There have been attempts at making a gaming phone by lots of OEMs including Nokia and NVIDIA in the past, but they’ve all failed mostly because of one reason – they tried too much. These were more like gaming devices with calling and messaging in-built as an add-on. My expectations from a gaming phone were simple, it should be powerful, loud and come equipped with a great battery and display but I never found the perfect phone that checked all the boxes, so last year I decided to get the OnePlus 3 as my daily driver.
This was a beast in terms of performance and its battery life wasn’t too bad. The display was pretty good for a 1080p panel in this price segment and the speakers were fairly loud. I was happy with this device, so much so I did not feel the need to upgrade to the new Galaxy range or LG V30, up until now.The Razer Phone is a smartphone by computer peripherals and hardware manufacturer, Razer and it holds its own in a world dominated by Apple, Samsung and now OnePlus. This is a beast. With a build quality that is straight out of its laptop line-up and good looking industrial design, I find this smartphone aesthetically pleasing to look at too. Sure, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the S8 or Note 8 and does not come equipped with a Face Scanner, but it is a really good phone just for one reason – it focuses on the very basics.The 5.71″ 2560x1440p IGZO LCD panel looks gorgeous and at a 120Hz refresh rate, it is perfect to play games on.
The refresh rate makes it smoother than the Pixel line-up, which up until now was my go to for the smoothest animations on an Android device. The Razer Phone carries on an identical design from the Nextbit Robin, but this time instead of the stereo speakers being small and round, they cover the whole chin and forehead of the phone. This arrangement of speakers flanking the display is really good and because they are stereo speakers, you will get the best multimedia experience too. Also, each speaker has its own amplifier. Yep, that is crazy, but Razer did it. This makes the phone loud, really loud! It also has a dual camera set-up with one 2x optical zoom telephoto lens which does produce decent shots.
The Razer Phone also comes equipped with the SnapDragon 835 and 8 Gigs of DDR4 RAM. This is not the first phone to feature this set-up but it made more sense on the Razer Phone than the other devices with 8GB of memory and an SD835. This device is particularly thick and has a reassuring heft to it, which can be mostly attributed to the massive 4000 mAh battery inside it. This is a welcome addition as Razer has kept in mind that the 120Hz refresh rate on a Quad HD screen will hungry for juice.
Now, this isn’t a perfect smartphone. It has an LCD display and not an AMOLED which, personally I prefer, but I do understand that Razer had to stick with LCD for the refresh rate. The Phone for Gamers also lacks a headphone jack. This is not really a deal breaker now in 2017 but if it’s meant for people who consume media and game on their smartphones, I think Razer should have included it. But on the positive side, they have included a THX certified USB-C to 3.5mm jack with an inbuilt 24 bit DAC. The volume rockers also feel a bit small and flimsy but now I’m just nitpicking.
Overall, if there’s one phone that made me want to switch from my trusty OnePlus 3, it is this. The Razer Phone does not have any fancy aspect ratio or small bezels or a stylus that makes custom GIFs but it is a solid phone that reminds you that focusing on the basics can get you a great product.