Razer's Making Gaming Phones Now

Note the time on the phone display.

Now that it's done Razer-ing the hell out of PC and console gaming, Razer is turning its attention to mobile. Launching on November 17, the $US700 ($913) Razer Phone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, 8 gigabytes of RAM and the world's first 120 Hz "UltraMotion" display. Candy Crush is going to run so well on this.

It's code name was Project Cheryl. Hey, Cheryl.

Though certainly strong enough for Candy Crush Saga, the Razer Phone has been engineered with high-performance mobile gaming in mind. Compared to other mobile devices, its specs are downright ludicrous.

What phone needs 8 GB of RAM? Which games are going to take advantage of a display with a variable refresh rate up to 120 FPS? I get the front-facing stereo speakers and THX-certified USB 3.0 audio adaptor -- you want good sound while watching Netflix or showing friends funny things on YouTube.

But you don't need Qualcomm's most powerful system-on-a-chip to do that. This is a device that's all about playing video games.

Having already covered the PC and console esports scene with glowing green squid logos, Razer aims to be the go-to device for competitive mobile games as well. These games include Tencent's upcoming Arena of Valor, the five-on-five arena game that's been racking up tens of millions of concurrent players in Asian territories as Kings of Glory. Tencent's MOBA is one of several gaming partnerships -- games specifically tailored to take advantage of the phone's capabilities.

Others include Netmarble's massively multiplayer Lineage 2: Revolution, Madfinger shooter Shadowgun Legends, and Square Enix's Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.

Gaming or not, the Razer Phone is an impressive piece of Android hardware on paper. The 8mm-thin rectangle will come loaded with Android Nougat, ready to upgrade to Android Oreo when the spring rolls around.

It also comes preloaded with the Nova Launcher Prime, which is rapidly becoming the go-to application for people who don't want to look at whatever garbage their mobile carrier put on their phone.

While the standard edition comes with a subdued silver Razer logo, there's a limited special edition for those green fiends in the audience.

Of course a mobile phone is just a tiny tablet without a cell carrier of some sort. In Europe the phone is exclusive to Three at launch. In North America it's T-Mobile and AT&T. And while it certainly looks like it's capable of gaming, how it handles phone calls is still an unknown factor. Hopefully I can get my hands on one before launch to try it out.

The Razer Phone will be available for preorder today at Razerzone.com and Three in Europe, and will be available on Amazon and select Microsoft stores across the U.S. when it launches on November 17. Suggested retail price is $US699.99 ($913) (€749.99 / £699.99).

So, what do you think? Is it time for more powerful mobile gaming hardware? Is it fair for a player running on hardware optimised to run at upwards of 120 frames-per-second to fight against players on three-year-old phones with cracked screens? Where is the Chroma lighting? Can we add Chroma lighting so the phone is in sync with our mice and keyboards?

Most importantly, what the hell is this guy doing?


Comments

    I thought I had a long future of iPhones ahead of me but this changes everything.

      I may be interested in this but it all depends on that camera. Razer were very coy when talking about it, just quickly mentioned it in the presentation and moved on, which makes me a bit worried. Why didn't they mention any of the camera features?

      I really hope I'm wrong, but I have a feeling they have sacrificed the camera on this phone in order to spruce up the "gaming" part of it while keeping costs down.

    I'm like 90% sure this isn't going to sell anywhere near as well as they think it will.

      If they price it well it might. Pretty good specs.

        The specs are fine, though I don't like the LCD screen (ghosting isn't that much of an issue on OLED).

        I was more thinking along the lines that the market for high performance mobile gaming is pretty small. This has none of the things that made the Switch actually sell: no drop-in TV switching, no controllers, smaller screen, no Nintendo titles. It's probably not well suited to VR either with a PPI of only 513 or so. In comparison the Galaxy S8 has 571 ppi and still has noticeable screen-dooring in VR.

    I want to like it.

    But big bezels and no OLED. Feels like its one phone refresh too late.

      OLED is hardly a dealbreaker, you should watch some videos that show the screen in action. The big bezels are there to house the two massive front-facing stereo speakers and to help with gripping the phone when holding it in landscape mode to play games.

    Great move by Razer we need more focus on gaming oriented phones.

    I hope this helps android gaming move further a little bit.

    But with that pricing it will be a tough sell compared to much better alternatives but if it can drop to sub $400 AUD fast within a year it should be ok for great bargain hunters.

    Hopefully they release some good wall mounts or phone stands for it.

    Something you can attach to the side of your bed like a very rotatable suction pad extendable arm or something and maybe watch videos or game with a gamepad while still charging.

    I can see some commuters possibly using this on a train or bus ride to watch something maybe pre downloaded on their phones with earphones or a head set in peace if they have a window seat or the seat or wall in front of them has a flat suctionable surface to attach on.

    Android gaming still needs a lot to really become a decent gaming machine.. The titles out now are still very limited with few being worth playing over say other platforms.

    But as time keeps going on we are seeing some really great games being released and some old ones too being remade for tablet.

    This is good news for all android users and mobile players as a whole.

    I can't believe they're making a "gaming phone" with no consideration for a gamepad. I really just want a newer, better Xperia Play. That was a great phone.

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