If you’ve never heard of Razer, they started out making computer mice purpose built for gamers then transitioned into headsets, gaming laptops, and more.
“For Gamers, by Gamers”
Sometime in 2011, well before their super-popular Razer Blade, Blade Pro, and Blade Stealth lineups were out, they announced at CES they were working on a prototype call the Switchblade. Min-Liang, the CEO of Razer, grabbed top talent from Apple, HP and Dell to help developer a portable gaming device. The small laptop (essentially) featured the state of the art Intel Atom processor at the time, and a clever keyboard comprised of small screens that allowed it to change out keys as needed (reminds me of the Elgato Stream Deck now). It even won People’s Choice Award that year at the convention.
Unfortunately, it never made it past the concept phase. It seems though, that almost 7 years later, Min-Liang hasn’t given up on the dream of a portable gaming device.
This is the simply named, Razer Phone. And as is Razer fashion, it has a crazy spec sheet.
Firstly, it’s encased a very Razer-esque CNC machined aluminum unibody with the oh-so-familar Razer three-headed snake etched into the back (no, it doesn’t light up, but there will be a limited edition model that will have the snake in green).
Instead of Windows, Razer is using Android and it’s built on the Snapdragon 835 with 8GBs of RAM.
64GBs of internal storage with a MicroSD card slot that can support up to 2TBs to expand the storage (along with the ability to install apps/games to the SD card using Android Marshmallow’s Flex Storage to format the SD card so Android sees it as if it’s internal storage). Important for a device that is geared at gaming.
The screen is a 5.72″ 2560×1440 IGZO display (same display technology from their laptops) but it has a 120hz refresh rate that can dynamically be altered to go to the higher end for smoother gaming and the lower end to conserve power.
The volume and power buttons on either side of the device are symmetrically located for a reason. Razer says the device was designed for gaming and meant to be used in landscape mode.
With that in mind, we have two stereo speakers on either side of the screen and even though I only had a small time with the device, they are properly loud. As in might be the loudest speakers on a phone I’ve ever heard.
There is no headphone jack and instead just have a USB-C port. Razer did mention though that they’ll be including a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle that isn’t just an adapter but also contains a DAC certifed by THX (a company they recently bought) to improve the quality.
Around the back of the device, we have dual 12MP cameras, one telephoto with a 2.6f aperture and a wide one with a 1.75f aperture.
On the software side, Razer has gone with stock Android with only a few apps they’ve added to help with gaming, and a few other things. Even the camera app is basically the stock Android camera app without any buttons to switch between lenses, portrait mode, or any of that. The device instead just automatically switches from the wide to the telephoto as you pinch in to zoom. Simple.
The launcher on the device might seem familiar, as well. It’s one of my favorite third-party ones, Nova Prime and is included for free.
Razer told me, why bother making a launcher most of their users are just going to replace with Nova anyway and I can’t argue with that.
Another choice I have to give them credit for is an unlockable bootloader which I’m told will work easily with the normal Android ADB commands. If you’re curious about what that means etc. don’t worry, I’ll do a video on it when I get the review unit for you.
The device also packs a 4000mah battery, also important for gaming, and is the first world-wideavailable phone to offer Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0+ to be able to charge that massive battery. It’ll do 50% in 30 mins but keep in mind that’s 2000mah in 30 mins.
The device costs $699 and is going to be available for pre-order now and shipping starts Nov 17th.
There you go, let me know what you think below!