The most advanced gaming smartphone

ZTE last week tweeted..

The countdown has begun! 6 days left until you can have one of the MOST ADVANCED GAMING SMARTPHONES in your hands!

They are holding an event tonight in London where they will unveil what this device is going to be. If rumours are to be believed it will be the ZTE Grand X which we looked at here.


It isn’t really what I had in mind when thinking of a new gaming smartphone. Although ZTE may show us a totally new device. At this point in time we just do not know.

We briefly discussed on podcast episode 5 about mobile gaming. I was talking about what I thought would make an ideal gaming smartphone. Especially as the Xperia Play only really took off when the carriers and retailers massively dropped the prices. The Xperia Play suffered from several things that lead to it’s demise. The initial price was too high to appeal to the casual gamer, the screen was not of the best quality and the storage arrangement was a little odd in the way it stored Playstation games and normal Play Store games. I never used one myself, mainly because the various reviews I read echoed these slight problems.

As the ZTE event is tonight I thought I would sum up what I feel would make the “MOST ADVANCED GAMING SMARTPHONE” and see how it compares to what gets announced tonight.

My gaming smartphone checklist.

  • Screen at least 5”
  • Tegra 3
  • Large internal memory
  • Micro SD slot
  • Slide out qwerty keyboard with gaming controls & dpad
  • Decent developer backing, to take advantage of gaming controls
  • Manufacturer committed to support device
  • Bluetooth, gps, nfc etc
  • Decent price to attract casual gamers

Once again my ideal device seems to be along the lines of a Samsung Galaxy Note but with a keyboard and gaming controls.

Personally I think the most important factor is the price. At £400-£500 not many people are going to buy it as a second device. At £200-£300 people would certainly buy it as a second device. But one issue still remains. What would need to be cut from the device to meet the price point? I think they should just do away with the phone element. This would bring cost savings and also would help with battery life. Maybe one day we will see a device like this, maybe tonight. Then again maybe we won’t.

So if you could make the ideal gaming smartphone what elements would you combine? Size, style, colour, memory, manufacturer, form factor. You decide, let us know below what you would make and also what you want to see tonight from ZTE.

Sony Xperia Z Leaked?
Vodafone Mobile Wi-Fi R205 Review
  • I’m not sure how much demand there is for a true gaming device. The Xperia Play didn’t sell as expected and that was PlayStation certified. With native support for various controllers and products such as the GameKlip around, you can have the best of both world’s without having a device that adds bulk for the sake of gaming.

    • James Pearce

      Good point Chris. For me the experience with gamepads etc just isn’t as good as you know it could be.

      • Yea I guess there is still the problem that games still need key mapping and some need root. There is a distinct lack of slide out qwerty keyboards at the moment so could work in that sense as well.

  • Anonymous

    I’m interested in this. Unfortunately my Xperia Play died recently and I moved to a GS3. Excellent phone but I have pretty much given up the idea of gaming on it as touch controls suck on all but very specific games. Sure you can pair up a PS3 controller but that is hardly something you would put in your pocket and you need something like the Andraxis or a stand to use it. Not ideal, but workable.

    I would gladly return to the extra “bulk” a gamepad brings but the smartphone aspect needs to be top notch too for me to leave the GS3, after all I just bought the bloody thing. At the right price I would maybe just buy it anyway as a secondary device. I have ordered parts to fix my XP so will see.

    PS I think 5 inches would be utter madness. Its already a huge phone size in 9mm thick and under devices but considering you are talking about two pieces, not one, it would be unwieldy. We are looking at a device that’s 14mm or so.

    • James Pearce

      My idea for a device would be a bit of a chunky beast.

    • what about connecting a controller ?

      • Anonymous

        I covered that, its not ideal. I have an Icontrolpad but it doesn’t fit the GS3, no big deal. I can drill a new hole or use a PS3 pad. The problem being portablility and always having to connect the controller which is a pain for quick sessions but fine for longer plays.