Final 12 months, Razer entered the smartphone market with its extremely distinctive, gaming and media-focused Razer Cellphone, combining what was then the quickest Android-optimised processor available on the market with a variable refresh charge display screen, highly effective front-facing audio system and a ginormous 8GB of RAM. It is the cellphone I exploit to at the present time, and for causes that shall develop into clear, the lately launched Razer Cellphone 2 is actually the one improve alternative I am contemplating proper now. There are quicker, extra highly effective telephones out there however Razer’s distinctive combination of RAM and VRR show seems to be and feels so good that even the quickest rival flagships I’ve used appear to fall quick.

Maybe not surprisingly, what I really like in regards to the authentic Razer Cellphone is absolutely current and proper in its successor, as a result of the core proposition stays very related. Pairing a 5.7-inch 1440p 120Hz show with a surfeit of RAM produces its signature {smooth} operation and lightning-fast response. Sure, the Razer has a concentrate on gaming, however the huge deal for me is that the fundamentals are on one other degree: you’ll be able to swap between apps immediately, whereas swiping and scrolling is a lot smoother than the competitors. It simply feels proper. Within the final 14 months, I’ve examined and handed up on the Samsung Galaxy S8, the S9+ (in each Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 variants) and the iPhone XR, although I did discover the £220 Honor Play to ship distinctive worth. In lots of different methods – be it show brightness, type issue or digicam high quality – each S9+ and the XR outstrip the Razer Cellphone and certainly the Razer Cellphone 2, however the high quality of the interface – the fundamental ‘handshake’ between consumer and cellphone – hasn’t been surpassed.

Not surprisingly, the Razer Cellphone 2 gives a number of enhancements over the unique. To begin with, the Snapdragon 835 processor of the unique is swapped out with its 845 successor, with larger CPU and GPU efficiency. Secondly, the display screen is far improved. As a lot as I benefit from the authentic’s super-smooth refresh, it is merely not brilliant sufficient outdoor. The Razer Cellphone 2 is a giant enchancment right here – it isn’t up there with the OLEDs, for certain, however its 645 nits peak brightness is sufficient to make for a giant enchancment and it additionally opens the door to viable HDR help. I examined out our YouTube HDR content material the place I am very accustomed to the supply materials and the way it ought to current. Dynamic vary is not as vast as a front room show or a number of the OLED telephones on the market, however you do get a convincing sufficient HDR presentation and it is a sizeable enchancment over the unique Razer on this regard.

Different enhancements come within the type of Chroma RGB lighting through the Razer emblem on the rear (which is paired into notifications, if that is what you need), whereas the metallic casing of the unique is changed with smart-looking glass, giving rather more of a premium really feel – and crucially, enabling wi-fi charging. My concern right here can be sturdiness – the Razer Cellphone 2 is among the largest telephones available on the market, and over the months I’ve misplaced depend of the quantity of occasions my authentic (with a lot the identical dimensions) has fallen out of my pocket, scuffing the metallic floor and dinging its corners. A case is a good suggestion then, however this makes an already massive cellphone much more unwieldy, and inevitably, much more prone to fall out of your pocket.

Razer has labored exhausting to enhance and iterate on its authentic design although, additionally including IP67 mud and water resistance – so there are not any worries should you drop the cellphone into the tub. Nevertheless, whereas all of those additions and enhancements are welcome, little has been completed to enhance the mediocre digicam of the unique (after the show brightness, that is my key gripe with the first-gen Razer). Image high quality is completely nice, however merely common in comparison with the usually sensible outcomes delivered by competing handsets. Video can also be disappointing – the unique Razer by no means obtained the mooted 1080p60 improve, and I could not consider the shortage of 60fps video within the new providing. Excessive-end rivals are actually providing 4K60 video seize, and it is disappointing to see the Razer Cellphone 2 lag thus far behind in a very essential space of smartphone design.

