Ah, Pokemon Go. Remember all the craze it garnered back in 2016 and everyone was outside as groups or by themselves, walking the streets while staring at their phone and people shouting they found Ponyta in the corner of the park?
Or maybe all the ruckus in malls and schools, where organizations were holding public events for children to go hunting for Pokemon all over the vicinity like weeaboos following a waifu pillow tied on a string?
Those were the good times.
Pokemon Go is still one of the biggest mobile games out there and people are still catching those rare Pokemon.
But don’t you just hate when you’ve finally found where Bulbasaur is, and you’re taking a deep breath hoping that you capture him, but only for your phone to either crash or have its battery drained before you could even flick your finger? Yeah, it sucks as much as trying to collect Mewtwo with a dozen ultraballs until you’re fresh out and fail miserably.
In this article, we’ll be checking out the best mobile phones to play Pokemon Go in 2018.
Before we get into the phones, we have to check what makes a good phone to play Pokemon Go.
What’s the best phone to play Pokemon Go with?
According to Niantic, Inc., here are the Pokemon Go requirements:
- Android 4.4 to Android 6.0.1 (Android N will not support until the official Android release)
- Preferred resolution of 720×1280 pixels (Not optimized for tablet)
- Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G)
- GPS and Location Services
- Intel CPUs are not supported
This means the game is accessible to a lot of mobile phones as long as the OS is up to date.
Knowing what the best phone should be will be based upon the features that make playing Pokemon Go much better.
a. The SoC (System-on-Chip)
In layman’s term, unlike computers, a smartphone is backed up by a SoC, which is an all-in-one device that stores everything that makes up the phone–graphics processor, the signal strength, you name it.
Think of it as the equivalent of a CPU.
There are variations of SoC, such as Apple has their own kind, but for this article, we’ll be focusing on SnapDragon SoCs.
So why Snapdragon? Simply because they’re very durable and they’re the most distributed SoC for Android devices, particularly for the latest phones.
It’s developed by Qualcomm–a manufacturer whose main creations are SoCs, but the Snapdragon is considered the best in their lineup.
The Snapdragon SoC is, in fact, a very good kind of chip that powers the phone.
With this kind of SoC, you’re guaranteed to have smooth gameplay on Pokemon Go.
b. Battery Life
Just like we’ve stated earlier, the last thing you want is for your phone to shut down before you catch that rare pokemon.
We’ve included phones that will guarantee you to be able to roam around in the field for at least a good 16 hours so you can maximize your Pokemon Go play session.
We’ve looked at the very best phones that make the game’s aesthetics pop-up than the average phone.
These phones are made with either AMOLED or LCD technology, but either way, as long as it shows Pokemon Go wonderfully, it really shouldn’t matter much.
While most phones provide HD resolution, some step their game up with Quad HD. The latter, of course, delivers pixel-perfect display but in the case of Pokemon Go, it only needs just the standard HD to get it running well.
Pokemon Go runs heavily when opened and if your phone doesn’t have enough RAM to support it along with other running apps in it, then the game is going to lag and eventually crash if it’s too heavy.
On the bright side, we have a good selection of phones that have at least a decent amount of RAM to cope up with the game for a smooth experience.
Majority of phones have this technology already but some are just above and beyond the rest.
Gyroscope plays an important part in displaying the pokemon on screen without getting jaggy.
A smooth gyroscope performance will ensure that whatever you want to capture on the screen will stay there and doesn’t shake as much as trapping a pokemon inside the ball.
The game has a built-in Augmented Reality mode (AR) but we recommend switching it off. Trust us, the gameplay is smoother that way.
Top Mobile Phones to Play Pokemon Go
Without further ado, here are the best Pokemon Go compatible phones.
Reminder that we’ll be analyzing the phones based on their performance for Pokemon Go and not the features that are irrelevant to the game.
Take note that these are in no particular order.
1. HTC 10 — An all-around phone that is highly responsive for playing Pokemon Go
The HTC 10 is still one of the best mobile phones in the market right now thanks to its lower price compared to its competition.
HTC has always done well in the smartphone market but the 10 is quite possibly still one of the best in their store to date.
