Best phones for games: here is how powerful graphics in our mobile devices really are

Best phones for games: here is how powerful graphics in our mobile devices really are
We’ve often said that the latest smartphone games have reached console-like graphics and that’s not even a metaphor anymore. The latest graphical chips (GPUs) inside smartphones can easily match those of early consoles, and are approaching the performance of consoles like the Sony Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

To measure performance right you need to get the whole package right - not just the graphics, but also the processor, the screen and so many other elements. Here, though, we aim to take a look at just the graphics part and understand how much of a graphics oomph smartphones can deliver, and how does it compare to consoles, laptops and desktops.

For that, we turn to measuring GFlops, a way to put mobile and desktop GPUs on par and compare them. For instance, the measurement from devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One show performance in the vicinity of 50 GFlops (the higher, the better). The new Apple iPhone 5s takes that to a whole new level with its PowerVR G6430 chip scoring 76.8GFlops. In comparison, consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 score around 230 GFlops. From a monumental difference we’re seeing how quickly mobile is catching up.

You can see the full evolution of smartphone graphics and their performance, and get the full picture right at the link below. Here, we’ll just link the names of some popular handsets with their graphics card for you to understand how they rate.

Phone/Platform - GPU - Approximate GFlops
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus - PowerVR SGX 540 - 6.1 GFlops
  • Average white box Chinese phone - MT6589 - 9.2
  • Advanced white box Chinese phone - MT6589T - 11.4
  • Apple iPhone 5 - SGX543 MP3 (w/ Apple A6) - 28.8
  • Early 2013 Android flagship (HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4) - Adreno 320 (w/ Snapdragon 600) ~ 51.2
  • Average Tegra 4 device - 72
  • Apple iPad 4 - SGX554 MP4 (w/ Apple A6X) - 76.8
  • Apple iPhone 5s - PowerVR G6430 (w/ Apple A7) - 76.8
  • Sony Playstation 3 - Nvidia G70 - 228.8
  • XBOX 360 - ATI R500 Xenos - 240
  • XBOX One - AMD GCN2.0 - 1240
  • Sony Playstation 4 - AMD GCN2.0 - 1840

source: Hinet

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66 Comments

1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Title is somewhat mismatched as best phones for games.

58. AwesomestMaximuss

Posts: 148; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

I am interested in Galaxy Note 3 octa version....it is supposed to be powered with Exynos 5420 which has Mali-T628 MP6...should be pretty powerful...

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

STILL a ways off, compared to consoles.

17. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

More than just a ways off when comparing the latest smartphone to the latest console. 76.8 (5S) vs. 1,840 (PS4), has the PS4 running away and hiding from the 5S.

32. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yeah I was trying to be PC here. lol +1

38. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well according to the numbers posted later on, we have caught up to the processing power of the PS Vita's GPU. I would say that's a good place to be, although I wish developers would create more graphical games. I mean look at what the PS Vita is capable of: http://image.gamespotcdn.net/gamespot/images/2011/152/620273_20110602_screen001.jpg http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8045/8429720269_7d50c74948_z.jpg What's amazing is that the Adreno 320 matches the PS Vita in performance, and the Adreno 330 should be up there at least on par with the Tegra 4 (I believe Qualcomm said to expect a 50% performance increase over the Adreno 320). I just wish we had more games out there like Infinity Blade.

41. Rehankhan

Posts: 323; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

do you not know that you need big budget to makes AAA games like uncharted abyss,killzone mercenary,assassin's creed liberation most of mobile games cost $0.99 the games you mentioned above retails at $39.99 i dont think many people would be interested to own games at that price just so they can play on that tiny 4" touchscreen

45. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Calm down there buddy. I simply stated I would like to see more graphical games like Infinity Blade. I don't think that is such a far-fetched idea. The reason I put the PS Vita screenshots on there was to show everyone what our smartphones are capable of in terms of graphics quality. Please read my comment again and do not try to add something to it that wasn't there. I never stated we needed $40 games or that we needed AAA games like Uncharted or Killzone.

