Playing games is a perfect way of passing time and developing your intellect. Today, thanks to phone technological advancement, you don’t need an Xbox, PlayStation, or PC to enjoy high-ranking games with outstanding graphics and audio. With the best gaming phone, you can play your favorite game on the go even when traveling. With so many dedicated gaming phones hitting the market each year, there are no better gaming phones to go for other than iPhones.
iPhones are undoubtedly the best gaming phones you could lay your hands on. They feature outstanding processors, powerful graphics performance, great display, excellent battery life, enhanced storage capacity, high-refresh-rate screens, and remarkable hardware quality, among other great features that deliver amazing immersive gaming experience.
Additionally, iPhones support several gaming accessories such as MFi (Made For iPhone) controllers for enhanced gaming experience. Not to mention, Apple App Store, as well as the recently launched Apple Arcade, offers iPhone users nearly limitless high-quality games.
There are plenty of reasons you should consider an iPhone as your next gaming phone. But with several models already in the market, what’s the best iPhone for gaming? Since 2007, Apple has traditionally been launching flagships each year to improve on earlier models. Here are our top iPhone gaming phones.
iPhone vs. Android Phones: Which is Superior for Gaming?
The debate on whether iPhone or Android Phones is best for gaming has ragged on for years now. iOS users are for the opinion that iPhones offer unmatched gaming experience. In contrast, Android users boast of extensive game choice, better compatibility, and capability to enhanced ROM memory for better gameplay. But the truth is iPhones offer far much better mobile gaming experience compared to Android devices. iOS is very efficient when it comes to handling memory- the reason why an iPhone with just 1GB of RAM outperforms an Android phone with 3GB of RAM.
The designs of the two operating systems are fundamentally different. Android OS performs a process referred to as “garbage collection,” which is memory intensive plus drains battery life quite quickly. On the other hand, iOS was engineered to be memory efficient by avoiding the “garbage collection” process. In regards to this, iPhones are efficient and can still function fast, even on lesser memory. Also, their battery life is superior compared to many Android phones featuring larger battery capacity.
iOS is also better in gaming since it’s optimized for a few hardware configurations designed in-house by the same company. Android OS is designed to be compatible with a wide range of hardware; therefore, it may not be able to achieve the same performance in different hardware configurations.
Advantages of Gaming on iOS devices
Gaming developers prefer to first release their games on Apple Store compared to Google App Store. The reason for this is that it’s quite easy and faster to develop games for iOS users due to limited OS versions and few devices in Apple’s portfolio. When developing games for Android, developers have to factor in and optimize games for more than 18 000 Android devices, each with different hardware configurations and displays with different aspect ratios- an expensive and cumbersome task.
Android users, unlike iOS users, are quite sluggish in updating their Android versions or installing the latest update. Google is also slow is facing off outdated Android versions. Game makers are therefore forced to makes games compatible with different Android versions to reach a broader audience. This, in turn, requires developers to invest more resources.
Developers also prefer iOS since iPhone users spend more on buying apps and games compared to their Android counterparts. They, therefore, rake in increased revenues, thus prefer availing their games on iOS before Android. As a result, iPhone users get an upper hand in accessing recently launched games.
Following Apple’s landmark decision to remove apps that didn’t meet its quality standards in 2016, users have access to high-quality apps and games. It’s no secret that games undergo stringent and vigorous assessment practices before being uploaded to the Apple App Store. This ensures that users experience seamless gaming.
In contrast, Google isn’t quite restrictive on the quality of the apps, and any game can find its way to the App Store. Most games in Android Play Store are low-quality, full of glitches, and often crash. This severely compromises the user experience.
With stringent measures coupled with vigorous assessment procedures , you can always be sure of enjoying high-quality games on iPhones.
Research has made it clear that iPhone users enjoy a textbook gaming experience compared to their Android counterparts. This is attributed to reduced glitches as well as few OS-related errors. If you’re playing a high-quality game such as PUBG on both iPhone and Android phones, you’ll notice minimal differences in regards to gameplay. However, the difference is quite visible when playing games from smaller developers.
