Top Gaming Mobiles for 2018

It has only been over the last couple of years that serious gamers have even looked to the mobile phone world for their device technology. Gaming requires a combination of high performance, outstanding graphics and no lapse in performance when faced with a long dual, race or quest.

Now developers are taking the lead and optimising games for the mobile platform, but that is not to say the performance will automatically be there.  To make these games as outstanding as their programming potential, users are looking for exceptional hardware, taking into account qualities such as the processor, graphics capability, memory and specific gaming support.

The introduction of edge to edge infinity screens appears to have been partly responsible for the surge in mobile gaming experiences with serious gamers sitting up and taking notice. So what are the best devices currently on sale for the mobile gamer?

gaming iPhone Xs

Hands down, this handset wins the title of best gaming mobile to date. Firstly the size of the handset makes this ultra appealing for graphics performance, but secondly and perhaps, more importantly, Apple designed this phone with gamers in mind.

The A12 Bionic chip received its first outing in both this handset and the smaller iPhone XS adding not just speed but other gaming enhancements in the form of the neural engine and augmented reality which adds life and depth to the gameplay.

The iPhone XS offers the same level of performance in a smaller shell, so will equally be the device of choice for many, but early indications suggest the larger handset is proving the most popular for gamers.

The new augmented reality capabilities formed a significant part of the handset launch and showcased perfectly this exciting new inclusion which will take mobile gaming to a new level without the need for cumbersome VR headsets.

apple iphone X metrofone

Until the new iPhone XS arrivals cast a shadow over the iPhone X, it was ranking well in the gaming world.  Apple has a tremendous sway with game developers, and many prefer to code exclusively for iOS.

Sometimes, even when games are designed to work on all platforms, they initially debut exclusively in the App Store, which is frustrating for Android users, but show how much kudos the iOS devices hold.  iPhones also have responsive haptics which adds to the experience of the game, and the iPhone X is no exception creating realistic vibrations to support the immersiveness of the experience.

Although the iPhone X has the older A11 chipset, it still makes easy work of resource heavy games, and the OLED screen enhances the visual performance making this a great lower budget choice for mobile gamers.

iOS offerings are always going to hold appeal thanks to the number of popular games on offer exclusively to the platform, so even older models will continue to rank in gaming terms for many years.

Metro blog Note 9 Gaming

If you are looking for gaming performance on the Android platform, then the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 might be a surprise contender. The handset purports to be an office on the move, replacing the need for laptops, presentation equipment and more, but do not let that fool you into thinking there is no fun to be had here.  

Exynos and Snapdragon are high-performance processors that pack a powerful punch, meaning games will run smoothly with no lag, and in terms of graphics display the Galaxy Note 9 has one of the highest resolutions displays on offer. While the S-Pen is a unique selling point for the Galaxy Note 9 and useful for some tasks it is not mandatory, for gaming purposes the touchscreen is equally responsive in the hand making gameplay a delight.

Metro blog s9 plus gaming

Resting in second place for Android gaming handsets is the Galaxy S9 Plus, and as only the size of the screen separates them, the Galaxy S9.  Again for graphical display, the larger screen will usually be favoured, so the focus is on the plus version.

One key feature that all our gaming handsets have so far is the infinity screen, and the Galaxy S9 Plus is no exception.  Obviously, the larger display area, the better, meaning bezel-free phones have caught the imagination of users who enjoy gaming. Under the hood of the Galaxy S9 hides the magic behind the performance and while slightly older than the Note 9 technology the Snapdragon 845 chipset is robust enough to cope with graphics-heavy games and is ably supported by the Adreno 360 graphics.  

The screen is super AMOLED with HDR10 support giving outstanding visuals to the game. If you love VR, then you have the support of the proprietary Gear VR headset and Game Tools that enhance performance and bring the VR gaming to larger than life play.

Metro blog iphone 8 plus gaming

Managing to sit neatly in third place behind the leading lights of Apple and Samsung, the Sony Xperia XZ2 is something of a surprise inclusion, but it certainly meets the criteria on paper.  

The same Snapdragon 845 processor seen in the Galaxy S9 runs this handset, and the HDR display offers stunning graphics display, on an almost edge to edge infinity screen.

One thing that makes a gaming performance for many players is the audio enhancements in the form of sound effects and soundtracks, and the speakers on the Sony Xperia XZ2 are dual and front-facing making this a perfect polished audiovisual delight. The Dynamic Vibration System or in simple terms Sony’s haptic responses add depth and reality to the gameplay.

Metro blog iphone 8 plus gaming

While the iPhone 8 Plus does not have the full infinity screen and does feature bezel edges there is still no denying the power within.  Another handset running the A11 Bionic chipset clearly suggests that gameplay should be a dream, and indeed it is.

It is a smaller display than the iPhone XS Max, but it still offers 5.5 inches of gaming graphics.  In place of the built-in AR that we have seen with the newer incarnations, you could always add the ARkit to the iPhone 8 to enhance what is already a solid gaming experience.