Razer Phone 2 announced with revamped design and vapor chamber cooling

Razer Phone 2 announced with revamped design and vapor chamber cooling
Last year, gaming brand Razer released the Razer Phone, marking a bit of a first for the mobile industry, in that it was the first modern smartphone specifically geared towards gamers. Fast forward to present day, and it's time for round two! The Razer Phone 2 has been officially unveiled today, and it shows just how serious Razer is when it comes to its little foray into mobile.

Design

Modern with a hint of gaming zeal

Sure, the Razer Phone 2 has a good old 16:9 display with no notch, but the company has made sure to modernize the body of the product. Without messing with the convenient rectangular design, the metal back panel has been replaced with a new one made of glass. This achieves two purposes: 1) it makes the phone's look and feel fall in line with modern trends; and 2) it enables wireless charging. To complement this feature, Razer will also be selling a wireless charging base that has a neat RGB lighting design element to it.

Speaking of RGB lighting — as many of you probably know — this is currently a big trend in gaming peripherals, and Razer has its own RGB lighting implementation, known as Chroma. The cool thing with the Razer Phone 2 is that the Razer logo on the back of the phone actually lights up, and it's Chroma-enabled. This means users can choose from a variety of colors (16.8 million) and a bunch of effects to personalize the looks of their Razer Phone 2. Available are the following effects: static color, color spectrum cycling, or breathing color (fading in and out). The Chroma logo will also serve as a notification light for supported apps, such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Upon receiving a notification, the Razer Chroma logo will temporarily light up and change color based on the source application. Three brightness intensities for the logo will ensure that you get the right balance between looks and power efficiency.

Also new this year: the Razer Phone 2 is now water- and dust-resistant with IP67 certification, meaning you should be safe if you happen to accidentally spill something over it, or if it falls in up to 1 meter of water, and stays there for up to 30 minutes.


Display

120 Hz and 50% brighter than before

The screen continues to be the big differentiator for Razer's phone. As before, the company has used Sharp's services in supplying the unique 5.7", 120 Hz IGZO LCD panels, with resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. Specs-wise, there is no difference with last year's model, except that there's now Gorilla Glass 5 protecting the panel, instead of GG3. However, Razer does promise a 50% increase in maximum brightness.

And since there's not much else to say about the display, let us tell you about what's flanking it: the stereo speakers! Those top and bottom bezels aren't there just for looks! They house the new, larger and more powerful speakers that should provide a reasonable stereo effect – a must for an immersive gaming experience. What's more, they come with Dolby Atmos support, for whatever that's worth in a mobile phone.

Performance

A custom vapor chamber cooling system makes this the coolest Snapdragon 845 phone


The jump from Snapdragon 835 in the original Razer Phone to Snapdragon 845 in the Razer Phone 2 is nothing shocking. As a phone designed to run games well, it needs to have the most powerful chipset available, especially when you know that some games can be really taxing on the hardware. The Adrena 630 is the GPU that's packaged with the Snapdragon 845, but Razer has done some custom work here to ensure its phone is a step ahead of similarly spec'd handsets.

Covering the chipset and even some other of the internal components is the innovative vapor chamber cooling system. It functions like a heat pipe that is not only extra-large, but is also made of special, graphite-based, server-grade materials that are said to be superior in terms of heat control. It also includes nano-particle thermal blockers designed to reduce those annoying hot spots. The combination of having the newer chip and the more advanced cooling solution has allowed the Razer Phone 2 to achieve up to 30% higher performance than its predecessor. It remains to be seen just how quicker it is going to be compared to other Snapdragon 845 devices.

Initially, the Razer Phone 2 will be running Android 8.1, and Razer is promising an update shortly after launch. The company has also developed Razer Cortex, an Android application that's going to help with organizing the games on your device, recommend 120 Hz-enabled titles, as well as optimize games for better performance and battery life. The Razer Cortex app should also work similarly if you install it on other Android phones. One thing that isn't going to work on other phones is the Razer Theme Store, which features exclusive game-related wallpapers and themes for complete device customization.

Camera

Surprisingly competent


Just because the Razer Phone 2 has gaming DNA doesn't mean it's not paying attention to other important aspects of a great smartphone experience, like the camera, for example. The first Razer Phone turned out to be surprisingly competent in this department, but the Phone 2 is bringing a number of welcome improvements.

The core idea is the same: two cameras, one regularly wide, one telephoto for zoom and portraits – both 12 MP. The cameras are powered by Sony IMX sensors, and feature modern essentials such as phase detection autofocus and dual tone flash. The main 12 MP camera is optically stabilized, and has an aperture of f1.75, which, in theory, should allow for good low-light pictures.

Probably the more interesting camera thing is that Razer has redesigned the interface for easier one-handed operation, including when the user is trying to take a portrait or a panorama shot.

Battery

4000 mAh will keep the lights on

With keeping almost the same dimensions as before, Razer has also kept a battery of equal, 4000 mAh capacity. This is a rather large juice pack that can be charged with either a wired or wireless charger. The old-school, wired way will get you considerably faster speeds, as the phone supports QuickCharge 4+.