The bottom line is that iPhones offer a much more improved gaming experience compared to Android devices.
Apple Arcade is a new gaming subscription service that offers iOS users with over 100 ad-free high-quality games for iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Apple TV devices. The subscription costs $4.99 per month for an entire family (six members), with the first month being free of charge.
Apple Arcade is as a result of cooperation between Apple and the world’s leading mobile game developers to provide iOS users with excellent games under one subscription. With Apple Arcade, you can enjoy a wide variety of games with different characters, storylines, and genres, ensuring you never run out of fun. This service is exclusive to Apple devices.
Best Gaming iPhone
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
Release Date: 2019, September 10
Screen size: 6.5
OS: iOS 13, upgradable to iOS 13.5
Resolution: 1242 x 2688 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~458 ppi density)
Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+)
CPU: Hexa-core (2×2.65 GHz Lightning + 4×1.8 GHz Thunder)
GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
RAM: 4GB RAM
Storage: 64/256/512 GB
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3969 mAh battery (15.04 Wh)
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 12MP
iPhone 11 Pro Max is Apple’s most recent phone flagship launched together with the iPhone 11 Pro in September 2019. iPhone Pro Max is easily the best gaming iPhone attributed to its remarkable features, notably the A13 Bionic- the fastest processor on a smartphone. Plenty of gaming features coupled with accessibility to Apple Arcade, makes this flagship a must-have for a mobile game enthusiast.
A13 Bionic Chip
The A13 Bionic chip is an improvement of the A12 Bionic, which is superior to the Snapdragon 855 found in most Android flagship phones. In addition to being powerful, the A13 Bionic chip is power efficient and features 20% faster CPU and GPU performance. The Neural Engine of the A13 Bionic pushes the CPU to process 1 trillion operations per second. The A13 Bionic chip comes in handy for fast gaming speeds excellent for online m gaming. Combined with a 4GB RAM, the A I3 Bionic chip allows for seamless multitasking even when gaming. Be sure to play any game for iOS.
Gaming Screen- 6.5″ Super Retina XDR OLED Display
Experience an immersive gaming experience with the new eXtreme Dynamic Range (XDR) OLED 6.5″ screen. XDR is an improvement of HDR for a true-tone wide color gamut display. The new XDR OLEDS are brighter at 800 nits with the capability of peaking at 1200 nits-the the brightness screen yet in a smartphone.
Increased brightness combined with the sharp 1125*2436 resolution will make your gaming a visual delight. Gaming is better enjoyed in wider screens, and the 6.5-inch XDR OLED display ensures you play your favorite game without any strain.
Long Battery Life(3960mAH)
The iPhone 11 Pro Max features the largest battery in Apple’s flagships. With a capacity of 3969mAH, you can be sure to be gaming longer hours without worrying about draining the battery. The battery can support 21 hours of 3G calls, 19.5 hours of video watching, 15 hours of web browsing, and a 102h endurance rating. The 18W fast charger can efficiently refill half power in just 30min-ideal for gamers.
iPhone 11 Pro Max features Metal API-a feature that maximizes graphics and computing potential in games to achieve extraordinary gaming. Metal API relieves the CPU of several duties allowing it to better focus on other processing tasks as well as artificial intelligence for better gameplay. This is to mean that Pro Max is capable of handling AR games.
Extensive Game Ecosystem- Apple Arcade
iPhone 11 Pro Max debuted with Apple Arcade giving users a chance to experience a vast game ecosystem. Subscribers are given all-in-one access to over 100 outstanding games across different genres. With this feature, you can be sure to enjoy plenty of top games. Enjoy games like mobile Fortnite, God of War and PUBG among others
Best-in-class mobile processors, supper display, and excellent battery life plus access to almost unlimited mobile games make the Pro Max the best gaming phone among Apple’s flagships. Outside gaming, iPhone 11 Pro Max is still an excellent phone with the 12MP triple camera setup combined with a telephoto lens as well as an ultra-wide-angle sensor ideal for camera gamers.
