As expected, gaming company Razer is launching its first smartphone. While there are plenty of great phones with speedy processors and high-resolution displays on the market, the Razer Phone has a few special features that help it stand out.
On paper it looks like a pretty great phone for folks that need a high-performance mobile device… especially given that it’ll sell for $700 when it hits the streets on November 17, at a time when rivals are charging as much as $1000 for their top-tier phones.
In practice though, this is the first phone from Razer… unless you count the Robin, which was a mid-range phone produced by Nextbit in 2015, before Razer acquired that company earlier this year. So it’ll probably be worth keeping an eye out for real-world reviews of the phones to see if it lives up to its promise.
The Razer Phone has most of the features you’d expect from a high-end phone in 2017, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB of UFS storage plus a microSD card slot, stereo speakers, and dual rear cameras.
But the phone also has a few special features. It’s 2560 x 1440 pixel screen is a 5.72 inch IGZO display with a 120 Hz screen refresh rate and wide color gamut. Each speaker has its own dedicated amplifier and the phone supports Dolby Atmos audio certified by THX.
It also has 8GB of RAM, an 8MP front camera, and a 4,000 mAh battery that the company says offers up to 7 hours of battery life while playing Hearthstone, up to 12.5 hours of run time while watching movies, and more than 63 hours of run time while listening to music.
The phone also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology which lets you go from 0 to 85 percent charge in one hour.
The Razer Phone’s rear cameras each have 12MP sensors, but one has a telephoto lens, while the other has a wide angle lens, allowing you to capture a variety of different types of shots.
While this isn’t technically the first phone with a 120 Hz screen (Sharp’s been selling some for years), Razer says its phone is the first with a 120 Hz “Ultramotion” display, which means it includes Razer’s new G-Sync like technology which synchronizes the phone’s GPU and display for optimal performance and battery life.
At this point you probably don’t need a phone with a 120 Hz display or Dolby Atmos sound to play most Android games. But those features could pave the way for a next-gen gaming experience, and they could certainly be useful for using the phone with a virtual reality headset. Razer says it’s also already working with game developers to get them to offer mobile games that offer higher frame rates to take advantage of the phone’s screen.
The phone has a design that’s more than a little reminiscent of the Nextbit Robin if you outfitted that phone with a bigger screen and speakers that are said to be among the loudest on a smartphone.
The bezels are a bit large by 2017 standards, but you need something to hold onto while playing mobile games, I guess.
Oh, and there are a few things the phone does not have: a headphone jack, waterproof design, or wireless charging. The phone does have a 24-bit DAC that comes into play if you do plug in USB headphones though.
Other features include 802.11ac WIFi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and support for GSM networks (including AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States).
The Razer Phone will ship with Android Nougat software, but an Android Oreo update is coming in early 2018. And the phone features near stock Android software, plus a special version of the popular Nova Launcher for its home screen and app launcher.
You can reserve the phone at the Razer website, and Razer is also showing some of the first accessories including a basic case, a rugged case, and Bluetooth earbuds.
A Razer branded phone that looks like it was built in a Sony factory?
I don’t quite understand the “for gamers” moniker. The only thing that is for gamers about it is the high specs. But every single Android game can already run within the specs of typical phones like the Galaxy S8. No Android games require 8 gigabytes of RAM. I don’t really understand where the gaming aspect comes in. Sure the screen is great, but that could be good for movies or anything else too. Without some sort of gaming focused peripherals it’s just a high spec’d phone
This is a good device, but very confusing.
Firstly, they should’ve used a 1080p screen as it’s just as good as 3K screen, except it lets mobile games run much more smoothly (less taxing on GPU). And it would help increase battery life, something gamers (and everyone) care about.
Secondly that rear logo is cool, and I wished they made it RGB like their other products. It also would be nice to toggle a specific colour, adapt to certain Apps, or turn it off to save battery. And I wished it did also act like a fingerprint reader…. I have reservations about that side button.
Also 3.5mm headset jack, why remove it when you have an awesome DAC. They’re foolish sheep following senseless trends! I also hope BOTH rear cameras have OIS as it’s a must at this price, but not stated anywhere.
And lastly, come on, where’s the gamepad?
If this is for gamers, in the box should be two half-gamepads like the Nintendo Switch which should attach to the device securely and seemlesly like the connectors on the Moto Z or Essential PH-1. And that gamepad should be made high quality with minimal lag.
Now, with those minor amendments this would be a killer device!!
PS, The only problem is the SoC but nothing really could’ve been done about it besides bringing the launch 6months prior (to retain freshness) or 6months later (to use something better). It’s using the QSD 835 which is barely faster than 2015/2016’s performance rank of the QSD 636/660/820/821 chipsets. At least that’s how it feels when you compare it to the QSD 845, Apple A10, A11, and Exynos 9. Those choices will have a >30% more single-core performance, kind of like the leap from the QSD 600 to the QSD 800. Single-core performance is still critical in both Apps and Emulation (something that gamers look for in their phones).
Tempting, but out of my price range. Plus I am shocked to see no mention of OIS. Anything in this price range and above really should have it. Only mid-range and “flagship killers” which undercut the price have an excuse not to have it (like the Nubia Z17) even though we can still hope.
Nice hardware, I would love to see something like that running windows on arm
I am not sure how many people have said, gee, i wish the FPS on my Android game was higher. I feel like this is solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist. Also, no 3.5mm still a deal breaker.
It’s more important for VR
Nobody cares about VR. Cell phones have nothing to do with VR.
No audio jack is both bad business and immoral. Always used DeathAdder but if they are nasty enough to release a phone without an audio jack, they will never get a single cent from me anymore. Zero tolerance for corporations that leave out the audio jack and microSD slot, the world would be better off without them.
Razer is trying to diversify but failing to imagine appealing products.This phone has specs but horrible design and not much else.
They should have focused on materials and ergonomics since they have some experience there.If you are targeting gaming, the most important feature is a replaceable battery but there was no need to target gaming and they should have targeted their customer base – not that many PC gamers play mobile games. An affordable no BS device with a great design and the Razer logo would have done a lot better than this thing.
Interesting phone, but no Oreo out of the box= no project treble therefore questionable software support going forward…shame because otherwise an interesting phone with a great LCD display that is a real alternative to the Samsung monopoly in OLED. Hardware is great but you need good software with support over time.
Although I wouldn’t call this a gaming phone (no game controls) which is dissappointing, it is however, a fantastic smartphone that’s very reasonably priced for the specs. If I was after a smartphone I’d seriously consider it. I think Razer has made a marketing error by even mentioning it’s a phone for gamers. That can only put off some people in the much much bigger market which is the smartphone market.
Yeah it’s not a gaming phone, it is just a nice high end Android phone, most of the features are completely wasted on mobile games.
No support or link to any proper games network or even an attempt to make their own.
Strip away the icing on the cake and it’s just another vanilla Android phone.
No it’s not retard lmao. 120hz, good screen & speakers. “another vanilla android phone”. be more clueless.
I agree. This isn’t a gaming phone. Just another high-end but still gimped phone.
Looks like a higher end Nextbit Robin, which is a good thing. I liked the design of the Robin, but the build quality was subpar. Price seems about right given the gaming specific features also.
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