Razer's first smartphone brings supercharged specs and gamer focused technology

Razer, the maker of some of the most coveted gaming accessories and laptops around, likes you so much that it's not content with being plugged into your PC or console. It wants to be in your pocket. It's just announced a new specs heavy phone that will go on sale on November 17 in North America and Europe. 

The Razer Phone will cost $699 and is available right now for pre-order. 

Who is the Razer phone for?

"When we started making a phone, it wasn't a gaming phone, it was a phone for the gamer" says Tom Moss, boss of all things mobile at Razer, deftly banishing the ghost of the doomed Nokia N-Gage that had been haunting the meeting room. "It was important to us that it stood on it's own as a great smartphone, barring everything else... and to make it the latest and greatest in terms of performance." 

It packs 8GB of DDR4 RAM that’s fully accessible by the system, Dolby Atmos speakers that pack punch and face forwards (so you're not blocking them when you hold the phone) and a 5.72-inch LCD screen screen - a screen that impresses so much in person that it might make you reconsider that iPhone X order - and also has the world’s first 120Hz Ultramotion display. That's the same refresh rate as a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and translates to an ultra smooth feel when you're scrolling through Twitter or web pages. Trust us, it's like electric butter. 

Giving gamers what they want

Back in January Razer spent cold, hard cash to acquire smartphone makers Nextbit, and this phone benefits from that expertise combined with those of the team behind those sleek Razer Blade laptops. "We actually use the same display technology as our laptops in the phone," says Moss. That allowed them to offer a couple of new technologies for a smartphone that translates to 120 frames per second on the screen.

This is a phone designed specifically to reflect what the gaming community holds dear: sweet visuals, kickass sound and the ability to faff about in menus from dawn till dusk. Razer has fiddled where it matters, giving users more options when it comes to display, frames per second and video, and helping out the battery, but resisted the temptation to add bloatware. 

"We have a game booster application that will allow you to set preferences per game on your phone for resolution, CPU clock speed, frame rates, all that kind of stuff. It's so you don't have to change the universal settings all the time, you can optimize them for each kind of game you have on your phone," says Moss. The OS is Android Nougat 7.1.1 and - at least on the prototype we saw - mercifully free of bullshit apps that promise perfect selfies.

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A partnership with Android company Nova also means free access to Nova's premium Android launcher app - to allow you to customize basically anything you can think of - and Google Assistant. It's too easy to say that Razer have thought of everything, but... 

Razer is also talking to game developers, so far it's only mentioned Arena of Valor, Tekken and Final Fantasy 15 and a Razer Phone exclusive, UltraHunt by Cmune. Moss added that other developers had also been impressed with the phone capabilities, so expect to see more studios unlocking 120Hz versions of their flagship games. Does it mean you're going to get a load of games made exclusively for the Razer Phone? Unlikely. Does it mean your sofa sessions with Hearthstone are going to look and sound substantially better? Yes. 

The full specs

Size: 158.5 x 77.7 x 8mm

Weight: 197g

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform

System Memory: 8GB dual channel (LPDDR4, 1600MHz)

Storage: Internal - 64GB UFS External - microSD (class 10, 2TB max.)

Display: 5.72 inch IGZO LCD 1440x2560, 120Hz, Wide Color Gamut, Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Rear Cameras: 12MP AF f1.75 Wide, 12MP AF f2.6 Zoom, Dual PDAF, Dual tone, dual LED flash

Front Camera: 8MP FF f2.0

Sound: Stereo Front facing speaker, dual amplifiers, audio adapter for THX certified DAC

Battery: 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+

OS: Android Nougat 7.1.1

As soon as the phone is available we'll spend some serious time with it and bring you a full review. Until then, check out out list of the 25 best iPhone games to play right now