Back when Windows Phone was in its heyday (yeah, that's right, that time existed!) there was a lot of ideas coming out of Microsoft about what the platform could be one day. Not just a lineup of great smartphones with a fantastic software keyboard, but also the best possible place to go when you wanted to play some games when you were away from the Xbox. This was one of the reasons why I was so enthralled with Windows Phone. I was definitely all on board with that vision.
Microsoft saw a future where you could not only use a Windows Phone device to play with other people on an Xbox, but also start a game on the console, continue it on your phone when you stepped out of the house, and then go back to the console --from where you left off-- when you returned home. For Microsoft, its mobile platform was a natural extension to so many different aspects of its business that it was genuinely exciting.
And yet, here we are in 2018 and Windows Phone/Windows Mobile 10 is not a thing.
As a result, Android has taken the place of Windows Phone as the default mobile platform to handle most of the legwork for gaming on the go, and other companies out there have handled game delivery. You can stream full console/PC games to smartphones now. And titles like Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have some pretty impressive mobile versions of the popular titles.
The idea here is to bring gaming experiences to more devices, but some companies want to offer up the best possible experience while playing those titles. Like Razer, for instance, which has its dedicated gaming flagship smartphone, the Razer Phone 2. But they aren't the only company going this route. We've got Xiaomi and the Black Shark brand. ASUS has the ROG gaming phone, too. There are quite a few different options out there.
What they bring to the table depends on the company. Black Shark has its own dedicated gaming mode, which makes subtle changes behind-the-scenes to make sure the device's hardware is tuned for the best possible experience while playing a game. And Razer has the "vapor chamber cooling system" design to make sure the handset doesn't get too hot with extended play sessions.
I've never seen one of these devices in the wild yet, but that really doesn't surprise me. I'm not in a huge metropolitan area by any means, and while I know plenty of people play games around here on consoles and PCs, a dedicated gaming device just doesn't feel like a must-have smartphone in this particular area.
However, I am curious if these types of devices are catching on elsewhere. Razer snagged a pretty great deal in the fact that it's launching the Razer Phone 2 on AT&T later this week. And with that in mind I have to ask: Are you in the market for a dedicated gaming smartphone? If so, which handset are you considering picking up, if you haven't already bought one? And if not, why hasn't one of these devices caught your eye? Let me know!