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What Does the Future of Gaming Smartphones Look Like?

Person Playing League of Legends Wild Rift

High-end and mid-range smartphones deliver a satisfying gaming experience because they have a high-resolution display and decent battery life. However, because they’re not built to withstand the demands of mobile gaming, the experience is often short-lived. Some of the leading manufacturers in the mobile gaming industry have hit the nail on the head when it comes to meeting the demands of mobile gamers, and it’s exciting to wonder how they will continue to enhance features as games and technology continue to evolve.

Gaming has developed tremendously over the last two decades. If that rapid evolution is anything to go by, then the mobile gaming community can anticipate gaming smartphones to become more popular as they continue to develop. Of all the features packed into every smartphone in this day and age, the components that cater specifically to the sport make a gaming smartphone the gadget of choice for avid mobile gamers.

Anyone interested in mobile gaming may have already looked to see what the best gaming smartphones of 2024 are, and many will agree that a bunch of the devices on every list have a few things in common. Let’s take a look at the trends and traits that the best gaming phones of 2023 and 2024 share, good or bad, and we’ll explore why dedicated gaming smartphones may be the best option for mobile gaming. 

Person holding black samsung android smartphone

The Android Police (AP) highlighted Android controller compatibility as one of the best features of every device on their list of the best gaming phones in 2024, so that must be something gamers appreciate. 

Something else mobile gamers are fans of is running emulators of their favorite classic games on mobile. A gaming smartphone that can deliver the FPS and processing speeds needed to make emulation possible is a winner. In their emulators for Android guide, Android Police recommends a recent flagship device like the Galaxy S23 Ultra when emulating Nintendo Switch games on Yuzu. A reliable cooling system and plenty of RAM and storage are also recommended, and a lot of older devices may fall short. 

A Battery to Endure the Battle

A black cell phone with a neon light on it

Staying alive is the main objective in most FPS (First Person Shooter) games, and after fighting for hours on end to stay alive, the last thing any player needs is for their device to die on them. A long-lasting battery is a feature that no gamer can go without.

Two of the year’s best gaming smartphones according to AP and XDA Developers, the REDMAGIC 8S Pro and ROG Phone 7, are fitted with a powerful 6000 mAh battery. In addition to a large battery, charge separation is a valuable feature that preserves your battery which not many smartphones have, but it can be found on a gaming smartphone like the REDMAGIC. 

The Problem of Overheating 

Every device has the potential to overheat while charging or after being used for long periods. This isn’t a big issue for a daily driver, but if your device is used mostly for gaming then you’ll have to pause the game to let the smartphone cool down each time.

Gamers on Reddit asking each other for recommendations highlight temperature control as one of the things they desire most in a gaming smartphone. This is one of the features that give gaming smartphones leverage over other devices. 

A Brilliant Display of the Playing Field 

A man playing a video game on his tablet

The display is the star of every smartphone because it determines the way you’ll see the world and your game. Brightness, color accuracy,  and resolution are important, but the most important thing to gamers is how fast the screen refreshes or the FPS (frames per second). While only a handful of mobile games may be built to run at 120 FPS or more, knowing that the device can meet emulator demands makes a high refresh rate very appealing to gamers.

The size of the display also matters, with larger screens delivering a more immersive experience. The GamesRadar review of the best gaming phones suggests that the foldable Galaxy Z Fold 3’s expandable screen makes for impressive views of Android games. This sentiment is shared by LiveMint who said the same thing about the OnePlus Open. Perhaps we may see more expandable screens in the mobile gaming sphere in the future.

Gamer Aesthetics and Features

In addition to their advanced cooling systems, gaming smartphones give gamers the unique ability to use the device as a completely portable gaming console. This is achieved with the use of shoulder triggers that function in the same way as control keys and extend gameplay beyond the four bezels of the screen. While the experience may be incomparable, shoulder triggers can eliminate the need for a gaming controller attachment. In some cases, like with the REDMAGIC series, the triggers can have a response rate of up to 520 Hz for instant feedback.

Aside from performance, gamers have a unique futuristic aesthetic that they’re drawn to. Gaming smartphones cater to this aesthetic by incorporating unique designs and RGB light effects into the device. 

What Lies Ahead? 

We know that the fundamentals of mobile gaming are a good display, sufficient battery life, gamer controls and features, compatibility with other technology, and enough RAM and ROM to meet processing demands. We can only speculate what the future holds for mobile gaming, but following the CES 2024 event that took place this month, devices like the new Samsung 3D Gaming Monitor have given us a glimpse into the future of gaming. Soon, compatible devices may be able to connect to 3D monitors to elevate simple mobile games into an immersive 3D experience. And with the growth of wearables like the new AirVision M1 screen from Asus, it won’t be long before Extended Reality (XR) is a basic part of the mobile gaming experience. Where do you think mobile gaming will take us next? Share your opinions by leaving us a comment in the community.