It’s normally self evident if you are a gamer, to get tech which is gamer focused. However, there’s one massive market which is curiously exempt from this piece of advice, which is the mobile gaming market. Over the years, we’ve seen a number of companies try their hand at gaming phones, usually to varying degrees of success but with no mainstream penetration. So why is this?
It’s The Looks, Stupid
To start off, phones aren’t just gaming devices. While something like a laptop or a console could be used only for gaming, phones are supposed to be your daily carry. It is here that a lot of companies fail to get the memo on looks. Even hardcore gamers have jobs where they can’t exactly carry a gaming phone to. Phones like the Asus ROG phone and the Red Magic phones look good on camera but aren’t practical in a day-to-day carry. The Razer phone was one of the better gaming phones looks wise but has unfortunately been discontinued.
Compromising Other Features, Because, uh, It is Fast?
Secondly, gaming phones don’t really offer much in the way of usable features. At 899 USD, the Asus ROG phone offers a pretty average camera, which is a deal breaker for a lot of people, considering an iPhone 13 or a Pixel 7 Pro are cheaper or the same price for a much better camera system.
Expiry Date Is CLose, Real Close!
Gaming phones also have horrible lifespans. Compared to 4+ years of software updates on Pixels and 6+ on iPhones, gaming phones get 3 years of software support at best from the manufacturer. Additionally, repair parts are hard to come by which means cheaper repairs end up being virtually impossible.
Most Importantly, You Had One Job…
Most importantly, gaming phones don’t exactly offer a better gaming experience as compared to regular phones. While a case could be made for the air triggers now commonplace on gaming phones, they don’t exactly offer much more in performance than the average flagship. The A15 chip in the 2021 iPhones is still faster than the Snapdragon 8+ gen 1(horrible name by the way) and most games don’t exactly utilize these high-end chips fully either way. Subway Surfers doesn’t need the latest and greatest to run and neither does COD mobile. Most FPS games on mobile are locked to 60fps either way and most modern mid-range chips can hit that number. Genshin will throttle all phones regardless of cooling system. Gaming phones at least still have a headphone jack though.
So, to sum it up, gaming phones don’t sell well mainly because there’s no need for them. GPUs make sense to buy since an APU won’t run your games at 120fps. ARM and mobile apps in general are much better optimized as compared to games on the desktop, which reduces the need for powerful hardware considerably. Gaming phones fail at the most important feature a smartphone is supposed to have nowadays, which is the camera. Software updates are scarce and actually good features rare. Gaming phones still have a long way to go.