The Razer Phone launched to great aplomb when it was unveiled in 2017. Effectively creating a new class of smartphones, the Razer Phone combined top-edge specifications with purpose-built features aimed at its core market of gamers. Soon enough, we’ve seen the ASUS ROG Phone, Xiaomi Black Shark, and Honor Play flood into the market, early entrants into this hitherto new market.
With a 120Hz Wide Colour Gamut 5.6-inch 1440x2560p display, the Razer Phone showed how familiar Razer was in its home category of gaming products, providing a high-resolution, high refresh rate display demanded by gamers. The Dolby Atmos THX-certified front-firing stereo speakers further ensured gamers could enjoy an immersive gaming experience everywhere. Within, the Razer Phone was powered by the then-flagship Snapdragon 835 chipset and top-of-the-line Adreno 540 graphics.
It’s 2018, and about time for the annual product line refresh mobile manufacturers are all-too used to.
Razer evidently isn’t settling for a one-hit wonder with the first Razer Phone, and has released a save-the-date invitation to journalists for an event on the 10th of October. While not overtly mentioning the Razer Phone, the frame around the invite has dual side buttons that look very similar to a particular product. The caption, Flagship // Gaming also alludes to the flagship category the Razer Phone entered into when it was launched last year.
While no official invites have been released, we at VR Zone have a long list of requests from
Santa Razer for its second iteration of the Razer Phone.
Amoled, 144Hz, and QHD+ (1440x2560p). HDR is a plus, given the increasing popularity of HDR video and gaming content. No notch: more on that below in design.
I’d prefer a large screen (6 inches and above) for maximum immersion and reduction of fatigue, and I’m almost certain it will retain a 16:9 or wider (in landscape) aspect ratio.
We’d baulk at a notch, and a forehead/chin on the phone means proper front-firing stereo audio.
I’ve been gaming on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and while stereo audio is a godsend in a world of mediocre, single-speaker, mono audio on smartphones, the configuration isn’t ideal. One speaker is located on the forehead of the phone, providing good front-firing audio. The other, however, is located next to the USB-C port, which means careful manoeuvring of my index finger is required to avoid blocking the output.
I didn’t like the back of the Razer Phone. While black anodised aluminium gave the gunmetal look gamers love and adore, and it fits in perfectly with the Razer Blade line of laptops, it smudges rather easily and doesnt look great with scratches and other usage marks.
A more rounded, comfortable design with ergonomic considerations would be welcome. The aluminium might bode well for heat dissipation, but I quite liked how the ASUS ROG Phone felt in the hand with its glass back.
What I felt was the biggest design pitfall on the Razer Phone was the acid-green Razer logo sticker right smack in the middle of the caseback. Firstly: an engraved or screen-printed ensemble would look more classy. Secondly, toning down the attention-grabbing hey-look-i’m-a-gamer Razer logo would mean better sales amongst the gaming dark knights amongst us (office rat by day, save the world on my gaming rig by night). Advertising your time-consuming hobbies in the office doesn’t bode very well in the workplace, and telling your boss you’ve got downtime in the evenings to game on your phone might well work against you.
Thirdly, the ROG Phone set the bar pretty high with Aura Sync (ASUSism for fancy colourful LED lighting) on the logo on the rear of the phone. I’m not big on LED lights but can see their allure – gamers are exactly like moths: nocturnal, and relentlessly attracted to fancy flickering lights. Razer could opt for similar implementation, but for the design to remain in a low-key colour when turned off.
Top-notch processing and graphics are a must, along with 6-8GB of RAM. In late 2018, the top-of-the-line chip is still the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, graphics the Qualcomm Adreno 630.
While the lack of AI-smarts is understandable given Razer’s lack of expertise and specialisation in the technology, adequate compensation would be welcome.
When it was launched, the Razer phone featured dual rear cameras, but users recognised that the purchase of this gaming machine necessarily sacrificed having a top-notch photography experience they would have with a similarly-priced flagship phone. The recently-released ROG Phone utilises the best camera ASUS has to offer, which isn’t bad at all.
So, Razer, pack a good camera (preferably a pair, or surprise me with three) on the Razer Phone 2, and plenty of users (gamers and non-gamers) will flock to you.
Teased early this year in CES 2018 in a prototype, Project Linda showcased the possibility of integrating your smartphone with a compatible laptop. Razer demonstrated it with the Razer Phone and the Razer Blade, and it took the (tech) world by storm.
While I’m not totally sold on the use-cases of this implementation, there are plenty of ways to implement this technology in a way that would benefit users in general, and even gamers in particular. Razer could look at how ASUS had implemented a screen into their touchpad (christened the “Screenpad”, duh) on the ZenBook Pro UX580, or even how they fit the ROG Phone into the Twinview dock.
Next to nothing is known about Razer’s plans for the new Razer Phone 2 – everything at present is basically speculation.
Do you have any features in mind that you absolutely need to see on Razer’s sophomore attempt? Let us know in the comments.