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Razer Phone review: An Android handset with a sharp design and an obvious flaw

It's been a couple of weeks since we first laid hands on the Razer Phone, the gaming company's first mobile device. So how is it?

Razer Phone

The journey to making a smartphone for Razer has been years in the making, though it accelerated somewhat in early 2017. The company acquired Nextbit, a startup with a somewhat unique Android phone, the Robin. This was the latest in a string of relevant pickups for Razer, with Ouya and THX having gone before.

The end result was a product Razer fans have been screaming for: The Razer Phone. And while it doesn't run Windows (that ship has long sailed), it's an interesting device to us for a number of reasons. For one, we've got to start looking elsewhere.

Razer is a brand that we're increasingly impressed by. The Blade is arguably the best all-around gaming laptop money can buy, it has more quality gaming peripherals than you can shake a stick at, and it isn't afraid to do something just "because it can."

I've been using a Razer Phone since the launch event on November 1, and in that couple of weeks or so I've got to know it pretty well. It's far from perfect, but it's easy to be impressed by.

About this Razer Phone review

I have been using a Razer Phone provided by the company for review over a period of just over two weeks. It has been connected to the Three network throughout. The phone is currently running the September security patch and has received no OS updates in my time with it so far.

There is an updated build (.852) which has a number of fixes and a reported increase in battery life that has pushed out to retail phones. Our unit is on a different track and hasn't yet received this, but the review will be updated if there are any significant points to note.

For an alternative take be sure to check out the review by our pals over at Android Central.

See at Razer

Video walkthrough

Razer Phone specs

CategorySpecification
Operating SystemAndroid 7.1.1 Nougat (Android 8.x coming spring '18)
Display5.72-inches Sharp IGZO
2560 x 1440 resolution
120Hz refresh rate with UltraMotion sync
Wide Color Gamut (WCG)
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM8GB LPDDR4 (1600MHz)
Storage64GB internal
microSD card (class 10), 2TB max
PortsUSB Type-C
Headphone adapter included
Audio24-bit THX certified DAC (headphone adapter only)
Dual front facing speakers with individual amplifiers
Dolby Atmos
Dual rear camera12MP AF f/1.75 Wide
12MP AF f/2.6 Zoom
Dual PDAF
Dual tone, dual LED flash
Front camera8MP f/2.0
Battery4,000 mAh
Qualcomm Quickcharge 4.0+
Wireless ChargingNo
Wireless802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
BandsGSM: Quad-band GSM | UMTS: B1/2/3/4/5/8
LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
TDD LTE: B38/39/40/41 | TD-SCDMA: B34/39
BiometricFingerprint scanner (side power button)
Bootloader unlockableYes, directly through phone
Dimensions158.5 mm x 77.7 mm x 8 mm
Weight197g
Price$699 / €749.99 / £699.99

Razer Phone hardware

Nowadays a phone is a phone is a phone. For the most part, all the big names in the space are producing variations on the same theme. Razer, to its credit, didn't jump on any bandwagons, so there's no 18:9 ultra tall display here or curved glass or (thankfully) boasts about DxOMark camera scores.

What we have is a phone that looks pretty much exactly as you'd expect a piece of Razer hardware to. It's a no-fuss design. A simple rectangle with squared off corners, glass on the front, metal everywhere else, all black apart from the silver or green logo. It's also quite large, but not cumbersome. The metal corners are fairly soft in the hand, and the phone is also pretty slim.

If ever a phone could be too loud it would be the Razer Phone

Part of the reason for its size and the slab-like appearance comes around the front. At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking Razer went bananas when the phone passed through the bezel department. These are no ordinary bezels; they're all grille with some of the loudest sounding smartphone speakers you'll ever hear nestled behind them. If ever a phone could be too loud, it would be the Razer Phone. Those speakers are also a magnet for every little bit of dust and fluff in your pocket.

