Razer Phone

£699 inc VAT from fave.co/2DkqeZJ ★★★★☆

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Fol­low­ing its ac­qui­si­tion of Nextbit, gam­ing brand Razer has en­tered the smart­phone mar­ket with a de­vice aimed at gamers. Called the Razer Phone, it of­fers in­cred­i­ble tech not found on any other hand­sets on the mar­ket in­clud­ing a 120Hz Quad HD dis­play ca­pa­ble of of­fer­ing dou­ble the frame rate of the likes of the iPhone X, Pixel 2 and more. It’s a great con­cept, but has Razer done enough to ce­ment its place in the smart­phone mar­ket? Read on to find out.

De­sign

Let’s be hon­est, the Razer Phone won’t be win­ning any smart­phone de­sign awards when com­pared to the

likes of the iPhone X, Sam­sung Galaxy S8 or OnePlus 5T. The rather an­gu­lar, blocky de­sign that the Razer Phone em­ploys is oddly rem­i­nis­cent of the Xpe­ria range (which is also con­sid­ered rather unattrac­tive) but with a dis­tinctly Razer feel.

In terms of specifics, the hand­set mea­sures in at a rather thick and broad 778x8mm and weighs in at a hefty 197g, mak­ing it one of the heav­ier flag­ship smart­phones cur­rently avail­able.

These fig­ures are im­me­di­ately no­tice­able when you pick the smart­phone up but that’s not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing. It makes the phone feel sturdy and more se­cure in the hand. It is a fin­ger­print mag­net though, es­pe­cially on the alu­minium rear.

It looks like a solid block of alu­minium, with nearly in­vis­i­ble an­tenna lines at the top and bot­tom, with the Razer logo on the back. It’s the only no­tice­able de­sign fea­ture of the smart­phone, as it has been en­graved and coloured, and this can be felt by run­ning your fin­ger over the logo.

The is­sue is that the logo is right where your fin­ger rests on the rear of the smart­phone, and the slightly jagged edges of the en­grav­ing con­stantly catch your fin­gers. It’s not painful, but it’s a lit­tle an­noy­ing (a

thought shared by sev­eral of the An­droid Ad­vi­sor team). Apart from the Razer logo and dis­play, the only phys­i­cal fea­ture of the phone you might no­tice are the front-fac­ing speak­ers above and be­low the dis­play, which is half the rea­son the phone feels so tall in the hand. We in­ves­ti­gate the au­dio prow­ess on page 64.

There are also cir­cu­lar vol­ume but­tons on the left of the smart­phone, though these are placed fur­ther down than on other smart­phones. The place­ment, while it looks odd ini­tially, makes sense for gamers – they al­ways in the way when gam­ing in land­scape. Not with the Razer Phone.

It’s a sim­i­lar story with the power but­ton, but it’s flush on the right-side of the dis­play, so place­ment doesn’t mat­ter as much. It’s still easy enough to reach to lock and un­lock the smart­phone with­out ad­just­ing your grip though, don’t worry.

The real deal-breaker? It fea­tures a 16:9, 5.7in dis­play. While that may sound okay, many man­u­fac­tur­ers al­ready em­ploy bezel-less 18:9 dis­plays in their smart­phones. This al­lows for a larger dis­play in a smaller body and for some is eas­ier to use. The de­ci­sion means that com­pared to bezel-less smart­phones, the Razer Phone looks a lit­tle dated – on the sur­face, any­way.

Plus, Razer de­cided to fol­low Ap­ple’s ex­am­ple and ditched the 3.5mm head­phone jack on the phone, fea­tur­ing a solo USB-C port in­stead. Ad­mit­tedly, like Ap­ple, the Razer Phone does come with a USB-Cto-3.5mm adap­tor for use with ex­ist­ing head­phones, but most users will likely need to make the switch to wire­less head­phones sooner or later.

So, it’s not the best-look­ing phone on the mar­ket by any means, but there’s a rea­son for some of the slightly odd de­sign choices. Let’s take a look at why.

Hard­ware

As should be ob­vi­ous by the man­u­fac­turer, the Razer Phone was de­signed with one fo­cus in mind – mo­bile gam­ing. It’s why the phone is slightly chunkier and taller than com­peti­tors – it fea­tures unique tech to make it the ul­ti­mate gam­ing smart­phone.

Dis­play

The most im­pres­sive fea­ture of the Razer Phone is un­doubt­edly the 5.7in IPS LCD dis­play. It of­fers a Quad HD (2560x1440) res­o­lu­tion and an eye-wa­ter­ing pixel den­sity of 515ppi. Far more im­por­tant here, though, is that the dis­play of­fers the high­est re­fresh rate of any smart­phone on the mar­ket – 120Hz. For com­par­i­son, most high-end smart­phones avail­able at the mo­ment are capped at 60Hz, mean­ing the Razer Phone can dis­play dou­ble the num­ber of frames in a sin­gle sec­ond – 120fps, up from 60fps.

In the real world, this means the smart­phone pro­vides a better mo­bile gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence than any­thing else avail­able at the mo­ment. The graph­ics are but­tery smooth – so smooth, in fact, that you’ll strug­gle to play games on any other smart­phone once you ad­just to the im­proved re­fresh rate.

Even in rel­a­tively ba­sic games such as Poké­mon GO, the ex­pe­ri­ence is in­stantly im­proved – the dif­fer­ence in per­for­mance even when com­pared to flag­ships like the Google Pixel 2 is day-and-night.

The en­graved logo on the rear of the phone is lo­cated where you rest your fin­gers

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