   Check Price on Amazon
10 Samsung Galaxy A54 (Budget Pick)  Check Price on Amazon

 

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Bottom Line

We’ve reviewed the best phones for emulation. Our selections come with the latest processors which are plenty fast. In addition, the phones have a generous amount of storage and RAM.

These phones are highly recommended and will provide a great bang for your buck.