To say PubG Mobile is the most popular game right now in India would be an understatement. The multiplayer battle-royale game where 100 players shoot and kill each other to be the last man standing has caught on like wildfire. While this is hardly the best designed mobile game, the primary reason for the game’s infectious popularity is the ability to play the gmae on just about any smartphone. Albeit in a lower graphics settings, PubG Mobile runs on entry-level phones, all the way to the premium flagships where you get the best experience. In India, however, the mid-range segment is the most popular with most phones under Rs 20,000 offering decently powerful performance, just enough to play games like PubG Mobile and even excel at it.
If you are in the market to buy a budget smartphone mainly for playing PubG Mobile, there are some great options to choose from. Let’s take a look:
The Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 was a quick successor to the previous stock-Android mid-ranger by the Taiwanese giant, and it makes a strong argument at being one of the best phones for gaming in the mid-range segment. With 6GB RAM and a Snapdragon 660 processor, it has enough resources to handle long hours of gaming, especially intensive titles like PubG Mobile. On GameBench, the Max Pro M2 delivered stable frame rates of 26FPS with little lags. While that’s not the max PubG Mobile FPS can go, it’s enough to play competitively online. The 5,000mAh battery makes the Zenfone Max Pro M2 last longer than most mid-rangers while gaming.
The Poco F1 may look like an average mid-ranger from the outside, but under the hood is a flagship Snapdragon 845 which has been the best chipset for mobile gaming so far. The base variant of the phone which is priced at Rs 17,999 has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is enough to run PuBG Mobile at the highest graphics settings. On GameBench, we registered 40 FPS while the stability was at a high 98 percent. More than that, the phone has a dedicated cooling system that draw heat away from the CPU so that longer hours of gaming doesn’t hamper the performance. There’s also a large 4,000mAh battery that easily lets you play for hours without depleting the battery. The reason we're not calling the Poco F1 the best for playing PUBG Mobile is because the phone has been plagued by touch and display issues. Furthermore, the design of the phone is now outdated with bezel-less phones making their way to the Indian market.
The Vivo Z1 Pro is the official smartphone for the PUBG Mobile Club Open championship and as such, it comes with some nifty features specially made for the phone. For one, you get haptic feedback while playing and thanks to an in-built game mode, there's a tournament mode which optimises the performance and network, blocks calls and notifications and even gives you unique features like voice-changing and countdown waiting, along with a training center to get a better idea of gunfire sounds and footsteps. As for the hardware under the hood, you get the Snapdragon 712 paired with up to 6GB RAM, which is good enough to run PUBG Mobile in medium graphics. In our test, the Vivo Z1 Pro also clocked 30 FPS with 95 percent stability, which is in line with what the best mid-rangers offer.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro sets a benchmark in mid-range performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 under the hood. Interestingly, the Snapdragon 675 has been made keeping gaming capabilties in mind and as such, the phone offers an excellent experience while playing PUBG Mobile. We recorded stable frame rates of 30FPS on GameBench while playing PUBG Mobile with a high 96 percent stability. The game also runs in High graphics settings by default, and the textures appear far richer than most other mid-range phones. The phone is also optimised to handle PUBG Mobile better according to Xiaomi. On top of that, with a 4,000mAh battery and up to 6GB of RAM, this is one of the best phones to play PUBG Mobile.
The best smartphone to play PUBG Mobile for under Rs 20,000 is the Realme X. It's a Snapdragon 710-powered all-screen device that comes with special optimisations for the game. The smartphone features a bezel-less AMOLED display without a notch eating into the screen which makes for a better experience while playing. The phone also comes with Gamespace, Oppo's optimised game carousel which houses your games and lets you switch between normal and competitive mode. In the latter, the phone frees up resources, boosts the performance and blocks calls and notifications from popping up while playing. In our labs, we clocked 30 FPS on PUBG Mobile with 95 percent stability. Thing to note here is that while PUBG Mobile will run smoothly without any hitches, you won't be able to play at 60 FPS which is present only in flagship phones right now. The reason we rate the Realme X as a better phone for playing PUBG Mobile over the Redmi Note 7 Pro is because of the presence of a dedicated game mode and a bezel-less AMOLED display, even when the FPS stability is near-about the same.