Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Daniel Osakwe
When I first reviewed the Razer Phone, it was the first smartphone from a gaming-oriented company that truly impressed me. The 120Hz refresh rate on the display and dual front-facing speakers blew my mind, and the Android 8.1 update made it even better with more ways to customize its performance. Now with the release of the Razer Gaming Phone 2, I was curious to see if Razer had taken their winning formula and upgraded them in every department (including that ugly camera bump).
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It would be hard to tell that this new phone from Razer is the Razer Phone 2 as it is so closely related to last year’s model – Razer is clearly channeling its inner Apple or Samsung while showing bold confidence in the original’s design.
The Razer Phone 2 can be purchased in any color…just as long as the color is black, even as Apple introduces new color options within the latest iPhone 11 range. You can choose from a matte or a mirror finish, at least.
Upon flipping the phone over, you’ll see some of its key differences from its predecessor. This year’s model features a flat glass body, as opposed to the metal body of last year.
Razer Phone 2 also comes with a Snapdragon 845 chipset, wireless charging, and waterproof and dust resistance.
The phone’s logo is illuminated with a full spectrum of RGB colors, thanks to feedback from fans and critics. Compared to the original Razer Phone’s paltry 300 nits of brightness, the new Max Razer Phone’s screen brightness is a much more respectable 645 nits.
In terms of the features on offer, you will find 8GB RAM, 64GB of storage, twin rear cameras, a 4,000mAh battery, and 120Hz IGZO support.
The fact that it will be excellent for gaming is a foregone conclusion – for power, sound, screen, and ergonomics, this phone shines. In this review, we really want to know if the phone will be good for everyday tasks as well?
Razer Gaming Phone 2: Display
With its 120Hz refresh rate and QHD resolution, the original Razer Phone was meant to be all about its display. While the Sharp IGZO panel has a few brilliant areas, for the most part, it ends up being a pain point due to its low brightness limit and duller colors.
While Razer Phone 2 is equipped with a 5.7-inch 120Hz UltraMotion display, it has seen a 50% boost in brightness compared to its predecessor. Anyone intent on using the phone outside in direct sunlight will be pleased with its new brightness of 645 nits.
Due to its 120Hz refresh rate, the phone’s games and apps run smoothly, and it responds in just 8 milliseconds. While it draws more power, you can choose from 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz presets if you want to conserve power.
The Razer has a screen that is razor-sharp, with a 1440 x 2560 resolution that produces 515 pixels per inch. There are two ways to adjust the output resolution in the settings, including Full HD and Wide Quad HD.
We have some concerns, however, such as the 16:9 aspect ratio. Aspect ratios certainly have their benefits. As a result, when you play in a landscape, the field of view is wider, which means you won’t have to pan the camera as much when playing first-person shooters, saving you valuable seconds during fighting sequences.
Although Razer opted for 16:9, its decision to do so was still, in our opinion, a big error. If you put it side by side with last year’s Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, you can pick it up for £370 less.
Razer Gaming Phone 2: Battery
The battery life of the Razer Phone 2 is anything but straightforward. The battery capacity is impressive: 4,000mAh, which is on par with Huawei’s Mate 20 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. Like those other phones, it lasts a full day in normal use, with around 15% of the battery left when we turn it in at night.
In spite of this, the max brightness screen-on time for the flagships was poor – it was much worse than most others. The battery was depleted to 70% after watching a 90-minute video. As a comparison, the OnePlus 6T dropped to 98% after the same test.
You may notice a difference in battery life if you plan on using your Razer Phone 2 at full beam or for long periods of time.
With Qi wireless charging, a fun RGB charging dock, and Quickcharge 5, it’s better than the Razer Phone in terms of charging options. To save even more battery life, the settings also have a battery saver option.
Razer Gaming Phone 2: Camera
Razer Phone 2 does not feature three cameras around the back, instead featuring a 2x telephoto lens and a wide-angle camera.
They are both 12MP cameras. The main camera has an aperture of f/1.75, while the telephoto lens has an aperture of f/2.6.
Razer has introduced optical image stabilization to the primary lens, which has really helped with video recording when compared to the first Razer Phone. Also included are numerous modes, including panorama, portrait, beauty, and automatic modes.
In addition to supporting a 4K video, the camera does not support slow-motion.
With good lighting, photos have an impressive amount of detail. When you tap the screen, both metering and exposure are reset. Although auto HDR is available, the dynamic range isn’t great, falling behind all the main competitors.
After the light drops just a little, a similar effect occurs: contrast is too high, noise reduction muddying things, and clarity is low, even though sharpening has been applied. In the end, most of the time it looks overly dramatic and underwhelming – and in terms of dark scenes, it’s sort of a throwback to what flagships did three years ago.
We avoid using the telephoto camera – this does not improve things. Especially with 2x zoom, they don’t deliver much more detail than wide-angle pictures, and under poor lighting, it’s even worse.
When you figure out how to manipulate the Razer Phone’s camera, you can get some amazing shots in the right light. In light of what else is on the market, can we recommend the Razer Phone 2 as a camera phone? Unfortunately, no.
In addition, the device’s 8MP selfie camera features bokeh and beauty effects with an aperture of f/2. This phone takes a few softer selfie shots even in good lighting than other high-end phones, however, so it isn’t the end of the world.
Razer Phone’s camera performs best when it comes to video. We were pleasantly surprised by the 4K image quality, even in middling lighting.
Razer Phone 2: Sound
Gaming phones are only as good as their stereo speakers, and fortunately for Razer Phone, its stereo speakers are blazing. When playing games without headphones, they deliver a crisp, powerful, and rounded experience. There is a range of Dolby tuning options available, including equalizer customizations and a few presets – dynamic, movie, and music. Additionally, there’s a bass enhancer and a custom option.
You should try the Dolby Atmos demo in the settings if you get some time with the Razer Phone 2. We haven’t experienced sound separation like this on a phone before – it’s really amazing.
Even though the Razer Phone 2 is a bit louder, it still sounds great for regular content, and while the Pixel 3XL may have a little bit more volume, volume isn’t everything.
Additionally, the USB-C to 3.5mm jack adapter included boasts a 24-bit DAC that sounds noticeably better than others we’ve tried.
|The 120Hz screen on a phone is unique||Cameras with a medium-range|
|Outstanding speakers||It feels dated to have a 16:9 aspect ratio|
|Powerful||It’s too expensive for 64GB of storage|
Gamer’s will love Razer Phone 2. That’s a given. What other great things do you know about gaming? We could go on and on about the Pixel 3, Mate 20 Pro, Note 9, Xperia XZ3.
All those other phones have powerful processors, IP67 water resistance or higher, stereo speakers, wireless charging, and at least the same amount of storage as the Razer. Last year, Razer had an incredibly competitive price on its side, this year it charges a flagship price.
The OnePlus 6T was announced shortly after the Razer Phone 2, and the 8GB RAM version undercuts the Razer in a big way. For all but gaming, we’d take the OLED display of the OnePlus over the IGZO display of the Razer Phone in a heartbeat.