We test: Are gaming phones better than flagship phones?

by birtanpublished on October 1, 2020

hey what's up guys will here for GSM
marina lately we've seen a bunch of
phones that are advertised to give you
the best mobile gaming experience but
we're wondering it's a performance of
gaming phones actually better than a
typical flagship which also packs the
latest chipset or is it all the same
well we performed a few tests and the
results may surprise you let's take a
look for this experiment we took two of
the snapdragon 855 gaming phones
currently available shammies black shark
2 and ZTE s Nubia red magic 3 and put
them head-to-head against the current
popular flagships
as well as a flagship from last year and
a mid-range phone we'll start off with
some regular synthetic benchmarks with
these generally all the phones with the
same chipset we're posting similar
scores so between the gaming phones and
flagship phones with similar hardware
there's no big difference here just keep
in mind that benchmarks don't always
represent real-life performance some
manufacturers tune their phone
specifically to show high peak
performance but in short bursts so we
needed to look at something else to see
how they do during a longer session when
you use the phone for a longer period
heat builds up and if the internal
temperature increases too much the heat
could cause permanent damage to the
electronics so once it gets too high the
chipset dials down the performance to
lower the heat and protect itself
thermal throttling the better the phone
is at dissipating heat the longer it can
maintain peak performance devices may
use mechanisms like metal plates heat
pipes vapor chambers or fans to keep
temperatures in check to see whether
gaming phones can handle the heat better
than flagship sweded to CPU thermal
throttling tests we track performance
over one hour of stress with each
phone's display at the same brightness
and a constant room temperature starting
with a snapdragon at 55 votes the sony
xperia ones performance was down to 70%
of its maximum after just 15 minutes and
later on it would occasionally dip down
to 50% these drops could lead to sudden
lag or lower fps while gaming with a 42
degrees Celsius maximum surface
temperature it wasn't the coolest phone
to hold either in contrast the 1 + 7
spent the majority of his time and 90%
or above
never dipped below 80% of his max cpu
performance but the price you pay is a
high max surface temperature it got up
to 47 degrees Celsius among the hottest
in our lineup but this was only in a
small area you can't avoid touching as a
dedicated gaming phone the Xiaomi Black
Shark 2 did an even better job than the
one plus delivering 90% or more of his
maximum performance throughout the
entire test it radiated a lot of heat
though with a toasty 47 degrees surface
temperature throughout the whole back of
the phone it was a single most
uncomfortable one to hold while gaming
the Nubia red Magic 3 even with this
active cooling pan off actually had
quite similar results to the Black Shark
Romania 90% or more for the entire hour
in contrast to the Black Shark it ran
pretty cool too with this unique
built-in fan turn on the surface
temperature remained at 37 degrees a
nice balance between great performance
and comfort even if you turn off the fan
you'd get the Xperia 1 temperatures the
Huawei P 30 pro's chart looks a lot less
impressive after just five minutes of
heat buildup the CPUs performance
startled down to just 60% but then it
remains stable for the remainder of the
test it did run cooler than most of the
competitors at a max of 37 degrees
thanks to that heavy throttling the s10
is Exynos 98 xx CPU performance was
quick to go down to 75 or 80% but it was
much more stable than Sony's Xperia 1 it
ran hotter than the Xperia but not quite
up to the level of the Black Shark we
measured a maximum of 46 degrees within
a large area of the phone now let's see
the poco phone f1 with this last gen
sniper can a 45 it quickly dipped down
the 60 65 % as low as a p30 pro but here
it was not as stable also the max
temperature we measured on the poka
phone was higher than the p30 pros so
not bad though at 39 degrees and finally
we have the Xiaomi me 90 with a
Snapdragon 730 it actually did a really
good job hovering around 85% for most of
the tests but remember that this is a
different class of chipset just like the
polka phone we measured the me 90 at a
decently comfortable 39 degrees surface
so to summarize the gaming phones are on
top for sustaining CPU performance under
prolonged stress whereas with flagships
your mileage will vary depending on the
factory tuning of the thought and the
p30 pro in the red magic three had the
coolest surface temperatures leading to
a more comfortable experience while the
hottest contender here was a black shot
– which was more relaxed with this
thermal threshold next we wanted to
compare the GPUs response to hit as well
you can't run a game without the
graphics chip right what we did was run
a GPU benchmark twice once when the
device was cold and again after an hour
of stress to compare how heating up
affects performance and graphics
rendering here you can really see the
difference between the gaming phones and
the rest of the pack the black shark 2
and red magic 3 gave the same high
scores both before and after the stress
tests demonstrating their ability to
handle the heat in contrast all of the
flagship showed a decrease in framerate
the worst contenders were the p30 Pro
and the Polka phone f1 whose frame rates
dropped by almost half when under stress
so there you have it for now the phones
with the best sustained performance are
dedicated gaming phones they really
deliver either because of a better
custom cooling system like the Nubia red
magic 3 or because they allow themselves
to run as hot as a Black Shark – in
contrast flagship phones are not created
equal ranging from great but hot with a
1 + 7
just average but cool with the p30 pro
so down to how the manufacturer Tunes
things in the factory and in general
flagship phones have other priorities as
well so if gaming performance is what
you're after a gaming phone will give
you the most of it for your money the
question remains so whether mobile game
titles have reached that point where
they actually require all of this power
but maybe that's a topic for another day
thanks for watching guys and see you
next time

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