Razer is betting that you’ll be wanting to game on your phone in 2019.
The first version of their Razer Phone was praised for its exceptional speakers and high refresh rate screen, but didn’t quite connect with everyone outside of the gaming world.
The Razer Phone 2 looks to push the device further into flagship territory, with much needed adjustments to the camera, and overall quality of life improvements. It’s still a gaming phone, and much of the marketing focus is targeting gamers, but the hope is that it will be greeted as a flagship Android smartphone first, one that just so happens to be equipped to play games unlike any other.
It will be hard to know if that goal has been accomplished until benchmarks are revealed and people have had a chance to use it in the real world, but by all accounts, it looks like Razer is moving in the right direction.
So how is the Razer Phone 2 different?
At first glance, not much has changed, and in this case, that’s not a bad thing. The same divisive square chassis design (full disclosure, I love it), the same emphasis on high end audio via front-firing stereo speakers, and a 120Hz refresh rate display.
One of the most obvious changes on the outside of the phone is that the Razer logo finally lights up, and fully supports Chroma. Not a huge surprise given Razer’s heavy push into RGB, but the fact that it’s fully programmable and can inform you of notifications, elevates this RGB integration from a gimmick to something potentially quite useful.
As with most phone upgrades, the biggest changes are on the inside. Razer has upgraded the chip to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 2.8GHz processor, and implemented a vapor chamber system, similar to ASUS’ ROG phone. In addition to the light up logo, the new phone also supports wireless charging.
Some were dissatisfied with the first version of the Razer Phone’s camera, so work has been done to improve it, including a new dual lens/dual Sony IMX sensor configuration and updated software.
In regards to the display, you’re looking at a 5.7” WQHD 120Hz display, with 50% improved brightness, and better color accuracy when compared to the previous model.
Razer has also implemented additional durability features, and now has a IP67 water resistance rating. They’ve redesigned their extensive software suite, which allows you to customize phone performance depending on what game you’re playing.
There are no enormous aesthetic changes, it’s still very recognizable, and anyone familiar with the previous model will be right at home here.
Like so many things, it’s what’s inside that matters. Razer seems to be taking the upgrade process seriously, which should help it move closer to the coveted flagship mantle.
Razer Phone 2 Specs
Here’s the full specs, straight from Razer:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem
64GB V4 UFS
5.7” 120Hz 1440×2560 IGZO Display
Wide: f/1.75 lens with 12MP Sony IMX 363 Sensor and OIS
Telephoto: f/2.6 lens with 12MP Sony IMX 351 Sensor and OIS
Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@120fps
f/2.0 lens with 8MP Samsung 3H7 Sensor
Dual front-firing stereo speakers with dual amplifiers
24-bit headphone DAC included
4,000 mAh battery
1.0C charge rate, QuickCharge 4.0+ support
Qi inductive fast charging (11.25W)
GSM / HSPA+ / LTE
Cat 18 (DL) / Cat 13 (UL)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. Dual-band (MIMO) with 2×2 antennas
NFC: Android Pay and Android Beam compliant
USB v3.1 type C, USB Host, USB 3.1 Gen1, USB OTG
158.5 x 78.99 x 8.5 mm
Is a gaming phone worth it?
For some people, absolutely.
Mobile gaming is only going to increase in popularity, especially as streaming games becomes more prevalent. The idea of a phone designed to enjoy games with a high-end display and audio is by no means the foreign concept it once was.
The average North American gamer might take some convincing, which is why moving the phone from a device with a gaming focus, to a high-end flagship Android device is a smart move. Improving the camera and integrating wireless charging will certainly help with that transition, though the lack of a headphone jack or expandable memory is an unfortunate sign of the times. To make up for that, Razer is including a high-fidelity USB Type-C DAC that supports up to 24-bit audio for 3.5mm headphone users. That’s something, but it’s still disappointing.