With technology evolving every day, smartphones are becoming power-packed performers capable of handling with ease even the most daunting jobs like multimedia editing, high-resolution video recording and gaming. Speaking of gaming on mobile phones, most current generation smartphones come with the hardware to run graphic-intensive gaming titles.
Even so, there are some smartphones designed specifically for gamers. These come with top-notch specifications and gaming-centric value-added features for intuitive gaming experience. Though mobile phone gaming is still nascent in India, the launch of several gaming-centric smartphones in the country this year bear testimony to its huge growth potential.
Business Standard lists top five gaming-centric smartphones launched in 2019:
Asus ROG Phone II
Taiwanese electronics maker Asus, widely considered the pioneer of gaming smartphones, had launched its first gaming phone, the ROG Phone (review), in 2018. This phone came with top-notch specifications, enhanced cooling system to sustain performance strength during long hours of rigorous use, and support for many accessories to enable an intuitive gaming experience.
A successor to this phone, the ROG Phone II (review) was launched this year with upgraded design, hardware and value-added features, besides support for even more accessories. The phone boasted a screen with 120Hz refresh rate, pressure-sensitive chassis with customisable ultrasonic sensors to act as air triggers, stereo speakers, and a humongous battery. Though the feature-rich ROG Phone II gaming smartphone carries a mid-segment device’s price tag, it is a cut above other smartphones, even some of the premium ones, in terms of performance and utility.
|Glass-metal||6.59-inch AMOLED fullHD+, Gorilla Glass 6, HDR10, 120Hz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+||6000 mAh||
Rear: 48MP + 13MP
|Starts at Rs 37,999|
This smartphone’s top-notch specifications and custom-tuned operating system make it one of the better devices for mobile phone gaming. And, it does not compromise on other aspects that make a regular smartphone good. The phone (review) has a dedicated gaming mode (Fnatic), which boosts its in-gaming performance by channelling its resources to the game. Though the phone lacks value-added features that gaming-centric smartphones offer, such as pressure-sensitive chassis and enhanced touch sampling rate for touch precision, it is an efficient regular smartphone that can also double up as a gaming device.
|Glass-metal||6.55-inch AMOLED fullHD+, Gorilla Glass 5, HDR10+, 90Hz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+||3800 mAh||
Rear: 48MP + 12MP + 16MP
|Starts at Rs 37,999|
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
This premium smartphone is an all-rounder, with impressive 360-degree capabilities, including gaming. The iPhone 11 Pro (review) has a compact build, top-notch specifications, vivid screen and stereo speakers — together these things deliver an intuitive gaming experience. What’s more, the phone has Apple Arcade, a gaming service introduced by Apple this year. The Apple Arcade is a subscription-based gaming service that allows access to several games without any additional cost. It is ad-free, and allows online and offline gaming. Besides, the service has a cross-platform support; you can start a game on one Apple device — iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV — and resume it on another. Though the Apple Arcade is still in its early stage, it might become a game-changer when the list of gaming titles on it gets more comprehensive.
|Glass-metal||5.8-inch XDR OLED, Dolby Vision, HDR10, 120Hz touch-sensing||A13 Bionic||-||
Rear: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
|Starts at Rs 99,900|
Black Shark 2
This midrange gaming smartphone has a sleek performance, thanks to its flagship hardware. The Black Shark 2 (review) boots a customised Android Pie operating system loaded with the company’s gaming-centric value-added features, such as game dock and gamer studio. The game dock, an in-game feature available for almost every game, provides options to silence notifications and show a performance dashboard with real-time gaming playback data, such as framerate and system temperature. The gamer studio is also an in-game setting that allows you to free up processor resources, tweak display settings, change touch input, and change themes. What makes this phone more interesting is its dedicated key for an easy switch between a customised gaming hub (Shark Space) user interface — to access a library of installed games — and the normal Android phone mode.
|Glass-metal||6.39-inch AMOLED fullHD+, 240Hz touch sampling||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||4000 mAh||
Rear: 48MP + 12MP
|Starts at Rs 39,999|
Nubia Red Magic 3S
From design to features, this smartphone oozes gaming traits. The Red Magic 3s (review) has a flashy design with an RGB light strip on its back, big screen with bezels at the top and bottom, top-notch specifications and a vapour cooling chamber with a built-in fan to keep the thermals in control for sustained performance during extended usage. Besides, it also boasts value-added features like touch-sensitive triggers on the side frame, dedicated space to list all downloaded games at one place, performance boost to improve in-gaming performance, haptic vibration for shock effects and screen recording.
|Glass-metal||6.65-inch AMOLED fullHD+, 90Hz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+||5000 mAh||
|Starts at Rs 35,999|