Razer’s Powerhouse Phone for Gamers Is Delightfully Different

All images: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

While a bizarre goal was to make high-end gaming mice, Razer’s line of products has grown over a years to embody all from keyboards and aptness bands to whole desktops, laptops, and flattering many anything else a association could put RGB lighting in. However, adult until now, there was one vivid hole in Razer’s differently extensive lineup: phones. After all, some-more people spend time personification Candy Crush and Clash of Clans than even a many renouned AAA PC titles. The problem is that when a $200 Moto G5 can play Super Mario Run usually as good as a $1000 iPhone X, WTF is a gaming phone even ostensible to be?

When we contend “gaming phone,” a initial things that come to mind are inclination like a deeply injured Nokia N-Gage or a many reduction clunky, yet still wrong Sony Xperia Play, that total normal smartphone pattern with a built-in controller. But even a best of these inclination never delivered a mobile gaming knowledge people wanted. So for a initial phone, Razer did something a bit disreputable and done a handset for phone nerds instead of your normal gamer.

Now before we get all adult in arms about me bursting hairs or seeking what I’m articulate about, consider about it. Companies have attempted creation Game Boys crossed with mobile phones before to unequivocally tiny success. But by going after enthusiasts, Razer has a possibility to mount out from a Apples, Samsungs, and LGs of a world, that are all creation a same rounded, bezel-less pebbles with usually unequivocally teenager differences. On tip of that, there’s indeed a ton of overlie between what hardcore phone nerds value in a phone and a kind of things gamers want. Strong performance? Definitely, a $700 Razer Phone has a same Snapdragon 835 chip each other high-end Android phone is packing, along with 8GB of RAM, twice what we get in a Galaxy S8. A good screen? Sure, a Razer Phone’s arrangement even facilities a modernise that goes adult 120 Hz (more on that below). And afterwards we tip it all off with ridiculously shrill speakers, a clean, yet customizable take on Android interjection to Nova Launcher Prime (which is commissioned by default), and a vast battery that provides a kind of longevity that even people who consider all consoles are Nintendos can appreciate.

The indication with Razer’s signature neon immature trademark went to people who pre-ordered, that is usually excellent by me.

As for a rest of a phone, a Razer looks a lot like a Nextbit Robin, that a association acquired progressing this year and competence have been a best looking phone of 2016. Razer supersized it with a rugged aluminum body, boxy sides, and a large 5.7-inch screen. The outcome is something that has a dense, refreshingly brick-like feel. Even a bezels on tip and bottom are big. But they aren’t squandered space, since in further to holding a 8-megapixel selfie cam and tiny presentation light, they also censor some of a richest and many absolute speakers any association has ever put in a phone.

The fingeprint reader’s flush pattern looks nice, yet in practice, can be a bit wily to get used to.

The Razer Phone indeed sounds improved than many tiny Bluetooth speakers and about as good as a Google Home or Amazon Echo. In fact, when we incited a volume adult to max, it unprotected a low peculiarity audio in Clash Royale as it constructed a innumerable of crackles and pops, something we never listened when regulating other phones simply since they couldn’t get shrill enough. While listening to song with a EQ in a Dolby Atmos app set to a suitable mode, a Razer Phone pumped out surprisingly abounding tunes. Unlike flattering many each other phone, a Razer even has a bit of low-end kick, and it’s one of a few handsets from that we spasmodic cite regulating a speakers to plugging in headphones. This is a good thing, since one of a few critical facilities Razer didn’t embody on a handset is a headphone jack.

Razer creates a a decent box for a miss of a headphone jack, yet if it was unequivocally serious, Razer would embody a span of USB-C headphones with a phone.

It’s kind of a bizarre choice since even yet Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said that stealing headphone jack done it probable to put in a bigger battery and urge thermal control for improved performance., that still doesn’t solve a problem of what I’m ostensible to when we wish to recharge a phone while personification a diversion with headphones plugged in.

I don’t routinely speak about a phone’s enclosed cables, yet a plat wires that come with a Razer Phone feel some-more estimable than your normal cords.

As for battery life, a Razer Phone does utterly well. Over a march of a week, we had no problem removing a full-day’s use from a phone, even with mixed hours spent gaming. And in a battery outline test, a Razer Phone lasted 9 hours and 19 minutes, that is 20 mins longer than a customary Pixel 2 (8:59), yet still behind a 10:21 symbol set by a Galaxy Note 8. However, that exam was run with a shade set to 90 Hz (which is how it comes out of a box), and aloft than a 60 Hz we get from Samsung’s device.