52. normedia1

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 12, 2013

you also conviently forgot to put Snapdragon 800 devices in there as well. These should hover in the 80+ GFLOPS as well.

53. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Are you talking about me or to the writer of this article? I did mention the Snapdragon 800 in my original comment: "What's amazing is that the Adreno 320 matches the PS Vita in performance, and the Adreno 330 should be up there at least on par with the Tegra 4 (I believe Qualcomm said to expect a 50% performance increase over the Adreno 320)." The Snapdragon 800 is a CPU, the Adreno 330 is the GPU paired with the 800. I mentioned it should at least be on par with the Tegra 4 which surpasses the PS Vita by about a 50% increase in performance.

59. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Wrong! Snapdragon 800 is the SoC (System on Chip). This is represented by the CPU (Krait 400), RAM, GPU (Adreno 330), network processors, etc. All that is considered the Snapdragon 800.

62. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Congrats, you got me on two wrong words! It doesn't take away from the point of my comment which was to say that I did mention something about the Snapdragon 800. I'm so sorry that I actually have a busy work day that I occasionally will let a mistake slip by. I'm sure you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

46. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

And also, I wasn't just commenting about wanting games like Infinity Blade for the iPhone or iPad. I was also commenting that I wanted to see more games like Infinity Blade released for Android and Windows Phone as well. In all honesty, I would like Sony to try and make a new Xperia Play. The original Xperia Play was released at the wrong time. The mobile game market was still immature and the hardware wasn't that great. If they released a new one with access to the Playstation store as well as some Vita games, I think people would buy it. I would probably buy it. That's just my opinion though.

3. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

76.8 GFLOPS for the iPhone 5S (PowerVR G6430) source:http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/7

5. Victor.H

Posts: 1026; Member since: May 27, 2011

Awesome, thanks, this has been added as well!

7. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

What about adreno 330?

8. Victor.H

Posts: 1026; Member since: May 27, 2011

Looking for the numbers!

11. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

You should include the PS Vita score as a reference since it's the most current gen mobile gaming console. 51.2

60. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Vita uses a SGX543MP4+. We have no idea what the + stands for and what the operating frequency of this GPU is. It might as well be running at 600MHz. Who knows.

24. panjgoori

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

and adreno 320 ?

9. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

In theory, the adreno 330 is supposed to be faster than the G6430. The benchmarks showed different results though when the S800/Adreno 330 is tested on the LG G2 which trailed behind the 5S.

23. addicted2088

Posts: 57; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Not surprising, considering all the bloat the G2 (or a Samsung device) has to handle. Not to mention iOS is optimized awesomely.

26. Samsungadroidrules

Posts: 104; Member since: Jul 28, 2013

Blah! what ever, go home and play your boring iPhone 5.lol

28. addicted2088

Posts: 57; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Eh? I own a Nexus 5, and I love Android, but if you're going to be a fanboy and hater and not accept that iOS is optimized nicely, go back to school and learn some sense. Oh wait, forgot they don't teach sense in school.

34. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

Nexus 5? Are you sure? :/

35. addicted2088

Posts: 57; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Haha, Nexus 4. Typo. xD

51. blingblingthing

Posts: 840; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

This iOS being optimised is overblown. You won't see great looking ps3 games on a PS2. That's mainly due to power. As weak on paper an iPhone cpu may seem. They historically have had some pretty powerful GPUs. 3 core GPU in iPhone 5 and now a quad core in the iPhone 5s. Mix that with a sub HD resolution and you have a powerful GPU to draw less pixels than the 1080 p competition.

61. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

G6430 works its muscles at a much lower frequency than a 330, which makes it quite more powerful.

43. softfurryanus

Posts: 232; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

I was looking for this the other day, I found 129.4 GFLOPS from two websites (one was dutch) take it with a grain of salt but that's what I found.

48. softfurryanus

Posts: 232; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

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