Even gamers want representation in smartphones, and I think no one does it better than Razer with their 2018 Razer Phone 2 - a quintessential gaming smartphone that build upon the last model for everything you’d want in a gaming smartphone.
Snakes On The Glass
Design-wise, the Razer Phone 2 does not see too much of a shift from it predecessor, actually with a brief glance, you might even say it’s the same. But on top of the aluminum body from the last phone, the Razer Phone 2 now has a glass back which really does give it a more premium look and feel. There is, of course, the signature Razer snake logo that has customisable RGB lighting, but after trying several different colours, I still like the classic green. The phone only comes in Mirror Black which definitely complements the green for that Razer aesthetic.
One thing I will say about the build will that the Razer Phone 2 is too rectangular and edgy, unlike most gaming console controllers with rounded grips or edges, so it’s not too comfortable to hold for long term gaming.
The Razer Phone 2 still maintains the display that supports 120Hz - I haven’t tried the Razer Phone before but gaming on the Razer Phone 2 does feel a whole lot different than with my phone, which really goes to show a good quality display can do for gaming. That being said, most games have their frame rates capped at 30 fps, some 60. PUBG mobile and Fortnite, for example, are capped at 30fps, though Fortnite does run on 60fps for select phones. Other games that support 60fps include Pokemon Go, Titanfall Assault, Hitman Sniper, Don’t Starve and more. My point is, that you probably won’t be fully utilising that 120Hz for gaming and until mobile games support 120fps, you can turn the display down to 60Hz for better battery life in general.
It is also 16x9 aspect ratio with up to 1440p resolution and in a world of smartphones with 19.5x9 aspect ratios, this really does make a difference for gaming since 16x9 is a standard for monitors and TVs. The brightness was great improved as well with an increase on 380 nits of the last to 580 nits.
Snap! Dragon Ate for Five
The Razer Phone 2 is a 2018 gaming phone so it definitely has to run on a flagship processor, which is the Snapdragon 845 and it performs as most flagship would - impeccably. I tested the Razer Phone 2 thoroughly with PUBG Mobile and Vainglory which ran like butter… like good foam on a cappuccino… like... a graphically competent mobile device for gaming. WIth 8GB of RAM, you’re almost guaranteed a smooth experience in performance,multitasking or just about anything. The OS doesn’t feel extra like some phone, gaming or non-gaming, while still giving an edgy gaming look to it.
Speakers Pack a Wallop
The stereo speakers are absolutely amazing - besides having punchy bass with more than decent mids, the speakers are stereo. Playing PUBG Mobile with the speakers did give me more spatial awareness when it came to positioning of my opponents. It also has Dolby software with some presets: Dynamic, Movie and Music which does have a noticeable difference or you could go custom and adjust the levels yourselves.
It’s not that a gaming phone can’t have good camera but they can’t have it for the price that Razer has placed the phone at, and it would be way past the 4k price point.
The Razer Phone 2 carries a 4000mAh battery which is by no means small, but if you’re using it as it was intended as a gaming phone, it would last you around 3-3.5 hours. If you do minimal gaming or none at all, it could actually go to two days which is also impressive. If you do drain your entire battery in under 4 hours, it’ll take you a bit under two hours to get it to a full charge - that’s with the phone off too.
The Razer Phone 2, in every way possible, is a flagship smartphone - but it’s features like the spectacular 120Hz display, impressive stereo speakers, robust build, and less so, the RGB lighting that pushes it over the flagship-gaming smartphone line. A good gaming smartphone at that!