Razer Phone

That sets the tone for what Razer has done elsewhere on this phone. Just the Razer Blade Pro had all the highest-end hardware inside it just because it could, so too does the Razer Phone. There are things missing that phone nerds may lament: There's no wireless charging because metal, there's no headphone jack, there's no IP rating. If the lack of any of those things keeps you awake at night when looking for a new phone, you'll have to walk away.

This phone is fast. Razer fast.

But what there is, really is the cutting edge. The Razer Phone is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor with 8GB of RAM. That means it's fast. Really fast. Razer fast. There's 64GB of internal storage with an expansion slot for up to 2TB when someone makes a microSD card that big. It has QuickCharge 4+, and at its launch, it's the only phone in the world to support this. It's got dual-cameras, a fingerprint sensor hidden in the power button. And a ridiculous display.

For its Blade laptops, Razer partners with Sharp to use its IGZO panels and the same thing can be said of the Razer Phone. It's 1440p in resolution, but most impressively of all, supports a blistering fast 120Hz refresh rate. No other Android phone maker can match that right now, and it does make a difference. When you see it, you can't unsee it, even at its 90Hz default setting. Everything dances around on this display, crisp, fast, and very colorful. If you like a vivid display, you'll love this one.

Razer Phone

There are things to be aware of with the display, though. The first is that it's way too reflective so on a bright day you'll be seeing more of your own face looking back at you than you will your content. It also really needs to be brighter, and the adaptive brightness setting in software is the first thing you should turn off because it's incredibly aggressive. Indoors or in the shade it looks stunning, but there's a little work to be done for the next phone for sure.

What you may or may not miss the most is the headphone jack. With everything else inside the phone it was a sacrifice Razer was willing to make, but the compromise is the THX-certified USB-C headphone dongle with 24-bit DAC.

I have two simple things to say about this. Firstly, the sound is phenomenal. With a good pair of headphones, this is a serious music player for serious music fans. The second is, it's a dongle, and I already misplaced it with no sign of being able to order a replacement. This is unfortunate because without the dongle you get no THX DAC.

Razer Phone

It may be easy to get hung up on what is missing from the Razer Phone, especially if things like walking in the rain or charging wirelessly are items you put towards the top of your phone buying list of requirements. You can't have wireless charging on a metal phone and you can't have water or dust resistance on a phone with gigantic speaker grilles on the front. Cold hard facts.

But refocusing on everything else, you have a phone that hangs with the big boys. We weren't expecting a half-assed approach from Razer, frankly, and it delivered. A few niggles aside this is a remarkable piece of hardware.

Razer Phone software

Razer Phone

When Razer makes a laptop, it has Microsoft doing the operating system. It's kind of the same with Android, but Google doesn't do all of the work, so Razer boffins need to get involved. For the most part, the software is near-stock Android, albeit at this point 7.1 Nougat, not 8.0 Oreo.

There's a good reason for this, and an update will be coming in Q1 2018, but simply put the first-party stuff underneath like UltraMotion means that near-stock or not, there's a lot of coding to be done to make sure it all works properly. Personally, I'm happier Razer played safe and went with what they know would work, rather than race to say they're one of the first to have the new version and make a mess of it.

If the Razer Phone is to be your first experience of Android, at least it isn't heavily customized as you'd find from the likes of LG or Samsung. The launcher is the popular Nova Launcher Prime with a few custom Razer green accents dotted around, and the pre-installed theme store lets you get creative with how you want the rest of the phone to look. There's even a Razer Toaster theme which is pretty funny. It also looks great with the Microsoft Launcher applied.

Razer Phone

Razer Phone looks great with Microsoft Launcher.

Rather than bog down in the Androidy-ness of it all (It's an Android phone, go figure), I'm more interested in what Razer has done to the experience beyond a few colorful accents and themes.

Primarily, that is Game Booster, an app on the phone not unlike Razer Cortex on your PC. It allows you to customize your performance either to get the most from the phone, save as much battery life as possible and make sure your games run at their best.

