Mobile Gaming is commonly accepted as, well, crap. But, in reality, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of chances for serious mobile gaming. With these devices, built with gaming in mind, your mobile gaming can go past the typical Angry Birds and Cut The Rope games!
Razer Edge Pro
My personal favorite is the Razer Edge Pro. Now, ignore the price, weight, and battery life, and look at the fact that it can run Skyrim with high graphical settings with fraps running at the same time, and is probably more powerful than the computer you’re viewing this on right now. It’s a real eye-turner for sure. But, the fact that it’s almost $1.5k is the biggest disappointment ever. For those swimming in cash, this is certainly a viable option though. Although, with the controller peripheral and tablet combined, it weighed around 4 pounds. Pretty heavy, but the controller isn’t mandatory, and sitting it down with an xBox controller is much more feasible anyways. The other issue is battery life, but that can be resolved with another add-on by Razer, that gives a good extra eight hours.
On the outside, it looks almost exactly like a PSP. However, it runs Android, and is basically the polar opposite of the Razer Edge. It can handle any retro game like a champ, and is $66. It supports HDMI Output, which is handy, and is pretty cool. While it probably won’t be your go-to system, it’s pretty decent. It’s very weak though, sporting a single core and 525 MB of RAM. It’s defiantly a great budget option, though. It also comes with 9 pre-installed emulators. Gotta love those knock-off Chinese companies!
The S602’s bigger brother, the S7800. This thing is a lot stronger than the S602 (Quad core!). Smooth and nice, it is reminiscent of the Wii U Gamepad. There are thousands of games and emulators optimized to run with this thing. This 7-inch tablet is about $160, and is well-worth the price. It’s comfortable to hold, and everything is very nice. It works about as well as my Nexus 7 (2012), and has a built-in gamepad. However, unfortunately, it does have some slight compatibility issues. Also has a good 12 emulators built in. Oh, and it comes with several nifty accessories, like an OTG cable.
What many consider the ultimate gaming-oriented Android device. The Shield packs a full-sized controller, a Tegra 4 processor, plenty of optimized games, and a hefty $300 price tag. Like most of the other options, there’s also an app that allows you to map the controls for your emulators/games. It’s also possible to stream games from the PC onto the Shield, but it’s not exactly an enjoyable process. However, it works well enough once you get it set up. However, the signal isn’t exactly huge, but the almost complete lack of lag is great.
Sony Xperia Play
It’s a phone with a slide-down gamepad equipped! It reminds me of the iOS Bladepad. While the phone itself is old and mediocre, with a single core, it can still make a great budget device, especially for the sake of emulation. It’s stylish, reminding me of one of those old QWERTY phones, but cooler. It’s great for emulation, but has some issues running the most graphic-intense Android games. The best part is that it’s so cheap. On eBay, you can pick one up for under $20 if you get lucky. Hell, I found a pink one for $1.03.