Razer Phone review

GSMArena team, 11 November 2017.

Telephony

One of Razer's arguably better decisions, regarding their first smartphone was to opt for a very light software package. For the most part, the phone relies on Google's own application package, running on top of what we already determined to be a nearly vanilla Android ROM.

Still, there are a few custom apps to note, one of them being the Phone app. Since it lends itself to skinning as part of Razer's extensive Theme system, we can be certain it is not an AOSP solution. However, besides the theme support, you would be hard-pressed to find anything else really custom within the app.

Phone app - Razer Phone review Phone app - Razer Phone review Phone app - Razer Phone review Phone app - Razer Phone review
Phone app

It shares a common interface with the Contacts directory, placed in its own separate tab, as well as the call history log. There are some call settings to explore as well, but again, nothing out of the ordinary.

Call settings - Razer Phone review
Call settings

Messaging and text input

The Messages app is another custom Razer creation that is more than loosely based on Google's AOSP solution. Communication is separated out into threads, you get MMS and group chat support. The standard drill.

Messages app - Razer Phone review Messages app - Razer Phone review
Messages app

As you can probably guess, GBoard is the default pre-loaded input solution. Google's keyboard has come a long way since its early days in terms of customizability. Plus, you still get the benefit of the search giant's great prediction algorithms, as well as in-place online searching and GIF support.

GBoard - Razer Phone review GBoard - Razer Phone review GBoard - Razer Phone review
GBoard

Loudspeaker test

If there is one thing the Razer Phone has no shortage of, it has to be loudspeakers. Like we already mentioned, the large top and bottom chins of the phone have been put to good use, housing large speakers. So large, Razer apparently felt the need to include two AMPs - one for each speaker.

The result is two seriously loud front-firing speakers that almost make up for the dust-happy speaker grills, they are covered with.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 62.9 65.2 71.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia XZ1 (ClearAudio+) 64.5 67.6 67.7 Below Average
Sony Xperia XZ1 65.4 68.0 69.1 Average
Samsung Galaxy Note8 67.8 69.5 71.5 Good
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 68.5 69.4 71.6 Good
LG G6 66.8 68.8 74.5 Good
Google Pixel 2 XL 66.2 70.4 78.2 Good
Xiaomi Mi 6 66.1 69.0 84.1 Very Good
OnePlus 5 69.2 72.9 77.5 Very Good
HTC U11 (Theater) 69.2 72.7 78.4 Very Good
HTC U11 (Music) 68.7 73.0 79.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 67.6 71.0 82.7 Very Good
LG V30 66.9 72.3 84.5 Very Good
Lenovo Moto Z2 Force 68.2 70.2 86.1 Very Good
Google Pixel 2 70.0 77.0 81.1 Excellent
Razer Phone 69.3 75.0 90.5 Excellent
Nokia 8 88.0 77.1 81.4 Excellent

But loudness alone is only half the victory. Razer appears to agree, since they acquired a THX certification and also included DOLBY ATMOS technology and equalizers. The result is amazingly crisp and clear audio. The only real issue is finding the right content to enjoy.

Other apps

Not much else to cover here, since most everything is handled by Google apps.

Pre-loaded Google apps - Razer Phone review
Pre-loaded Google apps

Besides that, Razer did put in the effort to write a calculator and a clock app. Both are very straight-forward and probably exist for the sole purpose of filling gaps in Google's current app package.

 - Razer Phone review  - Razer Phone review

Still, they work as intended and as an added bonus, are subject to color changes via themes. A file manager would have been a nice touch, as well. But, then again, its absence is nothing to realistically lose sleep over.

Reader comments

  • Liv

I've had this phone for a year and I haven't had a single problem with it. IMO the main reasons to buy this phone (at the time) were the sound quality, GUI responsiveness, stock Android, and the fact it looks different from other phones. These ...

  • s-pen pusher

4 months after purchase and the charger stopped working. 5 months after purchase the screen developed an issue, which i found upon research online that it is common with this phone- half the screen freezes and would not respond until you reboot the p...

  • Anonymous

I love this phone, since having this phone i was only able to update once and only update the apps (which i love). The performance on the phone is awesome!!!