Razer has today announced their brand new flagship mobile device, the Razer Phone 2, which prioritises mobile gaming and streaming more than any other phone on the market. They pushed mobile gaming further than ever before with the original Razer Phone, their first smartphone, fully kitting it out for a premium gaming experience on-the-go. However, they upped the ante in their second iteration. Having gone hands-on with the new powerhouse of a phone, its apparent Razer is cramming in all they can to stay ahead of the competition in providing a premium mobile gaming experience.
In designing the Phone 2, Razer has taken on the feedback their first foray into the category received. The screen is 50% brighter, the camera has improved stabilisation, Dolby Atmos is supported and the CPU has been upgraded, with added vapour cooling managing the device’s heat. A new glass back allows for wireless fast charging and boasts IP67 certified water resistance. The 8GB of RAM remains, as does the expandable memory and large 4,000mAh battery.
Their barebones version of Android 8.1 has virtually no bloatware, only adding some useful apps of their own allowing you to optimise game settings to suit your display and power consumption preferences, and change the settings for the glowing Razer logo on the back, another new addition. The rectangular shape is virtually unchanged from the original, it’s just slightly larger and thicker accommodating a screen size increase from 5.7 inches to 5.72 inches.
The phone is slick and sophisticated inside and out. It has a sharp, sleek design, looking as if it was lifted straight from the set of a sci-fi film. Its hard corners are a deliberate effort to make the phone stand out from the crowd and reinforce that this phone is about precision, clarity and power.
And powerful it is. Although my time with it was limited, Fortnite ran impressively well, the menus feeling even more responsive than it does on the Switch. Despite its edges, it sat comfortably in my hands, it’s weight a reminder of the sheer amount of tech packed within the 8.5mm from its front to it back. Brief as my play session was, I did not encounter any stutter or sluggishness in any of the games I was playing. The 120Hz screen refresh rate provides the super smooth gaming, unlike anything else I’ve seen on a phone. But then again, this is unlike any other phone.
I’ve always felt gaming on mobile devices to be a bit pointless. Phones, being as they are, are naturally disadvantaged by their form factor. I believed gaming on them would always feel inferior but man, does the Razer Phone 2 close the gap. In the palm of your hand, the Razer Phone 2 feels anything but inferior.
How it holds up as a daily driver, of course, remains to be seen. I still have reservations about the comfort of its sharp rectangular design when the trend is to curve our every possible edge. With so much under the hood, I’ll be curious to experiment with the settings and see how well the battery holds up too, but I suspect there will be a lot to love about the Razer Phone 2.
We won’t have to wait long to get our hands on it here in Australia too. The Razer Phone 2 will be available on the Razer online store first, sometime in November, and then with Optus on a plan. It’s going to be available for $799 USD over in the States, but we’ll update you with Aussie pricing when it becomes available.