Smartphones have become so advanced across the board that the differences between them are really becoming quite subtle. Sure, various high-end devices will look and feel different from one another. But in terms of power, features, and capability, the lines are blurring for many average users. Yet, one area in which the phone you use still makes a very clear difference is mobile gaming.
From a phone’s operating system and processor, to the display and sound quality, and even the app markets a phone has access to, there are a number of major factors that impact a user’s gaming experience. But here’s a look at four of the finest smartphones on the market for mobile gaming enthusiasts, as well as some of the best games you can use to take full advantage of the perks.
The LG G2, against all odds, has become one of the best smartphones on the market, and it is probably a bit more of a powerhouse than most give it credit for. It’s also particularly great for gamers. The 5.2” 1080p screen delivers great quality for gaming images, and the Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU will keep up with the most advanced games in the Android market. But the top perk offered by the LG G2 for gamers is its 3000mAh battery, which as Gazelle notes will “have you gaming all day and all night.”
For this reason, the greatest games to pair with the LG G2 are the ones that typically drain the battery. To some extent this just depends on what you play most, but some popular games that tend to eat up your battery life include Temple Run, Candy Crush Saga, and Super Stickman Golf 2. I’m always shocked when relatively simple options like these (at least in terms of graphics and animation) annihilate the battery, but that’s just what they do, and the problem is less severe on an LG G2.
HTC One Max
I’ll start this section with a caveat: for sheer power and user experience overall, there are a few better options that aren’t on this list. Namely, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is an exceptional phone for gaming, with a uniquely large screen and the most advanced internal specs. But I’m more interested in phones that offer specific perks to gamers. In this regard, the HTC One Max has one distinct advantage: its much-advertised front-facing “BoomSound” speakers make this an awesome phone to use for games enriched by sound. The Snapdragon 600 processor is now slightly outdated, but the 5.9” 1080p display, coupled with the outstanding sound quality, more than make up for it.
There are lots of games that are better with great sound quality, but I’d point you specifically toward the “horror” genre that’s expanding. Specifically, The Room and its sequel are incredible options on the HTC One Max. Both are atmospheric masterpieces that will look stunning on the Max’s screen and also depend on sound to a great extent.
Google Nexus 5
The Nexus 5 and its 4.95” HD display are ideal for avid gamers for a number of different reasons. To begin with, as is the case with all the phones on this list, its horsepower can keep up with just about anything you throw at it. The Snapdragon 800 processor and Android 4.4 KitKat inside the phone will keep all of your games running smoothly at top speed, and naturally the Android app market is a big plus.
The Nexus 5 is recommended for mobile gamers who like to collect a variety of games. The 32 GB storage option lets you pack about as many gaming options as you can into this one, and the phone’s raw power won’t be a letdown no matter how many games you try or how often you play.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The S5’s features are enough to get any gaming fan excited, and that’s especially true when it comes to the absolutely gorgeous screen. It comes in at a stunning 5.1 inches, which is obviously not quite as big as a few other phones on this list. However, the display is really just something to behold in terms of vibrance, colours, and the rate at which everything is displayed. Truly, it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a Samsung fan.
With that in mind, you’ll want to stray toward the more visually minded games out there to truly take advantage of what the S5 has to offer. Dead Runner is definitely one of those with its remarkable graphics on really any device you choose to play it on. But in terms of showcasing bright animations, look to the options on gaming platform BetFair. Although they don’t have an Android app—yet!—developer Playtech has taken a particular liking to bringing characters from the Marvel and DC Comics universes to life through slots. Other fare is impressive to the eye, too, but the comic book-theme games are where the animation shines.
While there are plenty of options not included that are perfectly great for mobile gaming, but these are truly the best when it comes to a high-quality experience.