It has been around since 2016 but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. Even up to today’s standards, the phone really holds well thanks to its high-performance technology.
It may look like the generic Android phone on the outside but for its price, you’d be surprised on the inside. The phone performs as much as its higher-priced competing mobile phone brands–even more at times.
Here are the features that make this a great phone:
- 3000 mAh battery, which means you can play Pokemon Go for quite a long period of time as long as there’s not much running apps at the same time.
- 4GB of RAM which is good enough for the game.
- 5.2” LCD screen which shows the game colorfully.
- Wonderful Quad HD that displays Pokemon Go in very high resolutions.
- Fantastic sound quality, even on loudspeakers.
- Seamless Pokemon Go gameplay thanks to its Snapdragon SoC
In today’s economy, this is one of the best cheap phones for Pokemon Go right now and if you don’t have plans to buy a fancier more elegant phone, then this is just right for you.
The phone is such a bang for your buck for all the value it gives on such a low price.
2. Moto G6–Affordable price for a high-valued premium design
One may argue that Motorola phones don’t have the competitive edge anymore since the glory days of Nokia, but that’s not true at all. Only mainstream phone users say that.
Let us introduce to you the Moto G6–a much-needed step-up from the G-series after the slightly disappointing G5.
Everything about the G6 has surpassed its predecessors, making this their best phone to date.
What’s more is that even just after its release date, it is still much more affordable compared to other brands. Plus you get so much value too for such a low price.
To our surprise, it didn’t perform like a phone for its price. It does more than the average smartphone in that price range and that is just remarkable.
Responsive gameplay, consistent gyroscope, and a clear HD display, this phone does so much:
- 3000 mAh battery which lasts long enough for a day of Pokemon Go
- A surprisingly big 5.7” screen–similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Asus Zenfone 5.
- Crisp 18:9 ratio, supported by an HD+ resolution
- 3D glass back design with rounded edges allow for easier grasp while playing
- Smooth Pokemon Go gameplay thanks to its latest Snapdragon SoC
- Storage ranges from 32GB to 64GB
While these are all good, the camera itself is a bit sluggish. The camera movement isn’t as smooth as other competing brands, but it’s forgivable.
Also, just a reminder that you can’t be able to play this on rainy weathers even if it’s just a drizzle. Unlike modern smartphones since 2016, this isn’t waterproof but that’s why the price is quite low compared to other brands.
Overall, it’s enough to get you playing Pokemon Go without worrying about performance and battery life. For a low price, it’s a sure deal.
3. OnePlus 6 — The fastest performance phone alive
If The Flash had his own phone, this would be it. OnePlus 6 is the manufacturer’s flagship phone that oozes with style and elegance.
OnePlus is considered by many Android users as a sleeper hit in the community thanks to its overall high performance.
It is also powered up by the latest Snapdragon SoC, the Snapdragon 845, introducing a new batch of phone whose powers can rival that of its big sibling laptops.
Underneath the stylish sporty design is packed with beefy specs that is just the equivalent of Chris Evans as Captain America, combining pretty boy looks and the physique of Samson.
Here are the specs that make this such a powerful phone:
- 3300 mAh that makes the battery life die hard.
- Astonishing 19:9 aspect ratio on FHD resolution
- A whopping 1080×2280 screen resolution on a 6.28” display
- 6 to 8GB of RAM which is great for multitasking while playing Pokemon Go
- Latest gyroscope technology for seamless augmented reality
- Premium gorilla glass design that will not have you worry about dropping it while playing
- Storage capacity from 64 to 256GB
The only downside to this is that it doesn’t have an expandable storage but as long as you’re not worried about stacking up files. Another is the unusually subpar loudspeaker as if it was made in 2011.
But if you don’t mind all that, this is a keeper.
Seriously, this is a beast and a great buddy to have when playing Pokemon Go. Machamp would be proud.
4. Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact— A compact smartphone that packs a wallop
Size doesn’t mean everything. In fact, Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is the smallest phone in this article but don’t let the size fool you at all.
The size and weight are quite light yet it doesn’t sacrifice anything about the specs itself.
