Razer Phone 2 – No Compromises

The Razor Phone 2 is one the most interesting phones I’ve ever used. It has a beautifully stunning look that stands out more than any other phone on the market. If features a gorgeous 120 Hz display that makes scrolling easier on the eyes than today’s $1,000 flagship phones from Samsung, Apple and Google. That’s not bad for a $500 phone running just a year-old processor. In fact, there’s more: the speakers are incredible. They sound better than the speakers on my Google Pixel 3 – an $800 flagship phone. It offers flagship features, such as wireless charging and IP67 water resistance rating.

It didn’t launch at this price. The Razer Phone 2 launched at $800. It was priced competitively against the flagships that were stealing the show in 2018. But it suffered from a crowded market that was, and still is, dominated by tech giants. I can only assume lower than expected sales is the reason Razer decided to drop the price to $499 on March 1st. Unfortunately for Razer, those same tech giants are now releasing phones below $700, maintaining the Razer Phone 2 as a difficult sell. But it’s really the only gamer-oriented phone that’s widely available in the U.S..

Technical Highlights

  • 120Hz UltraMotion™ Display – A brighter screen with zero lag or stuttering
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 – With a custom vapor chamber cooling system
  • Dual Front-Facing Stereo Speakers – Featuring Dolby Atmos and a 24-bit USB-C DAC
  • Dual Cameras with Image Stabilization – For faster, sharper shots
  • New Design with Glass Back – Equipped with wireless charging, Razer Chroma™ RGB logo and IP67 Water Resistance

What’s Good

If you watch or listen to media primarily on your mobile phone – or would like to, the Razer Phone 2 is an obvious consideration. The speakers are fantastic. Listening to music or a podcast is more enjoyable on this phone that any other phone I have used. And when you’re not absorbing media your eyes will love the 120Hz refresh rate on the 5.72 inch LCD display. Yes – it’s LCD not OLED. But I really couldn’t tell the difference unless I had the phone side by side with my Pixel 3. Regardless, the reading experience is better than any OLED phone I’ve used. Period. The new $669 OnePlus 7 Pro is worth a mention here. It has a 90Hz OLED display that’s also very nice.

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When you bring all of these technical design decisions together you get the best dang media experience I’ve had on a phone. And by this I am referring to services such as YouTube, SoundCloud and various games. My favorite mobile game right now is Brawl Stars. It’s beautiful to play on the Razer Phone 2 both audibly and visually.

What Needs Work

My hands are not super big but they are larger than most. This is important when it comes to my main issue with the Razer Phone 2 and why I cannot use it as my daily phone. It’s just too big for me. The phone measures 158.5 x 78.99 x 8.5 mm. This translates to: wider and thicker than most phones. It’s also heavier than any phone I’ve used: 220 grams. By comparison, my dialy phone, the Pixel 3, weights 148 grams. I like to one-hand operate my phone, which is really difficult to do with the Razer Phone 2. But, recall, this is a phone that is aimed at gamers. Gamers, presumably, want a big beautiful screen and amazing sound clarity (even if they’re most likely using headphones). I agree with this sentiment and Razer did create a great phone for gaming.

I could be persuaded to use the Razer Phone as my daily phone if not for one bug I can’t solve: Android Auto periodically crashes. This resulted in media streaming stopping every few minutes. The only way for me to resume normal operation was to unplug the USB C cable from my truck and then reconnecting it to the phone. Navigation, text messaging and phone calls had no issues whatsoever. Around the time I reached out to Razer about this, an update to the Android Auto app seemed to improve the stability of the app. Although I’ve had this issue with my Pixel 3. Razer are aware of the issue and are working on a solution.

When you bring all of these technical design decisions together you get the best dang media experience I’ve had on a phone.

Final Thoughts

With Android auto not functioning ideally, it made the phone less usable for me. After all I do drive a healthy amount. But perhaps the most polarizing attribute of this phone limited its usability into my lifestyle is it overall size and weight. The Razer phone 2 is one of the largest phones I’ve ever helped but it’s also one of the heaviest. What you get in return or two front facing cameras and two giants speakers that sound great. but I’m coming off of Google pixel 3 a phone that also has front-facing stereo speakers and an amazing single lens camera on the front did I prefer immensely. My hands are above average in size and yet I personally prefer a smaller phone than the Razer phone 2. The big rates right now in phones is to have no bezel and all screen. Even if this phone were all screen but the same size and weight I still would not prefer it over my pixel 3. Truth be known dazzles just don’t bother me. At least not the bezels on phones nowadays. Such as the pixel 3, the pixel 3XL or the iPhone 10.

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