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Razer Phone 2 Review of the Gaming, Performance, and Battery Life

Razer Phone 2 Review of the Gaming, Performance, and Battery Life

Relating to Android cellular gaming, there are actually just a few contenders. Till the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 cellular platform begins delivery in flagship Android smartphones later this yr, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is the greatest cellular platform for gaming on Android. Qualcomm’s Adreno 630 GPU is the quickest cellular GPU that we presently have over the likes of the Mali G72 and Mali G76 in the Exynos 9810 and Kirin 980 cellular platforms respectively. As such, it’s solely to be anticipated that greatest gaming smartphones like the Razer Phone 2 use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845—however simply how nice is the Razer Phone 2? The Razer Phone 2 is marketed as one of the greatest gaming smartphones round, and not simply in gaming efficiency, however in show hardware, audio efficiency, and battery life. We’ve been testing the system—each in benchmarks and real-world use—as a way to determine whether or not the Razer Phone 2 is value your cash.

Razer Phone 2 Boards

Razer Phone 2 Specs

Class Specification Dimensions 158.5 x 78.99 x eight.5mm CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 @ 2.8GHz GPU Adreno 630 RAM 8GB (LPDDR4X) Rear Cameras 12MP (f/1.75 large with OIS) + 12MP (f/2.6 telephoto) dual-tone LED flash, twin autofocus part detection, 2160p @ 60FPS video recording Entrance Digital camera 8MP f/2.zero w/ 1080p video recording Storage 64GB/128GB (Satin Glass solely) w/ microSD help Show 5.72-inch 1440×2560 16:9 IGZO LCD

514 PPI

120 Hz

Extensive Shade Gamut (WCG)

645 nits most

Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Audio No three.5mm headphone jack (USB-C to three.5mm headphone jack adapter included, 24-bit DAC), stereo front-facing audio system with twin amplifiers and Dolby Atmos Battery four,000mAh battery with Qualcomm Fast Cost four.zero+, quick wi-fi Qi charging Ports USB Sort-C Fingerprint scanner Sure (Aspect-mounted) Software program Android eight.1 Oreo (upgradeable to Android Pie quickly) Connectivity Single SIM
Bluetooth 5.zero
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
LTE with VoLTE Bands
  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA: B1/2/three/four/5/eight
  • TDD-LTE: B38/39/40/41/48
  • FDD-LTE: B1/2/three/four/5/7/eight/12/13/14/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/30/32/66/71

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and the Adreno 630 GPU

It’s value noting that the majority of the Razer Phone 2’s energy will come from its highly effective Qualcomm Snapdragon cellular platform. To their credit score, Razer has achieved quite a bit of their very own software program optimizations to take full benefit of the hardware the Razer Phone 2 is operating on. They’ve additionally launched their very own cooling system to maintain the system operating at excessive efficiency for longer durations of time. Nonetheless, the gadget owes its uncooked computational energy from the onboard Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. The Snapdragon 845 cellular platform consists of the Adreno 630 GPU, touting a powerful 30% efficiency enchancment over its predecessor in the Snapdragon 821 whereas additionally enhancing on effectivity by 30%.

Cellular gaming is in an excellent place now, with video games like PUBG Cellular and Fortnite Cellular on the rise, and platform emulators like Dolphin Emulator being the greatest they’ve ever been. Different Android cellular video games like Asphalt, Lifeless Set off, and the new Name of Obligation Legends of Struggle additionally present some enjoyable gaming experiences proper in your pocket, and the Razer Phone 2 ought to deal with them like a champ—each as a result of of Razer’s software program optimizations, however primarily resulting from the spectacular hardware that it packs.

First Impressions

My first impressions of the Razer Phone 2 targeted largely on simply how massive it feels. The Razer Phone 2 is chunky; it’s heavy, and it’s very rectangular. The telephone takes some getting used to, particularly coming from the Xiaomi Mi Combine 2S and OnePlus 6. Whereas at first I disliked its design, I remembered that the Razer Phone 2 is for extra hardcore cellular players. I discovered to understand the design when truly enjoying video games. It’s not a looker, however it’s practical, and the design is partly what makes the Razer Phone 2 so satisfying to truly use. The load looks like that of a controller, and the giant speaker grilles and bezels on both aspect of the show just remember to gained’t by accident set off any touches on the show with the palms of your palms. It additionally makes positive that you simply gained’t by accident block the audio system, as they face in the direction of you.

