Stately Gaming Hardware


I didn’t want to derail another topic with hardware questions but I am looking to make an upgrade and I am doing my due diligence and looking for opinions. With yearly Apple releases and who knows how many android options, perhaps this thread can be used by some of you should you have any issues or questions.

I currently have an iphone 6+. It was a hand-me-down and I’ve been using it since Jan. I quickly got used to the larger size and using two hands for many activities; it is all second nature to me at this point. I am looking to upgrade, though, and am torn between all the new models. It seems to me the the XR is simply the “budget” option and, while an upgrade to my phone, isn’t up to the XS standards. I’m a little torn between the XS and XS Max because the idea of getting the same screen in a smaller package is appealing, but since I’m used to a big phone, the idea of getting a phone with the same dimensions but a much larger screen is also appealing. I do feel like Apple is gouging us with the prices, but my budget can accommodate any model; that doesn’t stop me from doing a cost-benefit analysis, though.

Do any of you have an experience with the XS? Or, I suppose, the X. How well do they handle old games, considering the aspect ratio is different? Any opinions?

Note that I’m locked in to Apple because of some professional apps that both my wife and I need for our respective jobs. And the library I’ve created over the past however many years I’ve been buying off the app store.



I had the 6 and upgraded to the X last year, and the XS this year (iPhone upgrade program ftw). The “old” games I have on there are Dream Quest, Transistor, Limbo, Polytopia, and Threes. Everything looks great except Dream Quest, which is shmushed to an almost unplayable size. IIRC, it was pretty letterboxed on the 6 too?

I played with the XS Max in the store and didn’t love it - it didn’t have the software aspects of the + devices that I was interested in - no split screen like on the iPad, no landscape view on the home screen, etc. It didn’t feel bad in the hand size wise, but I figured once I threw a case on it I’d never be able to fit it in my pocket again.

The X and XS are both extraordinary devices, although I think you’re “stuck” with an XS unless you can find a used X. The camera is absolutely breathtaking in portrait mode and the phone runs unbelievably fast. I’m meh on Face ID versus Touch ID, but ymmv.


I have an X (can’t justify the price to upgrade to the XS, but I’m pretty positive my next iPhone will be a plus/max).
It is hands down the best iPhone I had since the 4S (I had a 6S prior to the X).
So prices aside, go for the XS or the XS Max without doubts, you will be blown away.
I have currently no games that don’t natively support the X, BUT (a big BUT) Race for the Galaxy and Downwell (which is all black so you won’t notice)…YMMV…I tend to complete everything I buy and I delete what I completed but some mainstays…and everything was updated (it’s annoying when it’s not, especially when you try compulsively things with your new precioussssss…RftG not being updated annoys me to no end, I play the game all the time).

That said…I had friends that came from a plus and got a X/Xs and where fine, but some others that felt the X too small…so I would advise you to get the XS MAX.
It’s slightly smaller than your plus, with a bigger screen (and everything else glorious).

The best thing to do is going to an Apple store if you can, and try the XS and the XS Max.
You will probably set for the Max as you are already accustomed to the huge phone.

No matter the huge backlog of unoptimized apps you may have, tons and tons of new games are on the horizon…so it’s almost a non issue imho.


Thank you both.


I’ve had an X for the last year, and while I love the phone, there are a few issues with gaming.

While a lot more apps support the aspect ratio of the X, there are still some games that have never been updated for it. No Playdek games have been updated for the X. Coming from a 6+, it was frustrating at first to have the effective screen size for games smaller than what I had before, when I had expected it to remain the same. Fortunately Czech Games and Digidiced eventually updated all of their games.

The other significant issue with gaming on the X is gesture navigation to the home screen. Since minimizing an app is done by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, games that involve sliding cards from the bottom of the screen (Ascension and Through the Ages particularly in my case), can be annoying at some point. Ascension in particular, if you accidentally minimize the screen when playing your first card will result in having to return to the app and watching your opponent’s last turn all over again. I’m not really sure what the solution is here (maybe having the option to change gestures?), but I don’t believe there is a reasonable one a year later.


Know that you can disable the gesture, I do it expecially for games that requires you to swipe up from the bottom (cards or platformers).
You can do it ‘per app’.
The initial set up is a bit cumbersome, but once done, it’s done forever.
As a bonus you get rid of the annoying bottom bar in case the devs forgot to hide it.


I personally really hate the notch. Really hoping they embrace the design for the next few years because if they figure out a way around it a year after I spend money, I’m going to be frustrated.


I messed with this a few months ago, but as far as I can tell, you need to enable Guided Access every time you start the app, then disable it to get out. That’s not ideal to pop in for an async turn. Am I missing something?


I guess not, but I found it super handy and fast, especially before a 5 hours session of Oddmar :slight_smile:


I’m probably getting an XR soon as an upgrade to my 7+. Budget is somewhat of a concern—I find it hard to justify the XS or XS Max. If I remember, I’ll post some impressions in here once I’ve had it for a bit.


One of the things I’m using to justify the XS is the camera. I do like photography but it is harder and harder for me to bring out my SLR and lenses when I’m wrangling the kids.


Another question: I know this varies widely from person to person based on what each individual’s need is, but since Apple still has some asinine policy against expandable memory, do any of you have any ideas which memory option seems best for you?


It hugely vary from person to person.
Personally I always go with 64 Gb, I always have over 30 Gb free.
But I keep almost no backlog, I take a TON of pictures but the first thing I do is copying them onto the home NAS when I’m back home, I don’t store movies or music on the device.
I know people who struggle with 128 or more tough.


I went with the 256gb, which is entirely more than I’ll ever need. The upgrade from 64gb (no 128 tier anymore iirc) was nominal - another 4 dollars a month. It’s nice to not worry about having to delete anything.


Again, thanks to all the replies.


I got the XS Max and love it, but am also paranoid. After getting it, I’ve now been reading that many people are experiencing connectivity issues. I find that I have probably 2 bars at most times. The thing is, I live in a slightly rural area and my connection may always have been exactly as is, but now my bars are far more visible to me and I’m monitoring them more closely. I don’t know that I’ve had any actual speed issues, but after spending what I did I’m on edge that something is wrong…


I don’t have any connectivity issues with mine, normally. I have noticed that it sometimes takes forever to reconnect to LTE when I’ve been somewhere I didn’t get service.


The thing is that I don’t know if I have a reduced signal or not because I don’t have a baseline to compare it to. It could be that I’ve always only gotten two bars but I never really paid attention in the past. Pure paranoia on my part now.


I’ve been ok on the XS - is it isolated to the Max? I also just switched carriers to FirstNet, so my service got exponentially better (suck it, Sprint).


From browsing around, it sounds as if it could be the XS and the XS Max. Nobody can pinpoint the exact problem, though. Apple changed antenna manufacturers, so some people point to that, but possible solutions could be either hardware or software related. Apple hasn’t actually commented yet.

Again, I never ran a speed test in the past and I never really looked at my bars. I haven’t noticed any drastic slowing on my new phone, it my bars are usually at 2, and if I sit in one spot I can often watch the bars jump around between 1-3.

I’m going to go to an Apple Store on friday to ask about it, but seeing that I don’t notice a difference other than with the icon, I’m going to just have to learn to ignore those very obvious bars up by my notch.