Razer Phone 2 – test

We check the latest superphone for gamers – Razer Phone 2. Can the company known primarily for its gaming equipment (or “for gamers:”) create a phone designed primarily for gaming and multimedia?

Today, “gaming smartphones” have become a separate segment of the mobile market. Companies such as Razer, known primarily for its wide portfolio of products for gamers, decided to take advantage of the trend they are shaping themselves. This is how the Razer Phone 2 came to Poland. The previous model had a lot of flaws – the new iteration tries to mitigate them. Did it succeed?

Appearance and design

Let’s start with the appearance of Razer Phone 2 – this is an aspect that can cause quite a discussion. Razer has not taken advantage of current trends in smartphone design. Razer Phone 2 has a monolithic casing with sharp edges – it looks like most smartphones a few years ago. Some will like this approach – others will complain. The company claims that it focuses primarily on gaming ergonomics and such design is supposed to prove itself “in battle”. There is a lot of truth in it – Razer is really good to play on.

The phone has dimensions: 158.5 mm by 78.99 mm by 8.5 mm and weighs 220 g – not much, but you “don’t feel” it, just like the size (this actually depends on the length of our fingers). The smartphone has a USB-C port, and the fingerprint reader is placed on the side (it works properly, but scanning the fingerprint takes far too long) and two buttons for increasing / decreasing the volume. That’s about it. There is no headphone output. The phone supports microSD cards, which will prove crucial, because it has. only 64GB of built-in memory (45GB at our disposal).

The hardware is waterproof (IP67 standard) and has surprisingly good speakers. Dual front speakers are located at the bottom and top of the phone’s body. They are Dolby Atmos certified. The phone additionally boasts Netflix certification for supporting Dolby Surround 5.1 audio content (and HDR video).

The back of the phone features Razer’s three-headed snake logo, which can light up in 16.8 million colors and provide notifications coming from apps (such as a comment on Facebook or a message on WhatsApp). A special Razer Chroma app lets you configure lighting effects such as Static (the logo constantly glows), Spectrum Cycling or Breathing (the logo pulsates). It’s a borrowed element from gaming PCs – not to everyone’s liking, but Razer is clearly copying the design from its gaming laptops, which is actually the right thing to do. After all, a “gamer phone” has to be different from a “regular phone”, doesn’t it?

Screen

The screen of the tested smartphone is 5.72 inches, it was made with IGZO LCD technology, and its resolution is 1440 by 2560 pixels (513 ppi). There is no notch (cutout). The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The screen itself would not be anything extraordinary if not for its refresh rate – as high as 120 Hz. There is no other such screen on the market today. Standard smartphones are limited to 60 Hz, and Asus’ ROG gaming phone has 90 Hz. A higher refresh rate means “better fluidity” in games. But there’s a condition?

In order to see the difference (and we must indeed admit that it is noticeable), the game must support 120 Hz. If it does not – we will not benefit from this feature. The list of compatible games is published here. At the time of the test, no application was using the 120 Hz refresh rate.

All in all, 120Hz refresh rate and UltraMotion technology is a very good solution for gamers. In shooters or brawlers it is of great importance. If only the game is able to take advantage of the technology implemented in the Razer Phone 2 – the player will certainly benefit from it.

Computing power

Processing power is the second – after the screen – key element of the tested smartphone. The specification really represents the top shelf – Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.80 GHz) with Adreno 630 GPU and 8GB of RAM. How did it perform in the benchmarks?

GeekBench8746 points (Multi-core), 2371 points (Single-core)

AnTuTu283,766 points

For comparison:

Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieved in GeekBench a score of 3378 points in the single-core test and 10,024 points in the multi-core test. Testing the hardware in AnTuTu ended with a score of 300,617 points. Sony Xperia XZ3 achieved a score of 284,555 points in AnTuTu. The single-core test in GeekBench ended with a score of 2486, and the smartphone scored 8607 in the multi-core test. Samsung Galaxy S9+ had the following score: Antutu – 247,124 points; GeekBench Multi-Core – 8507 points. While Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S had a score of 244,721 points (Antutu) and 7471 points (G. Multi-Core). Score Huawei P20 Pro was 206,721 points (Antutu) and 6740 points (G. Multi-Core).

So, as you can see, Razer Phone 2 is very fast, but – on paper – does not beat all the competition. No wonder, there is no shortage of phones on the market with Snapdragon 845 CPU, 8GB RAM and Adreno 630 GPU. The key aspect of Razer Phone 2, when it comes to performance, is the option to “overclock” graphics and a special cooling system.

Game Booster

Game Booster application will not only allow you to change the mode of the phone (more processing power or longer battery life), but above all it will allow you to individually change the settings of a particular game, overclocking the processor to the maximum, and even increasing the frame rate and resolution (if the game allows it). The phone can “beat” other processes, allocating all the power to the needs of a given production. This means that in some games we will get performance better than phones with similar specifications.

And the cooling? Razer has a vapor chamber, lowering the temperature when playing demanding titles. The phone, unfortunately, still heats up (rear), but not as much as competitor hardware not made for gaming. Plus, about a three-minute break – thanks to additional cooling – will guarantee a faster drop in temperature.

The Razer Phone 2 uses Android 8.1, with the Nova Launcher overlay (full version). It’s not a “clean” version of the system, but the OS works well. Hard to say if the phone will get an update

Camera

The camera in the previous generation Razer Phone 2 was – what can I say – bad. And this time? It is only correct, especially for a phone for 3699 PLN. On the back we have a dual camera – the first one is equipped with a wide-angle lens with optical stabilization, the second with a telephoto lens with 2x zoom. Both cameras have sensors with a resolution of 12 Mpx and Sony IMX sensors. The front camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels.

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