There has been a wave of new Android Gaming tablets that have hit the market over the last few years, and more coming with Playstation’s announcement of their Project Q. I’m here to let you know that these tablets are inherently a scam and that you should not pick any of them up to play the games that they are toting because you simply don’t need them.
A lot of the services that they are claiming to use are services that you can already use on your Android device that you already have. Be it your phone or your tablet, if you already have an Android device, you do not need to pick up any of these newer devices. Or if you are looking for specific features you may even have them to hand or can be bought for a lot cheaper than an entirely new device.
Let’s talk about it. Here are the things you need to keep in mind if you’re thinking of picking up one of these devices and why, in the long run, you probably don’t need it at all.
While Sony in particular has a good reputation for keeping software updates and the like for their devices, there is no promise that this will continue when the architecture isn’t their own. These will not be Sony base devices like what you would think of when you think of a PlayStation or a PS Vita. This will be an Android-based, and run device. So, it will be missing a lot of the key attributes that you would normally associate with a pure Sony-named device. Friend of the Phandroid, Michael Fisher, aka Mr Mobile has a great video detailing the issues with licencing out a name of a brand but not necessarily having that name attached being what is inside of the device.
Since this will not be a Sony device this brings up an issue when it comes to how long the device is going to be supported.
Hardware and Software
Let’s not kid ourselves. There is a reason why Android tablets are not as good as iPads. While the software experience has certainly improved over the years, Android tablets are known for becoming obsolete quickly. This is largely got to do with the hardware that is put into these tablets, and how due to their competitive price point and general market saturation. The best of the best are rarely put into these products which would ensure that they would have a long shelf life to support the infrastructure that is to come down the line.
You could buy the best of the best in the Android tablet space, and in 3 years’ time, it could be as slow as rocks because simply – things have changed too much in order for it to keep up. This is a long-running problem with Android tablets, and while there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight to tackle this problem this certainly isn’t going to help with the Android tablet wasteland. There has to be a dedicated team willing to be able to utilise the software and hardware for a significant period to come. Otherwise, there isn’t a point.
iPads tend not to undergo the same heavy iteration in terms of their internals as their Android counterparts. And that’s because if you make developers keep within the same range of silicon and capacity – that is what the software will then be focused on. When you keep changing the silicone and have major software updates along with OEM skins – it gets harder to keep developing in a way that this going to be responsive to the hardware in 3 or 4 years time.
A good indicator of this gap is what is happening with the foldable space. Very simply, in the earlier iterations Android simply wasn’t built to support dual screens. Even when they did, it was underbaked and buggy. This is because there were so few in volume that developers simply hadn’t put the time into developing for those platforms. Now that they have become more prominent, developers have been putting more time into it. As it’s becoming less and less niche and more mainstream. Will these Android tablets have the same longevity? I really doubt it. Especially when you consider that there is nothing that these tablets have to offer that your phone or current tablet doesn’t already do.
Cloud Gaming and Remote Play
Your phone can already do whatever these tablets can do.
Yes. Right now.
Yes. With the phone or tablet, you have right now.
This is because all of the games that these tablets would run will also run on your current Android device. All because these things run on a system called Cloud Gaming. All that cloud gaming is, is streaming using wifi to your device. This means it requires minimal hardware power in order to stream, and mainly relies on software and a strong internet connection.
This is ubiquitous across all devices. The process of cloud gaming doesn’t change from one device to another – they all require an internet connection, a device to stream it too, and software that supports it.
The only exception to this is arguably remote play, but it works on a similar principle. Basically, once you have your Xbox, PlayStation, or PC using Steam – you can stream from your device to your phone or other screen. It uses the same technology and principle as cloud gaming, as it is a form of cloud gaming. Except you will be using your console as being the main device you are streaming your content from. So it is remote accessing your consoles using remote play.
We have guides on how to set up your devices for remote play right here:
How to remote play from your Xbox to your Android Device
How to remote play from your PlayStation 5 to your Android Device
How to remote play from your Steam PC to your Android Device
You already have the controllers
If you already own a wireless control, be it the Xbox Wireless controller, Playstation 5 Duel Sense or Playstation 4 Duel Shock controller. You already have everything you need to have a great gaming experience using the things you already have.
All you would need, arguably, is a stand or a clip to hold things together.
You can find what we recommend for the best cloud gaming accessories for your phone that won’t break the bank and will be easily about 10% of the cost of a new dedicated Android gaming device.
TLDR Don’t buy one. It’s a waste of money.
When you cannot be sure how long something is going to be supported, or how long a device’s life span is going to be – it’s very hard to recommend something like this as a solid investment. We are unfortunately at the age of cloud gaming where people are very clearly trying everything to see what sticks without thinking about true innovation in the space. In a world where our standard smartphones are so good and will be supported – assuredly – for a set number of years. Proprietary solutions, that have no assurances, is nothing but a cynical cash grab and needs to be avoided at all cost.