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Great Android smartphones for gaming

Posted: , by Big Fish Games (guest post)

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Great Android smartphones for gaming
With an assortment of different brands, models, and operating systems on the market, choosing the perfect smartphone can truly be a challenge. While some devices excel in the camera department, and others boast impressive office tools, very few shine in the arena of gaming. Beautiful graphics, fast processing speeds, and broad game selections are key requirements for any individual interested in turning their mobile phone into a portable game station.

You may have heard that Android phones are not ideal as gaming platforms compared to iOS devices, but the discussion isn't so black and white. While iPhones are sometimes privy to exclusive releases and early access, Android boasts a growing collection of apps, many of which are free. Not to mention, Android games aficionados can access “homebrew games” that aren't offered through the official store without jailbreaking your phone. Emulators allow videogame enthusiasts to play ported versions of classic titles on their smartphones with ease. Everything from Atari 2600, NES and N64 just to name a few, are feasible gaming options on most Android devices.

Take a look below at a collection of Android phones that are ideal for serious gaming.





Taylor Stein
writes for Big Fish Games and is an Android games aficionado, sushi lover, and overall nerd. After founding a gaming-related site of her own, GamerGirlTay.com, she went on to intern at G4TV, and is now a freelance videogame writer whose work can be found on Destructoid, G4, 1UP, Bitmob and more.

37 Comments
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posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:03 5

1. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


I know the galaxy nexus is approaching its second birthday, but its just as good as the S3 for gaming if not better cos of a lack of samsung bloatware slowing everything down. For that matter, any nexus device is awesome for gaming because of a lack of bloatware.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:10 1

5. nobelset (Posts: 268; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


I changed my rom from the stock version to cyanogenmod 10.1 and the stock Android version is no different in terms of responsiveness, I find touch wiz even better than it. For gaming, there is absolutely no difference. But I still like stock, makes you look cool xD

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:05

12. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


No difference?
The S3 wins big time.
Larger and better screen, faster processor and a GPU a league ahead of the old SGX in the GNex

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:09

16. nobelset (Posts: 268; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


I think I didn't make my comment clear, I'm talking about the s3

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:04 6

2. ankitp (Posts: 25; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)


now added htc one & gs4 in the list

posted on 18 Mar 2013, 00:16

37. jsdechavez (Posts: 699; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Gaming is just fancy on a phone with no real gaming keys, no matter the raw power. XPERIA play is king in this department.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:04

3. Suraj3337 (Posts: 44; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


And s4 and htc one will add up in a few days.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:07 6

4. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5047; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


What about the Optimus G Pro?

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:13 3

6. nobelset (Posts: 268; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


Good point! Even phone arena has forgotten about it being in the top android phones this year.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:16 11

7. akki20892 (Posts: 3255; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Nokia 3310 with snack game......lol

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:27 1

8. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1301; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


i bought a One x just for this purpose

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 19:05 1

27. tiara6918 (Posts: 1322; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Don't forget play station mobile which is currently exclusive in some Sony and HTC devices

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:34 8

9. k1ng617 (Posts: 239; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Galaxy Note 2!

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:07 6

14. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Exactly!
Note 2 + gameklip + ps3 controller = unbeatable

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 18:27

25. jellmoo (Posts: 625; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


A nice idea, but the article is about smartphones and not tablets.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 20:38

29. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


:genius:

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 11:42 4

10. CaptainXperia (Posts: 13; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


what's even better is u can enjoy gaming on the xpera z even in a bathtub withiout the fear of any water damage... lol.. still all 3 are good...

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:08 1

15. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


yeah because guys play games on their smartphones while they take bubble baths everyday.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:03

11. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I'm yet to encounter a game that has issues on my Galaxy S3, and I've played all the heaviest titles.
Yet the Google Play is full of comments about bad game optimization, freezes, lags and stutters from owners of Nexus 7, HTC One x etc.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:07 2

13. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


Note 2 and soon to be Note 3

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:32 3

17. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3224; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


3 phones. What a mighty collection that is.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:49 1

24. Zero0 (Posts: 570; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


As opposed to how many iPhones?

Not to mention that this list leaves out several really strong devices, including the Droid DNA and Nexus 4.

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 04:03

32. Jonathan41 (Posts: 526; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


Right! I don't know why they only put three on the list ether because, there are lost more. Thanks for pointing that out.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 12:56 2

18. ryq24 (Posts: 469; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


One more reason to buy Sony xperia z!

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 13:10 1

19. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i agree with the Xperia Z, even about it being the first choice but i don't agree with the SIII and the One X. both of their GPU's are inferior to the Adreno 320 used in the Droid DNA, the Optimus G and the Nexus 4.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 13:13

20. Xtrifer (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 May 2011)


What About Optims G pro, Optimus G and Lg Optimus 4x with Tegra 3, I play hardcore with those

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 13:19

21. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


the Optimus G uses the S4 Pro, not the Tegra III...

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 21:06

35. Xtrifer (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 May 2011)


I meant the 4x bro, i now both G's sport Snapdragon (S4 and 600)

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 21:23

36. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


you said the Optimus G Pro, Optimus G and Optimus 4X................

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 14:56 8

22. Zero0 (Posts: 570; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


No Droid DNA? It's pretty powerful and has a screen matching any of the ones already up there.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 16:37 1

23. themasos (Posts: 6; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


The DNA (1080p 5"-Quadcore)is actually better than both the S3 and the One X. I am surprised as well the DNA did not make the list.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 20:28

28. ojdidit84 (Posts: 252; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


DNA is amazing for gaming. The only thing is that if you want anything from EA, they haven't made their games compatible with HTC's newer devices despite the many people in the review comments asking for EA to support the phones. Other than that, games are awesome on it.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 21:28

31. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


yeah, it's 1080p display does cause incompatibility with quite a few apps on the Play Store. i guess really the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G would be better than the DNA in regards to playing games.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 18:50

26. davin8r (Posts: 45; Member since: 28 Apr 2011)


Indeed......the Droid DNA is the gaming top dog of currently available phones. Whoever made the list made a major error in leaving it out.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 20:40

30. Samsomesh (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


Is there any good mid range phone for gaming...

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 06:35

33. TeritorialDemon (Posts: 16; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


If you want to play games then do it the old fashion way! I can top you all.....READY?

XBOX 360, comfy chair, soda, snack, a good size TV (user preference)

Real gaming!
Learn something new everyday don't you?

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 13:03

34. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


don't let a hardcore PC gamer hear you say that or a Hunter... xD

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