The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

“Isn’t every new iPhone the best gaming iPhone yet?” Sure, but the all-new, all-larger iPhone 6 is better than that.

If you’d asked my as recently as Friday afternoon what I thought of the iPhone 6 as a gaming device, I would have probably responded with something along the lines of “Screw T-Mobile in it’s stupid T-Mobile arse.” This is because, as of Friday afternoon, it didn’t look like I’d be getting one at all.

I’d preordered a 16GB (too small, but I’m broke) iPhone 6 Plus, the larger of the two new devices, the previous Friday via the T-Mobile website. That preorder did not go through. I discovered this on Saturday, and preordered three more times before one finally took. In a mild panic at the thought of not being able to cover the new iPhones at launch, I contacted T-Mobile phone support on Monday, and was assured by a representative that my unit would ship up either Wednesday or Thursday.

Four days and several angry tweets to T-Mobile’s various accounts later, I was informed my device was backordered and wouldn’t ship for weeks. Frustrated, I called to cancel my order. This time the helpful representative suggested I call around to local T-Mobile stores, as late-day shipments might equal availability.

At 8 PM Friday night I walked out of a local T-Mobile store with a shiny new 128GB iPhone 6 — for less of a down payment than I had committed to for the 16GB 6 Plus. The whole process was a nightmare, but I wound up with what I think was the best possible new iPhone I could get.

The Right iPhone 6

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

Do not let this photograph fool you — I have massive hands. And having massive hands has meant that the smaller-sized iPhones that have come before have always felt relatively tiny in my paws. An extra .7 inches over the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5s might not seem like much, but it makes a huge difference.

The iPhone 5c (blue, thank you) I rocked previously would get lost in my hand. Holding the iPhone 6 in one hand I have to stretch my thumb to reach the top left icon. I feel like such a tiny pixie person.

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

As ginormous as my hands may be, I don’t think they would have been quite up to navigating the iPhone 6 Plus, even with its handy “pull down the screen so thumbs can actually reach icons” feature. A 1920 x 1080 screen versus the iPhone 6’s 1334 x 750 sounds lovely, and I wouldn’t have minded the optical image stabilisation (the 6 camera is quite impressive without it), but all-in-all I feel I wound up with the right device for me.

If you’re still keen on a 6 Plus and don’t mind waiting months before getting one, then by all means. Just make sure you have very large pockets, and be prepared to double-hand games you used to play with one.

What’s Great About It

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

Just look at that body. So thin. So light. So well-crafted that, despite being slightly heavier than the 5s, it feels like it’s not. Those lovely rounded edges make the iPhone 6 a wonderful companion piece to my Retina iPad Mini, at least until the next generation of those come out.

Despite it’s sleek look, the metal back of my Space Grey iPhone 6 has a soft texture that lends a bit of grippiness while gaming.

Of course the bigger display is a huge draw of the iPhone 6, and while it’s not quite comic book reading size, it’s certainly lovely and large compared to what’s come before. Dual-domain pixels, new to the 6 line, make for a wider viewing angle, which makes games with tilt control a little more tilt-able.

iPhone games look better on the iPhone 6 screen. That goes double for games recently-updated to take advantage of Apple’s game-enhancing Metal tech. Coupled with the 25 per cent faster CPU and 50 per cent faster graphics of the new A8 chip that powers the iPhone 6, and resource intensive games like Gameloft’s Modern Combat 5 really sing. It’s a noticeable improvement over running the game on my old iPhone 5c or iPad Mini.

Then there’s this:

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

That’s the iPhone 6 power button. It’s finally been moved from the top of the phone to the side. I love this. I cannot count how many times I’ve accidentally suspended or powered off my older iPhones while playing particularly action-packed, landscape-oriented games.

Plus the iPhone 6 has the nifty thumbprint reader security technology from the 5s, which makes grabbing new games from iTunes (now with game bundles) so much less of a hassle.

What’s Not So Great About It

One. Damn. Speaker. On the side. Where my hand goes. Dammit, Apple.

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

Aside from that perennial complaint of mine, the only huge downside to upgrading from an iPhone 5c or 5s to a 6 is for folks who purchased one of those pricey game controllers designed specifically to house the older units. Next time go with something with a universal clip, like the upcoming MOGA Rebel from Power A.

Fooled Around. Fell In Love.

My advice to anyone perfectly happy with their current iPhone model for gaming — do not touch the iPhone 6.

Up until the phone was in my hands late Friday evening, my only reason for picking one up was my particular line of work. There’s certainly no pressing need to upgrade for gaming. The faster processor is nice, but history has shown us developers aren’t keen to alienate potential customers by locking out older devices.