It’s also very beautiful to look at, especially the jet black color. It just screams out simplicity but in a very chic way.
When it comes to playing Pokemon Go, the phone is quite handy and a viable device when playing the game. Here are the specifications:
- A decent 2870 mAh battery with a quick charger which is enough for one day of Pokemon Go session
- Supported by the latest Snapdragon 845 CPU
- Despite the 5” display, it shows a clear 18:9 aspect ratio with Full HD + HDR. It may be small, but it can display as much as its larger competitors in the market.
- 4 GB RAM-ready for a long day of hunting Pokemon or dueling a wackjob from Team Instinct
- Steady camera that augments the sprites in the game smoothly
- Expandable storage besides its 4 to 64GB capacity
The phone is amazingly handy too that it doesn’t feel like it would slide away from you at all.
If you find larger screens to be a hassle but still want the same performance as one, this should be your priority pick.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 — Everything that you want and need in a smartphone
Samsung’s very own Galaxy Note 9 is the brand’s most ambitious phone product they have ever made.
They literally crammed everything that’s good in a smartphone and put it all in one convenient package. A package that is full of surprises and heaven-sent perks.
The Note 9 isn’t just a smartphone–it’s your new best friend.
If you’re the business type of guy, this is for you. If you’re the casual techie dude, this was made for you. If you’re into mobile games including Pokemon Go, then settle for nothing else but this.
After the disappointing Galaxy Note 5 and the explosive flop of the Note 7, Samsung really showed their apologies by creating a successor to the already-great Note 8.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is like a passive companion that knows just how to aid you with all your mobile needs.
But perhaps the most relevant features of the Note 9 are its brand-new stylus and 4000 mAh battery. We’ve seen it time and time again that Samsung wanted to “innovate” the stylus but this time they nailed it.
It works well as a Mini-Me to the phone itself: as a remote, a camera clicker, and, for Pokemon Go, a controller. No, not the DualShock 4 kind of controller but rather something that makes you feel like a magician swishing the crap out of your wand but in the form of a Pokemon captor.
As for the battery, you can bet this phone can stay up more than a day even with multiple running apps.
Let’s take a look at its specs shall we:
- A behemoth 4000 mAh battery that will literally let you play Pokemon Go all day and night
- The phone even has a back-up self-charging in case you just need that extra effort to capture a mythical Pokemon at low battery
- A large 6.4” infinity display, backed up by Quad HD and Super AMOLED
- Aspect ratio of 18:5:9 that makes you look like you’re holding a picture than a phone if it wasn’t for the apps
- Fueled by the Snapdragon 845 CPU that complements the Note 9 screen to deliver the smoothest gameplay ever
- A good 6 to 8GB of RAM for no-lag experience even with multiple apps running
- The most advanced stylus to date that can act as a motion controller for your play session to make capturing Pokemon more interesting
- Expandable data storage up to 1TB
It’s no surprise that with all those perks comes the serious drawback–the price. This is by far the most expensive flagship in the Note series to date, rivaling directly at Apple’s overpriced iPhone XS except the Note 9 has more value for its loyal customers.
In short, go get the Note 9 if you have the big budget. We assure you–you won’t be disappointed at all.
These are the top 5 phones you’ll ever need to find all the Pokemon you need all day and night or if you just want to run to the most chill Pokestop.
- Your priority should be the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 as it delivers everything great about phones, both gaming, and business.
- If you couldn’t afford such a phone, you can always go with the OnePlus 6. It’s like Superman became a phone due to its powerful specs at a very reasonable price.
- If you want something smaller but packs the same punch as its larger competing phones, the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is just right for you.
- If you’re on a tight budget but still looking for a decent phone that is still worth displaying for its good design and specs, the Moto G6 is your ticket.
- But if it’s just an all-around phone that you’re looking for and you only need it to play Pokemon Go, the HTC 10 will do just fine.
Also if you’re wondering whether or not Pokemon Go is still a thing, yes it is. In fact, it’s still one of the top-grossing mobile games out there even after 2 years following the mainstream hype.
Now go out there and fill up your phone with common Rattatas and Weedles or go meme on the streets with the pesky rascals of Team Instinct.