22nd September 2023

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Technology and Computer

Smarthone vs. Tablet Gaming: Which Is for You?

Mobile gaming has proven itself to be a serious business and not just something to be overlooked. Whether you’re a competitive gamer or want to be immersed, picking the right device is pretty important to your gaming experience.

We’re here to compare phone and tablet gaming, so you can choose which one is for you.

Phone vs. Tablet Gaming: Thumbs vs. Fingertips

Gaming on iPhone

There are two main ways to control most mobile games. While they share the common trait of touching the screen it’s how you touch the screen that will make a difference.

If you play shooters like the mobile versions of PUBG or Call of Duty, you will most likely use a controller grip—using your thumbs to control the character’s movement and aim. If you use your thumbs in this way, a smaller device will be better for you and we suggest using a phone.

You can also learn how to use the claw grip so you can use your other fingers in addition to your thumbs to give you an edge. If you’re looking for a gaming phone, you might want to check out the iQOO 11 gaming phone as it still looks professional despite its gaming capabilities.

Claw grip isn’t just for phones though, as there are many skilled PUBG and Call of Duty players that use it on a tablet. The only significant factor being that they mostly need to use a table or their legs to set the tablet on. A tablet, however, is much better suited for games that use fingertips such as rhythm games.

A tablet makes rhythm games a lot easier to play because the targets become much larger, making them easier to see and hit. Tablets are also less prone to moving around when hitting targets at a fast pace, especially with rhythm games that have sliders.

Phone vs. Tablet Gaming: Competitive or Relaxed?

Person playing Minecraft on an iPhone

Competitiveness depends on mainly two things: you, and the game you play. You can play a competitive game casually, but you can also take them seriously, wanting as little hindrance to your performance as much as possible.

For more relaxed games, the device you play on will depend more on your comfort. If a game is easier and more convenient to play on a phone, then you should stick with that. However, some games are more visual, and using a tablet will allow you to enjoy those visuals a lot more than with a phone.

For competitive games and players, you’ll want to use the device that makes you perform better. For example, most professional Mobile Legends, Wild Rift, and even PUBG players prefer to use a phone to play. This is mostly because it reduces the time it takes to reach an action as being a few milliseconds late could put you at a massive disadvantage.

Phone vs. Tablet Gaming: Immersion

someone looking at a virtual reality set in the desert

If you like to be sucked into your games and feel like it’s surrounding you, it’s hard to go wrong with a tablet as it takes up more of your vision.

Tablets are especially immersive as they usually have powerful speakers, even more so if the tablet has stereo speakers. You wouldn’t need headphones as the sound from the speakers can easily surround your ears, making for a great experience.

However, one thing that phones can do that is arguably more immersive than tablets is VR. If you’ve got a VR headset that you can slot your phone into, you can play these fun VR games for your smartphone and be more immersed than anything a tablet could give you. The only limitations are motion sickness and the limited amount of games that are on mobile VR.

Phone vs. Tablet Gaming: At Home or On-the-Go?

pokemon go augmented reality mobile game

Where you play your games will play another important role in what device will suit you best. This will require you to judge for yourself what scenarios you usually find yourself playing in—or at least feel like playing.

When you’re always outside, a phone may be the best option since it’s easy to bring around. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case; If you always have access to a table like in a co-working space, you could always play on a tablet when you’re taking a break. You’ll have more use for the tablet when taking notes and doing work anyway.

Minecraft Main menu on tablet connected to Steam Link
Image Credit: Jhet Borja

At home, however, a tablet is quite enjoyable. If you have a gaming PC, you could even use Steam Link to stream games to your tablet and enjoy your PC games on your bed. If you’re not a Steam gamer, you can always use GlosSI to play Xbox Game Pass games on Steam Link. Keep in mind that some games may still be better on a phone despite being at home, however.

Which Should You Choose for Mobile Gaming?

Tab X Pokemon Masters gameplay

There’s no clear-cut answer when it comes to what device you should use for mobile gaming. However, with the information that we’ve provided above, we’ll help you come to a decision that’s best for you.

You might already have a smartphone—so if you find yourself relating to what we’ve said about tablets and decide that it’s worth it, you should check out the best gaming tablets if you need help looking for one.

However, if you don’t see yourself in a situation where you’re able to use a tablet often, you should probably hold back and get a better phone for gaming instead. Gaming on a smartphone is perfectly enjoyable, and is even ideal for many competitive games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, Wild Rift, and more.

Play Your Favorite Games on Your Favorite Device

The games you play will have an influence on what device is best, but there are plenty of gamers out there who enjoy their games and even perform well playing on whatever they have. However, buying a new device might also open you up to more games; games that might have been too demanding for your current device.

We hope that this guide has helped you make the best decision for yourself and will improve your gaming experience.