Razer Phone 2: Wireless charging, 'waterproofing,' 120Hz screen for $800 – CNET
Razer Phone 2 wants to make gamers green with envy.
Looking down at the glowing black box on the conference table in Razer’s San Francisco offices, and one thing is already clear: The Razer Phone 2 is a better device than the gaming phone the company debuted a year ago. Mostly, because the brick I’m looking at isn’t actually the phone itself, but a wireless charging brick outfitted with a bright ring of colorful LEDs.
It’s an answer to one of the original Razer Phone’s shortcomings, and that’s what the Razer Phone 2 seems to be all about — fixing the first model’s mistakes.
Yes, that means its an iterative evolution of an existing phone — but the Razer Phone 2 had a good starting point. The new model keeps the original’s boxy, black design, loud stereo speakers and astounding 120Hz screen (that’s twice as fast as the 60Hz refresh rate on most phones), but kicks things up a notch with improved camera sensors, support for portrait mode (albeit through software), wireless charging and IP67 water-resistance.
It also dives deeper into Razer’s DNA as a gaming lifestyle brand. The original phone’s matte backing has been shined to a bright, reflective, glossy glass — and the Razer LED now glows. By default, it’s green, but that color can be customized to specific alerts via Razer’s Chroma app. Those color settings will extend to the LED strip lining the bottom of that wireless charger I mentioned, too.
These additions mark a step in the right direction for Razer, a company that’s only released one previous phone.
That said, the idea of a “gaming phone” is still a little nebulous. Razer’s 120Hz screen does have the potential to give you an edge in terms of response time, at least in games that support it, and the phone’s speakers are gloriously loud. Even so, it’s still going to play the same games as any other Android phone — and apart from the Razer Phone smooth framerate offered by the aforementioned display, don’t expect better graphics than you would see on the Google Pixel 2 ($649 at Google Store) or the Galaxy S9.
As for the games playing better? Well, at least Razer has a solution to that: the company has announced a wireless controller designed specifically to go with the Razer Phone. The accessory could help the phone stand out to gamers. Don’t expect a Nintendo Switch ($275 at Amazon) like experience, though, this seems to be a retooled Razer Serval gamepad with a few extra buttons and a phone clip.
In a choked phone space dominated by Samsung and Apple, a Razer-branded gamer phone won’t make a pinprick of difference in gobbling up sales. But it does highlight gadget-makers’ continued interest in winning over ultraniche populations such as gamers. Booming video games sales are expected to reach a value of $138 billion dollars by the end of 2018. If Razer can attract hardcore gamers with its smooth graphics and heat management system, it has a