Thinking about a Fairphone 5, how does it handle emulation?

My Poco X3 Pro broke on me and I’m thinking of replacing it with a Fairphone 5 as I kinda hate that I was happy with my phone and now it’s just unfixable.

One of the main reasons I went with the X3 Pro was emulation performance, the Snapdragon 860 was great for Gamecube and 3DS emulation.

On paper, the Fairphone 5’s QCM6490 (what a catchy name!) seems to be equal to better than the 860. But emulation is kind of a special thing… I’ve had non-snapdragon phones before that were good on paper but sucked at emulation. So I figured I’d ask if anyone here has a Fairphone 5 and has tried emulating stuff. Nothing too fancy, just something like Pokémon Moon at 2x resolution, or Mario Sunshine with a bluetooth controller.

I adore the idea of just keeping the same phone for 5-10 years, but I’d like to have the option to have a 3DS in my pocket for the next 5-10 years if I’m going to do that.


I usually don’t do this kind of stuff on my phone, but you made me curious. After all, I specificly chose to bite the bullet on the FP5 because on paper it’s a haaair stronger than my old snapdragon 855 phone.

I quickly went and downloaded dolphin and sunshine, and grabbed my switch pro controller.
I set the game to Vulcan, and enabled performance graphs for your viewing pleasure. Though screen recording seems to fail all the time, so you only get one screenshot. Derp.
And it just works! Runs as I’d assume it should on real hardware at 30fps. Scene transitions cause a stutter, but maybe that’s shader compilation, and won’t happen again?

Now as for the controller. MAN does Android sample Bluetooth controller input like once a second? I had no idea where I was going with Mario. I remember this being an issue all the way back on like android KitKat. Whatever number that was. Considering how many android based emulation boxes and handhelds are on the market, I thought this is a fixed issue. So yeah, Bluetooth controller input (sampling?) is god awful. On-screen controls conform that the game runs fine, though.

I tried setting the game to 3x render resolution to match the 1080p phone screen, and it ran at roughly 15fps. Make your own conclusions about that one.

Mind you this was a quick low effort test. I didn’t even get fludd. I just wanted to jump around.


Thanks a bunch! That is indeed about the same as I remember my 860 doing, awesome.

I took my Poco on vacation once and spent the two rainy days indoors playing a lot of GameCube, and it would eventually start stuttering after maybe two hours, but generally run great at native resolution. Going higher did lose FPS but GameCube honestly is fine at native already. It’s more the 3DS where I’m worried about resolution, I hate playing on the actual system with 240p. That’s just not a resolution I want to 3D game at, you know? 480p is perfect for that sort of system though.

Anyway, thanks a bunch! That confirms that it’ll be fine, that’s exactly the expected performance. Other phones gave me a bunch of errors that boiled down to “sorry but your device manufacturer doesn’t love you and didn’t give you a supported driver”. So normal Play Store games would run fine but emulator were running in limp mode with CPU rendering only.

I might just go for the Fairphone! <3