English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

The Best Smartphone + VR set combinations for Casino Gaming

Let’s be honest, most mobile casino games aren’t that hardware intensive – and that’s part of their appeal; the ability to run them on just about anything is one of the reason poker, blackjack and roulette are the go-to hobby for many commuters, armchair gamers, and people escaping the rain and reality by staying in bed.

However, the development of games that utilize virtual reality (VR) as a gameplay mechanic, placing the player in a digital casino with their competitors, means that you might need a phone with a little more horsepower in the future.

With Santa well on the way to finalizing his Christmas lists, here are three of the top devices for gaming on the go, along with some compatible VR units. Don't forget that, if you don't have a game yet, a good casino comparison site is a great place to start for new players looking for a quality experience, VR or otherwise - or even old players looking for a new provider or two to try.

"Samsung Gear VR" (CC BY 2.0) by Janitors

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Samsung Gear VR

The shadow cast by the S7 is enormous. Released in March of this year, the device is arguably the best smartphone money can buy - provided you have a lot of it; the S7 comes in at $650 even eight months after launch. Add on the $100 Samsung Gear VR unit and the Galaxy is a true investment in mobile technology.

The Galaxy includes 4 GB of RAM, an Adreno 530 GPU, and the Snapdragon 820 Processor, which will run just about anything currently available on the Play Store. The curved 5.5 inch display also runs edge-to-edge (hence the name), adding an extra few millimeters of AMOLED screen on either side of the phone.

From a gaming perspective, the benefits of the S7 lie in future-proofing your casino experience for the next few years. The addition of the Samsung Gear VR is a big plus for poker fans in particular, as many VR casino experiences are built around the device in addition to the Oculus Rift. The high price tag on the S7 and the Gear VR is a major barrier to entry, though.

HTC 10 + Zeiss VR One

While compromising on screen size and quality, the HTC 10 has comparable specifications to the Galaxy S7, with the added bonus of the BoomSound audio technology. The device is less expensive than the Samsung ($400) and the lack of an official VR unit (not including the Vive) means users are more likely to shop around for the cheaper, third-party options.

The Zeiss VR One is a great companion to the HTC. The headset is made by Carl Zeiss, a leader in lenses and optics (microscopes, cameras etc.), and includes support for augmented reality (you can see through your phone’s camera while wearing it, which adds even more gaming potential) as well as VR applications, movie watching, or just an immersive YouTube experience.

"Google Cardboard" (CC BY 2.0) by othree

OnePlus X + Google Cardboard VR

For the budget-conscious gamer, the OnePlus X is a great choice, as it costs $230 while Google Cardboard VR costs around $8. The latter option is admittedly based more around exploring real and virtual environments than gaming but, for a device you can build yourself, it’s both a great introduction to VR and a way of sampling the technology without the financial commitment of something like the Zeiss VR One.

The OnePlus X was a well-received device at launch and it has become gradually more accessible in the West ever since (it’s a Chinese phone). It has a smallish 5.1 inch screen and utilizes the Snapdragon 801 processor, which, while slower than the 820, is still a solid piece of hardware that will work with most casino titles on the market.

As a final point, if you don’t fancy the VR units on this list, many of the alternatives on the market can be used with any modern smartphone. Check out the Mattel View-Master VR for an upgrade of the classic toy, the Freefly, or the Xiaomi Mi VR Play, which is a good option for iPhone users in the absence of an official Apple product.