Hardcore gaming on the smartphone has yet to gain widespread acceptance for a variety of reasons such as the lack of grade A titles and the sheer awkwardness of using a touchscreen panel to for controlling gameplay when a controller or a mouse would be the superior option. But what if some OEM came up with a smartphone that features an analogue thumbstick for gaming? Say, a smartphone like the MOPS Phantom of the Opera T800? Now that is what we call outrageous, in a good way of course.
Gaming phones? Who needs them? Well, it seems that at least one particular smartphone OEM does, having recently launched its own idea of what a gaming smartphone should be if it has access to various popular game titles like the ones that were first present on the first-generation PlayStation console. However, it seems that Sony Ericsson is no longer the only OEM to offer a smartphone that is designed purely for gaming purposes; apparently, a Chinese OEM has also gotten interested in the idea of selling a similar smartphone for the Chinese doemstic market. And the name of this China-only smartphone? Why, the MOPS Phantom of the Opera T800, of course.
Allegedly the brainchild of a bunch of tech-ignorant stuff working in a wine brewery known as Zhang Yu Aifei International Wineries, the MOPS Phantom of the Opera T800 (we'll just call it the T800 from here on) is very obviously based off the Nokia N8's design, but the the addition of an analogue thumbstick and a few extra buttons to make the smartphone a little more gamer-friendly. Well, at least in terms of ergonomics.
An interesting little point to note is that the T800 sports what appears to be a dedicated button for toggling the smartphone's 'gaming mode'. Apparently, the good folks over at the wine brewery thought that the inclusion of such a button would be a huge asset when it comes to instantly terminating a gaming session and returning the T800 to the 'Home' screen when the boss makes his rounds.
Specifications-wise, the T800 is no attention grabber, although there is some decent hardware hidden under the hood. Apparently, the T800 is powered by a processor clocked at 806MHz, although Giz-China claims that the phone also features its own dedicated GPU that swings into action during gameplay. In addition, the T800 also features both front and rear-facing cameras, but unlike most other devices which uses a VGA image sensor for the front camera, the T800 breaks the mould by reportedly featuring a 3mp image sensor for its front-facing camera. However, the other aspects of the T800's hardware are not as impressive; the phone only sports a paltry 512mb of memory, while the 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen is only capable of HVGA resolutions of 480 x 320. Lastly, the phone is powered by version 2.2 of the Android operating system, and comes bundled with various other standard features such as 3G and WiFi support, GPS, Bluetooth and an SD card reader.
No mention about the MOPS Phantom of the Opera T800 gaming smartphone's release date and availability has been made, although Giz-China claims that the Chinese domestic market will be able to see this phone hitting retail shelves "soon" at the price of 2680 yuan (approx US$421).