Apple iPhone 11
Weight: 194 g
Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
OS: iOS 13
Screen size: 6.1 inches
Resolution: 828 x 1,792 pixels
CPU: Apple A13 Bionic
Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 3,110 mAh
Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 wide + 12 MP f/2.4 ultrawide
Front camera: 12MP f/2.2
iPhone 11 is a cheaper alternative to Apple 11 Max Pro but still comes with almost similar features that deliver a stable gaming performance.
A13 Bionic Processor
To begin with, the super-powerful A13 Bionic processor, which features 18 cores: six-core CPU, eight-core Neural Engine processor, and four-core GPU, ensure the phone handles high-end games such as PUBG and Call of Duty with no problems such as frame drops or crashes as well as overheating.
Liquid Retina Display
In regards to display, iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, which HD resolution. The LCD screen is, however, cannot be matched to its 11 Pro Max’s brother which comes with a 6.5″ Super Retina XDR OLED display that achieves an immersive gaming experience.
Even with the lower screen resolution display, the iPhone 11 still offers a great gaming experience that can be compared with quad HD display in several gaming phones. Apple’s HD displays have traditionally been excellent and ideal for top-notch gaming
The iPhone 11, just like its Pro brothers, offers impressive battery life. The 3,110 mAh battery ensures you game the entire day on a single charge. While the phone takes a bit longer to charge (three hours to full charge) compared to the Pro avatars, it supports fast charging and can be used with the 18W fast charger, which can be obtained at an extra price.
Broad Gaming Ecosystem
Users also get access to a wider game ecosystem through Apple’s Arcade gaming subscription service. With storage options consisting of 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB, you can pretty much store your favorite game and enjoy excellent gaming performance.
In essence, despite having a lower screen resolution display with a lower refresh rate and the lack of shoulder buttons or RGB implementation, the iPhone 11 is a serious contender for the best gaming iPhone. With that in mind, you should consider protecting your phone with some of the best iPhone 11 protective cases.
Apple iPhone XS Max
Weight: 208 g
Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 6.5 inches
Resolution: 1242 x 2688pixels
CPU: Apple A12 Bionic
Storage: 64GB /256/512 GB
Rear camera: 12MP + 12 MP
Front camera: 7MP + ToF
The Apple iPhone XS Max delivers exceptional gaming experience now at a reduced price thanks to the launch of recent flagships. It has a myriad of features that make it a desirable gaming phone even when put up against the iPhone 11 series.
Firstly, iPhone XS Max features an ultra-sharp 6.5-inch screen with incredible OLED display, which makes its best suited for two-handed gaming. With the spacious display, you will seamlessly play high-end action games such as Fornite and PUBG Mobile without accidentally pressing the wrong buttons to attract unwarranted attention by misfiring. Remain stealthy when you need to.
A12 Bionic Chip
In regards to gaming performance, the iPhone XS Max is a beast thanks to the A12 Bionic Chip also with a Neural Engine. Experience a smooth gaming experience with no dropped frames or annoying crashes. The A12 Bionic chip is also capable of handling augmented reality gaming.
The 3,174mAh battery is capable of handling of running an average of 4 hours on processor-intensive games such as Mobile Legend and Fortnite. But while you may need frequent recharging, the phone has fast charging feature that achieves 50% charge in 30minutes. Just take breaks in between gaming to allow your phone to recharge. Battery life can also be extended by disabling auto-brightness and employing the True Tone feature as well.
Immersive Gaming Experience
The iPhone XS Max is best suited for long-hour gaming attributed to a widescreen that can be held horizontally comfortably. Also, most games are run on the Ultra frame rate with HDR turned on for an immersive gaming experience. The gaming experience is even made better with the excellent wider stereo playback feature coupled with the True Tone display, which provides accurate colors when playing games.
In a nutshell, gaming on iPhone XS Max is flawless, exciting, and brilliantly fast. While it’s no longer Apple’s latest flagship, the XS Max is still a solid gaming device in Apple’s iPhones line. It’s also one of the best gaming phone available in the market at a cheaper price.
