The Razer Phone – Is it Really the Best Handset for Gaming?
Mike Sanders / 3 years ago
The Razer Phone –
At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything particularly special about the Razer Phone. After all, it’s 5.7-inch LCD display lacks the premium appeal of rivals such as Samsung’s Galaxy S9 or the iPhone X, while it lacks the elegant and eye-catching design of high-end handsets. Still, it’s £699, SIM-free price tag has catapulted the Razer Phone into the premium marketplace, making the handset only marginally cheaper than the S9, the Galaxy S8 and Google’s Pixel range.
The reason for this simple, as this handset has been designed specifically for the purpose of gaming, while there is also far more to the specification than originally meets the eye. In the post below, we’ll ask whether the Razer Phone has successfully established itself as the best handset for gaming while appraising its value proposition in the current market.
What Makes the Razer Phone Suited to Gaming?
When creating this handset, the Razer brand focused on two core elements: the performance of the screen and the audio quality. This way, they figured that they would create a phone that could offer an immersive gaming experience, across different genres and titles across the board.
In terms of the former, the phone is the first on the market to boast a 120Hz refresh rate. This is considerably higher than the standard refresh rate of 90Hz, making the Razer Phone capable of delivering up to 120 frames per second (fps). This makes it the ideal handset for 3D gaming. Particularly given that it drives fluid animation and seamless gameplay that has to be seen to be believed.
So, even though the 5.7-inch, LCD QHD (1440 x 2560) display may lack the visual appeal of AMOLED technology and be more suited to a mid-range smartphone, what lies beneath the screen elevates it onto an entirely new level.
When it comes to the audio quality, developers have also fitted the handset with Dolby Atmos stereo speakers. Make no mistake; these dual front-facing speakers on the handset are the best on any smartphone in the marketplace, as they’ve been tuned to Dolby Atmos standards and provide what is being referred to as the ‘3D visualization of sound’. This means that they provide a similar quality of sound regardless of where you stand in relation to the phone, and the speakers are the first on a smartphone to be THX certified.
The Case Against the Razer Phone
These features certainly help to create a unique and immersive gaming experience, but the question that remains is whether it’s the best on the current market? Sure, no other handset can match the Razer’s refresh rate and audio quality. That being said, these are not the only two elements that are part of an enjoyable games experience.
Let’s start with the relative lack of games on the Razer Phone. Only four are automatically downloaded when the handset is first set up. These include Gear Club, World of Tanks, Titanfall Assault, and Arena of Valor. Each of these has niche appeal within the market (arguably like the phone itself). Outside of these titles, there’s no dedicated gaming mode or app that directs you towards the very best games available. This can leave players a little bereft of ideas when they want to add to their library. The can access Google’s Play Store, of course. Despite that though Razer has made no attempt to educate users on which games are best suited to the handset’s exceptional refresh rate and audio quality.
Audio Quality and Sound
On the issue of sound, gamers may also object to the absence of a headphone jack. While there is an audio adapter included with a built-in, 24-bit DAC that enables you to connect corded headphones, this is likely to deter anyone who has already invested in a dedicated gaming headset. After all, these accessories typically utilize the classic, 3.5mm headphone jack, and will continue to create resistance among some players.
Then we have the 4,000mAh battery unit. This is one of the biggest power packs in any smartphone. Given this, at first glance, it should be capable of easily sustaining a day’s full use. However, the battery may not be as effective during sustained gaming sessions. Particularly when setting the refresh rate to 120Hz, as this drains the battery at a considerable rate. As such, it will require an additional charge during the day.
This is a relatively serious problem. Particularly given that the main selling point of the Razer Phone is that it has potential as a dedicated gaming phone. The only way around this is to set the refresh rate to 90Hz. Once again though, this undermines the unique spec and appeal of the handset.
The Last Word – Is the Razer Phone the Best Gaming Handset?
Let’s start with a basic assertion; the Razer Phone is the first dedicated gaming handset to create a positive impression in the minds of consumers. With its unique refresh rate and market-leading audio quality, it’s also capable of providing a genuinely immersive gaming experience. One that will appeal to both casual and serious players alike.
What Razer has failed to achieve is bring these elements together. In addition, the lack of games and requisite battery life has also raised serious concerns among users. In this respect, the handset bears a relatively unfavorable comparison with the Galaxy S9, as this phone includes a ‘Games Launcher’ feature that enables players to see all of their favorite titles in a single place. There’s also a ‘Game Tools’ feature. This rests in the navigation bar and enables you to create optimizing settings for gaming. You can do this by toggling full screen, home button lock, auto-brightness and suspending notifications. This essentially creates a dedicated gaming mode. This, when coupled with a bright AMOLED display makes it more than a rival for the Razer Phone.
This leads us to the cost differential. The relatively high price and niche appeal of the Razer Phone mean that it offers restrictive value to consumers. The same cannot be said for the premium S9, which boasts a better overall specification. In addition, it is among Fonehouse‘s best pay monthly deals at present. This means that you secure the S9 at an extremely competitive rate. This could prove to be a decisive factor in the minds of customers who are comparing models.
All things considered, this probably establishes the Galaxy S9 as a popular handset among the vast majority gamers. This despite the fact that it lacks the refresh rate and audio quality offered by the Razer Phone. If you’re a serious gamer who uses your handset almost exclusively for gaming, however, you may be better investing in the Razer Phone.
What do you think? Are you planning on buying a Razer Phone? Do you already own one? In addition, what do you think about the gaming performance? – Let us know in the comments!