Smartphones have become the epitome of everyday technology, more important than our keys or wallet, something we simply cannot live without! The high quality of graphics, the smooth navigation of touchscreen, the sharpest camera functions, the thousands of APPS to choose from! When I think about all of the things that we have access to nowadays, at the tap of a finger, wherever we are in the world, it really makes me wonder? How did we ever cope before these little pocket-sized beauties hit the scene?
And Smartphones are no longer just a handy device for talking to friends, sharing last night’s drunken photos or having a good stalk on facebook! They’re an absolute dreamland for gaming too. The mobile gaming industry has become a real contender thanks to the latest in mobile technology and gaming apps, and things aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Every year, developers battle it out to launch what they hope will become the latest Smartphone sensation, complete with every gizmo and gadget they can fit into that little, black screen. I constantly find myself scouring the market to find the most awesome mobile devices to play games on, and I set out to look for the ultimate champion of Gaming Smartphones for this year. So, here’s my verdict.
Apple iPhone 4S
When we saw the release of the new iPhone 4S, physically it was very similar to the iPhone 4. Infact, it pretty much looked exactly the same. But when it came down to performance, Apple unveiled some pretty interesting upgrades, and conveniently a good chunk of these new features appeared to benefit mobile gaming!
For a start it’s powered by the A5 processor with 512MB of RAM, same as the iPad2. And if that means nothing to you, basically it’s double the processing power and seven times the graphics speed of the old iPhone 4, iPad and iPod touch, which were all powered by the A4 chip. The iPhone 4S holds some extremely powerful and complex features, supporting mobile games that are good enough to rival the graphics and characteristics of consoles. And the A5 processor also allows you to download apps quicker, which is a bonus.
If we go back to the design, the iPhone 4S, like the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch is physically very slick and the 3.7 inch retina display is brilliant for gamers who enjoy high-quality, fast paced games, jam packed full of action. A lot of the iPhone 4S extra features have optimised visual factors for gaming, and many players will tell you that the graphics are a hell of a lot sharper than before. Some are arguing that the display is a little small, with rival Smartphones like the Android offering a larger 4 inch screen display, proving easier on the eyes. But, all in all, you can’t fault the quality of performance and absorbing intricacy of features for mobile gaming with the iPhone 4S, it’s simply a modern gamer’s portable dream. And it’s the top dog on my list of gaming Smartphones for 2012.
HTC One X
The One X is HTC’s latest Smartphone development under the One Series brand. Looking at the design it has a decent 4.7 inch Super LCD 2 touchscreen display, a pretty good attraction for mobile gamer’s who place great importance on visual aspects. The HTC One X also supports a 1280×720 pixel resolution, delivering clear and precise animation and really sharp, striking effects. The One X Smartphone is 8.9mm thick and weighs an agile 130 grams, a feature that many users may find attractive, but for gamer’s that’s not always the case. When you’re sliding and flipping your phone at 100mph, if it’s too light it’s easier to drop or misplace. But I’d say the One X gets the dimensions and weight just right for a manageable gaming experience.
When we look at performance, this Smartphone runs on the powerful Tegra 3 mobile processor complete with 1GB RAM, which boasts 3 times the performance of the Tegra 2. And it has a GeForce GPU with up to 12 graphics cores to guarantee top quality graphics.
The main selling point for the HTC One X is its 4.7inch Super LCD 2 touchscreen, presenting immaculately sharp and enticing games to users. But I’ve put this Smartphone second on my list because not all Android games benefit as well as each other from the Tegra 3 design. Android hosts a unique ‘Nvidia Tegra Zone’ with games specifically optimised for Tegra 2 and Tegra 3, bypassing perfectly good games and limiting gamer’s choice.
Sony Xperia S
The Sony Xperia S is a Smartphone that I’ve only just recently had the pleasure of trying out. To look at, there’s nothing too unique about it, just nice and sturdy like a high-end Smartphone should be, in a slick mono-black design. With a 4.3 inch touchscreen display, it supports a 1280×720 pixel display resolution (like the HTC One X), and offers a 342 pixel per inch density (higher density than iPhone 4S). In other words, the screen is incredibly bright and detailed and the visuals are dead crisp. The Xperia XS offers some of the best graphics I’ve seen on a Smartphone yet, and games just look awesome!
However, when we look at the processing capabilities, we begin to see a different vision. It does come with 1 GB of RAM to ensure smooth gliding features, but it’s only powered by a dual core Snapdragon, not the shiny S4 processor (which means it’s not as good as the iPhone 4S or HTC One X!) Gaming on the Xperia S may look slick, but it can be a bit jumpy and slower than other Smartphones, due to it’s processing components. That’s why the Sony Xperia S takes third place on my list.
Finding the ultimate ‘Gaming Smartphone’ isn’t an easy decision with so many high-end Smartphones hitting the market at a rapid pace. There’s a good bunch of them that I haven’t even mentioned and to be honest, they’re not far off ideal for gaming. The Samsung Galaxy Beam, LG Optimus 4X, Nokia Pureview 808 and Panasonic Eluga Power, to name a few. (Ok, just give me a few seconds to catch my breath!)
Developers are even producing Smartphones that are optimised for gaming, like the Sony Xperia Play, and tons of cool gaming gadgets. And we’ve all heard the recent rumours about the iPhone 5 hitting shelves in June 2012. Whether you’ve got the latest HTC One X, or you’ve been on the Smartphone hype for some time now, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new iPhone 5, gaming is the most widely used function on Smartphones to date, so you can bet your life that ‘Gaming Smartphones’ will become even more impressive in years to come.