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Samsung Could Be Planning a Gaming Phone (But Why?)

In the smartphone market, gaming phones live in their own niche, offering essentially the same high-end specs you'd find in any other flagship along with some minor tweaks.

But Samsung is reportedly hoping to bring that niche into the mainstream.

Gaming phones have been niche devices, but Samsung could possibly change that. Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Gaming phones have been niche devices, but Samsung could possibly change that. Credit: Tom's Guide)

In a recent tweet, Samsung leaker @MMDDJ_ said that the company is "preparing [a] gaming smartphone." The person didn't share details on what that might mean and who the sources were. The tweet also failed to reveal details on when it might launch and for how much. That said, @MMDDJ_ has become one of the more reliable Samsung leakers in recent memory and has often been right when sharing details on the company's plans.

Gaming smartphones have yet to fully take off. The devices, like Razer Phone and Asus ROG, come with high-powered features and are designed for maximizing the quality and overall playability of games. They tend to have big screens and nice-sounding speakers, but the category hasn't really taken off.

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It's unclear why Samsung would want to jump into the fray. Gaming phones have staged a resurgence, but they can also be expense to produce, since they require high-end screens with fast refresh rates. Samsung does, however, have its own display arm that could produce the right displays at a reasonable price.

TechRadar, which earlier reported on the tweet, wonders whether the leaker really means an entirely new phone to enter Samsung's product lineup. A slew of rumors have suggested that Samsung has big plans for next year's Galaxy S10, including a virtual fingerprint sensor, high-powered components, and more. And just today a new report says that Samsung is prepping a new custom-made GPU, which would certainly be a key ingredient of a gaming phone.

Samsung is similarly planning big things for a long-awaited foldable smartphone it could call the Galaxy X. It's possible, though unconfirmed, that either device could come with gaming features that help bridge the gap between a gaming phone and a high-end handset. But we haven't seen enough evidence to suggest that people really want to buy a specialized gaming phone.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.