The design is sensible for who the gadget is for, which might be why the again of the Razer Phone 2 seems to be so lovely. I’ve the Mirror Glass model, which makes the again a single slab of black reflective glass with the Razer emblem in the center. It appears actually flashy and is above and past the design of its predecessor. The again wanting as lovely because it does leads me to consider that Razer is conscious that the entrance isn’t as handsome and that it’s a practical design selection greater than something. If that’s the case, I’d be inclined to agree with that call as I see the Razer Phone 2 is a handheld gaming gadget first and a smartphone second.

Razer Phone 2 review

The ergonomics of a smartphone are simply as essential as its efficiency, notably for a smartphone that’s meant to be held for lengthy durations of time. With two arms holding it sideways, it truthfully feels good. The quantity buttons are centered so that you simply don’t by accident hit them, and the similar goes for the fingerprint sensor and energy button.

The 120Hz 1440p show is gorgeous in video games that help it, and even with simply the regular Android UI parts, it’s onerous to elucidate how satisfying it’s navigating by means of menus and scrolling by way of social media. It’s value noting that a 16:9 show appears archaic when in comparison with another flagship smartphone launched in 2018, however the Razer Phone 2 will get a cross provided that it’s a telephone for multimedia consumption, particularly video games. Video games, and most movies, are primarily made for 16:9 shows nonetheless, so the Razer Phone 2 doesn’t crop any content material or show something off-center.

Razer has nailed this gadget at first look, however how is it beneath the microscope?

Gaming Efficiency

Gameplay framerate knowledge recorded with GameBench, a superb service that helps you analyze gaming efficiency on Android and iOS. GameBench has desktop shoppers and cellular shoppers. We used the Android cellular shopper for our assessment.

GameBench (FPS counter without root)
GameBench (FPS counter without root)

PUBG Cellular

In all probability the go-to aggressive shooter on Android, PUBG Cellular is a recreation with a better talent ceiling than most of what’s obtainable (in case you aren’t enjoying towards bots). You don’t need to face body drops whereas enjoying, and you’d like to have the ability to hear all the things round you.  An enormous, high-resolution show is a godsend when enjoying PUBG, and it seems nice on the Razer Phone 2. The Razer Phone 2’s audio system get lots loud too, so there are completely no points with listening to enemies round you in-game.

Razer Phone 2 gaming performance

PUBG's framerate over time

PUBG’s framerate over time

PUBG very not often dips under 40FPS, the most FPS I might get it to succeed in. That’s on the builders, Tencent, for limiting it and there’s little we will do now to boost it additional. PUBG is a surprisingly good port of the in style PC battle royale first-person shooter, and identical to on PC, you’ll need any benefit which you can muster. Excessive FPS is the greatest strategy to obtain that, and in a recreation the place response occasions are necessary, the Razer Phone 2 won’t get in the means of you enjoying. PUBG makes use of as much as round 1GB of RAM, completely no drawback for the 8GB RAM behemoth that’s the Razer Phone 2. It handles it like a champ.

Pokemon Go

That is one of the video games that may truly use the Razer Phone 2’s 120Hz show, and it seems to be beautiful. Animations are fluid, there are only a few body drops, and the 1440p show brings out a ton of element. I hopped on only for three minutes to ship my associates some presents in Pokemon; I then performed round in my stock and scrolled by means of my Pokemon lists simply to offer it a attempt to see how nicely it runs.

Pokemon Go’s framerate over time


Whereas Pokemon Go doesn’t all the time keep 120FPS, it definitely runs persistently at a better body price than PUBG did. Clearly, that’s as a result of there isn’t a 40FPS cap, however even nonetheless the frames which are dropped often solely convey it right down to the 60 and even solely the 90 mark.

