The year is 2018, smartphone manufacturers are chasing after the infamous notch and having bezels on your device is the equivalent of worshipping the devil. This year’s phone trends are more to do with the aesthetic of a device, rather than pushing the performance. Clearly, the folks over at Razer saw this issue, because the Razer Phone 2 follows none of the trends and- it- is- brilliant.
Disclaimer: All images in the review were taken by the Razer Phone 2 after the update that fixed any camera issues.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.80 GHz) with Adreno 630 GPU and Vapor Chamber Cooling
8GB system memory
64 GB internal storage
Options for up to 1TB external storage via SIM + Micro SD
5.72 inch LCD 1440 x 2560 display operating at up to 120hz
12 MP f1.75 Wide, 12 MP f2.6 Telephoto rear cameras with up to 4k video recording
8MP F2.0 front camera
Stereo front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos Technology
USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter with 24-bit DAC
4,000 mAh Li-Po battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+
Up to 1.2 Gbit/s internet speed
IP67 water resistance
5 mm x 78.99 mm x 5.8 mm
Price: R16 999- R20 000. We have no official figures yet, but they do say expect it to be R1 000 more than the Razer Phone 1 when it launched in SA.
Taken with the rear-facing camera
Razer has really upped the ante in the design department this year and gave the Razer Phone 2 a beautiful allure by using an all-glass back panel. The back panel is complemented by a rather exuberant RGB Razer logo that serves the purpose of being a notification light. Unlike most phones of the year coming out with curved glass, more screen than the phone can care to hold, and a million cameras tacked onto the back, the Razer Phone doesn’t see the need in any of that. It has two cameras, a QHD 120Hz screen, Dolby Atmos speakers that blast a whopping 109 dB of sound, and wireless charging, should you feel the need to be a little adventurous.
Taken with the rear-facing camera
There is only one colour option so far: black. That is because this phone is not catered to the mass audience who prefer living their life experiencing a device that does a little bit of everything and looks more like a work of art than a functional tool. No, this phone is for those who do not want to compromise on their media intake and will stop at nothing to get the best out of their experience. The speakers (which I will get into a bit later) are the best to come out of any main-line smartphone this year. Razer has made this phone to get the most out of your gaming and streaming needs.
The camera shares a similar motif. Streamers and content creators will be more focused on video work, than they would be on stills. The Razer Phone 2 can record 1080p 60fps or 2160p 60fps. After an update, however, they fixed the camera entirely. Stills now look vibrant and hold a lot of detail. The rear, dual shooters are both 12M.P, meaning they won’t do well in low-light situations, but are more than enough for any point-and-shoot situation.
While the Razer Phone 2 cannot compete with the phones that have an uncomfortable amount of cameras on the back, it does more than enough to leave you satisfied with the shots that you take.
The front-facing camera was rather pleasant. Razer doesn’t incorporate the arduous beauty mode we have seen in 2018, but rather goes with a more natural option in the pictures it takes. It’s a single 8 M.P shooter, with a high amount of detail and a wide enough angle to at least fit most of your friends and family into the shot.
Taken with the rear-facing camera
The audio is where the Razer Phone 2 shines. The front-facing, dual-firing loudspeakers are capable of filling an entire room with clear, crisp audio. Playing games, or watching some Netflix is an experience that literally blew me away. The speakers have spacial audio that has a way of making you feel in the moment, should the video support it. Most Netflix series had 5.1 Dolby Atmos support, but it was harder to find in the game. Nevertheless, the audio experience feels like I was permanently carrying a high-end Bluetooth speaker attached to my phone.
Razer has truly made strides with their speaker technology, and there is currently no smartphone that could compare to the audio signature that no other manufacturer can mimic. Needless to say, if you live in Johannesburg and you happen to receive a message, a person in the worlds loudest heavy metal concert somewhere in Tokyo would be able to hear your notification sound clearly.
That speaker volume translates to phone calls(if people still buy phones for this). Phone calls are crisp and very loud, even in noisy areas. People on the receiving end could hear me clearly, and I did have the option of having LTE+ calls.
Many may shy away from the Razer Phone 2 for the fact that it has a 16:9 ratio screen, but I thought it fit the phone perfectly. Most 18:9 phones are designed by people who have the knowledge of a giraffe because most content just gets cut out in the phone’s effort to stretch whatever is on the screen to the edges of the display. To avoid this, Razer has opted for a traditional screen, but have made it a 2K 120Hz screen. I would trade a stretched out screen for that quality any day of the week. The 120Hz refresh can only be done justice if you’re actually using it. You may not think it is necessary for a phone to have such a high refresh rate, but when you have a Snapdragon 845 and Nova Launcher Prime as the stock launcher, you get an experience that even beats the Pixel 3 in terms of speed.
Selfie camera shot
This package all comes together to make a phone that suited my needs to the nearest degree. The rather hefty 4 000Mah battery pack will last you an entire day of medium-to-heavy usage. After a full day of watching Netflix, gaming, and taking a picture, I often ended the day with around 20% left in the tank.
Thanks to our beautiful country’s electrical infrastructure, I got to fully test out the endurance on this phone during load shedding. Not only did the torch light up an entire dance-hall without killing the battery, but I was also able to feel confident whenever the lights went off, even with less than 30% in the tank. Your usage may vary, but the Razer Phone 2 is an endurance champ. Paired with the fact that it has superb cooling, the Razer
I’m not in any way saying that the Razer Phone 2 is the perfect phone and no other phone could ever beat it, but it does everything it sets out to do- and it does it phenomenally. The Razer Phone 2 removes any gimmicks, and sets out to be one of the greatest- if not the greatest- media consumption phones available. If you’re the type of person who uses your phone mainly to stream videos, play games, and want good battery life doing so, look no further than the Razer Phone 2.
Will defend anything Dragon Ball. Occasionally has two-way conversations with himself. Has sleepless nights about Half-Life 3 confirmed.
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