Disclaimer: This article is not to prove that all gaming phones suck but at the same time that it is completely pointless to make or buy one.
Here are six reasons why you should not a gaming phone.
1) Same chipset like regular phones.
Firstly, every Android phone basically uses the same chip anyway. In the case of PC, when you go out and buy a gaming PC you know that you’re getting a machine that prioritizes GPU performance so the games run better but with a phone that’s just not the case.
If you have a flagship phone in 2019 you’re pretty much going to be packing the Snapdragon 855 and in this chip, the CPU and the GPU are fixed.
It’s not like gaming phone manufacturers like Razer could look at it and be like okay we’re going to add 30% more graphics cores to this so that our gaming phone is actually better at gaming.
2) Minimal Performance Improvement.
The annoying part about gaming phone is that even though these gaming phones are using the same chips with other regular smartphones, these companies try to make their phones look more powerful and the way they go about doing this is wasteful, inefficient and also kind of misleading.
Take the Asus ROG phone, for example, this is marketed as having an overclocked chip for maximum performance but all they’ve actually done is changed the clock speed of four of the eight CPU cores and then suggested that you use an external fan to help bring the temperatures back down.
And guess what, the overclocked speed is a 2.96GHz which makes it a 0.16 GHz overclock from basically every other phone.
Also, when you also factor in that they’ve overclocked the CPU and not the GPU which is what might actually increase gaming frame rates, you end up with a worse gaming performance than the iPhone XS and the phone still manages to look clean and sophisticated.
3) RAM MAnagement.
You’ve got the fact that companies like Xiaomi and other gaming phone producers are starting to add 10 GB of RAM to the gaming phones.
The problem with that is by the time Android is properly using 10GB of RAM, the rest of the hardware is going to be well out of date.
4) They are made at a cost.
I could completely deal with the above issues if it weren’t for the fact that these phones are not built practically.
You would agree with me that they look cool to a certain demographic but with every gaming smartphone I’ve held the aggressive design language has come at the cost.
These companies ditch the soft curves that help phones fit so nicely in our hands and replaced them with flat angular edges, not to mention LEDs that you can’t even see while you’re using the phone and just end up wasting battery.
Generally speaking, nobody has a separate phone for gaming. You have one phone that you want to be able to use for everything so it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice on other important things you’ll use your phone for like taking photos and videos.
I’m yet to use a camera on a gaming phone and be like that takes really great photos and it’s considered okay because, well, cameras aren’t the priority here but the problem is that your camera experience ends up suffering a lot more than your gaming experience is elevated so you’re just getting a worse phone.
5) The Support.
These gaming phones are not selling in the millions sometimes not even in the hundreds of thousands and that makes them ultra niche devices.
This brings a whole new set of problems. Game developers will not optimize games specifically for your phone and when something goes wrong good luck finding specific bug fixes and you’re most probably going to run into compatibility issues.
Even when games do work, the chance that they will take advantage of your high refresh rate or surround sound speakers or ultrasonic pressure sensors is very slim and then maybe most importantly we have the fact that mobile games don’t need it.
6) Alternative features.
Given that we’re not really getting any extra performance with a gaming phone. These companies have had to make what I’d call alternative features which is why we’re seeing things like two separate USB charging ports on the same phone, one millisecond response times and super high screen refresh rates.
The clunkiness of using your fingers on a touchscreen means that the difference between 1MS, 5MS and 1MS is not going to affect gameplay in the slightest way.
It feels like a 90Hz or even a 120Hz display does add something tangible, they make a phone feel much more fluid but that’s one of those things that isn’t limited to gaming phones and I’m pretty sure in 2019 standard flagship phones will also have high refresh rate displays. Kind of like how we’ve seen on the productivity-focused iPad Pro.
The Razer phone houses awesome speakers but again that’s not something that’s reserved to gaming phones. Recent devices from Samsung and Apple have pretty similar performance and are examples of phones that do it all.
It is true that the ROG phone especially can do a lot more than standard flagships because of the accessories they sell with it but after having spent over a month with it now I just can’t see the viability of it.
How many people will spend two hundred dollars for a gaming phone that lets them play a phone game on their TV or three hundred dollars for a device that gives you two displays? It’s cool don’t get me wrong but it’s just really impractical.