Three out of four Indian gamers play mobile games twice a day for an average duration of over 60 minutes, according to a September report by Mobile Marketing Association and Kantar IMRB. However, despite the arrival of big screens and powerful chips, there is a gulf between mobile and console/PC gaming that phone companies are trying to bridge.
While the chipset, RAM and storage on gaming phones are similar to flagship phones, there are elements which make them slightly better. For instance, the Asus ROG Phone’s display has a refresh rate of 90Hz while Razer Phone 2’s screen offers 120Hz. The latter uses the Ultra Motion technology, an adaptive refresh rate technology, on the lines of Nvidia’s G-Sync for PCs, which synchronises the GPU output with the actual refresh rate of the display, minimizing screen tearing or latency. Higher refresh rate means the image on the screen will update faster compared to displays with lower refresh rates per second, resulting in a more fluid gaming experience. The ROG Phone’s display also happens to be HDR-ready, a feature available in very few smartphones such as Sony Xperia XZ2 and Samsung Galaxy S9. HDR enhances the dynamic range, resulting in richer colours and better contrast.
To offer a more immersive audio experience, most gaming phones have front firing speakers. Some phones, like the Asus ROG, offer two side-facing amplifiers in addition to the speakers. The ROG Phone uses DTS:X Ultra 1.0 audio technology for a richer surround sound experience. It also has a dedicated 24-bit DAC which adds an extra bit of punch to the audio output in both speakers and headphones
Keeping it cool
Games like PUBG Mobile can be very resource-intensive as they not only rely on RAM, CPU and GPU, but also use the Wi-Fi chip on the device to stream the game. All this can generate heat, making it hard for players to hold the phone. The Asus ROG Phone uses a built-in GameCool vapour-chamber enhanced with a larger heat dissipation area, a copper heat spreader and carbon cooling pads on the circuit board to keep the heat under check. Asus is bundling a detachable AeroActive Cooler (to be snapped on the back) with a four-speed fan system, which can reduce the surface temperature of the phone by 4.7°C. Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming smartphones come with a liquid cooling system which can trigger a drop in CPU temperatures by up to 8°C when running graphic-intensive games for long hours.
Gaming with physical controllers is a lot more comfortable than playing with touchscreen controls. Keeping this in mind, Xiaomi is bundling a detachable controller with a physical joystick for Black Shark users. Asus is offering a full-fledged game pad with joysticks, physical buttons and gaming keys on both sides of the ROG Phone. The phone also has three pressure sensitive zones on its side panel which can be customized with the user’s controls of choice.