Razer Phone – The Ultimate Android Gaming Device

The wait is finally over.The Razer Phone is here.The venue which unites the gaming enthusiast and the android fanboy is finally here. Razer, which is a hardware and Pc peripherals manufacturer, which was recently in the limelight for its excellent gaming laptops, the RazerBlade series. The first step in their transition to creating smartphones started with their acquisition of the smartphone company Nextbit in the first quarter of 2017. So this phone looks like a cross-over between the Blade series and the Nextbit Robin. With the build and feel exactly like the Nextbit Robin, the color scheme has been borrowed from the Razer Blade series.

When you build a phone that’s meant for gaming, all other factors follow quite well, i.e if its good for gaming, the phone, in turn, turns out to be an excellent performer in most of the other aspects.Along with that, the usage of almost stock android certainly helps. Let’s check out all the key features of this new guy on the market and find out if its the phone for you or not.

Display

Rather than just being a gaming device, it has certain other tricks hidden up its sleeve. It is the first phone ever to have a display with 120Hz refresh rate as compared to 60Hz displays on other phones. The Razer Phone sports a 5.7-inch QHD display that is a resolution is 2560 x 1440 pixels having a 120Hz variable refresh rate, which means it gets 120fps, which is the best for gaming and also twice as smooth as normal phones. So normal usage, with swiping through screens and scrolling will appear buttery smooth. But to date, there are not many applications and games that can make use of this feature. Developers have to keep this new feature in mind while creating apps. Colors appear bright and crisp but are not as saturated as it is on the Pixel 2 or a Samsung device, due to the lack of an AMOLED display, but the IGZO LCD screen does a good job and will not have you complaining.

Gaming and Performance

Since this is a Gaming device, let’s talk about the specifications and how they translate on to a real-life scenario of day to day usage and gaming. This beast of a phone has a Snapdragon 835 and a whopping 8 GB RAM. As a normal user never requires such specs for any kind of usage, we can see what kind of users this phone is targeted at.

Built and tuned specifically for gaming, four titles are already added to the phone when you set up your phone. they are Arena of Valor, Gear Club, Titanfall Assault, and World of Tanks. There are only a few games that can currently utilize the gaming prowess of this device. But by 2018 more titles are said to release that can utilize all these features. You also get 64GB of internal storage, and there’s a microSD card slot allowing you to build on that with memory cards up to 2TB in size. Plenty of space for all your gaming needs then.

A Game booster App is also provided to enhance your gaming needs and also to keep the phone in normal conditions while not playing games so as to save battery.

Design and Build Quality

This phone is built like a tank. It is all boxy with squared edges. Completely made of aluminum and feels very sturdy and robust.Among all the smartphones out there in 2017, I believe this will stand out amongst them all. While the other flagships all sport a pebble-like shape, with curved edges and rounded corners, this thing is all square, mainly keeping in mind that this is a gamer’s device to be used mostly in landscape mode. So this shape gives it a better grip and is better for gaming.

It has the power button on the right and volume rockers on the left and the buttons seem to come right from the Nextbit Robin. Both the power and Volume rockers lack the feel and are not at all clicky. The power button also houses the fingerprint sensor which is very fast.The Volume rockers are placed much lower than usual smartphones and will take time to get used to and is certainly no deal breaker.

The Razer phone lacks the headphone jack and only has a USB C port like almost all other flagships this year. But has an audio adapter with built-in 24-bit DAC in the box. It could have benefited from a headphone-jack as this phone was very good for media consumption with the excellent display.

The phone is 8mm thick and at 197g is one of the heavier phones out there today. It has a grey Razer logo on the back but will be available in green color for users who pre-order or buy on the day of the launch.The Razer phone implements fanless cooling technology but gets slightly warm if demanding titles are played over a long time, but that is natural.

Speakers

Best speakers ever on a smartphone, Period. The speakers are mighty impressive. The phone sports dual front-facing speakers, which are independently amplified and are very loud. They are tuned to Dolby Atmos standards and are the only smartphone speakers that are THX certified. It provides 3D visualization, which means it gives out same effects if you are facing the speakers or behind it. This phone will be excellent for watching movies, videos, and listening to audio and playing games, because of these boom boxes.

Battery life

It has excellent battery life owing to a 4000maH battery and the device easily lasts a day with moderate usage and heavy usage also will not make you use the charger until the end of the day. Even though the device has a 120Hz refresh rate, this is set to be at 90Hz by default to save battery. However keeping the device constantly at 120Hz can drain the battery much faster.

As the 120Hz display is suited for gaming, there is a game booster app, which ensures that for gaming the display stays at 120Hz and otherwise at 90Hz. This can be lowered to 60Hz to further save battery. The phone does not have wireless charging but supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology and also provides a Quick charger with the device, which takes the device 0-80% in under an hour

Camera

The cameras on this phone are just disappointing. With all the other features at flagship or even higher levels, the only let down of this device is its camera. It sports a dual camera setup which is common nowadays.It has dual 12 MP cameras on the rear, of which one is a telephoto f2.4 lens and the other a wide-angle f/1.7. The front has an 8MP camera with nothing to boast about.

The Camer app is simple with not many options to jumble around. The lenses used in the device are good, but the image processing is weak and the focus times and shutter speeds are slow.We hope that Razer will fix all this with a future software update.It is not that the camera on the Razer phone is bad, the results are a mix of both. It’s just that when other competitors provide much better options the Razer Phone should have made sure it had something up its sleeve to stand ground against the others.

User Interface

The phone runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and is said to receive Oreo, very soon. The phone uses Nova launcher prime as the stock launcher and is very effective as Nova Launcher Prime is one of the best launchers available in the play store. The rest of the UI is close to stock Android and is very fast and responsive.

You have ‘double-tap to wake‘ and ‘lift to wake‘ the screen to view any notifications you may have without having to reach for the power key, and Night Light, which tints the display amber for a more comfortable reading experience in low light and not damage your eyes at night.

Final Verdict

Looking at it from a tech enthusiasts perspective, it’s not a perfect phone, and far from perfect, but no phone is. It ticks all the right boxes except one, the Camera. The phone falls short in the camera department but is excellent in all other aspects. A first of its kind display, exceptional gaming performance, adequate battery and the speakers boast of sounds unheard of before. This phone is for you if you are looking to buy a new phone and you’re into gaming and media consumption. But if Camera is one of your main requirements, I suggest you look elsewhere. The Razer Phone price is $699 and other options to look into are the Pixel 2 XL, the iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S8, which provides excellent all-round performance and exceptional Cameras.

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