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5 ways Android gaming beats iPhone for gaming

The great contender
Product: Top 5 Android
Top 5 Android Android, thumbnail 1
There's no denying that iOS is the biggest mobile gaming platform around right now. But Android is in second place, and closing fast.

And Google's seemingly ubiquitous smartphone platform is more than just a plucky runner-up in the field of smartphone gaming. In fact, it actually offers a superior experience to iPhone and iOS in a number of key areas.

We're not saying that Android is the best platform for smartphone gamers. It quite obviously isn't. But the fight is closer than many realise, and Android has managed to win a number of key battles.

Here, then, are five ways in which Android beats iPhone on the ol' gaming front.

Bigger screens

You might find that when it comes to all-round smartphone usage, a 4-inch screen is best. There's a lot to be said for being able to slip your phone comfortably into your pocket and operate it with one hand.

But when it comes to gaming, there's no getting around the fact that bigger is better. When tearing around a track on Real Racing 3, we'd take the 4.7-inch HTC One over the 4-inch iPhone 5 any day of the week, because it simply shows more of that gorgeous 3D action.

Similarly, we'd rather play Angry Birds Star Wars on the larger phone because you get a better view of the action with less need for zooming in and out.

Cheaper access

We'll say it again - the iPhone is the best gaming smartphone around, mainly due to its massive range of top-tier games. But it's an exclusive club.

If you want to join, you have to pay out at least £529 for the latest model. How about last year's model? That'll be £449, please. Even the 'budget' iPhone 4 with its single-core processor (which some advanced new games don't even support) costs a considerable £319.

Conversely, as we pointed out recently, you can get yourself a multi-core Android phone capable of playing anything you throw at it for less than £200. Even the current official Android flagship device, the Nexus 4, with its quad-core CPU and 4.7-inch 720p display, can be had for just £239.

Better app store

The iPhone has more high-quality games than Android (though the gap is closing), but the actual experience of shopping for games is more pleasant on the Google platform.

The Google Play Store is brighter, quicker, and better laid out than the App Store. There's a crisp front page with a prominent 'Games' tab, and within this there are neatly delineated categories for featured games, top sellers, free games, and categories.

Step into the info pages for a specific game and you'll get a brilliant preview video to show you how the game looks and plays. I sorely miss this feature whenever I go from my Android phone to one of my Apple devices.

More free games

With the rise of freemium gaming on iOS and Android, this is less of an issue than it was before. The fact remains, though, that Android is packed full of free games.

It's always been this way. Android had an ad-funded version of Angry Birds way before iOS. This is because statistically iOS gamers are willing to spend much more on their apps and games than Android users.

Either way, coupled with those affordable handsets, Android is the place to be for pocket gamers on a budget.


The open nature of Android means that you can install a whole bunch of console emulator apps without any bother at all.

This opens up a whole new world of potential SNES, Mega Drive, Game Boy, and Sega Saturn games, among others. Think of a classic console, in fact, and you'll probably be able to play its best games on your Android phone with the minimum of fuss.

You want some examples? Read this.

Such options just aren't available to you on iPhone - not without the help of a jailbreak at least.

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 11 April 2013
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Feb 2013
Post count:
bhavukjain1 | 21:12 - 4 May 2013
The biggest reason I hate android is that you can even send an app through whatsapp. Can you believe it? Piracy at its best. That's the main reason why devs first push their apps on ios rather than android. And I don't think that android can ever leave ios behind it in gaming.
Feb 2013
Post count:
bhavukjain1 | 21:12 - 4 May 2013
The biggest reason I hate android is that you can even send an app through whatsapp. Can you believe it? Piracy at its best. That's the main reason why devs first push their apps on ios rather than android. And I don't think that android can ever leave ios behind it in gaming.
Apr 2013
Post count:
@indonewyork | 03:58 - 15 April 2013
Another thing Jon, Android has better 'support' community, such as XDA, fpse, adblocker and most recently we are able to play psp game with the new psp emulator which is extremely important and whenever you get sick of the 'icons' screen, you can always change into a new launcher that suits your taste.
Aug 2011
Post count:
Kroisos | 15:10 - 12 April 2013
Interesting compare/contrast on how two systems compare doing something they're not designed to. I'm going to return to Luigi's Mansion now.
Nov 2012
Post count:
Karma Tiranitu | 14:27 - 12 April 2013
"Oh and Androids have WAY better battery life - the galaxy series lasts for days!!"

Hah. I wish that were true.
my galaxy s3 doesn't last me a full day. and my htc android phone before that was about the same.
my work's iphone 5 gets me the same talk time
Apr 2010
Post count:
jeffyg3 | 12:58 - 12 April 2013
My brothers Galaxy Tab 2 lasts just as long as my iPad Mini. I dunno, about the WAY better battery life deal, unless the older Tabs had better battery life.
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 12:15 - 12 April 2013
Oh and Androids have WAY better battery life - the galaxy series lasts for days!! Jealous? Me? Yep!
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 12:12 - 12 April 2013
Oh noz Jon!!!1111

People get all hot and heavy when comparing platforms whether it be Mac/Linux/Win or iOS/BB/Android/Win or PS/XBox/Nintendo or whatever.

I will go ahead and jump in the shark tank.

Bigger Screen: Yes. Better AppStore: Really? Absolutely not! More free games: That is not a plus - that devalues games and deters developers. Emulators: natively, yes. Jailbreak - even plane. But emulators don't fare so well with touch screens - they keep the traditional D-Pad which is far inferior to the V-Stick. So I'd say... emulators don't matter.

While I disagree with most of the points you make, they however, are very very valid points worth discussing.

The real dividing line between Android and iOS is the fragmentation issue. We have heard it from the mouths/replies of multiple developers that testing 1,000+ Android devices is impossible and expensive while testing 5ish iOS devices is much easier.

That is the main divide right there. Does that mean iOS is better? No... just easier to develop for.

Apr 2013
Post count:
Elias Viglione | 11:43 - 12 April 2013
Google Play in my opinion is so much better looking and somehow easier to browse, and has a better pattern. But i think performance-wise Apple is better, altho the devices are expensive as hell, but so are good androids. I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and it costs nearly as much as an iPad... soo...
Dec 2012
Post count:
Eriatarka | 11:32 - 12 April 2013
Wali Hul - The apple app store interface is terrible compared to Google Play, I'm not sure how you can come to the conclusion that its a selling point for iOS.

The Apple app store looks flashy sure, but there are a whole load of dumb 'features' (e.g. a) having to type your password in every time to post a review or rate an app, so most apps have hardly any user review, b) no tolerance for spelling mistakes when searching for apps, c) terrible 'related and recommended' selections which have no relevance to the app they are being recommended for, d) worse charts than google play)

The only good thing about the Apple store is that the overview page for each game lists whether it has consumable IAP, so you can check straight away whether it should be ignored.
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