If you are into gaming and you know your stuff; you know Razer. Well, you must know these guys. They come from our neighbouring company and they have become one of the biggest and recognisable name in gaming peripherals and lifestyle.
Last year they broke out of the gaming peripherals scene and expanded their reach into the mobile industry. No, not the notebook PC industry; they have done that with thee Blade and Blade Pro. More like the mobile phone industry; the current fastest growing consumer market in the world. Of course, they would want to be a part of that; it only makes sense. So, they introduced the Razer Phone last year.
This year the talk on everyone’s mouth seems to be the ASUS ROG Phone with its outrageous looks and aluminium plating on the back of the device. The specs are a little over the top as well with a very specially overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 845; which became the bane of its existence too (shortage of stocks due to production delays and difficulties). It is the Computex device with the latest and greatest from hardware manufacturers like Qualcomm. So Razer has to step up their game.
They did so with the Razer Phone 2 launched not too long ago in the United States market. Straight away there is a major difference between the Razer Phone and the Razer Phone 2 – availability. Where the Razer Phone, that was teased again and again by Razer that it might come to Malaysia (highlight the word ‘might’), did not come to this part of the world; the Razer Phone did come. Do we find it funny and ironic when the producing country is just right beside ours? Yes, we do. But no matter; the Razer Phone 2 is here.
If you missed the launch of Razer Phone 2 in the U.S. here is the run down for you. The Razer Phone 2 is obviously powered by the acclaimed Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 System on a Chip (SoC) clocked at 2.8GHz with Adreno 630 GPU on board. CES 2019 sees Qualcomm’s revolutionary 855 SoC being introduced, so it might seem that the Razer Phone 2 is getting an older hardware. That is far from the truth though because the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, as we have known; is one very powerful, very formidably SoC to have in any smartphone. Plus the Razer Phone 2 packs something they call the Vapor Chamber Cooling technology which helps keep the smartphone’s temperature in check.
Unlike plenty of manufacturer’s out there now, the Razer Phone 2 only comes in one flavour. It packs an 8GB LPDDR4X RAM that ensures that whatever apps load quickly. The 64GB UFS memory makes sure that ‘fast’ is the word of the day for the Razer Phone 2. OF course, you can expand that storage via a MicroSD slot that is integrated with the SIM card tray. Oh, before we forget; it does not take two SIM cards.
Those internal hardware powers the Android 8.1 Oreo Operating System (OS) with Razer’s own skin. The skin is on the very minimal though as you still get most of what is default on a Vanilla Android User Interface (UI). That beautifully simple UI is pushed to users via a 5.72-inch IGZO LCD at 1,440 by 2,560 pixels (qHD) and 120Hz refresh rate. According to Razer, that is the highest refresh rate on any smartphone device now. The display that is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 comes with UltraMotion Technology that ensures smooth graphics all the way.
Like the Razer Phone, the Razer Phone 2 comes in a boxy aluminium body with an additional glass backing that we will talk about more later. It also does not come with a 3.5mm headphone jack like the Razer Phone that it replaces. Instead audio is handled either via Bluetooth or the dual front-firing speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. They also say that these speakers are way louder than before so that would be one for immersive entertainment or gaming. The box comes with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter though (supports 24-bit DAC) so if you still need to use your expensive earphones, you still can. The top speaker is only interrupted by the 8-Megapixel f/2.0 front-facing camera with 1080p video recoding capabilities.
The IP67 body is encased in glass at the back differentiating itself from the old Razer Phone which was all aluminium. The Razer Phone’s RGB three headed snake logo is also present with the Razer Phone 2. How much of it we can customise on this Razer Phone 2, we do not know just yet; we assume plenty though. It is Razer’s very famous Chroma RGB system after all. The glass back also houses the dual 12-Megapixel cameras (main: f/1.75 Wide and OIS, secondary: f/2.6 Telephoto) with Dual Phase Detection Autofocus for super-fast autofocus speeds. It does 4K videos too. The camera app is also optimised for one-handed operation this time; apparently.
All these goodness needs a large battery though. This packs a goo 4,000mAh non-replaceable battery. The quoted run time with the 120Hz display on for the Razer Phone 2 is about 10 hours; which is similar to the first Razer Phone. But you have to remember that the Razer Phone has a 90Hz display instead of 120Hz. The Razer Phone 2 also has a faster LTE antenna with up to 1.2Gbit/s download speeds.
With the Razer Phone 2 also the green brand announces their partnership with Netflix for their HDR and Dolby Surround 5.1 audio contents. That means Netflix on the Razer Phone 2 will be a completely different experience compared to any other smartphones. Well, we must test it to see for ourselves obviously.
Then Razer also loaded the Razer Phone 2 with some of their most popular apps like the Razer Cortex. The Razer Cortex app on the Razer Phone 2 will sort of be the games manager app for the device. The software will also help Razer Phone 2 optimise each game depending on what it needs. Of course, you can override that as a user.
In addition to the Razer Cortex, Razer also released the Razer Theme Store for exclusive UI themes for users of Razer Phone 2. What sort of themes? Game inspired themes of course; it is Razer. The themes available now are games like “Vainglory”, “Arena of Valor”, “Tekken”, “Guns of Boom”, “Gear Club”, and “Titan Assault”. The “PUBG Mobile” theme will be available shortly.
The Razer Phone 2 will be available in Malaysia today onward via Razer’s partnering retailers and distributors for MYR3,449. You can get your hands on one Razer Phone 2 as well from partnering carriers like Maxis and U Mobile. With Maxis you can get the Razer Phone 2 with Zerolution or even normal contract from as low as MYR101 per month, or MYR2,029 (normal contract). From U Mobile, you can get the Razer Phone at MYR2,299 with the Unlimited HERO P139 plan or MYR2,799 with the Unlimited Hero P99 plan. Both plans give you unlimited high-speed data.
Also published on Medium.