Razer Phone Review
The Razer Phone is designed for gamers with its high-end features, a silky screen and powerful stereo speakers. But do players want a smartphone dedicated to the game?
The jury is still there for the moment, but the Razer phone has the makings of a phone that could tempt those who are passionate about gambling on the move.
This Android phone is focused on two main elements: the screen and the sound. Its 5.7-inch display shows the world’s first 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone and is flanked by stereo speakers. The result is a device that has severe visual and audio advantages, and there is also a lot of power under the hood.
There are also two cameras on the back, a side-mounted fingerprint reader and a 4000 mAh battery inside the black and boxy handset.
Razer Phone price and availability
The price of the Razer phone is $ 699 / $ 699 (CDN $ 890) without a SIM card, against some of the best phones on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone 8, LG V30 and Google Pixel 2.
You can take it from the Razer online store in the UK and the US, while UK stores also have the option of taking it exclusively on contract at Three.
Three requests £49 in advance on all his 24-month contracts for the Razer Phone with 12GB of data and AYCE (all you can eat) minutes and texts will cost you £ 41 per month.
If you’re craving 30GB of data with AYCE minutes and texts, you’re up to £ 45 a month, and power players can enjoy a massive 100GB with AYCE minutes and text for £ 49. Per month.
It is also available on PAYG at three for £ 594.99, or free SIM for £ 649.99.
In the United States, you will have to buy it at a price without a SIM card, without any currently announced carrier offer.
Razer Phone pre-orders open on November 1st and the device enters the stores from November 17th.
Razer told us that he is currently carrying the phone in Australia, while India has been excluded and the Middle East is a possibility down the line.
Razer Phone Features And Specs
Razer started with the screen when it was necessary to build the Razer Phone because it is essential to the gaming experience. It ends up offering an experience that you can not get on any other phone in 2017.
On paper, the IGZO 5.7-inch LCD QHD (1440 x 2560) display, protected by Gorilla Glass 3, may not seem unique – it is on par with many rivals regarding size and resolution. However, there is more to this screen than the eye.
Razer opted for LCD technology on the brighter and more colorful AMOLED technology that you find in the likes of the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Galaxy S8 because it can deliver refresh rates and higher frame rates. This is ideal, of course, for 3D games.
The result is a display with a variable refresh rate of 120 Hz and up to 120 frames per second. This means that the movement on the screen is silky – even by just scrolling through your Twitter timeline, you can enjoy the higher refresh rate as it slides effortlessly, and faster, under your fingertips.
In games, it means you do not get ghosting, with solid, crisp graphics that look great and take you into action.
Immerse yourself in the settings, and you can choose to reduce the screen resolution to Full HD (1080p), which improves the life of the battery.
The screen is bright, but as we already mentioned, it does not quite contain the color punch of the Samsung or the Pixel.
Then, in the essential features are the speakers, and we will get there. Even by our brief conversation with the phone, the two front speakers of the Razer phone are by far the best speakers we’ve heard on any smartphone, period.
They are serious, seriously impressive.
Each speaker has its amp, has been tuned to Dolby Atmos standards and is THX certified, and together they offer a ‘3D visualization’ of sound – that means they sound as good when you’re behind the phone as they are. When you’re in front.
The impressive stereo and immersive qualities give the impression that Razer has packaged more than the two speakers.
We quickly confronted the iPhone 8 Plus during our contact time with the device, and the Razer Phone comfortably won the head with a richer sound, more immersive bass and clearer sound, even at full speed.
It gives you a clean sound without distortion, and the iPhone looked rather small in comparison.
Razer is working with some developers to adapt their games to screen refresh rates that leverage the power of the Razer Phone’s GPU, although there are already some free games on the Play Store ( like Pokemon Go).
This makes games on the Razer phone to surpass the 60 fps limit of all other Android phones, allowing for faster and smoother gaming experiences.
We played Riptide GP: Renegade and Titanfall Assault during our time with the Razer Phone, and the gameplay was smooth and the graphics incredibly sweet. It is important to note that the number of frames of images does not vary unless an intense action, which saves the battery.
At launch, some of the top names that have worked with Razer to bring an improved gaming to the phone are Shadowgun Legends, Final Fantasy 15 and Arena of Valor, with some small games available from day one.
He also managed to hang on to an exclusive game in the form of Ultra Hunt, although it was not available to play during our hands-on time.
Although there are some key games for the Razer Phone, we are a little disappointed that there is not more than what is offered.
Razer is working with more partners as we speak, so I hope the library will grow in the coming months, but for now, there is not a treasure trove of gaming options.
Another thing you’ll get on the Razer Phone, but that was not ready to be seen during our time, is the Game Booster app from the firm. Game Booster will allow you to control image rate, refresh rate, resolution and background processes.
