Razer loves to try and be a the forefront of everything to do with gaming, as they have a hand in almost every part of the gaming space from keyboards, mice, controllers and arcade sticks. Now they are looking to make mobile gaming a big thing with their latest product: The Razer Phone 2. Now while this phone is a great gaming device if you’re looking for some arcade, FPS or strategy gaming on the go, or even a nice media player; The Razer Phone 2 is still just a phone at the end of the day.
At a glance
- 120Hz UltraMotion™ Display – A brighter screen with zero lag or stuttering
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 – With a custom vapor chamber cooling system
- Dual Front-Facing Stereo Speakers – Featuring Dolby Atmos and a 24-bit USB-C DAC
- Dual Cameras with Image Stabilization – For faster, sharper shots
- New Design with Glass Back – Equipped with wireless charging, Razer Chroma™ RGB logo and IP67 Water Resistance
- Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 (2.80 GHz) with Adreno 630 GPU, Vapor Chamber Cooling
- 8GB (LPDDR4X)
- Internal: 64GB UFS
- External: SIM + micro SD slot (up to 1TB)
- 5.72-inch IGZO LCD 1440 x 2560
- 120Hz, Wide Color Gamut
- UltraMotion™ Technology
- Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Anti-Fingerprint Protection
- Wide: f/1.75 lens with 12MP and OIS
- Telephoto: f/2.6 lens with 12MP
- Dual PDAF (Phase detection Autofocus)
- Dual tone, dual LED flash
- Video: Up to 4K
- f/2.0 lens with 8MP
- 1080P Video
- Dual front-firing stereo speakers with dual amplifiers
- Dolby Atmos Technology
- 24-bit DAC Audio Adapter
- 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery
- Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+
- Wireless Charging
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Dual-band (MIMO) with 2×2 antennas
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Razer Chroma RGB logo
- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
- WCDMA: 1/2/3/4/5/8
- FDD-LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/14/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/30/32/66/71
- TDD LTE: 38/39/40/41
- TD-SCDMA: 34/39
- LAA: 46
- 4×4 MIMO: 1/2/3/4/7/30/38/66
- IP67 water resistant up to 1m
- 158.5 x 78.99 x 8.5 mm
- Android 8.1
So what does all this mean to the average joe mobile phone user and average joe gamer? Well it means that you have something a bit more powerful than a Playstation console in your pocket, and also something that is meant to be a pretty good phone. In reality you are getting just that. But…
As a phone, the Razer Phone 2 is a pretty average phone. While it does boast some amazing picture quality with the ability to take 4K images and all that, it doesn’t really seem like it when you are viewing the photos at all. All photos don’t look any different to the basic 1080p photos I can take with my normal Samsung Galaxy 9. I think a lot of my issues with the photos come from the fact that using the Razer Phone 2 as a phone is a pain in the ass. Android 8.1 is a normal OS for sure, but there was something about using it that pissed me off at every turn. Nothing I seemed to do easily on other Android devices was nothing short of needing a PHD in technology while using this thing. So even taking a photo was annoying with too many setting and allowances needed to do just one photo.
I know we’re in the age where everything needs to be allowed and agreed to by law, but setting up a new phone is just too much of a task. However, once I finally got the whole thing set up with about half of my needed apps the Razer Phone 2 was doing alright. The battery would take about a week to drain when I wasn’t too busy, and even when I got a few calls a week, plus daily texts and Facebook checking, the battery would last about 4 days on average, not bad in the age where a battery is lucky to last a day at best if you’re busy.
Now during this testing phase, I was using a lot of Razer bits and pieces with the Razer Phone 2, one of which is the Razer Hammerhead BT headphones. Now while I didn’t think too much of these things when I was using them with a non-Razer product, when using the Razer Phone 2 everything just worked extremely well. I’m not sure why that is, but that’s the experience I had with it. Maybe the extra ram and processing power that can be used with the Razer Phone 2 allowed the Hammerhead headphones to be able to bring about a clearer call quality, but that’s well above my level of tech knowledge. But that was the call experience overall with the Razer Phone 2, a much sharper and clearer sound, especially through the dual speakers when needing to use loud speaker on the phone.
Now what to say about the Razer Phone 2 as a gaming device… It’s great! I used quite a few games I regularly play on my normal everyday phone like Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, and to be honest I didn’t see much change in the game at all. The times I saw an increase in quality through the Razer Phone 2 was when playing things like PUBG Mobile, where the extra graphical power and the added RAM was put to the test as it made things much smoother over not only my wifi connection, but 4G LTE network as well. While the Razer Phone 2 does have a “game boost” mode which is meant for games like this, I didn’t really feel the need to use it at all unless I had the phone pulled into an external power source as, when enabled, the mode does drain the battery very quickly and heats up the phone something shocking.
The other thing I did with the Razer Phone 2 was play some emulated games, looking to see how far I could push the phone before things like lag and crashing happened. Good news is that for anyone wanting to play games anywhere from the NES through Playstation era, this phone is great to use. The clear and large screen allows for the full range of the games to be emulated properly without any lag or stuttering. So I spent a lot of time playing games like Tekken 3 and Super Mario World without any issue on a daily basis during lunch breaks. But anything beyond the Playstation era is where things begin to take a downturn, so no Playstation 2 or Xbox emulation on a phone just yet.
The last big thing I used the Razer Phone 2 for was a media device. I would use it in the morning and evenings on my train trip home to watch videos through VLC player, which works really well thanks to the dual speakers, which are pretty loud at even the lowest volumes (sorry train passengers). I would also use it in the evenings to watch Youtube with no lag or buffering at all, which I enjoyed a lot since the screen was large enough to see a lot without turning the whole device into a mini-tablet; though again the heat issue was coming through a bit as I needed to only use it in bursts instead of prolonged viewing sessions.
Overall my experience with the Razer Phone 2 was a mixed bag. In the beginning I was frustrated with the amount of allowing I needed to do, how many passwords would not work even though they were correct, and how long it got to make the phone work in a manner where I was able to use it as both a phone and a gaming device. I think overall that if Razer can workout the issue with the phone heating up like crazy when using game boost, watching video or gaming in general; then they have a great product here. But it’s just not quite there yet to take on the big boys in the telecommunication industry while also being a decent gaming platform. Gaming wise, the Razer Phone 2 is a little too ahead of it’s time as the games on mobile aren’t really ready nor needing the extra grunt the Razer Phone 2 provides.
Razer Phone 2: Not the best, but getting there.
The Razer Phone 2 is a good piece of technology, when used correctly. Hard to set up but once things are set, it rivals most phones easily, but it’s just not showing anything extra to make it a must buy. As a gaming device, the Razer Phone 2 is a little too ahead of it’s time as the games aren’t needing what the phone provides… Unless you want a nice mini heater, then that is perfect for you.
- Works extremely well with other Razer products
- Games run smoothly
- Sound is amazing
- Overheats easily
- Horrible to set up when you first get it
- Just doesn’t provide much difference than the average Samsung or iPhone