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The 5 best smartphones for mobile gaming

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The 5 best smartphones for mobile gaming
In a time when smartphones mature and gamers embrace the mobile revolution, we try to analyze the current smartphone offering and identify the 5 best phones for gaming.

As much as the modern phone is a jack-of-all-trades device, there are certain pillars of the overall experience that users tend to grow more fond of. Since the dawn of the smartphone, gaming has been one of the areas that has drawn significant interest over time. 

But what makes a great smartphone? As it turns out, there are many components and aspects that have to work together as best as possible; the display has to be sharp, bright, and vivid, the internal hardware has to be powerful enough to run 3D intensive games without lags and stutters, athe battery needs to last for as much possible and recharge as quickly as possible. Last but not least, these would all be for nothing if cool games for the respective operating system came in limited supply.

With this in mind, let's take a close look at what the smartphone industry has to offer and identify the best smartphones for gaming:

Samsung Galaxy S6


If you're looking for an Android smartphone with great gaming capabilities, make sure to check out the standard version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 first. 

The Galaxy S6 comes with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels (QHD) at a PPI of 577. Right until Sony officially unveiled the Xperia Z5 Premium, these were the sharpest screens in the mobile industry. The displays are also bright, vivid, and provide accurate color reproduction.

This viewing experience is complemented by some of the most powerful internal hardware available on any smartphone. The Exynos 7420 paired with 3GB makes for a powerful combo that can keep up with any modern graphics-intensive game. Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S6 review for more details about the handset.



Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+


Although it's technically part of the Galaxy S6 series, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ deserves a special mention in the context of this article. 

The S6 edge+ comes with a larger 5.7-inch SAMOLED panel running at the same resolution and a PPI of 518. Technically, it's not as sharp as the display on the 5.1-inch Galaxy S6 edge, but you probably won't be able to tell the difference with the naked eye at a regular viewing distance. During our Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ review, we found that the phone offers a beautiful viewing experience overall. The S6 edge+ also comes with 4GB of RAM, which is a GB above what its more compact siblings have to offer.

Although none of the Galaxy S6 phones comes with a removable battery, they all come with fast charging capabilities. Furthermore, the Galaxy S6 edge+ deserves a special mention here, as what looks like an unimpressive 3000mAh battery turns out to be a real performer when it comes to endurance.



Apple iPhone 6s / iPhone 6s Plus


As far as smartphone gaming goes, the iPhone remains to be a tough player to beat at the moment. The raw processing power of the iPhone 6 series was already in the top sector, and if Apple's claims turn out to be accurate, the Apple A9 chipset will bring even more power to the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Furthermore, the new iPhones also come with 2GB of RAM, which should definitely be of use in some of the more hardware-taxing games.

However, although raw performance is always a good thing to have, and despite the fact that Apple appears to be very capable of optimizing iOS to take advantage of its hand-picked hardware, these are not the reasons why the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus are very compelling choices for gaming smartphones. The main driver here is the fact that most mobile gaming developers, from indie devs that only launch their gaming titles on iOS to still adopt an iOS-first approach.



Acer Predator 6


Although most high-end smartphones are marketed as great gaming smartphones, almost none of them is marketed as a phone built specifically for gamers. The Acer Predator 6, recently announced at IFA 2015 in Berlin, will come with a very powerful set of specs, as well as a design that's just nerdy enough to help make gaming more at home in the handset form factor. 

At the moment, Acer has yet to announce the full spec list. For instance, while the name suggests that the Predator 6 will come with a display diagonal around the 6-inch mark, the company has yet to reveal the exact diagonal or the resolution. What we do know, however, draws interest. We're talking about a deca-core Helio X20 chipset paired with 4 GB of RAM, quad speakers, as well as a haptic feedback vibrations. 

The 5 best smartphones for mobile gaming

image via CNET

LG G4


Although the LG G4 isn't the fastest Android smartphone around, the phone still offers great value for mobile gamers with autonomy on their minds. 

Right off the bat, it should be mentioned that the LG G4 comes with 5.5-inch display running a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels, and these pixels are rendered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, which isn't the current flagship SoC from Qualcomm. Benchmarks show that the chip suffers a bit during the most taxing mobile games, but gamers are not likely to notice a performance difference in most Android titles.

If you can live with a slightly toned down chipset, the LG G4 is perfect for gamers. With games eating up through the battery like no other app category, battery life is of particular interest in the context of this article. As the LG G4 comes with a removable battery, users can buy a spare battery, and then swap a dead battery for a new one with more mana in no time. Read more about the LG G4 in our full review.


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