PC gamers have a lot more choice than their console-playing cousins, thanks to the open-system nature of the format. While a PlayStation owner can buy a third-party skin or a different colored controller, a PC gamer can build a custom machine in a case of their choosing, filled with components that meet their needs and budget, and then augment it over time with new features.
In the early 1990s, gaming PCs were just like any other type of home computer. They were beige boxes that plugged into beige monitors and used beige keyboards and mice as input devices.
That all changed when Alienware began making brightly-colored cases like the Area 51 Predator 1 that used cooling fins styled to look like an alien’s face. This created an entire subculture in the PC gaming market as tech-savvy players began to seek out machines that were powerful and also looked futuristic and menacing. This led to the addition of LED lights, cold-cathode tubes, giant fans, liquid cooling systems, and giant cases that could house huge graphics cards.
Some of the biggest companies involved in this sector have also ventured into the rapidly growing mobile gaming market. They hypothesize that if gamers are willing to spend extra on computer components that give them an edge when they play video games, they will also be willing to do the same for a smartphone.
This has led to the launch of devices like the REDMAGIC 6 Pro, the ASUS ROG Phone, and the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel that promise to offer the best mobile gaming experience on the market.
But if you enjoy playing games on your smartphone, is there really any need for these bigger, bulkier devices?
Do Gaming Phones Improve Some Games?
The type of games that you will play on your smartphone should be one of the biggest factors that you consider when deciding on whether to buy a gaming phone or not. The reality is that almost all games available for Android today will run fine on any smartphone made within the last five years or so.
So it doesn’t matter whether you enjoy playing popular slot games like Lion Storm or Frog of Fortune, or battle royale titles like PUBG Mobile or Fortnite, any new smartphone will handle them just fine.
However, you may see a minor improvement on the most resource-intensive titles when playing on a gaming phone.
These devices contain the most powerful smartphone chipsets on the market (when they’re released), so can provide the conditions that make big games run smoothly with their graphics settings turned up.
Gaming phones often come with improved cooling features, including liquid cooling and detachable external fans. This helps to keep the handset’s processor at its optimum temperature for longer, ensuring it doesn’t have its clock speed throttled due to overheating.
Do Gaming Phones Give Players an Advantage?
PC gaming peripherals like keyboards and mice usually have additional macro buttons located in easy-to-access places like on the side of the mouse where the thumb rests and to the left of the WASD keys where your other hand will spend most of its time.
These hotkeys let players lob grenades, make melee attacks, and change settings quickly without requiring them to take their hands away from important controls.
Dedicated gaming phones also contain these features. The Legion Phone Duel features two physical shoulder buttons to give you faster access to key controls in fast-paced games.
Do Gaming Phones Offer Any Other Benefits?
One other benefit that gaming phones may also offer over mainstream handsets is the location of the charging port. Almost all Android devices have their charging socket at the bottom, just like every single iPhone does.
This works fine for most users, but it is problematic for gamers who may need to charge their phones and play at the same time. This is because the charging plug makes it hard to hold the phone horizontally and still be able to use the touch screen buttons on that side.
Gaming phones have moved the socket to the side of the phone. This means that when you’re playing in landscape mode, the charging cable is kept completely out of your way, allowing you to game comfortably for hours.
Should you Buy a Gaming Phone?
Ultimately, the decision to buy a gaming phone is a personal one based on whether you feel it offers enough benefits to outweigh the additional cost when compared to a more mainstream handset.
However, these devices are likely only going to offer value to the most hardcore of mobile gamers. Almost everyone else is unlikely to benefit, even if they play the biggest and most resource-intensive games on the market.