The smartphone has lived up to its name. There are plenty of things you can do with it on a daily basis. One of the most popular activities is gaming. A survey of smartphone users found that people used their phones for gaming even more than they did for making calls, texting or listening to music. That said, when it comes to gaming, not all smartphones are created equal.
If you are a hardcore gamer, you want a phone that has the features to make your playing experience fun. The following is a look at four smartphones that do measure up. We’ll focus on Android phones since the ecosystem has a far more diverse range of models (thus making it hard to choose) than the iPhone/iOS universe.
Note that gamer-ready phones are a target for thieves so always remember to use an IMEI checker before the purchase to confirm that it’s truly brand new and not stolen.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have large screens with impressive resolution (2960 x 1440). The processor speed and RAM size are also a perfect fit for the most heavy duty phone games. For VR gamers, the Samsung Gear VR can extend your experience beyond the phone screen. There are plans to add Google Daydream View VR headset support via a software update.
The S8 and S8 Plus have an enhanced version of Samsung Game Tools which allows games to be played in full screen mode as opposed to the letterboxed default. Game Tools also enables players to easily take screenshots, record gameplay or disable notification popups.
OnePlus 5 is a reasonable alternative for persons keen on a gaming-friendly phone but who are unable or unwilling to spend on a pricey phone like the Samsung S8 just yet. The OnePlus 5 has a nice balance of processing power and battery life.
The 1920 x 1080 resolution of the 5.5-inch display will suffice for most gamers. The Snapdragon platform has the performance power to handle graphically rich Android games. A single battery charge can last a full day. The Gaming Do Not Disturb (DND) mode mutes pop up notifications while you play.
Motorola Moto Z Play
The Moto Z Play may not have the high-end features of the above two smartphone models but it has one crucial attribute that’s crucial for mobile gamers: battery life. The 3,510 mAh battery can run for up to two days on a single charge. Whereas battery life will drop faster during heavy gaming, it still exceeds many smartphone models in the market.
Another factor in the Moto Z Play that’ll appeal to gamers is its compatibility with the snap-on Moto Mods accessories. That includes the GamePad which attaches user friendly control sticks to your phone allowing you to really get in on the action. You can also add the D-pad and tactile action buttons powered by a separate 1,035 mAh battery that further extends game time.
LG X Power
This is the entry-level hard core gamer’s phone. With 16 GB internal storage, 1.5 GB RAM, 5.3-inch screen and 1280 x 720 screen resolution, the LG X Power specs are probably those of the average smartphone. The external design feels like a throwback to the plastic casing that was widespread a couple of years ago.
However, what the X Power fails to achieve in its standard features is well compensated in battery power. It’s called X Power for a reason: a monstrous 4,100 mAh battery that’s a gamer’s dream. That and it’s fairly affordable price tag makes it a great place to start if you are on a tight budget.
It’s difficult to find any smartphone that will tick all the checkboxes of gaming requirements. Tradeoffs are inevitable as some features will come at the expense of other vital phone functions.
The best example of this is processing power and battery life. The greater the processing power, the more energy required and therefore the shorter the battery life. You must strike the right balance. For best results, create a list of the things you want in a phone then prioritize features you consider more important to you than the rest.