Load it and it will find all the games on your phone, and you will tinker with the individual settings for each game, allowing you to customize your gaming experience at your leisure. You will have to wait for our full comprehensive review of Razer Phone to find out what it is.
If the design of the Razer phone sounds familiar to you, you are on something. The gaming giant bought Nextbit smartphone maker in January 2017 – igniting rumors that it was planning to launch its smartphone – and used Nextbit’s unique phone design for its phone.
All this means that the Razer phone is square, block and, if we are honest, a bit uninspired in the Appearances department, especially considering that 2017 gave us the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone X.
This is not a bad design, and it’s more comfortable to think that you might expect flat edges and angular corners, but it can be hard to stand out.
The phone boasts the same finish as other Razer products, in an attempt to win fans of the brand, and it was designed by the phone mainly used in landscape orientation for the game, which partly explains the large screens above and below.
In addition to housing these great speakers, the glasses are the perfect place to rest your hands when you play, which means you cover the screen less with your mittens, giving you a better viewing experience.
Again, it is comfortable to hold, but at 8mm thick and without rounded edges, the Razer phone feels a bit chunky. In addition, at 197 g, it is also one of the heavier handsets on the market.
There is a central power/lock button on the right side of the handset that also houses the fingerprint reader, while on the left there are two point buttons that provide volume control. A USB-C port resides below.
There is no headphone jack, but Razer includes an audio adapter with a built-in 24-bit DAC with Dolby Atmos support in the box, allowing you to plug in your headphones.
Around the bottom, a large black and white Razer logo dominate, but there will also be a small number of handsets with a green logo for those who buy or pre-order the phone.
Razer also used the fanless cooling technology that is found in its laptops on the phone, which stops the handset heating too much and prevents hot spots, allowing a more comfortable gaming experience for longer.
We did not notice excessive heat during our gaming sessions, but we will extend playing time in our full review.
Performance and OS
Under the hood, the Razer phone incorporates the latest power with a Snapdragon 835 chipset and 8 GB of RAM.
We still think that 8GB of RAM is excessive for a smartphone, but Razer claims that the extra RAM will allow you to run high-powered applications (such as Twitch, YouTube, and games) without delay or slowdown.
We have not experienced a decline in performance, but again, this is something that requires additional testing in our comprehensive review.
Owners also get 64GB of internal storage, which would not scream at the top of the line like all the other features on the spec sheet – not when Apple is pushing 256GB on an iPhone. However, this phone has a microSD card slot, allowing you to build on this storage with memory cards up to 2 TB in size.
The Razer Phone runs on Android 7.1.1, which is not the latest version of Google’s OS, but we were told that the Android 8 Oreo update would arrive in the first quarter of 2018.
It’s not about Android on the phone, Razer preferring pre-install Nova Launcher on the handset. This Android launcher costs money if you have to download it to another Android phone, and it allows for greater customization and more themes from the theme store.
There will be a thematic store with licensed content, starting with the game partners and starting from there, at launch, but it was not available at the time of our briefing.
Razer has squeezed a 4000mAh battery into his smartphone – this is one of the biggest power packs of all phones, which we hope will translate into a decent battery performance.
We are told that this allows a battery life to “play all day”, which is not usual when it comes to playing on a handset – you will have to wait for our complete review to see if it can live up to billing.
It also takes in charge Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology, which should boost your battery from 0% to 85% in one hour – however, there is no wireless charging option.
The Razer Phone is equipped with two 12 megapixel rear cameras, with an f / 2.4 telephoto lens and the other with an f / 1.7 wide angle, while on the front there is an 8-megapixel snapper.
Razer opted for a super simple camera user interface, with no manual or pro mode available. It’s really a shooting business, although you can download more advanced camera apps from the Play Store if you want more options.
Both cameras are used to offer a progressive zoom, and a simple pinch on the screen will allow you to zoom in and out, to exchange between the two lenses – you probably will not notice that you move between two different cameras, as Razer worked hard to make the transition as smooth as possible.
We were not able to correctly rate the camera on the Razer phone because we were using a pre-production sample, with about 89% of video end. The telephoto lens is actually an updated version of the camera found on the Galaxy S7, so the potential performance could be promising.
The Razer phone is full of power and potential, but the stumbling block may well be its niche appeal. The gaming laptop has its legion of fans, but there is no guarantee that they will switch to a Razer smartphone.
That said, it’s easy to enjoy an excellent audio experience and a smooth gaming experience on a mobile device. The 120 Hz refresh rate screen and the dual amplification stereo speakers are features we would like to see on all phones in the future. No smartphone does it better than Razer.
We look forward to reviewing our review process in depth, to see if this can really reduce the number of big names on a day-to-day basis, but the result is certainly positive.