Here are the best phones for gaming

best phone for gaming

There are plenty of things that smartphone owners use their devices for on a daily basis. One of the biggest uses, to no one’s surprise, is for gaming. In a survey of smartphone owners by the UK carrier O2 back in 2012, it found that people like to use their phones more for gaming than listening to music, texting or even to make calls.

There are no shortage of games that Android phone owners can check out from the Google Play Store ranging from puzzle titles like Candy Crush to high-end first person shooters. However, even the coolest looking game could look bad on a sub-par phone screen. Also, if your battery runs down quickly, you will soon not be able to play any games at all on the phone.

We decided to offer a selection of what we think are the best phones for gaming fans. We took into account factors like screen size and resolution, along with battery life and even if it had extra features specifically for gaming.

Read More

See also:
Best Android games of 2017

Best Android games of 2017

2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

best phones for gaming

The latest flagship phones from Samsung may also be the best phones for gaming that you can currently buy, if you have the money. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus both feature large screens (5.8-inch for the S8, 6.2-inches for the S8 Plus) and both of those display have high resolutions (2,960 x 1,440). It doesn’t hurt that both have lots of RAM and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor (or Samsung’s Exynos 8895 chip, depending where you live). The battery life is about average for these kind of phones, but it’s not horrible, and they also include some helpful power saving features.

If you are into VR gaming, you can also purchase the 2017 edition of the Samsung Gear VR, which will help extend your experience into virtual reality. A software update is also reportedly coming soon that will add support for Google’s Daydream View VR headset as well. Finally, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus also have new versions of Samsung’s Game Tools. When enabled, they allow the hardcore gamer to play games in Full Screen mode, which fills the entire edge-to-edge display, instead of seeing them in letterboxed mode.

Other Game Tools features lets players quickly take screenshots or record gameplay with little issues, along with a way to temporarily disable the phones’ digital home button and cuts off any notifications from showing up on your screen in the middle of gameplay. All that hardware does make the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus fairly pricey, but if money is no object, then these are the phones to get for the best mobile gaming experience.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S8

  • 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor (depending on region)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm, 155 g

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • 6.2-inch Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 529 ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor (depending on region)
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm, 173 g

Read more

OnePlus 5

The OnePlus 5 was just released a few weeks ago and it’s an excellent choice for gamers who want a lot of power and battery life for not a lot of money. The 5.5-inch display has a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. While that’s not as big or as detailed as the display on the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, it should be plenty for most gamers. More importantly, the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which should handle even the most graphically rich games for Android. You can also get a version of the phone with a whopping up to 8 GB of RAM. The battery life is also better than the Galaxy S8, and can last up to a full day on a single charge.
While the OnePlus 5 doesn’t have as many gaming specific features as the Galaxy S8 phones, it does have a Gaming DnD (Do Not Disturb) mode which, when enabled, cuts off notifications from popping up while you play. Finally, the starting price for the OnePlus 5, at $479 for the 6 GB version and $539 for the 8 GB model, make this phone much cheaper than its main competition and easily one of the best phones for gaming on the market.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform
  • 6/8 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • Dual 16 and 20 MP rear cameras, 16 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm, 153 g

Read more

Huawei Mate 9

The Huawei Mate 9 may be a bit older now than the Galaxy S8 or OnePlus 5, but it is still one of the best phones for gaming for one big reason — it’s battery. Before talking about battery, let’s focus on the big 5.9-inch Full HD display. Even with its size, the phone’s slim profile and design actually make it easier to hold compared to other large phones like the Google Nexus 6P or the iPhone 7 Plus.
As already hinted, another excellent reason to get the Mate 9 is how long its battery lasts. You might think that having such a big screen would be a huge power drain, but the Mate 9 is blessed with a big 4,000 mAh battery. Best of all, you can buy the unlocked Huawei Mate 9 right now for about $545, which again is cheaper than the Galaxy S8 and right up there with the OnePlus 5.

Specs

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373 ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 20 and 12 MP rear cameras, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm, 190 g

Read more

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

While the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are both over a year old, they still offer some excellent value for gamers who want some powerful mobile devices, but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Both the 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and the 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge have high 2,560 x 1,440 resolutions on their displays, which means cleaner graphics for gaming. While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor in both phones, along with 4 GB of RAM, are not as beefy as other handsets on this list, they should be more than good enough for some excellent gaming.
Both the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge also have versions of Samsung’s Game Tools. As with the same features found on the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, they offer some extended functions for gamers, including shutting down notifications while playing, easy screenshot and recording modes, and disabling the phones’ Recent and Back buttons.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, 152 g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,600 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, 157 g

Read more

Motorola Moto Z Play

The Motorola Moto Z Play (known as the Moto Z Play Droid if you get it at Verizon) may be a year old, and this mid-range device may not have the hardware specs of other smartphones that we have discussed in this article. However, the phone still has one very impressive feature that’s vital to mobile gamers: awesome battery life. In regular use, the  3,510 mAh on the phone allows it to offer users up to two days of battery life on a single charge with regular use. While that will drop in heavy gaming, it’s still going to give mobile gamers a lot of time to play any title they want. In fact, the battery is much larger in the Moto Z Play than in the recently released Moto Z2 Play, which just has a 3,000 mAh battery.
There’s also one more factor in the Moto Z Play’s favor. It can use any current and upcoming Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories that Motorola first introduced in 2016. That includes the upcoming Moto Mod GamePad, which will place a control sticks on either side of the phone. It will also add a D-pad and four tactile action buttons, and it will have its own 1,035 mAh battery that is supposed to offer even more gaming time for any Moto Z phone. It’s due out later this summer for $79.99.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 403 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 16 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,510 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.4 x 76.4 x 7 mm, 165 g

Read more

 

Best phones for gaming – Conclusion

Obviously, the world of smartphones sees new devices released almost every week, so this list will be update when new handsets that are game worthy are launched. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. What do you think of these phones on this list? Are they ready for some heavy mobile gaming, or do you want to see another phone placed on this list? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge update tracker [Update: AT&T rolls out better video calling and more]

Update: AT&T is rolling out an update to the Samsung Galaxy S7 on and S7 Edge with the June Android security patches, as well as addressing some known bugs and issues. The circa 300 MB patch, featuring build number NRD90M.G930AUCU4BQF3, provides fixes for calendar and messaging apps, as well as the Samsung Knox security software. The AT&T patch notes also indicate that video calling has improved, though to what extent isn’t clear.

The update has been rolling out since the end of last week, so you should see the notification to update arriving on your S7 or S7 Edge anytime now. For more information on the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge updates, head below.

Welcome to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Android update tracker page. This page covers all major U.S. carriers with a quick reference table for each and a log with links to further details. It will be regularly updated with the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge update information.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge tend to receive their updates simultaneously – or at least very close together. For this reason, they both appear here on this update page. Also, note that we won’t be covering general security patches in our list.

We recommend you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date with the very latest updates.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Android Nougat update

Following a soak test in early January, on January 12 Samsung officially rolled out Nougat for unlocked international Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices that were enrolled in the beta program. A few days later on January 17, the update became available for all users (at least internationally). It then slowly creeped its way across Europe and India before making it to U.S. carriers in mid-February.

It wasn’t until a few months later in May that Samsung started rolling out Android Nougat to unlocked Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge owners in the US, concluding the rollout to the devices in that region. We’ll be tracking these updates once more when Android O arrives in its final form.

Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Update US

Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge updates - USAndroid 6.0.1Android 7.0Android 7.11
VerizonYesYesPlanned
AT&TYesYesPlanned
T-MobileYesYesPlanned
SprintYesYesPlanned

Android 7.0 Nougat first available: August 22, 2016

First carrier to roll it out for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: T-Mobile (180 days).

Verizon Galaxy S7 (SM-G930V) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935V) update:

  • March 6, 2017, Verizon became the last of the four major US carriers to roll out Nougat to the S7 and S7 Edge.
  • September 1, 2016, improved voice calls, FM Radio, Barcode Beaming functionality and NextRadio app added.
  • May 9, 2016, DT Ignite added. Helps Verizon package and install apps on devices. Can’t be removed without root.

Number of days it took Verizon to update to Nougat: 196

AT&T Galaxy S7 (SM-G930A) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935A) update:

  • February 18, 2017, AT&T began the Nougat update roll out for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
  • July 27, 2016, Wi-Fi calling arrives.
  • April 21, 2016, DTV Widget added, better Wi-Fi performance when using BTLE, home and volume key responsiveness improved, other performance enhancements arrive.

Number of days it took T-Mobile to update to Nougat: 181

T-Mobile Galaxy S7 (SM-G930T) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935T) update:

  • February 17, 2017, T-Mobile became the first U.S. carrier to roll out Nougat for the S7 and S7 Edge.
  • November 5, 2016, enabled 256/64 QAM, domestic data roaming improvements, system crash fix.
  • May 4, 2016, FM Radio, power and volume key fix, system improvements.

Number of days it took T-Mobile to update to Nougat: 180

Sprint Galaxy S7 (SM-G930P) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935P) update:

  • February 21, 2017, Sprint started rolling out the final Nougat build to its S7 and S7 Edge beta testers. The OTA rollout to non-beta users is expected soon after and to conclude on February 27.
  • May 26, 2016, battery life improvements, Wi-Fi calling added.