Dolphin Emulator

Emulation on Android is nothing brief of a marvel. You’ll be able to play Nintendo DS video games, NES video games, SNES video games, Nintendo 64 video games, Dreamcast video games, PSX video games, and extra, all out of your smartphone. One emulator that I figured would actually give the Razer Phone 2 a run for its cash is Dolphin Emulator, an emulator which helps you to emulate GameCube and Nintendo Wii video games. Even trendy flagship smartphones often wrestle with this one, relying on the recreation, so I figured I’d give it a check drive with Tremendous Smash Bros. Brawl. I used to be impressed.

Tremendous Smash Bros. Brawl’s framerate over time

First, it’s value mentioning that the majority of the FPS dips have been from map loading. The one dip that wasn’t was the one proper at the finish, the place it simply appeared to drop for no purpose. It picked itself again up once more and momentarily dipped going again to the character choice menu which is once I completed my testing. Tremendous Smash Bros. Brawl can be made even higher with a controller, which you should use with the Razer Phone 2 when you’ve got a USB Sort-C adapter and a wired controller like an Xbox controller. (Sure controllers might be wirelessly paired, too.) There are tons of choices, however that’s personally what I used. I might advocate discovering a Bluetooth answer in case you can so to nonetheless plug in your headphones. Emulation is a hit on the Razer Phone 2, with New Tremendous Mario Bros additionally performing equally. Mario Kart Wii was damaged graphically, however even that ran wonderful.

The Razer Phone 2 is a efficiency beast for emulation, and I can’t give it sufficient reward. Should you’ve ever needed to play Wii video games (inside cause) or GameCube video games on the go, then you’ll be able to’t go improper right here.

General, gaming efficiency, as anticipated, is great. I additionally gave ARK: Survival Advanced and Asphalt 9 a attempt, with each having no efficiency points in any way. It’s the greatest gaming expertise on an Android smartphone I’ve used so far, and even simply the audio high quality is noticeably higher with the THX-made DAC that’s included in the field. Only for listening to music it’s wonderful, and on this case, it almost made up for the lack of a headphone jack. It’s the greatest audio expertise I’ve ever had, hands-down, with my Sennheiser Momentum 2.zero headphones.

Storage Velocity

The velocity of your smartphone’s storage is simply as essential as the chipset inside, if no more so in some instances. The storage velocity of a smartphone could make or break it, as it could make a fast-on-paper smartphone really feel sluggish and sluggish. The Razer Phone 2 passes this check with flying colours.

Battery Life and Temperatures

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and a four,000 mAh battery should not have any hassle getting your telephone via the day. I spoke with one of our contributors, Eric Hulse, who purchased the telephone after launch, and whereas his experiences of the battery life on the Razer Phone 2 have been usually described nearly as good, he doesn’t use his with a SIM card, which can skew the outcomes. I additionally spoke with Jaime Rivera of PocketNow, who described the battery life of his Razer Phone 2 evaluate unit as distinctive. I then spoke with TK Bay who reviewed the system for XDA TV, who stated that he simply discovered it to be “average.” For him, it wasn’t good or dangerous, and he’d seen smartphones with higher battery life. Briefly, the Razer Phone 2 has been a combined bag for the individuals I talked to who’ve used it. In my expertise, nevertheless, I discovered its battery life to be under common from what I’m used to.

At first, I couldn’t work out why. Was it the large backlit emblem on the rear of the gadget? Or perhaps it was simply trade-offs in making an attempt to have the quickest system on the market. What if it was the 120Hz show? The gadget comes with 90Hz variable refresh price enabled out of the field, however the very first thing I did was bump it as much as 120Hz. In fact, we might anticipate that permitting the gadget to go as much as a 120Hz refresh fee might scale back the battery life.

60Hz show

If the above battery life seems to be respectable, that’s as a result of it’s. 7 hours 32 minutes of PC Benchmark’s battery life check is respectable, particularly for a four,000 mAh battery on a 1440p show. The caveat is that this was run at 60Hz, identical to each different Android smartphone show. Right here’s what occurs once we change over to the 120Hz refresh price mode.

120Hz show

Going purely off of artificial benchmarks, the 120Hz show drops the battery life rather a lot in comparison with when the gadget is in 60Hz mode. It’s value noting, nevertheless, that the system truly makes use of a variable refresh fee, so once you set it to 120Hz there could also be some situations the place it drops right down to 90Hz and even 60Hz.