Apple iPhone XR
Weight: 194 g
Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 6.1 inches
Resolution: 1792 x 828pixels
CPU: Apple A12 Bionic
Battery: 2942 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 7MP selfie cam
The iPhone XR is also a serious contender for the best gaming iPhone. It features a 6.1-inch liquid crystal display screen with a 120-herts touch screen response rate. The graphics refresh at 60 hertz, faster than recent Android flagships such as the ASUS ROG phone and Razer Phone 2. The XR display is vivid and immersive enabling an unmatched gaming experience.
Regarding processing power, iPhone XR comes with the outstanding A12 Bionic chipset consisting of the extraordinary Hexa-core CPU at 2×2.5GHz Vortex +4×1.6Hz Tempest. With such enormous processing power, you can enjoy processor-intensive games with no problem at all. To top it up, the 4-core Apple GPU handles gaming graphics pretty well, ensuring every game is optimized to best standards.
The 3GB RAM should be a cause of alarm as the Hexa-core CPU plus the amazing chipset will combine just well to provide the needed gaming performance. The chipset also makes the phone well suited for augmented reality-based gaming.
Gaming on the iPhone XR is immersive thanks to the loud stereo speakers that fire superb sound quality. Sound plus the visually appealing display would keep you glued to your phone.
Battery-wise, the XR comes with the 2942 mAh battery, which can support up to three hours of non-stop gaming. The phone also features fast charging with the 15W fast charge reaching 50% of battery life in about 30 minutes. Wireless charging is also possible via the glass back of the device.
iPhone XR’s chunky build, outstanding display, fierce processing power, better graphics, superb sound quality, and long battery life makes it an excellent gaming phone in 2020, where the gaming phone market is getting competitive. Although released in late 2018, the XR still outdoes recent gaming phone models such as the ASUS ROG phone and OnePlus 7 Pro.
Weight: 174 g
Dimensions: 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm.
OS: iOS 12
Screen size: 5.8 inches
Resolution: 1125 x 2436pixels
CPU: Apple A11 Bionic
Battery: 2,716 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery
Rear camera: 12MP+12MP (both OIS)
Front camera: 7MP selfie cam
Though less powerful compared to the recent iPhone flagships, the iPhone X still delivers exceptional gaming experience in 2020. The A11 Bionic processor, coupled with the gorgeous 5.8-inch OLED screen, makes iPhone X among the best gaming iPhones. The phone was the first iPhone lacking the iconic iPhone home button integrating an all-screen approach-just perfect for landscape gaming.
You will be amazed by the punchy and sharp display with incredible color accuracy as well as decent brightness. The outstanding display is further enhanced by the True Tone feature, which automatically adjusts the screen’s colors according to the changing ambient lighting. With such a feature, you can comfortably game in high lighting conditions even under the sun.
A11 Bionic chipset
The A11 Bionic chipset consisting of a six-core processor with two high-power and four low-power cores offers sufficient processing power to handle intensive games. However, the A12 and A13 Bionic chipset would perform a bit better. Nonetheless, the A11 Bionic chipset still supports augmented reality gaming.
Despite the edge-to-edge screen, the phone still has room for a pair of loud stereo speakers firing decent sound for an outstanding gaming experience. Better yet, your hands do not block the dual speakers when gaming in landscape orientation.
Other features than make the iPhone X a decent gaming phone in 2020 include the highly nuanced vibration motor, pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display, and an outstanding 2716 mAh battery for prolonged gaming.
Launched 3 years ago, iPhone X is now cheaper and can still be put up against recently launched gaming phones. Excellent edge-to-edge OLED display, powerful processor, incredible sound quality, and well as great battery life puts the iPhone X in the category of the best gaming iPhones in 2020.
iPhones have traditionally been excellent phones, not just when it comes to gaming but overall performance as well as camera quality. Gaming on iPhones does not only offer you a gateway to plenty of high-ranking games but also enables you to enjoy mobile gaming at its finest. Especially if you opt-in for some of the iPhone gaming accessories we recommend.