Last evening as OnePlus took the wraps of its latest smartphone — the OnePlus 7 Pro, the notion universally has been positive. Many are lauding the Chinese smartphone maker for pulling all the stops on what is looking like possibly the best Android smartphone of the year. One of the interesting things that OnePlus announced was its partnership with e-sports firm Finatic. Finatic will be launching in India this year in partnership with OnePlus. The OnePlus 7 Pro even has a gaming mode optimised by Finatic and aptly it has been called the Finatic Mode. This all ties towards a DNA for the device to be one of the best gaming phones around considering it has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC which is also a powerhouse when it comes down to gaming and the phone’s mammoth 12GB RAM, 90Hz fluid AMOLED display and liquid cooling chops. For gamers, all looks hunky dory. However, what I’m going to be recommending here will true heads. It goes contrary to common thought. I feel despite all this progression for gaming on Android, the phone which remains the one to beat for gamers is the iPhone XR. Let me explain why.

  • Apple’s A12 processor is just a beast. It may be one generation old, but in pure performance it is still faster in single thread, and GPU performance than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. This is the first instance of Apple deploying a custom GPU and this quad cluster GPU delivers console quality gaming performance. Then there is the fact that Apple’s SoC is also super efficient ridding the need for liquid cooling. If you’re someone who gets swayed by how realistic a game looks, then the iPhone will be the platform to be on. Considering the iPhone XR has got a multitude of price cuts, it also becomes the iPhone which will compete with the OnePlus 7 Pro on price.
  • Apps on iOS always have been more optimised than Android. Games more so thanks to the metal graphics API. Games just sing on the iPhone. No amount of optimisations by Finatic to OnePlus’s stack of Android on Oxygen OS can beat that inherent advantage that iOS has as a platform. This is also because of the vertical integration of the SoC which is designed by Apple and the operating system coming into play. On Android phones the OS comes from Google, while the chipset comes from a third party like Qualcomm more often than not which is the case with the OnePlus 7 Pro.
  • iOS and the app store has always been home to great titles. As iOS is a better monetisation platform for developers, they tend to always release their games first on iOS, which gives it an advantage. iOS also has a reputation of being the easier development platform because of the limited device set running largely the same version of the operating system a developer has to target as opposed to billions of Android devices etching having different specs and usually on multiple generations older versions of Android.
  • Apple’s inbound Arcade game subscriptions services will make iOS in incredible mobile gaming platform that will have exclusive first party titles. That’s going to be a first for mobile, but as Apple is making sure these will be paid and with no in-app purchases, these titles will be easily monetised which has mobilised some of the best game developers on the planet to come onboard. Apple already has more than 100 games in development. Google doesn’t have mobile gaming story for Android which hampers the OnePlus 7’s dreams. Google is instead focusing on cloud based gaming with its Stadia service.
  • The iPhone is the home to one of the most thriving accessory ecosystems around. iPhone users can get access to some great third party controllers which will not be the case with the OnePlus 7 Pro at launch. iPhone users can even airplay games onto their Apple TVs and turn the iPhone into a quasi console which is a handy addition. 
    iPhone is also a superior platform with regards to augmented reality based gaming solutions.
  • iOS is the biggest AR platform on the planet and no Android device can compete with the scale of Apple’s AR play. Already there are a bunch of games on iOS the iPhone XR can leverage using its rear camera system which has been tuned for the same along with the neural engine on the A12 chip that can do stupendous on device machine learning computations.

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