Samsung Galaxy S5 v iPhone 5S v LG G2 – Which is the best choice for gaming?

It’s been a long time since we’ve been restricted to dedicated portable gaming consoles for our mobile gaming experiences. The Gameboy used to be one of a limited number of options for true portable play, but these days the average iPhone has more graphics capability and processing power than most old-school gaming consoles, let alone portable offerings such as the GameBoy Colour or the Nintendo DS. Though manufacturers look at a great number of features when producing mobile phones for the smartphone market, there is a large number of people that base their decision on whether or not their phone will play the games that they want to play smoothly, with minimal lag, slowdowns, and physical considerations to stop them from enjoying the experience. There’s no point in looking at the iPhone 4 or the Galaxy S3 for this kind of task: only the best will do, and this best has been narrowed down to three. Which phone is the best for gaming out of the three posited in the title? Read on to see our verdicts.


The LG G2 is no joke when it comes to pretty much everything that anyone wants in a phone: power, size, design, and image quality. The LG G2 is one of the very best phones to own for pixel density in spite of the fact it has been out for a while now. Its screen is 5.2 inches and has a pixel density of 424ppi; its screen is full-HD as well at 1080p. This means that in terms of displaying your games in a favourable way, the LG G2 is superior to its above-mentioned competitors (both of its rival’s screens are smaller). You won’t miss out on any detail, colour, or movement in you games with the LG G2; the only way you could have more detail is if you went for a device like the Galaxy Note 3, which is more of a phablet than a classic mobile phone.

The processing power of the G2 also brings it to the forefront of the gaming market. The quad-core 2.26 gHz Krait 400 processor and 2GB of Ram means that the phone isn’t going to have a problem handling even the most demanding of games, particularly with the Adreno 330 GPU hiding under the hood as well. The LG G2 has the screen size, the processing power, and the image quality to make for a seriously superior gaming experience.

Samsung Galaxy S5

It may sound like we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but enough is known about the S5 to determine its usefulness as a gaming phone. Firstly, the phone has a Snapdragon 801 2.5ghz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Though it isn’t 64-bit architecture like the iPhone 5S, it is still a seriously fast piece of hardware that will run most games without even flinching an inch. It is a worrying revelation therefore, that the Nokia Lumia 1520 has recently beaten the Galaxy S5 in gaming benchmark tests performed by PhoneArena. If you check out the top 5 gaming phone benchmarks page on their website, PhoneArena’s texts have put the Galaxy S5 below the Lumia 1520 in terms of pure benchmark performance. Though benchmarks tests themselves have come under scrutiny recently, it damages confidence in the S5’s ability to produce gaming-standard speeds in spite of its apparently superior processing capacity.

Perhaps the S5’s shortcoming is that it its graphics processor is still the Adreno 330, the same as the Lumia 1520. The S5’s screen is still a gorgeous piece of hardware at 5.1 inches and with 1080p resolution, but one feels that perhaps the LG G2 is the cheaper and safer option if you’re going to pick a phone based on its potential for mobile gaming. Still, the S5’s price is considerably lower than the S4’s at the time of release, and one could benefit from picking up the phone on one of these S5 contracts – it is after all a greatly improved phone compared to the S4.

iPhone 5S

Many years ago, one wouldn’t have even seriously considered the iPhone for gaming purposes, but in recent years the hardware has come into its own to an extent that the 5S at one point breezed through benchmark tests and beat all of its rivals that were available at the time- all this with (on paper) slower hardware with inferior specifications. One must remember however, that the 5S is based on 64-bit chip architecture and though its mere dual-core 1.3 gHz cyclone CPU may on paper look lacklustre, it trounced the Galaxy S4, the LG G2, and a number of other phones in various speed tests (you can check out the significance of 64-bit architecture at iMore and why it matters for gaming).

Processing speed aside, the phone’s screen may be a limiting factor for many. Though Apple’s Retina Display always looks crisper and more impressive than its rivals, it is the size that bugs many: 4 inches is simply too small for many. And this is where many will choose other phones over the iPhone, particularly if they are used to larger screens. The 5S’s processing power and gaming capabilities are superior to the other two phones in this article, but the screen size simply doesn’t cut it if you’re looking for a true mobile gaming experience. This phone is most definitely the faster device of the three here today and you may consider getting it on iPhone 5S on contract, but as a general gaming phone, it falls short of the LG G2’s capabilities.