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The Razer Phone is also a initial phone to have Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 tech, even yet a underline was strictly suggested roughly a year ago. This lets a Razer Phone go from 0 to 36 percent battery in usually half an hour, that is improved than a 30 percent refill we got from a Galaxy Note 8 in a same time. That’s quite considerable since a Razer Phone’s 4,000 mAh battery is 20 percent incomparable than a 3,300 battery in a Note 8.

Now we usually wish each diversion and phone to support 120 fps. Check out a support rate opposite in a bottom left too.

Then there’s a Razer Phone’s screen. Even yet it’s not a brightest arrangement ever, commanding out during around 350 nits, what it lacks in luminance it creates adult for with a non-static 120 Hz modernise rate. Everything looks silky smooth, even tiny things like swiping down to open a presentation tray or swiping adult to see a app drawer. I’ll even acknowledge that while contrariety a phone, we spent a good 10 mins usually flipping between pages on a home screen, enraptured as app icons flowed fluidly opposite a display. The extra-high modernise rate also comes into play for gaming, since even yet many apps are capped during 30 or 60 fps, Razer is operative with developers like Nexon and Respawn to move full 120 fps support to apps such as Titanfall Assault and others. And after spending a few mins checking out a handful of apps that do take advantage of a tech, we found myself wishing each app could demeanour this good.

I babied this thing from a impulse we got it. What is it going to demeanour like 6 months or a year of bland abuse?

But don’t let my purgation be a usually thing we hear since this phone is distant from perfect. Aside from a miss of a headphone jack, my issues with a Razer phone come down to twin tiny problems and one large one. First is a a side-mounted fingerprint reader. we like that it doesn’t take adult space on a front of a phone, yet a flush pattern creates it formidable to find by feel and a bit fussy to indeed press. On a examination unit, we also beheld that a cosmetic glue grille covering a tip orator has started to burble and flay divided from phone, that has me doubt a device’s durability.

It always seemed like a Razer Phone struggled to focus. (Click to see full fortitude images)

But a intensity dealbreaker is a camera. Even after a initial firmware refurbish that was ostensible to urge print quality, all still looks soft. In radically ideal lighting, when we did a corresponding print shootout between a Razer Phone and a Galaxy Note 8, we struggled to find a concentration in a Razer Phone’s pic. Meanwhile, a Note 8’s print looks crisp, has richer colors, and simply captures a some-more appetizing shot than a Razer Phone. In other pics, we also beheld that a Razer Phone’s energetic operation fell behind that of a Note 8 too, that meant contrariety was mostly lacking. Razer says that some-more updates are entrance to assistance accelerate camera performance, yet currently, a twin 12-megapixel back cameras usually don’t live adult to a phone’s $700 cost tag.

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Still, for a initial incursion into smartphones, a Razer Phone is a plain bid that zigs when each other phone is zagging. It’s roughly offensively angular, it packs a towering of RAM, and it sports an LCD arrangement after even Apple has switched to AMOLED. And to tip it all off, a Razer Phone’s 120 Hz arrangement creates movies, games, and even a UI demeanour smoother than any other phone on a market. It’s not perfect, yet there’s a ton of potential, and even with a flaws on a initial attempt, a Razer Phone deserves some credit for being delightfully different.

README

  • The 5.7-inch IGZO TrueMotion LCD arrangement facilities a non-static support rate adult to 120 hertz that creates all demeanour super smooth.
  • Razer’s twin 12-MP back cams are never as pointy as you’d like, generally deliberation a price.
  • The Razer Phone’s stereo speakers competence be a best, and loudest speakers on any phone ever.
  • No headphone jack, water-resistance or wireless charging, yet we do get a outrageous 4,000 mAh battery and an enclosed THX-certified USB-C DAC.
  • Only concordant with GSM carriers such as ATT and T-Mobile

SPEC DUMP

Android 7.1.1 • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor • 8GB of RAM • 64GB of storage • microSD label container • 5.7-inch QHD IGZO LCD arrangement with 120 Hz modernise rate • twin 12-MP back cameras • 8-MP front camera • twin stereo speakers,802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wi-fi • Bluetooth 4.2 • Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 • 4,000 mAh battery • 6.24 x 3.06 x 0.31-inches • 6.94 ounces

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