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The adventure of Razer in the world of smartphones continues in the form of the new Razer Phone 2 (Check on Amazon.com), a gaming device that emphasizes the combination of raw power and fast refresh rate to convince gamers that this is a one way street to mobile gaming.
When we reviewed the first Razer Phone, we were surprised by how good it was although this was Razer’s very first phone. The Razer Phone 2 maintains the essence of the first generation in both design and performance and upgrades some minor details.
Razer Phone 2 – Gaming at 120 FPS
The screen on a mobile device is very important to us. The Razer Phone 2 is equipped with a 5.7-inch IGZO panel with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz; this is the Razer phone’s raison d’être. It has a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels and support for HDR.
The main novelty is its brightness, now increased by 50% according to the manufacturer. This was something sorely missing from the first Razer Phone, so much so that we couldn’t use the device outdoors. Now the maximum brightness far exceeds 600 nits!
Razer also gives us the option of fine-tuning the screen. You can choose between various resolutions, activate Night mode or adjust the refresh rate between 60, 90 and 120Hz. We set it to 120Hz and never look back since this is the real defining factor of this cell phone. It elevates the user experience at new heights, offering the most smooth interface navigation.
The IGZO panel grants this device with an excellent level of detail, color reproduction, and contrast, as well as at viewing angles. Razer lets you customize the experience via three modes. We prefer the Natural color mode, but there is not much difference between them with a naked eye.
FPS adjustment is dynamic, and it is the system that, taking into account the maximum setting (60, 90 or 120), makes the decision of when to raise or lower them.
The interface usually runs at below 80-90 fps, except in transitions and when there is a lot of movement on the screen, where it can easily ramp up to 120Hz.
When gaming the operation is similar, but it depends on whether or not the game has been optimized or not.
In our tests, titles like Alto’s Odyssey, which is optimized for 120Hz, are a joy to play with the Razer Phone 2 and can justify the purchase of this device.
Razer Phone 2 – Spectacular Dolby Atmos sound
With a 5.7-inch quality panel and also a 120Hz refresh rate, you can imagine that the Razer Phone 2 is an excellent media player, and the device’s speakers are up to the task.
The stereo sound is Dolby Atmos-certified, compatible with 5.1 and HDR sound, and with bass boost included. They offer the best sound in the market, full stop. They are tremendously powerful and with an enveloping effect, that really surprises those who hear them.
And if you opt for the headphones, the Razer Phone 2 has a 24-bit DAC included in its USB-C port to 3.5mm headphone adapter.
Razer Phone 2 – Comfort for hours
The Razer Phone 2 maintains the overall appearance and strong design features of its predecessor created especially for gaming.
Being 79mm wide and 8.5mm thick it is not a comfortable terminal for one-handed operation. We have noticed however an improved grip (glass in the back instead of metal) something that is very helpful for comfortable gaming sessions.
The device also sports wireless charging (there is a charging base that is sold separately) and IP67 resistance.
The large lower and upper frames allow for comfortable landscape use. You can grab the device and place your thumbs on the sides (top and bottom edge) without the risk of activating the screen by mistake. Only the bump of the camera module has bothered us, a little since it is where we naturally place the middle finger.
The same design language goes for the buttons, reduced to a minimum. The volume rocker is now two small keys centered on the left side while the
The power button is placed on the right side and doubles as a fingerprint reader. It works quite well and given the nature of this phone they are all three perfect.
However, Razer whiffed with the noninclusion of a 3.5mm audio port, something that makes perfect sense for a mobile gaming device. Gamers want to be able to charge the phone and play wearing headphones at the same time!
Razer Phone 2 – Powerhouse
We did not expect Razer to fail here, and it didn’t. The Razer Phone 2 comes equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor combined with the Adreno 630 GPU and 8GB of RAM.
There are also 64GB of internal storage expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. We would have preferred to find 128GB, but considering that it is at least expandable, we will make do.
With all this raw power and the intention of gaming for hours, keeping the device cool could have been tricky but Razer managed to resolve the problem. After 30 minutes of continuous play at Unkilled, just a small area under the camera module got slightly warm. After an hour the area was still warm but this didn’t affect the comfort.
Razer Phone 2 – Upgraded autonomy
With a capacity of 4000mAh, support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging technology and wireless charging, the Razer Phone 2 has been able to last a day of use without any problems.
And if this isn0t enough for you the 24W charger that comes included in the package can recharge the phone in less than an hour!
It can also take some pictures
Razer Phone’s big mole was definitely the camera. It was the weakest link in the chain and we regret to say that it still is in this new iteration.
Although the device comes with a dual rear module of two 12MP sensors, one with optical image stabilization and one with a 2X zoom. The selfie camera has an 8MP sensor.
In good light situations, the pictures taken by the Razer Phone 2 improve a bit in color and somewhat in detail, but it is still well below what we would expect for its price in sharpness, contrast, noise reduction or dynamic range.
At night, the aggressive image processing makes a mess of the whole picture.
The Razer Phone 2 (Check on Amazon.com) fixes the problem with the low brightness of the first generation. Sadly the camera modules’ chaotic behavior makes a return. Razer is not a phone manufacturer. It doesn’t have the experience, resources, or even the interest in making a good smartphone. But it is a great gaming phone.