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Which Android for Gaming?

14 November, 2016 Gaming

"Samsung Galaxy S7 edge" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Răzvan Băltărețu


The popular image of mobile gaming is one of commuters playing Candy Crush and similar throwaway titles but developers like Apple, Samsung, and Google are engaged in a perpetual game of one-upmanship, meaning that devices are getting faster with every new iteration of the iPhone or S-series Galaxy.


The mobile arena in 2016 isn't too dissimilar to the one occupied by consoles and PCs - specs are everything and arguing about them is a viable hobby in select corners of the internet. It's perhaps no surprise that AAA games like Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Dead Space, XCOM, and FIFA have all made their way to mobile in recent years.


However, mobile gaming is much more than console ports and match-three titles. The iGaming sector in particular has long had a foothold on Android and Apple devices, inclusive of games like bingo, poker, blackjack, and slot machines. It's not hard to see why; iGaming is growing by 11% a year worldwide and ad-revenue on casino apps outstrips that of apps in other genres.


With that in mind, mobile devices can be a paradise of pick-up-and-play action. The variety of different William Hill Bingo casino games are a good example, with 75, 80 and 90 ball games on a range of different themes. Playing bingo on the go can also net players incentives like jackpots and loyalty points.


With 2016 winding down, and most of the year's new devices already on the market, here are some of the best mobile devices for playing bingo on the bus:


Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge


Let's get straight to the point. Samsung's flagship smartphone is (probably) the best device you can buy right now. It boasts 4GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, and the Snapdragon 820 processor. The Edge also has 64GB of storage, a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, and a Game Launcher app to optimize your device for games.


As you might expect, it also supports the Samsung Gear Virtual Reality headset. It's not the sharpest device in the world (and the current game library leaves a lot to be desired) but it's an order of magnitude cheaper than the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. At $650-750 for both Samsung devices though, it's a big investment.



"Huawei Nexus 6P" (CC BY 2.0) by Janitors


Nexus 6P


Forget about Google's Pixel XL, the older Nexus 6P is still a fantastic device. It's also about $125 less expensive than the S7 Edge yet features comparable hardware, like the Snapdragon 810 processor. It falls down a little on the graphics-processing unit (Adreno 430) and RAM (3GB) but it has a larger 5.7-inch AMOLED screen.


The Nexus 6P also has VR capabilities through Google Daydream, the successor to Google Cardboard and arguably the one device in the VR market that bridges the gap between functionality and affordability. However, the 6P is on the large side of things and, while that might make it great for gaming, it's not the most comfortable thing to have in your pocket.


OnePlus X


If price is your chief concern when buying a smartphone, the OnePlusX is a budget device that doesn't compromise too heavily on hardware. It's just over a year old now and offers a quad-core Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.3GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. It's also available for less than $250.



As a ‘mini' alternative to the OnePlus 2, it has a smaller AMOLED screen than the Nexus, Edge, and the more expensive OnePlus models. It's also the least powerful device on this list but, at more than half the price of the Edge, it's definitely worth checking out if you're a gamer on a budget.


If you're still not convinced, there's also the HTC 10 and Moto Z Play, both of which offer a good experience for Android gamers.


It's time to start writing that Christmas list.

 


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