How to Choose the Best Smartphone for Mobile Gaming

Mobile phones have evolved far beyond being basic call and text devices. With the rise of smartphones, these devices have become extremely powerful and can serve a myriad of uses — from creating presentations, to editing entire movies. Of course, the innovation of phones has paved the way for the rise of mobile gaming too. Moreover, mobile gaming has become even more popular, now that people are mostly stuck inside due to the pandemic.

That being said, if you’re planning to look for a phone to fulfill your mobile gaming needs, here are a few features you should look out for:

High-quality display

There are two aspects of the display you should be aware of: resolution and panel type. Resolution is simple — the higher, the better. The highest resolution you can get so far is the Ultra High Definition (UHD), which is 2160p or 4K, but it isn’t very common. The next best screen resolution is the Quad High Definition (QHD), which equals 1440p or 2K.

For the panel type, AMOLED screens would offer the best visuals for gaming as it has faster pixel response times, meaning it has high refresh rates. For one, the Sony Xperia 1 II has a 21:9 aspect ratio and a 6.5-inch 4K-resolution screen, so any game you play will be vibrant and sharp.

A powerful GPU

The graphics processing unit, or GPU for short, is one of the most vital components when it comes to high-performing smartphones, as it makes your phone able to handle fast and complex graphics. This capacity for a seamless mobile gaming experience is driven by innovations in printed circuit boards — which serve as the foundation for a device’s internal parts. 

Metal core PCBs, in particular, are what make heavy-duty gaming possible, since they are built to prevent overheating and lags that can happen during long hours of gaming. Some of the best GPUs on the market today are the A14 Bionic’s GPU found in Apple’s iPhone 12 and Adreno 660 in the Realme GT 5G.

Enough RAM capacity

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is how much data your device has active and ready for use. Essentially, the RAM is what allows you to pick up where you left off in your game, without having to reload the entire app or lose your progress. Normally, 4 GB is enough for basic games, but the heavier memory users will need more.

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra is the first phone to have 16 GB of RAM, passing even the average laptop in memory capacity. Another example is the ASUS ROG Phone 3, which also has 16 GB of RAM. You could probably run three games at a time without any noticeable slowdown with this amount of memory.

Efficient cooling system

Gaming is very resource-intensive and can cause your phone to overheat, endangering the lifespan of different components of your phone. Manufacturers can install either internal fans or a liquid cooling system to combat the heat.

On that note, the Black Shark 3 has a “sandwich” liquid cooling system that improves cooling efficiency by 50%. Its predecessor, the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 is unique, since it has its own cooling case with advanced thermals and smart connectivity so you can toggle between cooling modes. Meanwhile, Nubia’s Red Magic 3 has both a liquid cooling copper heat pipe and an internal cooling fan, making the heat transfer performance five times better than other cooling methods.

Gaming isn’t always the first consideration for companies when they manufacture a smartphone, so it can be quite difficult to find a model that has the perfect specs for you. However, there are a few out there that are perfect for serious gamers.


Written by Sophie Blake

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