Without a doubt, the best feature of any gaming phone is its over-the-top specs list. Some of the best gaming phones out in the market right now have up to 18GB RAM, 165Hz refresh rate displays, 6000mAh battery, and of course, the latest Snapdragon chip.
However, high-end specs aren’t the only thing that makes gaming phones better than regular flagship phones. So, let’s look at the nine best gaming phone features that all smartphones should have. Let’s get started.
1. Dual Battery
Dual-cell battery is a hardware feature wherein the phone uses two smaller cells instead of a single big one. For instance, a dual battery phone with a total battery capacity of 5000mAh would hold 2500mAh in each cell.
By splitting the battery into two cells, you’re also splitting the incoming power while charging. The reduced stress on each cell helps reduce heat, increase charging speed, and slow down degradation to preserve battery health.
The catch? It makes the phone slightly bigger to accommodate the gap between the cells and the power management hardware to split the charge. If you can’t increase the phone’s size, you’ll have to make the battery smaller.
2. Pass-Through Charging
One of the best features of gaming phones is pass-through charging (also called Bypass Charging or Charge Separation). When plugged in to a power source, it allows your phone to be powered by the source itself without touching the battery—reducing heat.
In other words, the charge received from your charger doesn’t get fed to the battery but is instead supplied to your phone directly, essentially turning it into a wired gadget. This allows your battery to sit idle, remain cool, and retain its health while you perform heavy tasks.
3. Headphone Jack
Headphone jacks disappeared from flagship phones a while ago, and now mid-range phones are following suit. But if you’ve noticed, gaming phones don’t seem to follow this trend. Why? Because wired headphones are better than wireless headphones in almost every way imaginable, especially for gamers.
Gamers choose wired over wireless headphones to enjoy lower latency. Wireless tech is simply not fast enough yet to compete with wired alternatives; for gamers, a few milliseconds latency can create the difference between winning and losing a match.
Even if you’re not a gamer and just use your headphones for casual listening, wired headphones are still a better buy since they’re cheaper, lighter, more durable, more repairable, don’t require charging, and offer better sound quality. And since they don’t have batteries, they don’t degrade as fast either, meaning you can use them for several years.
4. Dual Stereo Speakers
Dual stereo speakers make any form of media consumption more immersive, be it watching movies, YouTube videos, or gaming. Some gaming phones, such as the ROG Phone 6 Pro, have front-facing stereo speakers that allow sound to be directed directly towards you, so each note sounds louder and cleaner, making the experience more immersive.
5. Support for More Bluetooth Codecs
Bluetooth is the language your phone and wireless earbuds use to communicate, and a Bluetooth codec is a specific dialect that details the information they’ll share. There are several codecs out there, and different codecs are better suited for different purposes such as casual listening, gaming, calling, or watching videos.
Regular phones usually support a very limited number of codecs, but gaming phones offer support for high-end codecs such as LDAC, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, and more. Having support for more codecs offers greater control over the sound quality of your wireless headphones.
6. Charger in the Box
Having a charger in the box is a convenience no buyer takes for granted these days. With gaming phones, you’re more likely to get one along with a free back cover.
You might argue that it’s not a big deal because you already have a charger at home, but note that the one you get in the box is almost always the best one for your device.
7. Gaming Mode
A gaming phone would be incomplete without a gaming mode, and an increasing number of Android manufacturers are also starting to include it in their software.
Samsung phones use Game Launcher to organize your games and improve your gameplay with a bunch of added features. On Pixel phones, this feature is called Game Mode. iPhones don’t have a dedicated game mode yet, but the Guided Access feature does have some of the same features.
8. Slow Charging
Fast charging is the talk of the town in the tech industry right now, and as convenient as it is, it’s not free from limitations. If overlooked, fast charging can result in excessive heat production and damage your battery health in the long run.
Some gaming phones allow you to manually turn off fast charging at your convenience. People who prefer to charge their phone overnight can benefit greatly from slow charging as their phone will not sit at 100% charge for several hours, degrading the cell.
9. Charging Limit
Lithium-ion batteries don’t like being at full charge, nor do they like being fully empty. That means the longer your battery stays at a high charge percentage, the quicker it will degrade. Ideally, the battery should remain at 50% for as long as possible, but that’s obviously not ideal for daily use. So, experts advise not to charge your phone beyond 80%.
However, this is easier said than done since you’d have to constantly keep checking your phone to turn off charging at the right moment. Gaming phones solve this problem by allowing you to set a charging limit beyond which your phone won’t accept charge.
On Samsung phones, this feature is called Protect Battery, and it limits charging to 85%. On iPhones, the Optimized Battery Charging feature limits charging to 80% and waits about an hour until you actually need the phone to charge the battery fully. These battery solutions are so useful, we wish all smartphones had them.
Gaming Smartphones Have Great Features That We All Want
There are a ton of gaming phone features that all smartphones should implement. As you might’ve noticed, most of these features aim to extend battery life and preserve battery health. This is a big deal because battery-related issues are among the most common ones users face with their phones.
It’s surprising that despite the rapid innovation smartphones have seen over the years, the battery is still something we have to worry about. We don’t know how long it will take until graphene batteries become mainstream, but for the time being, investing in better software-based battery solutions seems like a good start.