gaming on mobile phone

The advent of the smartphone was a pivotal moment in tech history. With it, people were now able to access the internet from a hand-held, pocket-sized device, so ubiquitous in its nature that there are almost as many smartphones in the world as there are people. In the UK, there are around 55 million smartphone subscriptions, accounting for almost 83% of the total population, and it is expected that by 2026 there will be over 7.5 billion smartphones in circulation.

As well as making life easier, allowing users to check train times, book tickets, and stay in touch with friends across the globe, the smartphone has revolutionised the world of gaming. Where previously video games were dominated by the hard-core gamers on their consoles and computers, the smartphone has brought gaming to a new demographic, allowing all to have access to anything from a simple puzzle game to immersive MMORPGs.

Online casino games are also now more accessible leading to a growth in this industry. Nowadays, players are able to play their favourite casino games on their mobile, anywhere and at any time. The growth has seen online casinos become more innovative with their games, with players now having the opportunity to play live blackjack casino on their mobile, a live version of the popular casino game in which real-life dealers interact with players to give that land based casino atmosphere. Many gaming providers are trying to enhance the mobile gaming experience.

Growth in mobile gaming

According to a 2020 survey, 21% of all apps downloaded on the Android store and 25% on the Apple Store are games, and gaming accounts for 43% of smartphone use. There are over 2.2 billion gamers worldwide who use their phones, and over 60% of users download at least one game onto their phone within one week of getting a new phone. This is a phenomenally large market, and all game developers work to create new content and keep their games fresh and current to compete in the marketplace. It is estimated that the market was worth over US$76 billion at the end of 2020.

The most popular games played on mobile phones are casual games. They are shorter, simpler and players do not need any specific skill to play and enjoy. Puzzle and arcade games are also popular, accounting for over 50% of all games on the market.

Many mobile phone users now download gaming apps to their mobile device.

The Casino Industry

The casino industry is one that has wholly embraced the shift online. The majority of large land-based casino operators have developed an online platform to allow their regulars to continue playing from the comfort of their own homes, as well as drawing in a whole new demographic. There have been new, online-only entrants to the market keen to reap the rewards of the growing market. 

One of the main reasons for this growth in the industry has been the advances in technology that mean that operators are able to offer their players a comparable experience to what they would get in a land-based casino. For example, the slot games that are available use music, lights, and themes to be immersive and enticing. This convenience factor cannot be underestimated, allowing a whole new demographic of player who would not go to a land-based casino to play casino games.

The best phones for gaming

Players want to be able to play the games they like, when they want, so it is vital to have a device that supports their gaming needs. There are so many phones out there that suite different budgets and different types of games, that it can be difficult to know which to choose.

Best for hard core gaming

Asus Rog 5; £800+

Pros

  • 16GB Ram
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Compatible with external gaming accessories
  • Side buttons that turn into shoulder buttons
  • 6000mAh battery; split into two to reduce overheating and a variety of charging modes to preserve battery life

Cons

  • Poor camera
  • Heavy and looks like a gaming phone
  • Pricier end of the spectrum

Best for casual gaming

Nubia Red Magic 5G £1000+

Pros

  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Shoulder buttons
  • Liquid cooling system
  • 4D Shock feature adds vibration feedback
  • Game Space to customise gaming experience
  • 5G enabled

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Screen lacks some definition when compared to others
  • Some software bugs

Best non-gaming phone for gaming

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra £1000+

Pros

  • Basic model has 12GB RAM 
  • Edge to edge screen with almost non-existent bezel; great display
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Works with a stylus
  • Excellent camera
  • 5000mAh battery

Cons

  • No micro SD Slot
  • Incredibly expensive

There are various Samsung devices that are good for mobile gamers.

Best gaming iPhone

iPhone 13 Pro £899+

Pros

  • Access to Apple Arcade, a Netflix-style library of games
  • 5G Compatible
  • MagSafe technology for charging
  • 120Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Best for Dual Screen

LG V60 ThinQ + Dual Screen US$900 (UK pricing tbc)

Pros 

  • 5000mAh battery
  • Powerful chipset
  • Dual screen is great for media and gaming at the same time

Cons

  • Lack of software support for dual screen
  • A bit gimmicky; nothing differentiates it from competitors apart from dual screen

Best budget device

Apple iPhone SE (2020) £250

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Access to Apple Arcade

Cons

  • Smaller screen
  • Poor battery life

Advances in technology have led to a growth in online games, which in turn has led to investment in phones dedicated to mobile gaming, and further development on the online gaming market, which, again, is fuelling further advances in technology. There is a wealth of games and devices to choose from, meaning there is something for everyone!

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