Minecraft Earth will hit AR-capable phones
Microsoft has taken the wraps off Minecraft Earth; an upcoming mobile augmented reality (AR) game fusing its blocky universe into the real world. Tailing pioneering AR phenomenon Pokemon Go, the game is set to embrace location-based exploration bolstered by its creative voxel sandbox. It's familiar to Minecraft veterans while leveraging Open Street Maps for an on-the-go block-building adventure.
With AR at the heart of Minecraft Earth, Microsoft will use Apple ARKit for iOS and Google ARCore for Android. These native platforms bring AR tools directly to their respective operating systems (OS), improving tracking and detection for smoother virtual experiences. It allows the game to feature real-world ties and project small Minecraft-like structures upon your camera. However, with both platforms in their infancy, only a limited pool of devices support this framework.
As a result, Microsoft has confirmed Minecraft will only be supported by Apple devices running iOS 10 or newer, alongside at least Android 7 Nougat.
Does my phone support Minecraft Earth?
With Minecraft Earth unreleased, it's an ideal time to check if you're ready to play. Phones released in or after 2016 generally secure compatibility, running the newer versions of iOS and Android required to play.
Based on Microsoft guidelines, Minecraft Earth's iOS 10 requirement encompasses devices as early as iPhone 5, up to the latest iPhone XS flagship. Android's open nature makes it harder to identify all Android 7+ phones, although most released in recent years are covered. As for iPad and Android tablets, Microsoft is yet to provide firm details on availability.
The best way to guarantee compatibility is by checking your OS version number against the recommended requirements. On iPhone, ensure your device has installed the most recent available update, and follow the below steps. Keep in mind that menus can vary visually between iOS versions.
- Update your iPhone to the latest available OS version.
- Open the Settings app.
- Select General.
- Select About.
- Check your Version is 10 or higher.
It's a similar process on Android to check your OS version number. After updating to the newest available update, follow the steps below. Due to the open nature of Android, menus will mildly vary on your Android version and device.
- Update your Android phone to the latest available OS version.
- Open the Settings app.
- Select About phone.
- Check your Android version is 7 or higher.
If your phone has the latest-available update and doesn't meet requirements, it is unable to play Minecraft Earth.
Our top phones for Minecraft Earth
If your current device isn't fit for Minecraft Earth, a newer alternative is needed to maintain compatibility. It's an ideal time for new phones, as manufacturers push for innovative displays, sharper cameras, and feature-rich software.
While the modern iPhone lineup isn't cheap, don't overlook Apple's lower-cost iPhone XR. It strips some non-essential flair from the iPhone XS, delivering a premium product at $250 savings.
Best Value iPhone
The prime Minecraft Earth companion.
The iPhone XR shares a lot with the flagship iPhone XS, dropping some premium features for a lower price tag. It packs a 6.1-inch edge-to-edge display, backed by familiar internals under the hood. The only key differences are the single rear-facing camera and switch from OLED screens to LCDs. That comes at a hefty $250 saving, ideal for coming Minecraft adventures.
The Android space also remains competitive, including a fresh wave of top-tier phones for lower prices. The newly-released OnePlus 7 Pro is our top-value pick, sporting a notch-less display, crisp cameras, and snappy performance.
Best Value Android
OnePlus 7 Pro
Experience Minecraft Earth for hundreds less.
When you buy a OnePlus 7 Pro, you save a ton of money compared to flagships — but you won't feel short-changed. This is a proper flagship experience, with excellent hardware, a top-notch display, and wonderful specs and performance. There are a couple of shortcomings, but it still goes toe-to-toe with phones that are hundreds more.
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