Razer today took the wraps off its first smartphone, the Razer Phone. The handset comes after Razer’s acquisition of Nextbit earlier this year. By looking at the Phone, you’ll notice it shares some similarities between it and the Nextbit Robin from 2015 in which it offers a boxy build and rather thick bezels on the top and bottom.
The display on the Razer Phone measures in at 5.7-inches and has a Quad HD resolution. It’s LCD which might not make it sound all that special, but it has one pretty neat trick up its sleeve: it has a 120Hz refresh rate. The only time we’ve ever seen this on a mobile device was on Apple’s iPad Pro which has what the company calls a ProMotion screen. Razer calls its screen an UltraMotion display and aims to deliver “the fastest refresh rates and smoothest graphics among today’s smartphones.” It would make sense if it did what with the 120Hz refresh rate.
Razer also fine-tuned the GPU for the UltraMotion display to “remove image tearing or lag while driving efficient power usage.”
As for internals, there’s a Snapdragon 835 processor inside paired with a whopping 8GB of RAM. Mind you, this isn’t new: we saw this amount of RAM in other smartphones like the OnePlus 5 earlier this year. However, it’s definitely notable here since not many phones ship with that much random-access-memory.
Razer is also including 64GB of internal storage and a huge 4,000mAh battery to power everything. Let’s hope it’s enough to withstand what people will do with this phone, and that’s game all the time.
Seriously, let’s think about that for a second. This phone is aimed at gamers. That explains Razer’s “Built by gamers, for gamers” slogan associated with basically every device with the company’s logo on it. We’ve seen Snapdragon 835s and 8GB of RAM in other smartphones before so that’s not exactly gamer-esque by any means. But the display and fine-tuned GPU indicate Razer wants people to use this device to its fullest potential. There’s even special cooling technology inside to keep things to a minimum temperature and Dolby Atmos-powered front-facing speakers. It’s clear Razer wants serious gamers to pick this thing up. It’ll be interesting to see how many do.
Additionally, there’s no headphone jack on the Razer Phone. This sounds completely unethical and unorthodox for a phone aimed at audiences who likely own tons of 3.5mm-connected gaming headsets. To compensate, the company includes an adapter certified by THX which plugs into the USB-C port on the phone and powers a 24-bit DAC for “audiophile-quality sound with one’s favorite headphones.” Dongles are never fun so I suspect more people will be using Bluetooth rather this fancy DAC.
For cameras, Razer is including dual rear 12MP shooters which act like Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus rear cameras in which one is a standard lens and the other a telephoto lens. You can get more natural bokeh photos from these cameras than with a normal sensor, but it’ll be interesting to see how well implemented they are since not many bokeh solutions in the smartphone industry nowadays are good enough to call fantastic.
The Razer Phone comes powered by Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Google Assistant on board and the premium version of Nova Launcher as the home screen. Razer says it’ll be shipping an update to Android 8.0 Oreo next spring. I guess they ran out of time to include it now?
Finally, Razer will also be including a dedicated theme store on its phone to let users customize the appearance of the software to however they’d like. “It includes custom ringtones by Razer DJs and custom wallpapers inspired by the world’s top gaming titles, such as “Shadowgun Legends™,” the company said.
The Razer Phone will be sold through Three in United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, while those in other parts of the world such as North America, Canada, and Germany will find the device on Razerzone.com. The device will even be sold through Amazon and select Microsoft Stores across the United States. It’ll cost $699 when it launches November 17th.