Razer Phone 2 review: A powerful gaming phone with a dash of flagship panache

Update, May 13: We compared the Razer Phone 2 against the Asus ROG, the Nubia Red Magic Mars and the Black Shark to see which is the best gaming phone. Extensive testing covered everything from gaming and processing power to cooling systems and screens. Read: Best Phone for Gaming in 2019: Razer 2 vs. Asus ROG, Nubia Red Magic Mars, Xiaomi Black Shark.


The original from last year Razer phone entered the telephony market like a cowboy through the swing doors of a saloon. It attracted attention for its rectangular design, 120Hz screen and power. But it lacked the polish and features of other flagship phones and was considered more of a “gaming phone” oddity.

The new Razer Phone 2 solves these flagship problems without losing the soul of the original. In fact, the new phone has the same “monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey” design vibe by adding IP67 water resistance, wireless charging, camera portrait mode and an even brighter 120Hz screen.

However, all is not rosy with Razer’s new phone. The “flagship features” come at a cost, literally. The Razer Phone 2 costs $ 800 (or ¬£ 780, which converts to AU $ 1,430). This allows you to have 64GB of storage, but it costs $ 100 more than last year’s Razer and puts the phone in the same price range as the Google Pixel 3 And iPhone XR. The phone is compatible with 2TB microSD cards, however, should you want to expand the storage.

Its cameras have improved hardware, but the image quality is just OK. Photos and videos currently suffer from moiré and color bands.

Despite having a 4,000mAh battery, the Razer Phone 2 performed poorly in CNET’s battery test for continuous video playback in airplane mode. In real-world use, however, it made it through a day of use, including a few 120Hz gaming sessions, with no issues.

If you live on a diet of mobile movies and video games, the Razer Phone 2 is worth checking out. But if you want a great camera and phone that can get through more than a day on one charge, check out the cheaper OnePlus 6 or the Galaxy Note 9.


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Razer Phone 2 comes unboxed


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The boxy design of the Razer Phone 2 gets Gorilla Glass 5 and a fantastic extra

Not everyone will like the block design of the Razer Phone 2, but I find it unique and alluring. The squared edges are reminiscent of the iPhone 5 and they fit well in my hand, especially in landscape orientation. I have big hands, however, and in a smaller pair of gloves this phone might be more than a handful. I like being able to safely lay the Razer Phone 2 on its side to watch a movie or capture a video.

And in case you are wondering, there is no notch. Instead, you’ll find a sturdy forehead and chin that house two of the loudest speakers I’ve ever heard on a phone. Seriously, play Bohemian Rhapsody or Liquid Swords by GZA from Wu Tang Clan, tap the Dolby button, select Music and you’re welcome. These speakers are all the more impressive when you consider that they have been completely redesigned to make the phone IP67 water resistant.

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The $ 99 wireless charging dock puts on a light show every time you charge your phone.

Patrick Holland / CNET

The phone has a cool chroma logo on the back which isn’t just there for looks – it actually lights up when you get notifications. So when new lyrics or Snapchat the messages arrive, the logo lights up. You can also customize the color, brightness of the glow and determine if it is static or not. There is an idle mode where the logo lights up and dims as if the phone is breathing – it lured several colleagues to my desk with its visual siren song.

The Gorilla Glass 5 back allows for wireless charging, which becomes even more fun if you buy the $ 99 Razer Phone 2 Wireless Charger. Place the phone on the holder and the edges of the base light up like Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road. i get lots of fun and satisfaction from using the Razer Phone 2 Wireless Charging Dock.