Thanks to the newer chipset, battery life is improved – Razer states that while the old Razer Phone could last for up to 10 hours of on-screen time with the display set to 90 Hz refresh rate, the Razer Phone 2 can last the same amount of time, but with the screen running at full 120 Hz.

Razer Phone 2 price and release date

$799, and preorders start October 11

The Razer Phone 2 is available for pre-order starting October 11, at the reasonable price of $799, which somehow doesn't sound too high considering other 2018 flagships.

At this point, Razer isn't revealing the exact Razer Phone 2 release date, but it promises to start shipping the phones soon. The handset will see global distribution across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, and the quickest channel to buy it through will be Razer's online store. However, the company has revealed that it's partnering with a number of carriers across the world, including Verizon Wireless in the US. We still don't know if there will be any special offers through Verizon, but that's going to become clear soon.

Related phones

Phone 2
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh

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34 Comments

1. gamehead unregistered

Razer really put Apple Google and Samsung to shame. They pretty much gave me everything I asked for while charging less. This is the only phone I want.

5. peace247 unregistered

Samsung note 9 is available for $800.... better than this.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The Note 9 retails for $1000. You may be able to find it for $800 now, but that wasn't what it was listed at launch. Similarly, you could find a Razer Phone for $150 less than it was originally priced months after it launched. I believe gamehead was doing an apples to apples comparison on launch prices and the features/specs you get.

9. gamehead unregistered

The Note 9 doesn’t have a 120hz refresh rate. That and the fact it had time for price reductions. Come see me if and when the Razer phone 2 drops to $600.

29. cheetah2k

Posts: 2213; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

The 120hz refresh rate is REAL, not fake Apple refresh too.. I'm really keen to grab the Razor 2 after having a play with the V1..

12. Rager722 unregistered

No headphone jack, no buy.

25. gamehead unregistered

USB C is the new headphone jack. Not a big issue for me. There's a less than 1% chance I'll have to charge and listen to music at the same time and if I do there's always wireless headphones.

27. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

or wireless charging!

32. gamehead unregistered

Someone didn’t pay attention to the keynote

33. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

no i didnt.... i was working... enlighten me oh great one, the one who knows all and can deliver us from the dumb

34. gamehead unregistered

Couldve IDK, looked at the spec sheet or gone to the website. They show the phone on their own wireless charger.

35. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

i guess you did NOT understand what i meant when i responded to you with wireless charging. you can use it while having the usb-c headphones in...

16. Cat97

Posts: 1858; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Although I am not a gamer, the reason I am tempted by this phone is the huge RGB notification light on the back. There is a distinct lack of good notification LEDs in today's phones. But I read it doesn't light up continuously, only temporarily, so it may be a no-go. The sharp corners also tend to make holes in pants front pockets, in my experience :)

26. pixel8or

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

Agreed. I miss this, and am amazed that it's not on hardly any phones. Wearables helps with this, but still miss texts some times...

2. boriqua2000

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

No project linda?

3. gamehead unregistered

Project Valerie was always more interesting

4. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Meh..., i am happy i got the ROG phone which is more stylish and beautiful than this block.

10. gamehead unregistered

Features >>> Looks The .org phone doesn’t even look all that good

17. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Have you seen in hand to make your judgement. Well i have and it looks better than what you see online. In terms of features both phones are cable(Same processor, same Ram configuration) you could argue one is better than the other but it's subjective personally i find the ROG phone a better option to meet my needs.

36. gamehead unregistered

Yeah I dont think the phone looks massively different in person.

14. japkoslav

Posts: 1497; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

"stylish and beautiful" Those are not the words I hear often when it comes to Asus products in general.

30. cheetah2k

Posts: 2213; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Agreed. The ROG phone looks s**t imo.. Good luck to them after 6 months in the making (heavily delayed)

7. cjreyes666

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

The only thing I see missing would be at least 128Gb of storage, the rest sounds good.

8. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2349; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

No OLED screen?. Bummer

20. AmashAziz

Posts: 2898; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Oled maxes at 90Hz on mobile.

11. Knownhost

Posts: 91; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

Verizon support? Really? I was mildly curious when I clicked this link, but now I'm definitely interested. I miss 16:9 displays, and a 120 refresh rate might be enough for me to leave behind OLED. Can't wait for the reviews...

13. japkoslav

Posts: 1497; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Better display, stereo recordings, better camera, wireless charging, IP67, better cooling, still 16:9 ... this is how you improve second gen! Impressive, I am really curious to see first reviews and video samples. So far this phone and Note9 look like the best made Android phones for 2018. A bit sad Razer USB-C soundcard will suck again and that mate finish in only available for the 128GB model.

21. Nimbus

Posts: 442; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Don't forget 300$ PocoF1 flagship budget smartphone with a SD845 and 4000 mah battery.It also part of best android phones for 2018 alongside Note 9, Razor phone 2 and Asus ROG phone.

15. alligator

Posts: 94; Member since: Jan 09, 2016

This phone is not intended for the regular users. They are trying to get the gamers but even with this approach I think that Note9 is better option.

18. Sparkxster

Posts: 1213; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Razer upgraded the phone in every possible way I'm impressed Razer all it needs is a gamevice controller and project Linda.

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