We have seen companies like Asus, Nubia, Xiaomi and Razer launch gaming-centric phones like the Asus ROG Phone, Nubia Red Magic and more. These gaming phones appeal to consumers in various ways with overclocked processors, RGB lighting, aggressive design and other such features. But the most important appeal of a gaming phone is how it performs. So top-notch gaming performance has to be the USP.
We tried playing one of the most demanding and popular mobile games, PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) on the Nubia Red Magic. After playing the game on this device for some time, we were able to pinpoint the top reasons as to why those who spend a lot of time on games like PUBG and Fortnite would prefer a gaming phone.
Reason 1: Display
Gaming smartphones like the Nubia Red Magic and ROG Phone feature good displays. These gaming phones come with at least bright and vibrant full HD+ panels. They provide consumers with comparatively better viewing angles and quality when compared with most other smartphones.
A responsive display can offer mobile gamers with a competitive edge at times as they offer more precision for targeting the enemy, which is crucial in a game like PUBG.
Devices like the Asus ROG Phone also comes with a faster refresh rate display, which helps in a much smoother gaming experience as compared to the Nubia Red Magic. However, we have to consider that the latter is a much more affordable phone.
Reason 2: Sound
This is crucial, especially if you are someone who doesn’t like to use headphones/earphones while gaming. The Razer Phone, for instance, is known to carry one of the best smartphone speakers in the industry. Even cheaper gaming phones like Nubia Red Magic deliver a much better audio output than regular smartphones.
So why does sound matter in games, especially while playing PUBG? I was able to properly hear where every footstep, gunshot and vehicle was coming from. This, when compared to gaming on normal smartphones, provides a huge advantage. In most normal smartphones, it is quite difficult to hear where all the sounds are coming as they are quite muddled.
Additionally, game audio output via headphones is also better when paired with a gaming phone, as the sound profiles are just tuned to give a better gaming experience.
Reason 3: Processing power
Processing power is where gaming phones beat normal smartphones by a huge margin. For example, the ROG Phone and the OnePlus 6T are powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, the ROG Phone would still perform better.
In my personal experience, comparing gaming on the Nubia Red Magic, which is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to the Xiaomi Poco F1, which is powered by the Snapdragon 845 was pretty much the same.
However, when I switched the Nubia Red Magic’s gaming mode on, the performance shot up. The gameplay and graphics looked a lot smoother and provided an overall better gaming experience.
This is due to the fact that gaming phones in their game modes overclock the processor. This removes any type of bottleneck that is put in place by the chipset manufacturer to extend the life of its processors.
The point to keep in mind is that this might reduce the life expectancy of the device as overclocking overtime is not ideal. This can heat the device to levels where performance of the CPU and other parts could be impacted in the long run.
Notably, gaming phones do come with some sort of heating solution to negate this issue. For example, Asus bundles a vapour cooling accessory with its ROG Phone, which keeps the device cool even during long gaming sessions.
Reason 4: Software optimisations
Android is an open source operating system, which allows different OEMs to tinker with the UI and customise it to their preferences. While OEMs like Xiaomi take this opportunity to add heavy skins like MIUI, firms like Razer and Nubia work to get the software better optimised for performing heavy tasks like gaming.
These optimisations force the CPU, GPU and RAM to be completely used for the task at hand, while at the same time striking a good balance between battery and performance. It allows players to play for long hours at full performance without needing to worry about anything.
The optimisations come in the form of Game Modes that allow the user to choose between battery saver, high performance or a balanced mode.