Regular readers will know we're not shy when it comes to making top 10 lists, such as the ten worst RPG plots, ten reasons why mobile games are completely awesome or the ten most anticipated PSP games of 2008, but when it came to putting together the top 10 phones in terms of 3D performance we really didn't have to do any of the hard work.
Instead, we're relying on the smarts of Hungarian tech company Kishonti, which specialises in measuring the performance of mobile devices. As with the similar benchmarks for different PC graphics cards, its GLBenchmark test runs standardised graphics on a phone and then works out how fast the phone can process them.
There are some caveats, of course. The results given are the test for OpenGL ES 1.0 performance, which is one of the industry graphics standards, so we're not saying these are the best phones for 3D gaming, let alone the best phones for gaming in terms of control or usability, only that this is measure of the device's technical performance when it comes to OpenGL ES 1.0 processing.
Equally, there can be performance differences from phones of different manufacturers depending on how well the test itself is set up – something that got very heated in the PC graphics card battles between Nvidia and ATI. We're not technical enough to know those sort of details about mobiles so we're relying on Kishonti to get this right.
But the list is significant for us consumers in that Nokia's high-end devices hold the top spots with the top three phones all using Texas Instruments' OMAP 2 technology. A couple of Dell's PDAs are listed, while Motorola's Z8 is perhaps a surprise entry at number 8. In comparison, though, the top Sony Ericsson phones only offer around half the 3D performance of Nokia's best, but they're still twice as fast as Nokia's N81 phone (ranked a mere 22nd), which is the company's lead device in terms of the new N-Gage gaming platform.
Anyhow, all excuses aside, this is the breakdown as provided on February 14th 2008, while the number of frames in brackets is the numerical measure of performance as provided via the GLBenchmark test.
1. Nokia N93 (442 frames)
2. Nokia N93i (433 frames)
3. Nokia N95 (413 frames)
4. Dell Axim X51v (412 frames)
5. Nokia N95 8GB (395 frames)
6. Nokia N82 (392 frames)
7. Dell Axim X50v (390 frames)
8. Motorola RIZR Z8 (389 frames)
9. Nokia E90 (386 frames)
=10. SonyEricsson W950i (171 frames)
=10. SonyEricsson M600i (171 frames)
=10. SonyEricsson P990i (171 frames)
=10. SonyEricsson P1i (171 frames)
You can see the full list, which is continually updated as more phones are released, on Kishonti's website.