The Razer Phone has been in the news for a while now. Ever since Razer first acquired Nextbit, everyone knew they were going to enter the mobile market. In the months that followed, rumours and speculations kept piling up, and by the keynote on November 1, there was little left to the imagination.
Of course, this was helped by Min-Liang Tan himself. He embraced the leaks and instead of trying to shut them down, he teased the announcement all over social media. The cat was out of the bag already and he was more than happy to send it on its merry feline way.
However, leaving PR strategies aside, let’s talk about the phone itself.
The Razer Phone is boring
I am a fan of Razer. Nearly all of my peripherals came off their assembly lines. I like them because they are different, feature-packed, and exciting.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Razer Phone. Sure, it does come with a 120 Hz display, but other than that, it’s a run-of-the-mill flagship.
It comes with Snapdragon 835, 8 GB of RAM, and 4,000 mAh battery. While these specs are more impressive than those of most flagships, they are not unheard of.
The Razer Phone just has nothing going for it that would set it apart from its competitors. The dual front-facing speakers are a welcome feature, but they are far from new to the industry. Same goes for the 24-bit DAC inside the phone.
Admittedly, all of these features are usually found in different devices. OnePlus has the RAM, Sony – the speakers, HTC – the DAC, and so on. But cramping everything into a single phone is not the innovation we’re used to seeing from Razer.
Even the shell’s design looks boring. It’s a mix of Nextbit’s blocky work, sprinkled with some BlackBerry accents.
In the end of the day, the Razer Phone is nothing new. However, it’s just what I look for in a phone.
The Razer Phone is what it needs to be
I will be honest – I did exaggerate the title of this editorial a little bit. I would not buy the Razer Phone because Android Nokias exist. The Finnish king of mobile holds a very special place in my heart and I am not ready to give that spot to someone else just yet.
However, if Nokia didn’t exist, I would have wanted a Razer Phone. I am sick of weird aspect ratios, iris scanners, proprietary Android skins, and under-glass fingerprint sensors. When using your phone becomes a chore, it completely loses its purpose. And with some innovations out there, that’s exactly what happens.
Razer, on the other hand, just like Sony and Nokia, bets on a no-bullshit formula. 16:9 aspect ratio, mid-sized screen, normal bezels for ergonomics, and top-of-the-line hardware. I always respect that in a brand.
Give me a phone I can use, not one that looks and feels like a proof of concept. If I wanted an overpriced device with a bunch of features I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, I would have bought an iPhone.
However, there is one useless gimmick I would have liked. Call me a madman if you wish, but I would have loved a Chroma-enabled logo on the back.
So, at the end of the day, the Razer Phone is truly a boring handset. But there is nothing wrong with that and in a world where Nokia doesn’t exist, I would have gladly bought it.