The level of gaming on smartphones and tablets has risen dramatically over the last few years and 2013 is already shaping up to be a year filled with powerful devices to enhance this even further.
Industry analysts IHS Screen Digest predict that almost £300m will be spent on mobile games in the UK this year, which is up from £100m back in 2010.
While this figure is still much less than the amount expected to be spent on console games, high-end smartphones with increased functionality are slowing starting to close the gap between mobile and ‘traditional’ gaming methods.
The HTC One
, Sony Xperia Z and BlackBerry Z10 are just three of the flagship devices already released this year and each one is brimming with impressive specs. But how do they compare when it comes to gaming? We stacked them up against each other to see which one has the edge when it comes to gaming on the go.
The 4.7-inch full 1080p HD display on the HTC One has one of the highest pixel densities ever seen on a smartphone, which means graphics and animations are sharp and colours are deep no matter what angle the handset is being held at.
Qualcomm’s new 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM ensures that there’s no stutter or lag even when playing intensive racing games such as Heat. The fast, consistent performance is accompanied by HTC’s new dual BoomSound stereo speakers, which feature a built-in amplifier to reduce distortion at volume. The speakers are located above and below the ample display and together with the speedy processor make for an immersive gaming experience.
While the HTC One offers flawless performance during high-intensity, resource sapping gaming, the battery let the handset down and drained pretty quickly. Power Saver mode is on board to help prolong battery life, but it turns off data connections to conserve power, which could hinder online game-play.
Sony Xperia Z
Boasting an expansive 5-inch display, the Xperia Z has the largest screen out of the three handsets looked at here, and with a pixel density of 441ppi it’s an impressive platform for showcasing rich colours and great depth of detail, particularly when playing mobile games such as Temple Run.
The display also features an extra helping of functionality in the form of Sony’s BRAVIA Engine 2, which dynamically adjusts settings in realtime to improve the overall quality of still and moving graphics rendered in games. It really feels as though the game is leaping out from the screen, creating an almost 3D effect, something which Sony has dubbed ‘reality display’.
A 1.5GHz S4 Pro quad-core processor and Adreno 320 GPU power everything along without any disruption. This particular Qualcomm chipset is currently one of the most powerful on the market offering an intense virtual console like experience, complemented by the dedicated graphics chip for high-end gaming performance.
As with the HTC device though, the battery could have been optimised for prolonged use such as gaming, but thankfully the Power Saver mode can be customised so unlike with the HTC One there shouldn’t be any danger of it disconnecting you from your game.
BlackBerry has recently teamed up with gaming giant Gameloft to provide users with a wider range of games on the Z10. It has a lot to compete with especially when it comes to the Google Play store, but it is hoped there will be something for gamers of all abilities.
The Z10 represents a complete change in tack by BlackBerry in terms of hardware design and one of the first things you notice about it is its 4.2-inch multi-touch LCD display, which makes graphics appear smooth and defined and takes centre stage in place of the iconic QWERTY keypads on BlackBerry’s of old.
Unfortunately, the pixel density is much lower than its rivals but a 1.5GHz dual-core snapdragon S4 plus processor and 2GB of RAM under the hood powers games along nicely with minimal hesitation. That said, when 3D games are in action footage can turn sluggish at times and the device can become a little over-heated after long periods of gameplay.
The battery on the Z10 has a smaller capacity than its rivals because it doesn’t have so much processing power to support. But, like the other devices, the battery drains pretty quickly when used for extensive periods.
The HTC One’s impressive display, the Xperia Z’s powerful processor and the wide selection of games on the BlackBerry Z10 signal just how far mobile gaming has come over the past few years. James Bruce of processor architecture designers ARM even predicts smartphones will “double in performance” before the end of the 2013.
Smartphones still have a long way to go before they reach anywhere near the same level of power seen from ‘traditional’ gaming consoles, but with manufacturers constantly working on new innovations to bring users high-quality gaming on the move, this prediction could certainly turn into reality.
This unpaid for opinion piece is written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest mobile phone reviews.
The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and does not reflect those of SPOnG.com except when it does.
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