Razer revealed its first ever smartphone at an event in London yesterday evening and while it’s quite nice to see a new player entering the flagship smartphone market we wonder if Razer really needed to enter it.
The handset has been given the rather unimaginative name of Razer Phone. We’re slightly disappointed with this given Razer’s propensity for picking names such as Naga or Manticore for its other products.
That’s really the least of our concerns though.
Like most flagship smartphones on the market in 2017 the Razer Phone sports a Qualcomm 835 chipset. This is paired with 8GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.
At the back you’ll find a dual camera array with a 12MP f/1.75 wide angle sensor and a 13MP f/2.6 zoom sensor. At the front is an 8MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture.
Android Nougat runs the Razer Phone for now but will upgraded to Android Oreo in Q1 2017. For the most part the OS is vanilla Android but Razer has included its own Game Booster app.
Game Booster allows you to set specific frame rates for games, cull notifications while you’re gaming and more.
The real stars of the show however are the display and the battery.
The display is a super sharp 5.7inch IGZO LCD display with a QHD resolution (1440 x 2560) and a 120Hz refresh rate. Wait a minute what?
Why on earth would anybody need a 120Hz mobile phone display?
We took a walk around the internet this morning to see if any tech journalists had managed to get a hands on with the Razer Phone and lo and behold The Verge had.
It appears as if the 120Hz display is not the real winner here but rather adaptive frame rates. When the battery level is high you get smooth as silk visuals in video and games and when the battery level gets lower the refresh rate is clocked down to conserve battery.
The battery is massive clocking in at 4 000mAh hours but something tells us that might not last as long as we hope.
Running a display at 120Hz will use more power, the Razer Phone also has no headphone jack (boo!) so Bluetooth will likely be on for longer and even if you don’t use headphones each of the Razer’s two front facing speakers has its own amp.
Oh there’s also a 24-bit DAC inside the handset so there’s another power draw to consider.
In summation then the Razer Phone has some cool features but in comparison to something like the Galaxy S8, the iPhone 8 and even the Nokia 8 it just looks, average.
South Africans may have a hard time getting their hands on a Razer Phone. The handset will be sold through Razer’s own online store front as well as Amazon with shipments starting on 17th November.
The price for the Razer Phone sits at $700 (~R9 760) and sorry Razer but as much as we love your peripherals taking that big a gamble on a first time smartphone manufacturer just doesn’t appeal to us.