Number of days it took Sprint to update to Nougat: 184

International Galaxy S7 (SM-G930F) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935P) update:

  • March 20, 2017: Nougat arrived to Rogers and Telus in Canada.
  • January 17, 2017: Nougat became available for all international unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edges.
  • January 12, 2017: Samsung rolled out Nougat for international unlocked devices enrolled in the beta program.
  • January 4, 2017: Samsung began a limited soak test for the unlocked S7 and S7 Edge.
  • December 21: Vodafone Australia confirmed that the Nougat version they’re testing for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is Android 7.0, not Android 7.1.
  • December 20: The fourth major beta update has rolled out to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge for those enrolled in the Galaxy Beta Program. The update removes the Samsung Notes app and a previous mention of the Samsung Experience interface.
  • December 16, 2016, Vodafone Australia lists the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in its weekly software update wrap-up. States “testing in progress”, but doesn’t provide an ETA.

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or Tip Us!

How to Automatically Toggle Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging while at Home

While we haven’t seen a breakthrough in battery technology, many companies have instead opted to focus on innovations in charging technology. Qualcomm offers their Quick Charge technology, Huawei offers what they call SuperCharge, Motorola has their TurboPower, Oppo offers its VOOC, and Samsung has Adaptive Fast Charging. (Our personal favorite charging technology is OnePlus’s DashCharge, which is a modified version of Oppo’s VOOC.)

What these charging technologies have in common is that, well, they all charge your phone really, really fast – provided you use a compatible charger setup. Every OEM’s fast charging technology should be safe to use on your phone, but the higher battery temperatures associated with most fast charging implementations theoretically means your battery longevity could be affected. Also, keeping fast charging enabled can make for an unpleasant experience if you’re actively using the phone due to the heat, so there may be situations where you don’t want to use fast charging.

Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging implementation is unique in that they offer a software toggle to disable fast charging without you having to use a different cable. Thanks to this fact, we can automate when we want Samsung’s fast charging enabled or disabled. Say when you’re at home you don’t need your phone to be quick charged, you can turn the toggle off; but when you are at work you can leave the toggle on. To do this, you’ll need the automation app called Tasker.

Note: It is not my intention to suggest that fast charging methods are in any way unsafe or that it is a necessity to disable them to prolong battery longevity. Most fast charging methods offer their peak currents when the battery is between 0-50% capacity, and start to slow down their charging after that. This tutorial is simply aimed at people who want to learn how to automate this toggle for whatever reason they want.


Requirements

Although I’m using Tasker here, you’re free to use any other automation app of your choice. Tasker is by far the most popular, and it’s the one most people are familiar with, so that’s what I’m using.

Setting up Tasker

(The screenshots used in this tutorial are clearly not from a Samsung phone. They are from my daily driver, a Huawei Mate 9. Rest assured that I did test that these commands work on my colleague’s, Daniel Marchena, T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S8.)

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to set this script up. I will focus on enabling/disabling Adaptive Fast Charging when you connect/disconnect from your home WiFi network, but you can set up any other trigger you want.

  1. Open up Tasker and tap on the + button in the bottom right to create a new Profile.
  2. Tap “State” to add a State context.
  3. Choose “Net” then “WiFi Connected.”
  4. Under SSID, tap the magnifying glass to bring up a list of saved SSIDs. Choose your home network here.
  5. Press the back key and Tasker will ask you to attach an existing Task or create a new one. Choose “New Task.” Don’t bother naming it.
  6. Once in the Task editing screen, tap on the + icon in the bottom middle to add an Action.
  7. Choose “Code” then “Java Function.”
  8. Hit the coffee icon and select CONTEXT.
  9. Hit the magnifying glass near Function and search for getContentResolver().
  10. A new “Return” field should show up top. Enter “cr” here. Press back to return to the Task editing screen.
  11. Add another Java Function Action (steps #6-7). This time for the Class or Object field hit the magnifying glass and look for Settings$System. For the Function field hit the magnifying glass and select putInt. A set of parameters will now appear. For the Param (ContentResolver) hit the coffee cup and choose the “cr” object. For the Param (String) enter adaptive_fast_charging. For the Param (int) enter 1.
  12. Press back to return to the Task editing screen. Now long-press on the two actions we made and tap on the clipboard button to copy them.
  13. Press back to exit to Tasker’s main screen.
  14. Once at Tasker’s main screen, long-press on the Task we just made and tap on “Add Exit Task.” Don’t bother naming the Task.
    When you’re in the new Task’s editing screen, long-press anywhere in the middle of the screen until the Paste action appears. Tap to Paste the two Actions we copied earlier.
  15. Tap on Action #2 here and scroll down. Change 1 to 0 under Param (int). Tap the back button until you return to Tasker’s main screen, and you’re done!

Tasker will now automatically enable Adaptive Fast Charging when connected to your home WiFi network, but disable it when you are away from your home network. If instead you want to enable/disable AFC based on other conditions, just create a new Profile and choose a different Context, but use the same two Actions we used in the Entry/Exit Tasks.


Follow the XDA Tutorials RSS feed for more content like this. Download XDA Labs to quickly catch up on all the latest news and original features published on the XDA Portal.