Last Updated on September 17, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks
Mobile gaming has boomed over the last few years. They have even outperformed console and PC gaming in terms of revenue. I’ve gotten a few questions from people asking me if iPads are good for gaming and whether they are better than iPhones for this purpose.
iPads are good for gaming. You can have a pleasant time playing games on it, but are they better than iPhones? Well, there are certainly a few differences. iPhone is more compact and easier to hold in hands. On the other hand, iPads have bigger screen real estate, and if you connect a controller to your iPad, you have a huge advantage over your competitors in shooter and racing games.
Let’s compare these two and let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
iPhone vs. iPad For Gaming
Let’s compare these two devices and let’s bring out the best of them when it comes to gaming.
- Screen Size: The iPad has a larger screen which allows players to see more of the game and see objects.
- Performance: High-end iPads are powered by desktop-grade M2 chips, boasting a higher number of GPU cores that deliver outstanding performance.
- Battery Life: The larger size of the iPad allows for significantly better battery life even under heavy usage.
- Speakers: iPads have better audio.
- Screen Size: The iPhone has a reasonably sized screen, but it falls short in terms of sheer size, making some objects and control schemes impossible to fit on the layout.
- Performance: iPhone’s A-series chips are powerful, but they prioritize battery life over performance by having fewer GPU cores.
- Battery Life: The iPhone can only handle high-intensity games for a few hours before its battery runs out.
- Speakers: iPhones are known for their great audio quality. However, their two speakers may not provide an immersive gaming experience as it can be challenging to distinguish sounds like footsteps or gunfire.
A larger screen size in gaming enhances clarity and provides more control space. In terms of size iPad is better. But when it comes to real life, it is hard to hold your iPad in your hands for a long time of period. It’s bigger, and it’s heavier. In terms of comfort, the iPhone is superior.
Then again, there is iPad Mini 6 which is 8-inches big and it’s the perfect size for gaming.
Although the iPhone’s A-series chips are impressive, the M2 surpasses them with more high-performance and GPU cores. As a result, the iPad consistently delivers better gaming performance, offering higher frame rates (FPS) and the ability to render higher-resolution textures.
The iPad outlasts the iPhone in gaming sessions due to its larger battery capacity. iPhone can last around 8 hours of battery life while iPads can do 10+ hours.
When gaming, having a device with extended battery life is crucial, whether on the go or at home. Being tethered to a charger can limit mobility and cause inconvenience.
The iPad’s speakers surpass the iPhone’s by a significant margin. The latest iPad Pro generation boasts Dolby Surround Sound and a 4-speaker array, delivering impressive audio quality despite its compact size.
While the iPhone also possesses commendable acoustic capabilities, it cannot compete with the iPad in this regard. It is recommended to use good wireless headphones for gaming, but if you rely on the onboard speakers, the iPad provides accurate sound localization, allowing you to pinpoint footsteps and gain a directional sense.
In contrast, the iPhone struggles to offer both clarity and the ability to discern enemy movement solely through footsteps due to its limited speaker range.
Extended gaming sessions on the iPhone can cause it to heat up, affecting battery health and performance. In contrast, the larger size of the iPad allows it to handle high-intensity loads for longer periods while dissipating heat more effectively.
During gaming, it’s not pleasant to hold a device that feels like a hot brick. The iPhone tends to heat up due to the GPU cores generating a significant amount of heat, and since there’s limited heat dissipation, the experience can become uncomfortable over time.
In contrast, the iPad remains relatively cool, providing a more comfortable gaming experience, especially during longer gaming sessions.
Are iPads Good For Gaming?
It’s certainly a good option, and here’s why:
- Larger screen size: The iPad’s larger screen provides a more immersive gaming experience, allowing you to see more details and enjoy games to the fullest.
- Superior performance: With powerful chips like the Apple M2 and 120Hz screen the iPad Pro delivers excellent gaming performance, producing higher frame rates (FPS) and the ability to render high-resolution textures.
- Longer battery life: The iPad’s larger battery capacity allows for longer gaming sessions without needing to worry about charging. It provides extended gameplay on the go or at home.
- Enhanced audio experience: The iPad features impressive speakers, providing immersive sound quality, which adds to the overall gaming experience.
- Portability: Despite its larger size, the iPad is still portable enough to take with you on the go, allowing for gaming anytime and anywhere. Especially if you choose iPad Mini.
- Multi-functional device: The iPad serves as more than just a gaming device. It can be used for productivity tasks, content consumption, and more, providing versatility and value beyond gaming.
In summary, the iPad’s blend of a spacious screen, robust performance, extended battery life, and additional features positions it as an appealing option for gaming enthusiasts.
It’s important to note that I’m not asserting iPads are superior to iPhones for gaming; both devices come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, and these pros and cons largely depend on individual preferences.
Which Are The Best iPads For Gaming?
If gaming is your primary focus and you’re in the market for the best iPad, you have two compelling options: the iPad Mini 6 and the iPad Pro 6.
If you prefer gaming with a controller and value high performance, the iPad Pro is your top choice. However, if you prioritize comfort and a slightly larger screen compared to the iPhone, the iPad Mini 6 is the ideal pick.
- OS: iPadOS 15
- Screen Size: 8.3-inch
- Resolution: 2266×1488
- Processor: A15 Bionic Chip
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB, 256GB
- Camera: Back: 12MP wide | Front: 12MP
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Ports: USB-C port
- Dimensions: 195.4 mm x 134.8mm x 6.3mm (7.69in x 5.3in x 0.25in)
- Weight: 0.65lbs (293g)
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
- OS: iPadOS 16
- CPU GPU: Apple M2
- Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
- RAM: 8GB/16GB
- Camera: 12 MP Wide (Front), 10 MP Ultra Wide (Rear), 12 MP Ultra Wide (Rear)
- Display: 11 inch / 12.9 inch
- Resolution: 2388×1668 / 2732×2048 (~264 ppi)
- Weight: 1.03 lbs / 1.51 lbs
- Port: USB-C
- Battery: 10 hours
I wouldn’t advise using the iPad Air or the standard iPad for gaming, as neither of them features a 120Hz screen, and they both sport a 10.9-inch display. If you’re in search of a compact gaming device, the iPad Mini is the superior choice.
However, if you prioritize top-notch performance and screen quality, the iPad Pro is the superior option.