What’s the best gaming iPhone? This might sound like a silly question; and it certainly would have been a few years ago, but that’s no longer the case. Why? Because Apple now uses the A14 Bionic chip in its entire range of devices, from the beastly iPhone 12 Pro Max to the iPhone 12 Mini. The only exception to this rule is the wonderfully old-school iPhone SE, which uses the still-excellent A13.
Naturally though, the processor is but one, albeit important, consideration when choosing the best iPhone for games. It will certainly allow you to whack up the settings to full, but it won’t make the game sound nicer, and doesn’t affect the performance of the screen. So, you’ll likely still be stuck for choice.
But don’t worry, for Pocket Tactics is here to help make this decision a lot easier for you. We’ll address a number of key points when helping you decide on your next gaming iPhone. Whether it’s a fancy big screen you want, the best sound quality, top performance, or you’re simply working with a strict budget, we’ll pick the best gaming iPhone for you.
The best gaming iPhone
iPhone 12 Pro Max
Only want the best of the best? The iPhone 12 Pro Max is that choice for you. It might be considerably more expensive than the competition, but you really get what you pay for here.
Setting aside the lovely textured matte glass and stainless steel design, and many other lovely features like that ridiculous three camera setup, it really is the best iPhone for gaming.
The Super Retina XDR display is massive at 6.7 inches, and features the highest ppi at 458. It also supports a much higher contrast ratio, HDR, a much higher maximum brightness. Couple that with an enormous battery life and you’ve got a serious gaming phone on your hands.
The iPhone 12 is the phone we’d recommend to most serious prospective iPhone gamers. At around two thirds of the price of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but packing in most of the features that count, it’s the shrewd person’s choice.
It still features the Super Retina XDR display, which is considerably smaller at 6.1 inches.
If you’ve got money to spend, and you can live without the most luxurious of features, this is, without a doubt, the gaming iPhone to buy.
iPhone 12 Mini
Bigger isn’t always better, as the iPhone 12 Mini can attest to. Not only is it nearly half the price of the 12 Pro Max, but it shares many of the same features. You still get the Super Retina XDR display, Ceramic Shield, A14 Bionic chip, water resistance, and fancy cameras.
The trade-off? A smaller 5.4 inch screen, which you might even end up preferring, considerably shorter battery life, and slower charging speeds. None of these are deal-breakers, particularly, but worth factoring into your needs.
It’s an impressive phone nonetheless, and if you want access to the incredible A14 at the lowest possible price, this is the iPhone for you.
On a strict budget? Then there’s no better choice than the cheap-and-cheerful iPhone SE. Packing the very same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you certainly won’t want for power, and can play all of your favourite games on maximum settings.
However, there is, of course, a drawback. The screen is classic Retina, which is perfectly serviceable but a drop nonetheless. You’ll also have to deal with a much smaller screen, bezels, and a physical touch ID button. Oh, and the battery life is considerably shorter, at about 3-5 hours less from a full charge than the iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11.
Still, if all you need is a phone that is capable of playing everything, and are willing to compromise, the iPhone SE is won’t let you down.
Oh, and if you happen to be in the market for an Android phone instead of an iPhone, be sure to check out our list of the best android phone for games here.