Game Booster is exactly what you think it is: A turbocharger for your mobile games

On a game by game basis, you're able to customize the clock speed, frame rate, and resolution, and Game Booster will automatically kick in when you launch that title. Razer has been working with game developers to optimize for the Razer Phone, its 120Hz display, and the UltraMotion sync. However, Razer is preferential towards UltraMotion, providing a slick experience over just ramping up the frame rate.

Games like gear.club and Titanfall Assault are already available, with a new Final Fantasy mobile game and Shadowgun Legends two names still to come. Minecraft, too, it seems is a game that supports Razer's high refresh rate. Arena of Valor was trumpeted at the launch event, though Tencent is apparently holding off a public release of its super-optimized version.

Game Booster sounds like a pain, but since you're only really interested in setting it up for your games, it doesn't take long, and it's nothing more than a slider on your part. Move it around until it meets the settings you want, and you're done.

Razer Phone

The Razer Phone is obviously targeted at gamers, and though some may scoff, serious mobile gaming continues to rise. Titles like Vain Glory already have healthy competitive scenes, and its games like this that should be best on Razer Phone. The gaming experience is important, and Razer delivers. The combination of the sheer power of the phone, the UltraMotion sync, the optimization work and the high refresh rate display produce a mobile gaming experience like no other. It's smooth, fast as hell, looks fantastic on that IGZO display and invites you to really enjoy playing.

Razer's record on software updates is an unknown quantity for now

Where Razer will be tested besides OS updates is on the monthly Android security patches. The best of the bunch are now on the November patch while the Razer Phone is languishing on the September release. These are important, and so we'll be keeping a close watch on how up to date Razer stays.

It's also worth pointing out on my own unit there are some issues that remain outstanding as the phone is selling to consumers. It's still running an uncertified build, and I can't use Android Pay because the phone thinks its either rooted or has had the bootloader unlocked. The bootloader can be unlocked, by the way, if you're into tinkering, but mine is not. These issues may be linked together, but I'm sat waiting for an update that will hopefully make it all better.

Razer Phone battery life and camera

These two are grouped together as a tale of the good and a tale of the less so. And honestly there's not a lot to say about the battery life beyond: It's excellent.

The 4000mAh battery in the Razer Phone is certainly towards the larger end of what's out there right now, and it's more than good enough for a day of use. In most cases, I've been getting to a day and a half with between 5 and 6 hours of screen-on time. And that includes days where there's a couple of hours gaming and watching Mixer streams.

There are no worries with the battery whatsoever.

But then you get to the camera. The hardware sounds pretty solid on paper, a pair of 12MP sensors (no OIS), one wide angle, one telephoto and a "seamless zoom" between the two. There is no magic button that goes from wide to zoom. The idea is that it acts like a regular camera. So when you zoom in the phone intelligently switches between the two.

I first saw the Razer Phone three weeks before the launch event, and it was clear it was going to be a race to get it finished for launch. The sad truth is that the camera right now isn't up to scratch for a phone which costs $700. Personally, I don't think it's nearly as bad as Alex Dobie over on Android Central who called it "calamitous," but then it's also possible he has a faulty unit.

From my perspective, the camera is currently adequate, and nothing more. My own standards aren't nearly as high as many people's (all I take photos of is my kids). But with my reviewer's head on there are things which need to be fixed very quickly. The good news is Razer has multiple camera updates in the pipeline. The bad news is that none have so far arrived.

One of the biggest points of concern is the stock camera app. This alone doesn't give you a good feeling because it's completely devoid of any features whatsoever beyond an HDR toggle, a timer and an exposure slider. There are no manual controls, no creative tools, not even a panorama mode built in. The good is that the Razer Phone fully supports the latest camera APIs from Google, so if you can get hold of a camera app from the Play Store with manual controls, it's automatically a much better experience, even if it means you can't go into the telephoto lens.

