Best smartphones for gamers and the ones that you should avoid (2014 edition)

Best smartphones for gamers and the ones that you should avoid (2014 edition)
Commodores, Ataris and the first Nintendo boxes kicked off the era of electronic gaming, only to be followed by the reign of the desktop computer as the main gaming hub, and then the PlayStation arrived to establish a long-lasting duopoly of two platforms - the PC and the console. In the past few years, though, the most popular gaming device out there is neither a desktop computer, nor a console - it’s actually much more portable and rapidly growing. We’re talking about the smartphone, of course.

But smartphones are not single-purpose devices, and as such not all of them are ideal for gamers. In this article, we leave no stone unturned, looking for the handset that best fits gamers.

How can we find such a device in the myriad of phones available out there? We asked ourselves a simple question: “what is the most important thing in an electronic device for a gamer?” The answer is actually not complex at all - a gamer needs to have the best games, and not only that, but the more games - the better. That’s why our first priority for the best gaming device is the ecosystem.

Having all the latest games, however, is of no use if your phone cannot run them well. That’s why right after the game selection, our second most important criteria for this selection is performance. Performance is something complex: we don’t just take benchmark-cracking processors, RAM and GPU into account - things like a vivid display and sound quality are all considered here.

Now that you know the criteria for our search of the best smartphone for gaming, take a look at the 5 devices that we picked among all others and the two types of phones we think gamers should avoid at the moment.


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91 Comments

1. koko1

Posts: 103; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

no GS5 ? :\

3. Victor.H

Posts: 1043; Member since: May 27, 2011

It's a great device all-around that won't disappoint either, but we figured that gamers would be happier with the larger display and more storage on the Galaxy Note 3.

16. UglyFrank

Posts: 2190; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

A bit unfair on windows phone and BlackBerry

18. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

well no games = bad for gaming

52. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 904; Member since: May 07, 2014

But, we can install and play android apps on any blackberry device running on BB 10.2.1 OS. My cuzn has a BlackBerry Z10 and he is enjoying dozens of Android games on his device. http://www.techpik.com/how-to-install-android-apps-on-blackberry-z10/

20. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Lumia 1520 got rated the best gaming smartphone on Basemark X Since its screen is big, the controls are easy and even BGR -an iSite- rated it the best (http://bgr.com/2014/03/10/best-gaming-smartphone-​nokia-lumia-1520/)

22. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

But no games make it a waste of firepower (also not sure how directx would fare against ios and android).

30. sgodsell

Posts: 6843; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Its fair for WP, but blackberry can run Android apps, and especially now Amazon has signed up with BlackBerry to use Amazon's app store.

21. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Victor, man you made me puke there by including iphone with 4inch screen and desktop class 64bit phone at 1st position. I mean iPads are arguably the best touch-based gaming device, but iphone just no...

33. palmguy

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Tell me what does that 64-bit do for gaming Vic? And I thought the 1st pic had Shrek sausage fingers on the screen. But it was just an IPhone.

4. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The Note 3 performs much better than the S5 cuz of the extra gig of RAM. And I agree with Victor, if you're a heavy gamer, avoid WP, for now. But I don't think the iPhone 5S should be at number one, as its smaller screen may not appeal to hardcore gamers, even though its ecosystem of games is top notch. The One M8 is the best for gaming IMO with its front firing speakers and an excellent display.

2. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

WP, I‘m glad I woke up from that nightmare.

6. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Yes, plus one to you. LOL.

38. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Troll alert!

44. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Everyone here is a troll. The different are iOS and Android trolls happy to have a continuous supply of good mobile games. While WP trolls get to do plenty of bitching but still no games. At least for now.

51. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Troll alert!

64. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Crybaby alert!

5. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

So the Iphone 5s is the best. I know it has a 64 bit processor, but it has a four inch screen. Your fingers are constantly in the way when trying to hit buttons and play games. My personal preference would be the Note 3 for the bigger screen, storage and resolution and the the HTC M8 for screen size and sound. The iPhone should be third.

62. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I don't think they were in any particular order, just the overall 5 best phones for gaming. I definitely agree with you on the Note 3 though...

87. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

Don't forget the iphone controllers if you don't like the screen.

7. aayupanday

Posts: 582; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Is it me or are games optimized more for iOS than for Android? iOS does provide a hell lot better experience for gaming IMO...

12. blingblingthing

Posts: 887; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

The 4 inch beast? No thanks.

19. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

"the 4 inch beast" sounds like a hardcore p0rno title doesn't it? :P

24. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

xD +1

50. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

You win 10 internetz today sir

88. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

Staring your mom and dad.

54. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

4" isn't a beast its a midget.

36. UCxaoD

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

No s**t sherlock -_-

8. gynorm

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

So what about phones with keyboards? They are great for emulators. Thats also another thing not mentioned with the android ecosystem is that it's easier to use emulators than with iOS.

13. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Absolutly right. Emulators do work great on Android and I have to say the Xperia Play was the best for that. i have hundreds of emulators on there that run awesome.

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