The good, the bad, and the ugly on Razer's phone designed for gamers.
Razer's phone isn't a gaming phone per se, but it is a device built for gamers. As a result, it breaks unprecedented ground in a few areas but falters in others. Here are the top five things you should know about the Razer phone.
The Razer Phone uses a 5.7 inch 2560x1440p display. This is the same resolution that many high-end gaming monitors use and it looks really sharp. What really makes it unique, though, is the fact that it features a variable refresh rate, that's similar to G-Sync or Freesync, and can scale up to 120Hz. Most other phones are locked to 60. It's really refreshing to see Razer break into a mature market here and disrupt a bunch of leading phone manufacturers like Apple, Google and Samsung. One downside here is that it doesn't use an OLED panel like many other flagships and opts to use an IPS LCD instead. This means that it doesn't feature true black levels that OLED displays offer, which might be a deal breaker to some, but unfortunately they don't make 120Hz OLED panels.
The Razer Phone uses top tier Android parts. It's equipped with Qualcomm's leading Snapdragon 835 SOC coupled with a massive 8GB of RAM. To put things into perspective, that's twice as much RAM as Google's flagship Pixel 2 XL. It also has a HUGE 4,000 milliamp hour battery that is more than capable of lasting a typical day. While it comes with 64GB of built-in storage, it thankfully allows you to install a microSD card so you can expand it to 2 terabytes.
The Razer Phone has an 8 megapixel f2.0 front-facing camera coupled with 2 cameras on the back. One is a 12mp f.175 wide angle and there's another 12MP f.26 zoom. The bad news is that the cameras are pretty bad. Overall, they make images look much too soft and lack image clarity. In addition, the back cameras oddly shoot almost everything in a forced portrait mode, so that only a certain part of the image will be in focus. Software updates could potentially address some of these issues, but if you're looking for a great camera on your phone, I'd focus elsewhere for now.
The Razer phone has two large bezels at the top and bottom, but I don't really mind them because the company has squeezed in some amazing speakers here. I'd say they are the best phone speakers currently on the market. They're good enough to replace small, cheap bluetooth speakers.
The Razer phone is rocking Android Nougat 7.1.1 with a clean nova launcher skin. It also comes with different Razer themes you can download along with additional settings that allow you to optimize battery life over performance and vice versa. Razer tells me it plans to update the phone to Android 8.0 Oreo in Q1 next year, but hasn't laid out an update roadmap beyond that.