2016 was the year that mobile gaming surpassed the revenue of both console and PC games, unquestionably establishing itself as a serious industry and giving game developers serious motivation to start tapping into the market. The last calendar year also marked the release of several new phones, such as the Galaxy S7 Edge and the iPhone 7, making it an important year for smartphone technology too.
However, industry heavyweights like Apple aren’t necessarily the best phone to buy if gaming is what you’re after and, with this in mind, we’ve put together a list of other well-regarded smartphones on the current market, alongside what games can best be played on them.
The clue’s in the name! No list of smartphones suited to gaming would be complete without the Alcatel OneTouch Go Play, which has the added advantage of being a compelling budget option for those who don’t want to splash out for pricier options, such as the Galaxy S7 Edge. This phone has far from the best display and a weak video camera, making it less than ideal for selfie addicts, but makes up for this in its almost unparalleled durability among phones in its price range. The Alcatel OneTouch Go Play is resistant to water, dust and drops of up to 5 feet. Amazingly, the phone can also last for up to 30 minutes undamaged in 3 feet of water, with the volume buttons also allowing you to take photos while submerged. This means that this phone would be perfect for fans of Pokemon Go, who might have to traverse all kinds of terrain in search of a complete Pokedex and are at more of a risk of dropping their phones than other kinds of smartphone gamers. There have been multiple news stories about people getting injured while playing the popular smartphone game and, while it’ll be no protection for bruised limbs, Pokemon fans can at least know that they won’t trash their phone in the process. The Alcatel also has a fairly good battery life for a budget phone, again making it suitable for gaming in the outdoors.
Moto Z Play
The Moto Z Play is in many ways a mid-range phone, although for technology buffs looking to customise the phone is compatible with mods, magnetic accessories that attach to the back and add extra functionality. What makes this phone stand out from its competitors, however, is its amazing battery life: over 13 hours and with the option to extend it by another 7 through one of the magnetic mods. This, alongside a bright and vibrant screen display, makes this phone perfect for casual gaming on the go, such as playing online slots on websites such as Betway. The colourful display is perfect for cheerful, simple graphics such as those found on casino games and the immense battery life means you don’t have to worry about your phone dying from turning on mobile data in order to play casually while waiting for the bus. Being able to play anywhere, rather than just at a casino, is not only convenient but could also help to minimise losses, encouraging you to play briefly and casually and therefore avoid gamer’s fatigue that can lead to irresponsible decisions.
The other gaming innovation that had an excellent year in 2016 is Virtual Reality, with numerous headsets released and many widely-awaited games compatible with VR from the get-go. For gaming fans who want to tap into this ever expanding market, by far the best phone is the Asus ZenFone AR, which was released just this month and combines two Google-backed technologies – the Daydream VR and Project Tango – to create a smartphone that is poised to change how people interact with the world around them. The seamless AR can be used not only for gaming but also for educational and domestic uses and is combined with excellent audio and 6 sensors for depth and motion tracking. The specifications for this phone are also extremely impressive and it is light enough to be used with a headset without being strenuous. This would make it perfect for games like the much-acclaimed VR-compatible release No Man’s Sky or even Google-owned 3D illustration tool Tilt Brush.