Gaming company Razer is getting into the smartphone business.
And, as you might expect from the maker of high-powered gaming laptops, its new phone has outrageous specs and is geared for video games.
Indeed, judging from its specs, the Razer Phone, which the company announced Wednesday, could handily beat Apple’s iPhone X, Google’s Pixel 2, Samsung’s Galaxy devices, and other top smartphones, when it comes to performance.
But the Razer Phone has another thing going for it that could even tempt non-gamers — its $700 price. That’s a lot cheaper than many other top phones.
Check out Razer’s new Phone:
The Razer Phone has some seriously impressive power.
Looking purely at its specs, Razer’s phone is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. It has:
– A 5.7-inch Quad HD (1400p, or 2K resolution) display with a wide color gamut and a 120-hertz refresh rate.
– An all-aluminum case.
– Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, the same powerful chip found within Google’s Pixel 2 and Samsung’s latest Galaxy phones.
– 8GB of RAM, which is equivalent to the amount of memory that comes in many PCs. By contrast, most phones typically include around 4GB of RAM.
– 64GB of built-in storage. You can also augment that amount with a microSD card.
– Dual front-facing speakers that are certified to meet Dolby’s Atmos high-end audio standard. Each speaker is powered by its own dedicated amplifier.
– A large, 4,000mAh battery.
– Fast charging via USB-C.
– A dual-lens rear camera system, with each camera offering 12 megapixels of resolution. The system includes both a standard wide-angle lens and a 2x optical zoom lens, similar to both the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8.
– An 8-megapixel front camera.
– A fingerprint sensor on the power button, which is located on the side of the device’s.
The Phone has some features that hardcore gamers can appreciate.
Razer is targeting the most discerning gamers with technology that you’d typically find on the highest of high-end gaming PCs.
One of those features is the Phone’s 120-hertz refresh rate. That frequency rates up there with gaming-quality PC monitors. It should yield ultra-smooth video and gameplay and allow you to play games or videos at 120 frames per second.
By contrast, Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One X will play games at 60 frames per second, albeit at a higher resolution. Razer’s CEO Min-Liang Tan said the Phone’s ultra-fast refresh rate will prevent motion lag, stuttering, and ghosting, which is when a screen displays an older and newer image at the same time.
Tan also boasted about Razer’s Ultramotion feature. Similar to Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync, Ultramotion is a technology that synchronizes the graphics chip in the Phone with its screen, which helps it offer smooth gameplay at high frame rates. That kind of feature is coveted in the PC gaming community.
Still, the Phone lacks some of the latest features found on other flagship devices.
While Tan touted the Phone’s performance against other flagship phones, the company’s brand-new device is missing a few features found on those gadgets, including:
– Water resistance
– An OLED screen
– Ultra-narrow borders around its display (a sacrifice Razer had to make to include its large dual front-facing speakers)
– Wireless charging
Unfortunately, the Razer has copied its rivals in one way. Like many other recent high-end smartphones, the Phone lacks a standard headphone jack.
And all that power may be of little use, at least in terms of playing games.
There’s little doubt that Razer’s Phone will run Android games incredibly well. Unfortunately, that’s all it will run: Android games from the Google Play Store.
Razer showed off games such as “Tekken” and “Final Fantasy XV” that are also available for console game systems and could make full use of the Phone’s power. There are also, in the Play Store, mobile versions of “Grand Theft Auto” and other game franchises that are popular on consoles.
But you won’t get a full catalog of top-quality games like you would on a game console. Most Android games are designed for quick bouts of fun rather than for lengthy, complex adventures.
We’ll have to check out the Razer Phone for ourselves before reaching any firm conclusions about what it’s like to use such a powerful device to play mobile games.
On the other hand, it is a relative bargain.
The Phone’s $700 price is cheaper than that of many of the latest flagship phones. Combine that with its specs and power, and Razer’s device offers more bang for the buck than the $950 Galaxy Note 8, the $700 iPhone 8, the $800 iPhone 8 Plus, or the $1,000 iPhone X.
To be sure, the Phone won’t offer some of the key features those phones offer. But if you don’t want to spend more than $700 — and even if the only game you play is “Candy Crush Saga” — it could be a great alternative.