Smartphone makers have tried to cover all niche markets from industrial rugged phones, luxury gold or diamond plated phones for the extra rich, but never one had been crafted for the gamers. Today, we get to see Razer’s first ever smartphone attempt, appropriately titled the Razer Phone.
This device has a 5.7-inch 1440p screen — with variable refresh rate— and a whopping 8GB of RAM, that is more than what some current laptops have. It comes bundled with 64GB of expandable storage. It also includes stereo front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos support and a generous 4,000mAh battery powering the flagship-standard Snapdragon 835 processor. A dual 12-megapixel camera system on the back works along the same lines as Apple’s iPhone setup: one camera has an f/1.8 lens for wide shots and the other is a telephoto f/2.6 shooter.
Razer is capitalizing on its core competence and is positioning this new phone “for gamers, by gamers,” and it believes the above combination of desirable internal components will offset the blandness of the Razer Phone’s looks, the bigness of its speaker-housing bezels, and the absence of its headphone jack. It’s that last element that strikes me as a major contradiction: Razer’s supposedly gamer-friendly device is lacking easy connectivity to a gamer’s most essential peripheral after the controller. The company has provided a THX-certified audio dongle that lets you hook up headphones and promises 24-bit “audiophile-quality” sound, but that’s a weird compromise on a device that’s supposed to be about no-compromise gaming performance.
Whether the phone will actually appeal to gamers, is still debatable, as most people are after the same thing from a phone: the sort of slick, great and ergonomic design of a Galaxy S8 or an iPhone X. Razer’s phone will not strike you when it comes to design. so numerous.
Every current Android flagship is powered by the same Snapdragon 835 that Razer uses, OnePlus and others have already been selling 8GB phones for a while, and Razer’s software augmentations boil down to a Game Booster app that functions like a secondary settings menu.
In terms of the UI, the software is basically stock Android Nougat 7.1.1 with Google Assistant and the premium version of the Nova Launcher preloaded. No Android 8 Oreo this year.
The device is priced at $700 in the US (UGX 2.6 million before taxes) and sold directly from Razer’s online store, with a ship date of November 17th with online reservations opening today.