Razer Phone - Brilliant First Attempt
Two years back we got to see a very interesting project on the Kickstarter website. It was called Nextbit Robin, an android phone with a special feature. It automatically backed up data (upto 100GB) including apps that you were not using for a long time to the cloud, thus giving you the impression that it had sort of unlimited space, because you could keep on downloading and installing things on your phone without really running out of space. The idea was so well received that within the first twelve hours they reached their funding goal of $500,000 which they had hoped to reach within a month. By the next two weeks they reached their second milestone of a $1 million.
The design was unique too, kinda boxy, slightly reminiscent of the Sony phones with a fingerprint scanner-cum-power button to the side. The colours were unique too. The midnight (blue) was my favourite. Sadly by the time it reached the Indian market via Flipkart the buzz had settled down and the hardware had become outdated.
Fast-forward to 2017. Nextbit was sold to Razer. Razer is a household name in the gaming industry, making top of the line products for the enthusiast class. They decided to make a phone for gamers. We had been waiting for this for too long. Nvidia having previously entered the Android gaming market, people thought they would make it first. However Razer smoothly stole the show. It's a good thing they did.
Sporting the latest and the greatest from Qualcomm - the Snapdragon 835, coupled with 8GB RAM it gives a buttery smooth gaming experience. But that is just the beginning. It has a quad HD screen running at 120Hz refresh rate! That is a first of its kind. Moreover it has got two front firing speakers with an audio DAC for each of those. Naturally it has got one of the (if not the) loudest and best sounding speakers on a mobile phone. The audio via the headphones is impressive too.
Being a gamer-centric phone doesn’t necessarily mean that it is unsuitable for the more mainstream consumers. It runs a near stock version of android which is smooth and lag-free and also the 120Hz screen makes scrolling so much fun! Also its 4000mAh gets you going throughout the day and even some more if you are a light user. The dual atmos enabled dual front firing speakers make media consumption more enjoyable than most of the phones that are out there in the market.
The only thing that remains to be tested is the camera. The f1.7 primary creates a lot of expectations in terms of bokeh effect. However, the app isn’t too exciting. There is no dedicated button too switch to the zoom (telephoto) lens. They seem to have done that on purpose to “Smoothly transition from the f1.7 wide angle lens to 2x telephoto”. However there is no point in commenting on the camera before the camera samples even arrive. But considering the $699 price tag it is hard to complain even if it does not give a Pixel 2 or an iPhone X level optics. So I guess we just have to wait for some time to know the real story.
Razer has done a wonderful job in its first attempt at making a phone. Many of the companies who have been in this industry for quite a while now happen to stumble in an attempt to create something new. But it so happens Razer seems to know its fan base quite well.