Razer Phone

But there's more to the camera than just the app. Focusing has been mostly snappy enough for me, but at times it can be erratic. The seamless zoom isn't very seamless at all; it's jerky, slow to react and ultimately ends up in zooming in too far almost every time. Picture quality isn't awful in well-lit situations, though images are definitely on the soft side. When the light disappears, it's pretty bad, though, with noisy, grainy images mostly what you'll be getting.

It's sad because it feels rushed and clearly unfinished. That's not the Razer we're accustomed to, and while I'm pretty comfortable the camera experience will get better, the phone is now on sale, and it hasn't changed since the launch event. For folks who prioritize a good camera, you can't recommend the Razer Phone right now. Because honestly, we're yet to see how good it can be.

Razer Phone review bottom line

Razer Phone

So, Razer's first smartphone. A phone for gamers, not a gaming phone. Is it a winner? Mostly, yes. As a first attempt, there is no doubt that the Razer Phone is a mightily impressive piece of equipment. It ticks every box when it comes to high-end phone specs, and Razer should be commended for trying something different.

This isn't a "me too" phone, following the Samsung/LG/Apple trail. Razer had a vision for what it wanted to put inside a smartphone that would appeal to its fans. To gamers. And on that front, you can't deny they hit it out of the park.

Sure, the display is too reflective and not bright enough outdoors, but when you can see it well, what a display it is. It's vivid and sharp, but much like a PC monitor, it's the high refresh rate that is the difference maker. It's hard to put into words, but when you see a phone that can render its UI at 120 FPS, going back to even half, this is like someone is scratching at your eyes. The performance to go with it, be that gaming or everyday use, is exemplary.

The Razer Phone is a beast.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Impressive display with 120Hz refresh rate and UltraMotion sync for gaming.
  • Great battery life.
  • Near stock Android.
  • Superb speakers.

Cons:

  • Mediocre camera.
  • Display is too reflective and could be a little brighter.
  • Giant speaker grilles are magnet for fluff.

But, it's a beast with a big flaw and that would be the camera. I'm OK not marking it down for having no wireless charging or an IP rating because neither of those two features are possible given the design of the phone. But you can't ignore the camera.

It's not my biggest concern buying a phone, and even here, the refresh rate of the display and the overall performance outweighs it for me, but that's not going to fly for everyone. Many people will put a good camera at the top of the list and right now I can't say it's good at all.

But taking that aside, the rest of the phone is a job well done. If you're like me, you'll miss the headphone jack, but the quality of the audio through that THX dongle is a worthwhile trade-off. Just don't lose it.

For a first attempt though, Razer did a great job here. The hardware is superb, the software is fast and bloat free and compared to other flagships, $700 isn't a bad price either. Razer fans will love it. People looking for something a little different will love it too. I've no desire to put this phone down anytime soon, and I am confident Razer will deliver the fixes where needed. It's also the start of a journey, and for a company like Razer, who knows where this is going to lead.

