Following several leaks, Razer has now unveiled its smartphone, the company's first attempt to make waves in the mobile landscape. It's uncertain why the gaming company is taking a crack at this sector, but it only means the already-crowded industry gains another player, and more players mean increased competition — and, boy, the Razer Phone can really compete.
First off, Razer is doing it right with the marketing, already having a pretty clear idea of who this phone is for: gamers. No surprises there, of course. But is it possible to make an Android device significantly more suited for gaming than, say, powerful 2017 flagships such as the LG V30, Samsung Galaxy S8, or Pixel 2?
Razer Phone Specs
Well, the specs sheet speaks for itself: The Razer Phone has a 5.7-inch 1440p screen. It's a little more special than the rest because it boasts what Razer calls as an "Ultramotion" display, rather similar to Apple's ProMotion model iPad Pro. What does this mean? Ultramotion entails a refresh rate of 120Hz, ensuring there's no lag, stuttering, and other visual hiccups.
As much as Razer emphasized the display, it's clear it also thought about sound. The phone comes with Dolby Atmos audio and is certified by THX, the first for a smartphone. The speakers are mounted in a way that won't be obstructed by the user's hand when they're gaming. Also, each speaker has a dedicated amplifier. Not only that, it also has 24-bit "audiophile-quality" sound, but users would need to pair Bluetooth or USB Type-C headsets, as it doesn't have a headphone jack.
For a gaming-focused phone, one would expect plenty of RAM, and that's exactly what Razer did by putting 8 GB inside the phone, making it one of the extremely few phones to offer that much. As for the processor, it's not anything fancy: just a regular Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor found on nearly all flagships this year.
There are dual 12-megapixel cameras in the back: one takes wide shots, the other takes telephoto shots, a similar setup to that of an iPhone 8.
Looking at those, it's clear the Razer Phone was made for specs-craving gamers because it doesn't appeal much elsewhere. Its design, for instance, leaves much to be desired. The Verge thinks it looks like "someone revived Brutalist architects from the 1960s and tasked them with devising the world's blockiest phone." While Samsung, Apple, and LG continue releasing envelope-pushing phones in terms of design, Razer seems to have taken it as a much lesser priority, but that's only because it already knows who this phone is for: the kind of folks who don't care much about aesthetics. It's guts over glitz for those people.
One other thing that makes the phone gaming-focused is a feature called Game Booster, functioning like a secondary settings menu. With it, players can prioritize system resources toward better gaming performance, specify their desired resolution, and perform various other tweaks.
Razer Phone Pricing And Availability
The Razer Phone retails for $700 and can be purchased from Razer's own site or Amazon. Online reservations are now open. The phone ships Nov. 17. At that price tag, the phone is directly competing with the some of the more expensive lineup of flagships this year. Can it, though? If Essential has learned one thing, it's that breaking into the smartphone business is insanely difficult.