Razer, a company well known for high-end gaming laptops and peripherals, just unveiled their first phone for gamers, the Razer Phone. It’s a beast of a device (as in big and heavy) that’s packed with cutting edge specs, most of which are designed specifically for the best gaming experience possible on a smartphone. How does Razer’s new phone stack up to the latest competition? Let’s take a look.
We’ve known for over a year that Razer would eventually launch a smartphone after they acquired Nextbit, maker of the Nexbit Robin. Their new device has a design that was definitely inspired by the Robin.
The similarities end with the design, however, as the Robin was a mid-range device and the Razer Phone has specs that put some laptops to shame. Audiovisual tech got the most attention and is unlike anything else on the market.
The 5.72-inch UltraMotion Quad HD IGZO LCD (that’s a mouthful) is a first for smartphones with a 120 Hz refresh rate, which is faster than anything else on the market for the smoothest graphics. Images are also sharp and vibrant with a wide color gamut. The display has adaptive refresh technology that synchronizes the GPU and display to provide the fastest refresh rate applicable to current usage, maintaining efficient power management. And that power comes from a monster 4,000mAh battery, coupled with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ for some of the fastest charging possible.
True cinematic audio comes from its huge front facing speakers with dual dedicated amplifiers that are powered by Dolby Atmos. There is no headphone jack, which is surprising for a phone this large, but a THX-certified USB-C dongle with a 24-bit digital audio converter (DAC) more than makes up for the loss. Audiophiles should be very pleased.
Specs include a now standard for 2017 Snapdragon 835, but also a massive 8GB of RAM. 64GB of storage is the only option, but support for microSD is also onboard. The camera setup on the back has two 12 megapixel shooters, with a wide angle f/1.8 camera and a telephoto f/2.6 camera. The front facing shooter is 8 megapixels. Razer borrowed some engineering know-how from their thin and powerful laptops to ensure that heat buildup wouldn’t cause thermal throttling. A heat pipe is also present to keep hardworking chips cool. The side mounted power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, similar to recent international Sony Xperia phones.
Razer is partnering with game companies like Tencent and Square Enix to bring console-like experiences to the new phone. For example, Arena of Valor and Final Fantasy XV will be optimized for the Razer Phone and take advantage of its 120 Hz display and massive speakers.
Dimensions for the Razer Phone are 158.5 x 77.7 x 8mm and it weighs in at 197g. It’s a big, blocky tank of a device with an aluminum unibody design and Gorilla Glass 3 protecting the display. It will ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat on November 17th for a competitive $699 and Razer promises an upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo in Q1 2018. Unfortunately, the phone is GSM-only, so Verizon and Sprint customers are out of luck. It can be ordered directly from Razer and will also be stocked at Microsoft Stores throughout the US.
There will be a special edition model for early adopters that has a green Razer logo on the back instead of the standard chrome. 1,337 of these units will be scattered around the world and on Razer’s online store. Enthusiasts should act fast if they want that iconic green logo adorning their new phone.