Are Gaming Phones Fad?

Razer phone ASUS ROG Xiaomi Blackshark
Razer phone ASUS ROG Xiaomi Blackshark

Amidst new smartphone trends (good or ugly) in 2018 such as the notch, multiple cameras and unnecessary increase in screen resolutions, there is another highlight, especially in Android phones. Yes, the rise of so-called ‘Gaming Smartphones’. Agreed, there are a lot of consumer interests in the mobile gaming segment, however, it does not make much sense to market a mobile phone as such. Read on.

Computers have an edge when it comes to gaming configurations. They can be configured to a better performing gaming GPU, more RAM and better CPU. Hence more performant as to handle more graphic intensive games and multimedia editings. When it comes to a mobile device, let’s say any of the top flagships, they all have the same chip or SoC (System On Chip). Amount of RAM is also at par with each other. SoC is composed of CPU, GPU and all other important stuff needed to run your phone.

Now, back to square one, are gaming phones fad? Is it fair to categorize a smartphone as a gaming device or is it just a marketing gimmick. In case of gaming PCs, users can select higher clocked GPUs or faster speed RAMs to go along with top-notch CPUs in order to play top of the line – graphics intensive games. With a mobile device, almost all of them have to have the same SoC. For example: in 2018 snapdragon 845. Also, there aren’t much improvements over other non-gaming high end smartphones available in the market.

Don’t get us wrong, some of these devices such as Xiaomi Blackshark 2, Huawei Honor Play, Nubia Red Magic, ASUS ROG Phone and the Razer Phone 2 are excellent phones with unique design and a slew of attractive features. Let’s look at them individually.



Under the banner of Republic of Gamers (ROG), ASUS launched its smartphone for gamers with an overclocked CPU. Not entirely, but just 4 out of 8 cores. This is the thing – in typical gaming rig, overclocking really means something meaningful, such as overclocking the GPU to achieve maximum result. Whereas in case of a mobile device it isn’t much of a value addition. In case of of ASUS ROG Phone the overclock is a mere 0.16 Ghz above the standard processor speed that snapdragon 845 offers. ASUS throws in few accessories such as aerocooler that acts as an additional fan to cool the device, gamevice which is an attachable controller, twindock which provides the facility to dock the phone and also enables another display, amongst others.

Xiaomi Blackshark Helo

Xiaomi Blackshark 2

Xiaomi has a gaming phone in its portfolio as well. Under Blackshark series, this year they launched their second version called Blackshark Helo. Xiaomi markets it as having 10 GB RAM, for that matter of fact even Oneplus 6T McLaren edition has it. Hence there isn’t much difference between promoting similar phones with or without the gaming tag.

razer phone 2

Razer comes with pretty solid specs as well, with Qualcomm Snapdrgon 845 and vapor cooling air chamber, a 120 Hz display, dual front-facing speakers, a Razer LED logo at the back which can be customized with Razer Chrome and a slew of accessories. Razer also offers it with Nova launcher Prime out of the box.

Just to round up, we see gaming phones do have an extra edge but often end up being less ergonomic and with much of gimmicky features that a user might not use regularly. They have beautiful LED lightings if you are into that but other features such as dual speakers, high RAM or fancy accessories are either redundant features available on other smartphones as well or pure gimmick.

One feature we are yet to see rise again is the full gaming console built right into the phone like the Sony Xperia Play. Here’s a throwback pic, hoping someday some OEM would dive into it again. Maybe Sony itself should give it a try.

Sony xperia play
Sony Xperia Play gaming phone with game pad
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