With mobile gaming growing at a number so big it makes my brain hurt… a new kid has arrived on the block!
His name? The dedicated gaming smartphone!
On a recent trip to Asia… I saw just how popular mobile gaming had become! In every coffee shop, shopping mall and just about anywhere with a high-speed WiFi connection you’d find packs of serious looking kids… necks bent at 90 degrees… hyper-focus on their faces…
Why? because mobile gaming has got so damn good in the last 2 years. Even your basic mid-range smartphone can handle a 3D FPS online multiplier game.
Today’s flagships smartphones look like last generations consoles, and they’re only getting better!
Also, the vast increase of MOBA styles games has managed addict even the most unsuspecting casual gamer and turn them into bent necked adrenaline pumped touchscreen bashing enthusiasts!
All of the above leads us to the next conclusion! When the markets increase so does the demand for high-end hardware within that market.
So let’s find out… What are the best dedicated gaming smartphones available right now!?
First off, to be classed a dedicated gaming smartphone, it’ll need to have the latest in mobile graphics, be sporting a top-end mobile processor and finally have an epic (ideally 120Hz) mobile display.
From day 1, Razer has been on a mission to create high-end gaming solutions. Starting out with their Razer Edge gaming tablet in 2011, then moving on to high-powered gaming laptops.
It’s their latest venture that we’re interested in though… the Razer Phone.
Featuring dual-front firing Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, a 4000mAh battery and a 120Hz 5.7 inch Sharp IGZO display panel… it really is something else!
No stone is left unturned as Razer has also added WiFi AC standard to keep your connection super stable as well as including Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging.
As a gamer… The Razer Phone is the best option out there in terms of high-end features and gameplay experience.
Battery Life: Good
Xiaomi Black Shark
Xiaomi is everywhere, making literally everything in tech. So it’s no surprise with China’s mobile gaming market being the biggest in the world… that Xiaomi would help bring a gaming smartphone to the masses.
So what does the Black Shark bring to the gaming table?
It’s running the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, but it has a trick up its sleeve! To get the edge over other flagships running the same chip, Xiaomi has added liquid cooling to the Black Shark phone.
You heard me right… a technology once only found on high-end overclocked gaming rigs has now trickled down into a 5.99 inch smartphone.
Love Xiaomi? Never Heard of Xiaomi? Check out The Best Xiaomi Smartphones – 2018 Edition
Xiaomi claims this will lower peak performance temps by 8 degrees and give you up to 70% more time at full throttle… impressive.
It also features an independent image processing chip made by Pixelwork to improve the image quality in-game. This works by adding details to darker scenes and increasing gameplay smoothness.
While it may not feature the advanced front firing speakers of the Razer Phone above, its still rocking dual speakers plus comes with a dedicated gaming mic.
The 5.99 inch display has a bright 550 nit rating, 93% DCI-P3 Colour Gamut but only has a HD+ display (2160×1080) giving it a PPI of 403. No high frame-rate or high-Hz panel to be found here though.
It’s a gaming smartphone you’ll want to keep an eye on, but, unless Xiaomi has plans for an international version, it won’t be widely available in Europe or the US.
Battery Life: Good
Nubia Red Magic
Oh hell yeah! The Red Magic gaming phone features an RGB strip down the back of the phone. #likefliestothelight the gamers will come!
Nubia put together the team for the Red Magic smartphone to jump on the booming mobile gaming market. Let’s take a look at the specs.
Looking at performance, it’s using last years flagship CPU, the Snapdragon 835 + Adreno 540 mobile graphics. To keep this chip pumping at full capacity, Nubia has implemented a three-layer three-grill cooling system as well as coating the inside of the Red Magic with heat absorbent material.
Backing this up is 128GB’s of seriously fast UFS2.1 2-LANE Storage and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM.
So what unique gaming features does the Nubia Red Magic have?
Apart from the advanced cooling, it features 2×2 Dual Antenna MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 5 and support for DAC high-quality audio.
Looking at the Red Magic display… we find that the Razer Phone still has the top spot with that glorious 120Hz panel. The Red Magic uses a high-contrast HD+ 2160×1080 display using post processing to smooth frame-rates and enhance the picture.
Finally, one of the biggest things the Red Magic has going for it… is the price-tag. Pre-orders for the phone are starting at an early bird price of 399 USD / 280 GBP.
Battery Life: Good
Should you buy a dedicated gaming smartphone?
It’s a difficult decision… if you’re like me then the mouthwatering specs and high Hertz displays are enough to make you think… I REALLY REALLY NEED THIS PHONE!
But put your thinking cap back on. With all new technology… there’s a learning curve for game makers and developers. The amount of games that you can play at these high frame-rates is going to be limited to begin.
Another element to consider is how fast the mobile hardware market moves. Unless you’re a serious game freak :D or have money to burn… it might be best to wait for the 2nd gen of gaming smartphones to be released.
Let the early adopters iron out the kinks for you…
Is it the right time to buy a dedicated gaming smartphone? Or should you wait a year or two? Let me know!