Which Phones are Best for Zombies, Run!: 2020 Edition

iPhone 7 Plus and Nokia 7.1 running Zombies, Run! on a table

You don’t need an expensive phone to play Zombies, Run!, but to get the very best running experience, here’s what you should keep in mind when choosing your next phone!

iPhone

This is easy: any iPhone that runs iOS 14 will work perfectly fine with Zombies, Run! – that means everything from the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE (1st generation) onwards. There are usually good deals on used and refurbished iPhones – we’d recommend the iPhone 8 and above.

Four iPhone SEs in a row

If you want a new phone and you’re on a budget, the iPhone SE 2nd generation ($399 USD/£419) is a great choice, since it has a fast processor and will get iOS updates for years to come!

Android

There’s just one rule: Buy an Android phone that doesn’t forcibly shut down apps in the background. This means Google, Nokia, and Sony phones.

Nokia 5.3 and Google Pixel 4a

If you’re on a budget, consider the Nokia 5.3 ($199 USD/£149). It’s guaranteed to support Android 11, which means it’ll have all the latest OS features and improvements, and it’s a solid all-round device with a decent processor and good battery.

If you can afford a little more, the Google Pixel 4a ($349 USD/£349) is a fantastic deal – it supports Android 11 and should be supported up to Android 13, plus it has a fast processor.

Both phones are likely to be discounted towards the end of this year, so keep your eyes out for good deals!

Why can’t I buy a Samsung/Huawei/OnePlus/Xiaomi/etc.?

Phone manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei prefer to extend battery life over proper functionality of your apps. They do this by aggressively shutting down or suspending apps as soon as they’re not on your screen – like when you switch to another app or lock your phone. This can also affect GPS tracking.

This does save battery, especially since there are badly-behaved apps that chew up battery in the background – but it stops apps like Zombies, Run! (and other running apps, alarm apps, navigation apps, etc.) from working properly. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to prevent this – and believe us, we’ve tried!

Usually you can change the battery management settings so that Zombies, Run! is permitted to run in the background, but:

  • Often you have to change multiple settings
  • These settings can change or even be reset when your phone OS is updated
  • Sometimes these settings are just ignored anyway

It’s absolutely possible for Zombies, Run! to work well on almost every phone, even on Samsung, Huawei, and OnePlus. It’s just more annoying to set up than it should be, which is why we recommend Google and Nokia phones for the easiest experience.