The "1-Minute" Review
- Weak camera
- No headphone jack
- No waterproofing or resistance
Razer enjoys a solid reputation in gaming accessories and gear. But the Razer Phone marks their entry into a different market. Designed as a phone for gamers and media lovers, the phone brings nothing particularly new to the table, but attempts to handle the important aspects well.
The phone’s unique design immediately sets it apart from the pack. The square, flat chassis is the polar opposite of many of the sleek, curved designs from flagships in recent years. However, reviewers found the phone comfortable to hold and noted that the design works well for gripping the phone in landscape mode—an important considering for long gaming sessions or binge-watching your favorite shows.
The phone also includes a combination power button and fingerprint scanner on the side. While some questioned the placement at first, most found it easy to reach and responsive.
Heading around to the front is where the phone shines. The 5.7-inch, HDR-ready IPS display runs at a resolution of 1440-by-2560 to provide loads of detail and great viewing angles. But the real difference is the 120hz refresh rate. Reviewers loved the fluid movement and silky smooth scrolling on offer. The phone adjusts refresh rates based on your activity to help conserve battery life and provide an optimal experience.
To help keep up with the display, Razer went with an octa-core 2.35Ghz Snapdragon 835 processor and a massive 8GB of RAM. As expected, we found zero complaints about performance. The phone’s thicker design also allows for better heat dissipation when pushing the phone to its limits. So you’ll have little worry of hot hands or slowdowns.
Of course, all that power means nothing without the room to store your apps or movies. Fortunately, the phone includes 64GB of internal storage and supports microSD cards up to 2TB.
Another area the phone stands out is the audio experience. The dual front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround sound support wowed reviewers with both their volume and clarity—though some noticed a bit of harshness at full volume. This lessens the blow of the missing headphone jack, but if you’re looking to use your favorite cans to make the most of your games, you’ll need a 3.5mm to USB Type-C converter.
The phone’s 4,000mAh battery was enough to keep the phone running for a full day—even with moderate gaming and movie watching. Should you have issues, dialing back refresh rates and performance can help with squeaking a few more hours out of a charge. When it comes time to charge, the Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0 Plus charger will top you off in just over an hour.
Despite all the good things reviewers said, there was one aspect of the phone that received endless complaints—the camera. On paper, a dual lens 12MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens sound like a good set up. In action, reviewers had issues with blurry shots, grainy low-light pictures, and shutter lag. To make matters worse, even when they captured a clear shot, colors were dull and muted.
Most recommend downloading a third-party camera app instead of using the stock app. Razer is issuing updates to address camera concerns. However, at the time of writing, these haven’t improved many of the issues reviewers noted.
Despite this setback, the phone appears to accomplish what it claims—creating a powerhouse mobile device geared toward gaming and media consumption. Overall, reviewers agree. VentureBeat notes, “When it comes to consuming media and games, I don’t think you can get a better smartphone. But if a questionable camera is a deal breaker for you, either get something else or wait for the Razer Phone 2.” SlashGear also commends it, saying, “... the Razer Phone is like no other company’s ‘first try’ I’ve ever experienced.”
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