When the Razer appeared on the market in late 2017, nobody was entirely sure what to make of it. Some claimed it was the pioneer of a whole new breed of smartphone that would further revolutionise the mobile experience. Others dismissed it as over-priced, over-engineered and no better from a practical perspective than the existing market leaders from Apple, Samsung and the rest.
A year later, Razer 2 is on the shelves and has been joined by a host of other gaming phones. These include the ASUS ROG and the Xiaomi Black Shark, which comes with a bespoke controller and wowed reviewers when it was released towards the end of last year.
However, the fundamental questions remain unanswered – what does a gaming phone bring to the party that, for example, an iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy Note doesn’t? And even more to the point, do you need one in your life?
What are the characteristics of a gaming phone?
Let’s be honest, practically all of us play games on our phones. If you want to indulge in a few rounds of Words With Friends or perhaps spin the reels of some of the slot games you can find here at an online casino, any modern handset is going to be more than capable and you don’t need to go out and buy a gaming phone.
All of the gaming phones mentioned above come with top quality hardware. Typically, this means the latest and best Snapdragon processors, along with plenty of RAM. Expect to see 6GB or even 8GB, as well as plenty of internal storage. You also get a high-performance battery and a rapid refresh rate to provide a slicker gaming experience. In addition, these gaming phones are equipped with the very latest display technology, as well as high-quality speakers and Dolby sound.
So is it worth it?
All of the above sounds highly impressive. On the face of it, a gaming phone has everything, so surely we should all have one. The problem is that all that spec comes at a cost, and not just a financial one. Yes, a Razer 2 is expensive, but no more so that a good quality offering from Samsung or Apple, so that is not really the issue.
Gaming phones have to compromise in other areas in order to include all that spec, and predominantly this comes down to their overall bulk. In this age of super slim, or even folding phones from the major players, a gaming phone’s brick-like properties make it look like something from another age.
Of course, the short answer is that if you take mobile gaming seriously, then a gaming phone is the perfect piece of kit for you. However, the overall spec means it is also a compelling choice for those who typically use their smartphones for watching videos or listening to music. Just be prepared for the fact that it is not going to slot as easily into your back pocket as a conventional modern smartphone.