Games on Mobile: Is it all about the specs?

Things to consider before buying your next gaming mobile.

By   |  Published: 17th Apr 2021  7:24 pmUpdated: 17th Apr 2021  7:27 pm
Representational Image.

The last few months have been vexing as I have been trying to decide what phone to get as my current one nears its time.

A brilliant device and an absolute workhorse, my S10+ was the device I used for all my mobile reviews and to wade through a deluge of emails, click photographs, and fire endless messages but as time catches up with it, I have decided to get a new one. Not because my old friend can’t handle it but because it deserves some well-earned rest.

The last few years have seen phone developers list specs as multi-core processors and huge amounts of RAM have become the norm. For instance, this year’s Asus ROG 5, Ultimate ships with 18 GB of RAM.

Lenovo Legion

However, a major factor to consider before you decide is if you want a phone that you can game on or a gaming device that also works as a phone. If you can arrive at a decision on that front then the battle is half won, sadly also a decision I have been struggling with. In this regard mobiles and PCs can’t be more different, a powerful gaming PC can do most computing with ease but the gaming phones of today (ROG, Blackshark, Legion) can’t take photos as flagship phones can.

Nor can they offer the same fluid experience in terms of software optimization or necessary updates. The two paths do diverge considerably here.

Now onto the flagships we go, the Snapdragon 888 of choice has the best GPU as mobile game makers try to bring ray tracing to the platform. However, the chip is power-hungry and the OnePlus 9 Pro’s 4,500 mah battery was deemed not enough.

Samsung S21

Similarly, Samsung’s S21 series in India comes with the Exynos 2100 chip instead of the 888 and struggles to keep up in terms of visual fidelity. The problem is so stark that the most expensive Android phone on the market (the S21 Ultra) doesn’t have the best silicon.

This leaves us only with the upcoming Mi 11 Ultra to look for a phone without compromises but then the question is if the Indian market is willing to pay north of Rs 70,000 for a Mi flagship. Questions, questions, so many of them.

In the budget and mid-tiers though the market couldn’t be better, as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Motorola all have some wonderful devices. Snapdragon’s 700 series of chips have been amazing and close to flagship level, similarly the numbers from

Mediatek’s dimensity series is impressive too; making it one of the best times to be a mobile gamer on a budget. As high refresh rates, sharper resolutions, and better battery life make their way towards non-flagship phones, it becomes more difficult to justify spending high amounts of money on phones that still ask you to compromise. In 2021, if you want a mobile phone for gaming the budget and mid-tiers could be where you find your next one of choice.

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