Razer Phone: The ultimate gaming mobile?

Razer has just launched its first smartphone, imaginatively titled the Razer Phone, which boasts a gorgeous IGZO display, impressive specs, QuickCharge 4.0+ support and a slick dual lens camera. Here’s all you need to know about the new Razer handset.

We always get a little bit antsy when someone launches a gaming oriented smartphone. Hard hitters such as Sony and Nokia have tried and failed in the past to sell us a mobile phone designed entirely for gamers. All the same, one of the biggest gaming hardware manufacturers right now, Razer, has just launched its very first mobile phone, with an emphasis on gaming.

Don’t click away just yet however, as the Razer Phone (yep, that’s the actual name) actually delivers some impressive features and premium specs. That includes the camera tech and non-gaming bits, so this isn’t just a gimmicky handset.

Update: Check out our full Razer Phone review to see our in-depth opinions.

Razer Phone design

The Razer Phone is roughly the same size and weight of the iPhone 8 Plus, with quite a unique look and feel. It’s probably closest in design to Sony’s handsets, with a slender bezel down the left and right edges as well as quite thick bezels above and below, and a flat top and bottom.

It’s quite rectangular in form, similar to older Sony Xperia models before they rounded off the edges. In fact, with that edge-mounted fingerprint sensor, we’d not be surprised if some people mistook it for one of those Xperias.

Sadly Razer’s handset is not water resistant, so you can’t get gaming in the bath. That’s a shame, as most other premium Android mobiles are now able to take a dunking.

Razer Phone screen and media

One of the most intriguing features of the Razer Phone is that 5.72-inch IGZO LCD display, with 120Hz refresh rate for zero motion lag or ghosting. This is one of the first IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc, oxygen) panels we’ve seen on a smartphone, promising accurate colour reproduction with reduced power consumption compared with common mobile screens.

With its Quad HD 2560×1440 pixel resolution, you can expect pleasingly crisp visuals at all times. Meanwhile Razer’s Ultramotion tech, built in collaboration with Qualcomm, allows for super-smooth graphics thanks to rapid synchronisation between the display and the processor.

There’s a Gorilla Glass 3 covering as well, to keep the phone’s display scratch-free.

Of course, great visuals need some powerful audio to back them up, and Razer has delivered on that front too. You’ll find front-facing stereo speakers above and below the Razer Phone’s screen, which are THX certified (a world’s first) with support for Dolby Atmos. Think HTC’s BoomSound and you’re basically there, although Razer’s speakers each boast a dedicated amp and are truly massive.

Razer Phone features

A minimum of 64GB of storage space comes as standard, of which roughly 48GB of room is available for your games, apps and media. You can also expand the phone’s storage by up to a further 2TB using a microSD memory card, which is great news if you don’t like streaming all of your Netflix shows and Spotify tracks.

Like Samsung’s Game Launcher feature, Razer’s Phone can silence incoming notifications and allow you to tweak the hardware priorities when gaming. You’ll also get 120Hz support for a selection of Android games, exclusively on this handset – including Arena of Valor, as announced at launch.

Android Nougat 7.1.1 comes packed onto the handset as standard, in its stock form. This should hopefully receive an update to the latest Android Oreo software in Q1 of 2018, as Razer has promised.

Razer Phone performance and battery life

Unsurprisingly there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset packed inside, offering slick performance no matter what you’re up to, as well as up to 1Gbps connectivity. Handy for those online gaming sessions. Backed by a mighty 8GB of RAM, you won’t see any signs of slowdown any time soon.

If you game a lot on the go, you’ll be pleased to hear that a 4000mAh battery is packed inside the new Razer Phone handset. This matches some of the biggest smartphones on the market right now, including the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, so we’re hoping for a full two days of standard use between charges – or a day of gaming and other heavy use.

Even more impressive is the Razer’s support for QuickCharge 4.0+, making this a first for premium handsets. We’re looking forward to comparing the recharge rate of the Razer Phone with other Snapdragon 835 mobiles, including the Galaxy S8+, OnePlus 5 and HTC U11. Razer reckons you’ll get 85 percent charge from an hour at the plug, which is a solid effort considering the size of the cell.

Razer Phone cameras

You might think that Razer has made its smartphone camera tech secondary priority to the rest of the specs, yet you’ll find a solid dual lens snapper packed inside. There’s a 12-megapixel f/1.75 wide-angle lens, backed up by a secondary 12-megapixel f/2.6 zoom lens, offering a similar camera setup to the iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.

Razer says that Slow Motion and some other features will be rolling out to the camera in the near future, rather than appearing at launch. However, 120Hz capture is also promised soon.

Backing those shooters up is an 8-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture lens.

Razer Phone UK price and release date

Here in the UK, the Razer Phone will cost £699. That’s pretty standard as a SIM-free cost for premium devices, such as the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Pre-orders are now available, with Three serving as the exclusive UK carrier. You can expect the phone to be released on November 17.

Stay tuned for our full Razer phone camera review, as well as our in-depth review on this gaming smartphone.

Razer Phone unboxing and hands-on review

Check out our unboxing of the Razer Phone, which reveals what you get in the box as well as the setup process. We also go hands-on with the handset’s interface and check out some of the features, including that dual lens camera tech.