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Razer Phone 2 Review: The Phone that Switched Me to Android

William Murphy Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

I’m a stalwart iPhone user. I have been since the iPhone 4, after two failed attempts at enjoying a Droid Eris and (I know) a Palm Pixi. But curiosity about the other side of the phone world has been getting to me, and when Razer offered up the Razer Phone 2 to test out and review for the site, I leapt at the chance. Worst case, I’d have a spare phone to use for games and movies. Best case, I’d make the switch to Droid with one of the most powerful handheld devices on the market. In this case, it was the latter.

First, let’s get the tech specs listed, because that’s of most import for a lot of you:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.80 GHz) with Adreno 630 GPU and Vapor Chamber Cooling
  • 8GB system memory
  • 64 GB internal storage
  • Options for up to 1TB external storage via SIM + Micro SD
  • 5.72 inch LCD 1440 x 2560 display operating at up to 120hz
  • 12 MP f1.75 Wide, 12 MP f2.6 Telephoto rear cameras with up to 4k video recording
  • 8MP F2.0 front camera
  • Stereo front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos Technology
  • USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter with 24-bit DAC
  • 4,000 mAh Li-Po battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+
  • Wireless charging
  • Up to 1.2 Gbit/s internet speed
  • IP67 water resistance
  • 5 mm x 78.99 mm x 5.8 mm

You’ll note that it has a display operating up to 120hz, which is definitely one of the phone’s key selling points. Not all games or videos you’re going to watch can even use that, but the sheer fact that its refresh rate can go so high makes movie and game viewing on the Razer Phone 2 an absolute dream. It has a 12 MP camera, with 4K recording, and an 8 MP front-facing camera, which gets the job done for selfies and the like. But if there’s one weak link in Razer’s 2nd generation phone, it’s the camera. The tech specs on it aren’t bad, but you’ll want to go out and download the latest google camera software which can greatly increase its clarity and looks. It’s no Pixel 3 or iPhone XS, but it’s solid with the software upgrade.

Like all good Androids, the ability to slot in up to 1TB of Micro SD storage is fantastic, and it comes with 64GB of packed-in storage. As someone who streams most media, this is plenty, but the ability to really pack in downloaded media for trips is a nice option. And while we joke about the gacha plague of mobile games a lot, there are some fantastic titles out there - console quality at least - which benefit from the Snapdragon 845 and Adrena 630 GPU on use here. All wrapped with the Vapor Chamber Cooling system which insures almost always that you won’t feel a lot of heat when gaming on the Razer Phone 2.

As a general aside, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take all the many movies I own on iOS with me to my Razer Phone... then I discovered Movies Anywhere. Definitely worth knowing for people who stream movies on a ton of devices and platforms. I can watch everything I own from the iTunes Store on any device now.

Back to the Razer Phone 2, another nifty feature it brings for the gamer is its proprietary Cortex software. Basically, this shuts down running apps and conserves battery life whenever you play a game, and then turns it all back to the defaults when you close it out. It works really well on PCs, and I was very pleased to see it on the Razer Phone 2, as well.

The phone also has wireless charging, and Razer was kind enough to send me their Chroma-enabled charger for the phone too. It charges via USB-C too, which is extremely fast too. The Chroma enabled stuff is either love it or hate it, but personally I love that soft glowing neon on just about anything I can get it on. The fact that the Razer logo glows and can be customized via Chroma settings on the phone is just a bonus. It gets people asking me about the phone, which I can then gush about.

In the end, if you’re looking for a phone with a great camera, the Razer Phone 2 is probably still a revision away. But if you’re looking for the best phone for gaming, movies, and love the flexibility of Android, there simply is no better option than the Razer Phone 2. I was looking for a reason to break free from iOS, and the Razer Phone 2 was the perfect way out. We give it our Golden Hardware Award.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.