Razer is best known for its gaming rigs and accessories, but the company now wants to make a splash in the smartphone market too, with its newly announced Razer Phone. Like its other products, the phone is aimed at gamers, with a top-end display and flagship-level processing power inside.
Described by Razer as "the ultimate in mobile entertainment," the phone is the first to offer a 120 Hz refresh rate on its 5.7-inch, 1,440 x 2,560 pixel display, which should be speedy enough to completely eliminate blurring and on-screen artifacts in fast-moving games.
The high-end specs don't stop with the display: The Razer Phone offers dual front-facing speakers, each with its own integrated amplifier. The phone's audio is THX certified and supports the immersive Dolby Atmos standard too.
Inside there's a Snapdragon 835 CPU and a huge 8 GB of RAM, so the best Android games of the year should have no problems running smoothly on it, and the 4,000-mAh battery beats most other handsets on the market right now. Razer says it's good for seven hours of gaming or 12.5 hours of movie watching.
The phone is also fitted with dual 12 MP cameras around the back, an 8 MP camera on the front, and a fingerprint sensor built into the power button. You get 64 GB of internal storage which can be expanded via a microSD card, and the device comes with a custom Razer launcher on top of Android 7.1.1 (Razer says Oreo will arrive next year).
In terms of design, the all-aluminum chassis looks a lot like the Nextbit Robin – which should be no surprise, as Razer bought the Nextbit company at the start of this year. The full-screen, thin bezel look that many flagships have gone for this year is eschewed in favor of a more blocky, bezel-dominated appearance, though the phone is still svelte enough at 8 mm (0.31 inches) thick.
On top of the specs there are some extra bells and whistles aimed at gamers, like a configuration manager that lets you tweak the balance between power and battery life, and the option to mute notifications while games are playing.
As we always say after hyped-up product launches, we'll need to take a proper look at the Razer Phone to be able to judge whether this device has enough to worry the big players in the market, but on paper it's an impressive piece of hardware – and Razer already has a loyal community of gamers it can tap into.
The retail SIM-free price of US$699 isn't exorbitant either, when you weigh it up against the other flagships of 2017. Pre-orders are open now, with the phone going on sale in the US and the EU on November 17.Product page: