Is iPad Better Than iPhone For Gaming?

Last Updated on June 20, 2022 by Ernests Embutnieks

Gaming on mobile devices is an enjoyable experience especially if you are a big fan of the few major titles released on iOS and Android. With that said though, the iPhone and iPad have predominantly dominated the space as great gadgets and pseudo-gaming consoles. With that said, is the iPad better than iPhone for gaming?

Yes, the iPad is much better than the iPhone for gaming due to it having a better battery life, heat dissipation, speakers, performance, and screen size.

In this article, we’re going to gloss over all the reasons why the iPad is better than the iPhone for gaming. So, stay tuned!

Why Is The iPad Better Than iPhone For Gaming?

We’ve taken matters into our own hands and pitted the iPhone and the iPad against each other in a series of gaming-related tasks and have identified the unique intrinsic differences between them. For a quick summary of all the reasons why the iPad is better than the iPhone for gaming, take a look at this table:

  • Screen Size: The iPad has a much larger screen which allows players to see more of the game and see objects more clearly
  • Performance: Higher-end iPads are equipped with desktop-grade M1 chips which have a greater sum of GPU cores and deliver excellent performance
  • Battery Life: The larger chassis of the iPad allows for it to have much better battery life even when against intense loads
  • Speakers: The iPad’s speakers consume more power, are larger, and are greater than the number which thereby produces a much better audio experience also allowing for surround sound in select models
  • Thermal Throttling: iPads have better heat dissipation since they are larger in size and are less prone to thermal throttling
  • Screen Size: The iPhone, while having a decently sized screen lacks behind in terms of sheer size, and some objects + control schemes might simply not be possible on the layout
  • Performance: The iPhone’s A-series chips pack quite a punch. However, they do not have enough GPU cores and favor battery life over performance
  • Battery Life: The iPhone can only play high-intensity games for a few hours before it succumbs to eventual death
  • Speakers: iPhone’s are known for great audio quality. However, their two speakers do not produce an enthralling experience when it comes to gaming as identifying footsteps or gunfire can be quite difficult
  • Thermal Throttling: The iPhone tends to heat up under intense load after a while and can sometimes be uncomfortable to hold

Screen Size

The iPad absolutely terms the iPhone in screen size. And, having a larger screen size when gaming allows you to see more clearly while also allowing more room for controls. Ever heard of the monstrous 10-finger grip? That’s only possible on the iPad because of its larger size.

While yes, iPhone players do perform quite well and the device is used in the E-Sports circuit too, compared to the iPad, the ability to customize your controls to such a large extent and employ various methods to try out new grips and control schemes is quite useful.

Moreover, the larger screen size just allows you to see more. And, even if the game has a fixed aspect ratio / viewpoint, you’ll still be able to see objects more clearly as they’ll take up more pixels on your screen.


The iPad always has better chips as compared to an iPhone in the same generation. However, the generational leap has only been increasing with every iteration. For instance, the 5th generation iPad Pro comes equipped with Apple’s M1 – a desktop-grade chip.

While the iPhone’s A-series chips are certainly no slouch, the M1 outclasses it due to the presence of more high-performance cores alongside a greater number of GPU cores. This leads the iPad to always have better gaming performance both in terms of producing more frames per second (FPS) and having the ability to render higher resolution textures.

Battery Life

The iPad can last for a few hours more than an iPhone when playing games. This is because of the higher capacity battery found within the tablet compared to the much smaller battery present in the iPhone. 

Once again, the iPhone has stellar battery life and you can definitely get a few hours of gaming out of it, however, the iPad simply outclasses it simply because of the sheer size of the battery that can be adequately placed in an iPad.

Personally speaking, I find the battery life to be really important when gaming on the go or even at home. You don’t really want a charger to be plugged in when you are gaming on either device as it can lock you up in a certain situation and can be quite annoying to deal with.

Thankfully, with an iPad, you won’t have to worry about charging your device and can do so after you are completely done with your gaming session. On the other hand, since you might be using your iPhone for tasks other than gaming, having it reach a very low battery percentage might not be possible.

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The iPad has far better speakers as compared to the iPhone. In fact, it’s not even fair to compare the two. The latest generation of the iPad Pro features Dolby Surround Sound with a 4 speaker array that pumps out spectacular sound especially out of a package this small in size.

While the iPhone also has great acoustic capabilities, it certainly is no match for the iPad. So, while we recommend getting some good wireless headphones when gaming instead if you do use the onboard speakers, the iPad helps you accurately identify footprints and provides you with a directional sense.

Whereas, the iPhone struggles in providing both clarity and the ability to identify enemy movement using just your footsteps simply because its speakers do not have the range to do so. 

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Thermal Throttling / Ventilation

The iPhone heats up after extended playtime which impacts battery health and also reduces its performance. On the other hand, the larger chassis of the iPad allows it to sustain high-intensity loads for much longer while also dissipating more heat.

When gaming, you really don’t want to be holding a brick oven in your hands. After a while, the iPhone tends to heat up simply because of the amount of heat the GPU cores produce. Since there’s no sufficient way to dissipate heat, the experience can get uncomfortable after a while.

The iPad though remains relatively cool and ends up providing a more comfortable gaming experience especially if you game for longer sessions. So, if you are in it for the longer matches; the iPad will certainly prove its worth there.

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I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.