The Best Gaming iPhone Yet

I did not need an iPhone 6, but now that the somewhat-new, mostly-improved device is in my hands, I can’t imagine playing iOS games on anything less.


  • I stopped playing games on my iPhone 5 beside Clash of Clans and the Simpsons tapped out. When I got my 6+ the first thing I did was download a bunch of games. The bigger screen size is so much better for playing games on my phone. It feels close to using a ps vita, minus the thumb sticks. Higly recommended for anyone who wants to play games on the go whilst being able to text and call people.

  • Welcome iPhone users to the big screen! Now you can enjoy what us Android Gals and Guys have been enjoying for some time now.

        • Considering the amount of people I’ve seen return iPhones and Samsungs and Motorola’s and Nokia’s why buy any phone. That’s a really poor rationale.

          • I guess it’s luck of the draw really. But he didn’t take back one phone, he’s taken back seven of the same model trying to get a working one. He’s always had HTC phones, but he says the quality has just dropped out of them.

            I’ve seen people take back Motorola Samsung and iPhone, I even took back a Nokia. The thing is the replacement worked perfectly. Considering he was getting them all from the one store maybe their stock was dropped during delivery, cooked or some other issue. I’ve seen an entire truckload of Blu-Ray & DVD movies get cooked before. And all that took was a two hour delay and a sunny day.

          • That’s what I mean, bad batches and generally bad models can happen to any brand, my partner had a Motorola that got replaced 4-5 times with the same issues. HTC did have a bad run a couple of years back but the One series has been back to their usually high standards.

    • Have they fixed all the crashes on games? Everything I play on my S2 crashes… The iPad crashes a bit, but no where near as much as the Samsung. Will a G3 or m8 NOT crash as often as a fairly vanilla S2?

      • I had heaps of problems with my s2, then got the s3 which was better, then the s4 which was better still.

        My s5 never crashes.

    • I’ve got a Note 2 but I say go for tablets. I played on a 8-inch tablet and it totally ruined any touch-based game experience on my phablet.

  • The third paragraph in says, you pre-ordered an iphone six plus, in the same sentence you say you are broke. one of these things cannot be true.

  • Ha. As always, the obligatory “welcome – we’ve had X feature for ages” posts from Android fans.

    I swear, Android is the more cult-like nowadays.

    • it is kinda necessary when ALOT of iphone users get these sometimes 4 year old features and think they are the first to ever get them. In the same way Apple owners would do the exact same thing if the roles were reversed.

  • If you’re broke don’t buy an iPhone! If you must have a new phone, get a Nexus or something, heaps cheaper and heaps better.

  • Best gaming iPhone, yes.
    Best gaming phone, Hell no. My Galaxy note 3 + DS3 + console emulation > iAnything. Im just disappointed i didnt get an android earlier

      • SCUMM, PSX, N64, SNES, PSP, Genesis, GBA, GBC, MS-DOS games, that I know of. Also, PC games if you stream with an NVidia card (I haven’t tested it yet!)

        You definitely need a controller, but. Emulators have crap controls.

  • ….Nah, im getting the Z3. Especially because ill be able to use it for remote play with PS4 and hook it up to the PS4 controller

  • A lot. I mean a whole-friggin-catalogue of a lot. Im sure it works with any Android phone just need to do some homework.



  • Excuse me if I take a moment of levity to laugh at all the iPhone users that used to scoff at the bigger Android phones as though small phones were a sacred dictate of their minimalistic masters and now they are all raving at the new iPhone as though Apple just invented the big smartphone.

    • And that’s the thing, in this throw away age, memories are short and ignorance is bliss on both sides of the “my phone is better than your phone” argument.

    • Umm, I was really hoping to get an iPhone finally after looking on enviously as they “just worked” and my S2 kept crashing away. Now I see a bigger screen that finally has 1080, but it’s too big and the smaller one which looks just right is still stuck in 750 mode. This sux. I was finally going to be able to become a sheeple and they pull this rubbish.
      Now I have to look around at all the Androids and worry about what skin I’m going to use and how to best use it so that it “just works” and doesn’t suck.
      Also, I don’t see anything anywhere analyzing the new architecture that lets applications talk more easily. As one of the security benefits of the phone (as well as not having that stupid NFC) this has also been watered down. I wanted to be a sheep and they are forcing me not to be! AARGH!

  • Got the iPhone 6+ and its pretty nice for gaming. Its about the same size as a Nintendo DS, but easier to hold. Battery life is pretty awesome. Annoyingly enough even though the screen is big enough to play some iPad games because its a phone they don’t show up: Hearthstone is an example. Games like Age of Zombies are nice because the large clear screen lets you see the play field in more detail: less likely to miss power-ups and so on.

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