In Review

Razer Phone 2: a giant-slaying smartphone?

New gaming handset features an improved camera - and an inflated price tag

Smaller tech companies looking to break into the smartphone scene need to think outside the box in order to make their mark. 

Apple, Google and Samsung have the top end of the market to themselves, while the high- to mid-range slot has been claimed by the likes of Chinese tech giants Huawei and OnePlus.

So when gaming specialists Razer entered the scene last year with its Razer Phone, the firm decided to take a different approach to its competitors. The Razer handset creators focused on performance for gaming enthusiasts rather than the artificial intelligence (AI) found on big-budget devices.

The result was a critical hit thanks to its giant-slaying screen and speaker quality, but many reviewers said the camera lacked the sharpness of those on rival phones

Now, the firm is hoping to right its wrongs with the newly released Razer Phone 2. 

For starters, the latest model is equipped with a new 12 megapixel dual-lens camera system. This comprises a wide-angle lens with optical image stabilisation, which irons out unwanted camera shake, as well as a telephoto lens with a 2x zoom.

Hasselblad X1D

“It seems like there has been an improvement in clarity and colour reproduction”, says The Verge. The photo app is “better looking” than the old version too, the tech site adds. 

Razer has also upgraded the Phone 2’s internals, which get Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor with an upgraded graphics chip and 8GB of Ram. 

In another plus point, the new model dispenses heat more efficiently than its predecessor, so shouldn’t get too hot when playing FortniteFallout Shelter or the like, says Tech Advisor

The original phone’s impressive 5.7in LCD panel with a resolution of 1440x2560 has been carried over to the Phone 2, but screen brightness has been upped by 50%. 

Trusted Reviews notes that the display is “significantly brighter and whites were noticeably cleaner” than on the base model, an improvement that could “re-cement the Razer Phone 2’s lead in the display department”.

Like rival models from Apple and Samsung, the Phone 2 features wireless charging capabilities and should be compatible with a number of third-party chargers.

For a final treat, the Razer logo situated on the back panel is now illuminated, and users can customise the colour of the LED lights. 

However, some may find the price tag less appealing, at £779 - £80 more than the previous model. That puts the Phone 2 in direct competition with the iPhone XR and newly announced Google Pixel 3

Fans will have to wait until the Phone 2 launches on 9 November to decide for themselves whether the new Razer really can compete with the big boys.

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