These are my battery statistics, which ought to assist paint an image of my common utilization. I’m a heavy consumer of my telephone, particularly when commuting when my sign can vary from poor to respectable. Even nonetheless, I’ve had telephones do so much higher on that journey. Sign power is definitely an enormous issue, however it’s by no means affected my battery life that a lot with another telephone I’ve owned. My smartphone utilization consists of Snapchat, Fb Messenger, YouTube, and Spotify most frequently, of which most are battery suckers. Dropping the Razer Phone 2 to 60Hz and utilizing that for 2 days gave me a greater expertise than earlier than, nevertheless it was nonetheless worse than my different telephones, the Mi Combine 2S and OnePlus 6T, regardless of having a four,000mAh battery. Briefly, your mileage might differ.

On reflection, it is sensible that a telephone with a 120Hz most refresh fee might not have as nice battery life as comparable units with 60Hz shows. Android smartphones, at occasions, wrestle to even push a constant 60FPS. Once we speak about body charges on Android smartphones, by the method, your telephone can technically be pushing 60FPS whereas nonetheless showing janky. That’s as a result of the time between frames themselves is most essential. For an ideal 60FPS, your system can be required to push a brand new body each 16.67ms (1 second divided into 60 elements). If this varies, then you possibly can have some frames nearer collectively relative in time to others, creating a sense of jank and inconsistency while retaining, at face worth, a constant 60FPS. Now bump that as much as a 120Hz show. Ignoring the elevated precision required for body rendering, your telephone now has to work quite a bit more durable to render twice as many frames on the show at any given time. Nevertheless, the Razer Phone 2 makes use of a variable refresh fee, so show shouldn’t all the time be operating at the most power-hungry 120Hz refresh price.

There’s another situation right here, whether or not your battery life expertise is poor or wonderful. The Razer Phone 2 lacks a headphone jack, so in case your battery runs low and you’re utilizing the USB-C port for headphones, you both have to take a break from gaming to cost your telephone or get Bluetooth earphones. I want this weren’t the case, as a gaming telephone will have to be charged extra typically by advantage of what it’s used for. Not everyone goes to be enjoying with audio output from the front-facing audio system, particularly not if you’re commuting as I do.

To the Razer Phone 2’s credit score, it handles temperatures like a champ. You might have expressed concern after the firm revealed that the Razer Phone 2 would have a glass again, however the Razer Phone 2’s cooling is nothing brief of wonderful, and you’ll haven’t any drawback with overheating or the like. It’s value noting that the energy draw from the 120Hz refresh price mode made the temperatures run a couple of levels Celsius greater, although.

Razer Recreation Booster

I wasn’t positive what to anticipate when it got here to the purposes pre-installed on a gaming telephone. The Razer Cortex software is a gaming app market which I anticipated, however Recreation Booster stunned me. I figured it will be some gimmicky function that allows you to kill all apps proper earlier than operating a recreation or one thing, nevertheless it turned out to truly be helpful. Have a look under.

For each recreation, you’ll be able to select the processor’s frequency, the show decision, and the show refresh fee. I used to be impressed by these choices, notably as a result of some video games might not want all that energy to run. Razer’s Recreation Booster app is genuinely spectacular, and it’s the app I by no means knew I wanted on a gaming telephone. You possibly can management how a lot energy, roughly, video games will use in your smartphone.

Razer Cortex
Razer Cortex


The Razer Phone 2 impressed me. It’s greater than only a telephone with an enormous RGB emblem on the again, one thing I half anticipated to be the case given the firm’s status in gaming merchandise. As we already recognized going again to the unique Razer Phone, the firm has put a unprecedented quantity of effort up to now into their smartphones. It might ask for a excessive beginning worth, but when cellular gaming is your prerogative, then the Razer Phone 2 is best than lots of flagship smartphones out there right now. It runs cool, sustained efficiency is nice, and the show is gorgeous. The Razer Phone 2 is a hit in my eyes for what it units out to do.

For an additional perspective on the Razer Phone 2, take a look at TK Bay’s assessment on the XDA YouTube channel.

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