Several decades ago, it would have been inconceivable that everyone would be walking around with a miniature computer in their pockets, capable of running games that the consoles of old would never have been able to. .

What seemed nothing but a pipe dream then is the reality of today, and gaming on smartphones and tablets has become part of the everyday. Highly popular games consistently see monthly player figures that are unbelievable. For example, in March 2021 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang saw 78 million players log into the game throughout the month.

But why is smartphone gaming as popular as it is? And, where can we expect this multi-billion dollar industry to go?

The Unstoppable Rise of Smartphone & Tablet Gaming

There are several key reasons to explain why mobile gaming has become as popular as it is, and will likely continues to see unparalleled growth:

1. Price

Want to get a dedicated console for gaming like a PS5? There’s no escaping the costs involved. The latest consoles are sold for hundreds,and you'll also have to fork out a good deal more for each game you play. However, with mobile gaming. All you’ll need is a smartphone or tablet. Then, download from the vast selection of free and paid options on the App Store or Google Play Store, and you’re all set.

2. Accessibility

Besides being cheaper than traditional consoles, a smartphone is today practically more of a need than a want, meaning it's the most accessible gaming platform available. With a larger potential player base, it's no wonder gaming developers are turning their focus to the smartphone and tablet market.

3. Convenience

Bulky and heavy are two words to describe the traditional gaming console. Not to mention the time you need to wait for it to boot up. Smartphones, on the other hand, are kept within reach practically all day, every day, making it so much easier to just grab it and start playing your favourite game.

4. All-Inclusive

Since almost everyone owns a smartphone, developers have come up with games to cater to people of all ages, in all countries, across a multitude of interests. From action, role playing, adventure games to puzzle, word, and idle games, the genres are ever-expanding, with a wealth of new releases every day. There's a game for everyone.

The Future of Gaming on Your Phone

With the mobile gaming market ever-growing, what developments might we expect to see? Here are some changes we expect to see in the next few years:

  • More major game developers entering the market
    We’ve already seen console games like Fortnite and Final Fantasy XIV being adapted for mobile, and we’ll probably continue to see major game companies following suit. This will most likely take the form of simultaneous releases - games being released for both console and mobile together.

  • Advanced phone specs
    Comparing the specs from today’s handsets with those of yesteryears, you’ll see how far we’ve come. Longer battery life, better graphics, optimised controls and faster processors mean an overall better gaming experience - and we can expect the future to bring further advancements.

  • Innovative tablet tech
    If your preferred device is a tablet, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s been a new iPad Pro announcement!With accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2, there's no doubt that new and improved tablets will be churned out over the years, giving you the ability to transform your iPad Pro into a quasi-gaming laptop.

  • Uptake in mobile gaming tournaments & eSports popularity
    While there are already some mobile games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on the eSports scene, we expect that these will become more commonplace.
  • Seamless, lag-free gaming experience
    The introduction and continued roll-out of 5G means we’ll no longer have to deal with lag or slow internet connection when in the middle of a game no matter where we might be.


    Comparing Specs of the Best Gaming Phones on the Market

    If you’re currently looking for an affordable gaming phone but are unsure which option to go for, the following is a gaming phone guide which includes both iOS and Android devices. We’ve listed the top 4 gaming handsets and their phone specs - display, refresh rate, RAM, battery, memory and 5G - to facilitate a comparison between them, so you can make an informed decision.

    1. Samsung S21 Ultra 5G

    The flagship Samsung S21 Ultra 5G delivers outstanding performance and impressive graphics for mobile gaming. With plenty of RAM and a great battery life, you’ll find yourself immersed in hours of gameplay without having to charge your phone. With a good-sized 6.8-inch display, 120Hz refresh rate and Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, you won't miss an ounce of the action. Available in models with up to 16GB of RAM, you could probably run multiple apps and games without experiencing any slowdown in performance. Its 5000mAh battery and fast wireless charging capabilities means that you’ll have plenty of time before having to charge it.

    2. iPhone 12 Pro Max

    The A14 Bionic chip in this 5G ready handset has proven itself to be an incredibly capable and powerful processor. And with an impressive 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display and more, it comes as no surprise that iPhone 12 Pro Max is labelled as one of the best movie-watching and gaming machines. Its flexible custom OLED delivers a phenomenal contrast ratio of 2,000,000: 1, pushing brightness and contrast to every inch of the screen. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is also equipped with a 16-core Neural Engine that increases performance and applies Deep Fusion to improve image detail. But that’s not all! With spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, you’ll feel a part of the action.

    3. OPPO Find X3 Pro

    Want a more affordable gaming phone that still offers high-end performance? The OPPO Find X3 Pro might be the one for you. With a 120Hz refresh rate and the same chipset as the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G on top of a curved 6.7-inch 10-bit OLED screen, this 5G compatible OPPO phone delivers an overall strong performance. With an O-Sync Display Hyper Response Engine that connects the screen to the CPU, you'll find the response is immediate when gaming on the OPPO Find X3 Pro. Lag-free and totally immersive, its synchronisation speed is great - simply click for an interruption-free thrill. Pack up to 40% of charge in under 10 minutes and restore sufficient fuel time and time without overheating on its 30W AirVOOC Wireless Flash Charge and Reverse Wireless Charging systems.

    4. HUAWEI P40 Pro

    The HUAWEI P40 Prois another phone for gamers to consider. Offering possibly the longest battery life to date, its 4200mAh battery will have you gaming day and night without having to look for a charger. And with its 6.58-inch full HD+ display, this is a fantastic 5G compatible option for both general use and gaming. Achieving outstanding graphics performance through its Mali-G76 MC16 GPU, every image frame is optimised with efficiency and fluidity. You can even activate a multi-window to drop images, files, and texts across different windows without quitting your gaming app!


    Choose a Mobile Plan That Will Keep Up with Your Device

    If you want a plan with a device, M1 has what you're looking for. Our Bespoke plans let you create your very own plan from the ground up, allowing you to decide how many call minutes and data you’d like. Plus, we have a range of fantastic mobile add-ons to choose from including the ever-popular Unlimited Weekend Data pack, 5Go Access and the free Data Usage Alert service!

    So check out our latest mobile device promotions and get your new gaming phone on a Bespoke plan today!