Tech Talk: Non-Flagship Samsung Fans Want Game Tuner

Samsung's Game Tuner app, compatible with Samsung's flagship offerings like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 5, has a wide range of capabilities. Among those capabilities, however, is a key feature that could help out owners of just about any device; the ability to control a game's fidelity and frame rate to consume less power or run better. While an owner of one of the most powerful smartphones out there may want to lower the quality of a game to save battery power when playing some Asphalt 8 or Dead Trigger 2 on their commute, if that same person had a lesser smartphone, the usefulness of such an option would go beyond power saving. A more stable framerate could be achieved, and some higher-end games that would normally run very poorly could be made playable. That said, why is this feature only present in Samsung's flagship devices?

While just about any smartphone user could benefit from Game Tuner, some of its features are accessible through root apps such as Chainfire 3D and various resolution changers. Not all phones can be rooted, of course, and not all owners of rootable phones want to root their device. While rooting gives you a whole new degree of control and customization, it also voids your warranty, is a fairly involved process and can result in turning your treasured device into a very pretty and expensive brick, making it no secret why the practice is not for the faint of heart. Those not willing to root just have to deal with their phone as it is, performance issues and all. With the Game Tuner app, however, Samsung could change all that, at least for their own devices, though the app could easily be ported to other devices, should they sport a chipset that Samung supports with the app.

By and large, the usefulness of the app lies in gaming, but it could possibly extend to just about any app for just about any phone. Imagine if somebody stuck with a Galaxy S2 or LG G2X for whatever reason could turn down the performance of just about any app to save power and RAM. If that function could even extend to the system apps, theoretically, a phone that would previously have run a hacked-together Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with lag in some spots and app compatibility that could be called passable at best could run as smoothly as a Galaxy S3 or LG Optimus G. As for gaming, let's use an emulator for an example. On the Sony PSP emulator app PPSSPP, the lowest resolution the app can run is the same resolution as an actual PSP. While a great number of phones can run fine at this resolution, some older devices like the Galaxy S or HTC Desire may not see playable speeds without lowering the resolution further. Game Tuner would work wonderfully for this purpose. Likewise, those who want to game on newer budget phones like the Galaxy J1 or LG Leon may find that while they can run something like NOVA 3 or PPSSPP, framerates are far from desirable and can drop to levels that disrupt the action. While most users would simply uninstall the game at this point, Game Tuner would allow these users to play the game they downloaded in return for a lower steady frame rate and downgraded graphics.

Obviously, an app like this has to hook in at system level and would likely require root, if it weren't supported by default on a phone. Even on Samsung's lineup alone, however, it could make a huge difference. Most of Samsung's budget and mid-range lineup feature specs that make HD gaming a bit of a hassle, which would mean that Game Tuner would be a great addition to the device. Such an app would also need to support the chipset on offer, and this is where the opportunity for widespread support comes in. With lower and mid-range chips like the Snapdragon 410 and 615 coming into the mainstream and finding their way into many devices, a Samsung device sporting them, such as the Galaxy Grand Prime, may get the app, and coding in support for the chipset for that phone would theoretically allow it to run on any phone with that chipset, with the right permissions. If Samsung worked something out with manufacturers to allow the app to run, or license the tech behind the app for an OEM's own app, just about everybody could enjoy better gaming.

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About the Author
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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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