After weeks of endless teases, Razer on Wednesday unveiled its first entry into the smartphone market: Razer Phone.
Razer’s journey began when it purchased Nextbit at the beginning of the year. With the acquisition, it got the blueprint of the Robin, a unique device with a “cloud first” approach.
Razer is trying to ensure the Razer Phone will be different, and that starts with a premium design and beastly specs.
Unoriginal name aside, the Razer Phone is essentially what a Robin would look like if it was made of aluminum. The same boxy design is back with flat sides and the big front bezels. Before you start to demur the bezels, you should know that Razer added two front-facing stereo speakers. Does that make up for the chunky bezels? No, but at least they did something that adds to the look and function of the device.
On the side lives a power button that doubles as the fingerprint scanner, which sits super flush to the frame. The execution is virtually identical to how the Robin smartphone implemented its fingerprint/power button combo.
Front and center is the 5.72-inch QuadHD LCD display, which falls in line with most smartphones, save for one key detail: It has what Razer is calling 120Hz UltraMotion technology. That means the display will refresh at 120Hz, the first time ever the feature will be available in a smartphone. It’s the same feature Apple added to the iPad Pro, making interacting with the operating system buttery smooth.
The Razer Phone will come in the signature all-black color that has been around in Razer’s products for a while now; it looks and feels like the Razer Blade Stealth. It’s a nice touch to keep the same aesthetic across its different lines of devices. Unfortunately, the premium design doesn’t include a headphone jack nor water and dust resistance.
Out of the box, the Razer Phone will come with Android 7.1.1 (with Android Oreo on the way) and Nova Launcher Prime. Nova is one of the most popular Android launchers around due to its deep level of customizability. This inclusion adds functionality to what otherwise would be a bare bones Android experience.
Razer is also staying true to its gaming roots with exclusive partnerships with some of the biggest game makers, including Tencent and Square Enix. These companies will optimize their games to take advantage of the Razer Phone’s 120Hz UltraMotion display. Final Fantasty XV Pocket Edition, Titanfall: Assault and Arena of Valor are some of the games supporting the new display technology.
Where the Razer Phone really makes a statement is with specs. Here a quick breakdown:
- 5.72-inch QuadHD LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate
- Snapdragon 835 processor
- 64GB of storage with expandability
- 12MP dual camera (wide angle and zoom lens)
- 8MP front-facing camera
- Fingerprint scanner
- 4,000mAh battery
That specs are more or less on a par with other Android flagships from Samsung, Google and LG.
From early impressions, the Razer Phone looks really good. The design is quirky but refreshing. Every other phone has rounded edges; it’s good to see a phone embrace the flat sides. Razer’s next challenge is to convince people to choose the device over phones like the iPhone X.
The Razer Phone will retail for $699. It will only be available in one version: a black 64GB variant. There will be a special edition you can buy that will have the signature neon green Razer logo on the back, but supplies will be limited to only 1,334 units. The normal version of the phone will have a much-less prominent Chrome Razer logo.
Razer’s smartphone is available to pre-order today and will go on sale starting Friday, November 17 through Razer’s site, Amazon and select Microsoft Store locations.