So, what of the Razer’s gaming credentials then? In any case, that is the goal marketplace for the gadget. The inclusion of the Snapdragon 845 successfully ensures that within the Android house at the least, you might be getting probably the most performant silicon available on the market for now. The identical processor is discovered within the Galaxy S9 and S9+ – however solely within the worldwide model. Territories just like the UK get Samsung’s personal Exynos different which is quick sufficient however with weaker GPU energy in comparison with the Snapdragon variant. The Razer backs up the top quality processor with a portal for tweaking settings and optimising efficiency, which is useful, and mixed with the VRR show, it is protected to name this the perfect Android gaming cellphone. My solely grievance is that regardless of improved warmth dissipation, the Razer Cellphone 2 does get slightly sizzling to the contact after extended gaming.

Razer Cellphone 2 Razer Cellphone Galaxy S9+ (Exynos) iPhone XR
Geekbench Single-Core 2414 1954 3660 4795
Geekbench Multi-Core 8713 6719 9007 11204
GFXBench T-Rex 1080p 155fps 120fps 143fps 235fps
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.1 1440p 33.0fps 24.0fps 26.4fps 39.0fps
3DMark Slingshot Excessive Limitless 4837 3822 3380 4212

One other problem going through the Razer Cellphone 2’s standing as the perfect gaming handset is that the final couple of generations of iOS units are merely glorious, state-of-the-art cell performers. titles corresponding to Fortnite and Asphalt 9 Legends, the iPhone X delivers equal visuals however smoother efficiency. A part of this benefit is all the way down to the facility of Apple’s bespoke silicon, however equally, based mostly on our conversations with cell builders, efficiency through Apple’s Metallic API is delivering quantifiably higher outcomes than OpenGL and even Vulkan on Android. In the meantime, the most recent iOS units – XS, XS Max and XR – are delivering those self same two titles with 60 frames per second choices vs the usual 30fps, they usually look unbelievable. I additionally ought to acknowledge Apple’s dedication to the usage of excessive pace storage – video games load quicker than any Android cellphone I’ve examined, together with the Razer Cellphone 2. I like the standard of Apple’s designs, however favor the selection and variety supplied by Android units – but when gaming actually is necessary to you, the iOS merchandise are exhausting to beat.

Personally although, cell gaming is not a precedence for me – besides, regardless of its gaming focus, the Razer Cellphone 2 is the one improve possibility I am contemplating. It is all about that interface which delivers the bottom quantity of lag and stutter I’ve skilled on a smartphone. It could not really feel like a giant improve at first, however when you’re acclimatised to an interface this quick and this {smooth}, it is actually tough to return to an ordinary display screen. The fluidity of the Razer expertise is just actually let down by poorly optimised internet pages – one thing that impacts all telephones – however even the stutter right here is minimised by the VRR show. That is the way in which that smartphone UIs ought to function, and regardless of some progress elsewhere (the most recent iOS units have 120Hz contact processing) it is solely the Razer Cellphone and Razer Cellphone 2 that ship this expertise. Out of the field, each telephones are locked to 90Hz (with 120Hz as an possibility) and even this delivers that distinctive fluidity and response, which might carry the ASUS ROG cellphone into competition – although I’ve not had the chance go hands-on with that.

The story with the Razer Cellphone – and the brand new Razer Cellphone 2 – is fascinating. I am not solely certain you are getting the perfect gaming expertise in a world the place the iOS units are so highly effective, however what’s saved me hanging onto my authentic Razer is the expertise with the UI, the apps that run on it, the strong battery life and the truth that it is nonetheless as quick because it was the primary day I obtained it. In designing a smartphone aimed on the gamer, Razer has delivered the smoothest working interface I’ve used – and that is the place you spend more often than not interacting with the gadget. Positive, I would favor a slimmer, bezel-less cellphone with an OLED display screen, however after a 12 months with the Razer Cellphone and some weeks with its successor, I am satisfied that Apple, Samsung and others are lacking a trick right here – a excessive refresh charge show paired with a ton of RAM makes a giant distinction to the consumer expertise, and the place Razer has innovated, I hope to see others comply with. Failing that, how a few Razer Cellphone Stealth?

The Razer Cellphone 2 is that can be purchased direct from Razer, or via Amazon. Within the UK, Three has the unique on contract deals for this handset.

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