See at Razer

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

77 Comments
  • Solid review! It's disappointing that the camera is the weak point considering how they said in the presentation that they focused a lot of time into the camera and it feels like it doesn't show...as much. Really good first attempt for Razer though.
  • Honestly, on reading the article title I thought the big flaw was going to be that it wasn't running WM10. I know, but honestly that was my first thought.
  • I thought it was going to be the speaker grills. They wouldn't bother me, but I've seen reviewers complain about them as essentially being huge bezels, adding to the size of the phone.
  • "OMG BEZELS." I don't care. The speakers are nuts. And ya know, when you're holding the phone playing a game it's nice not covering the screen with your hands.
  • ^this
  •  Nobody in your vicinity or home wants to hear the noises coming from your smartphone games. Considering there's no headphone jack this seems like an inconsiderate d-bag phone. 
  • I hear that! Can't stand when people either talk on speaker, or play games on full blast sound in a small closed area like a waiting room. A holes!
  • You're funny to assume you know what people in my home want to hear. Know something? My 3-year-old LOVES the speakers on this phone when he's playing games, or watching Prime. And it's pretty good for playing music in a pinch. My 3-month-old quite likes Motorhead as it happens. But nah, you go ahead and know everything my friend. Is cool.
  • If only the phone would come with a volume control, for when you don’t want to disturb others.
  • Agreed. When playing games or watching videos, those speakers would be awesome. Those looking for more of a regular phone experience are not the market this phone is after.
  • That ship has long sailed.
  • You must be the only one. If it had been running Windows 10 mobile it would have made perfect sense.
  • Reading the article pisses me off that we can't get anymore terrific Lumia devices.. I know Lumia is gone for all the right reasons (and a few ridiculous ones), but Lumia hardware has always had it all, and sacrificed nothing.... Camera buttons, Wireless Charging, terrific Cameras.. It's really frustrating.
    ......
    I was really excited about this device until I read the review.. I really hope that MS makes a Surface Mobile device of some kind with hardware that has it all.. At this point I care more about the device itself than apps.
  • Andy....at this point that is it's biggest bonus.  At least you get all the major apps you need,  and are not tied down to using crappy mobile website with no function.  
  • WM10 is a flaw.
  • Me too. I thought not running WM10 was its flaw. This phone is absolutely amazing. With WM10 or WoA, Lumia photo apps suit calibrated by Nokia/M$  team and Continuum, it must be ridiculous fantastic. This impressive piece of hardware, I suspect, point ahead to the next Surface Mobile experience. Foldable chassis, including 2 usb-c and a hdmi ports, a Snapdragon joint-venture dedicated processor equipped with the waited energy managing system controlling a huge 6000 mA battery, lasting almost a week in moderate use, build-in DAac-processor with speakers like this Razor phone... Well, dreaming costs nothing.
  • Lay off the crack Fernando...
  • A premium phone with bad screen and camera, really good attempt :)
  • You must have missed the words in the review. It could be brighter outside and it's too reflective. Doesn't make the screen bad. The screen is very good, actually. As you'd know if you read it all :)
  • Yeah being reflective and not bright sounds good in sun light. And it's only lcd. Sounds mediocre if not bad.
  • LCD doesn't equal bad. Seriously, some of you are making the most ridiculous points. Razer uses this exact type of display in its laptops. If you're determined to find fault, you will. I've had the phone for three weeks now, I've written a review and I've said what I feel is wrong with it.
  • Just pointing out they are selling at premium price but they are not at competition level when it comes to two of the three things that matter on phones (screen and camera) for most user. The third one is performance and looks ok. The fact that you are trying to push this product doesn't mean we are blind to the fact it doesn't bring much to the crowded android high end space. Why you feel offended or get touchy about this is beyond me.
  • You're generalizing. Incorrectly. Good screen is important. Joe Public doesn't care if it's AMOLED, LCD or e-ink so long as it looks good. I mean...I've been writing about Android phones for over 6 years now. I've seen quite a lot my friend.
  • Richard,  they are just butthurt that their "almighty" windows 10 Mobile is a failed platform.  thats all.  They are trying to discredit anything from any other manufacturer / platform other than MS.     again,  it's reflective NOT BAD....there is a huge difference.   it's 120Hz.  one of only one at the moment in the mobile industry....it KILLS for games!  it's way ahead of any other screen for it's intended purpose.  
  • Sweet review and damn if I didn't have to add this to my list of post-950 choices :-( But sidebar question though...would be great to see a side-by-side comparison of the S8, Pixel, Razer...and OnePlus 5T ? (From a Microsoft-software-configured phone perspective, that is.)
  • If you want a very good android phone look at the expria xz premium I got this phone and I've been nothing but impressed and closet to a wp design on android you will get.
  • Camera is the last thing I look for in a phone, so I'm good there. I'm still going to hold off until I hear what more people say about it.
  • The sad flaw is that it's Android.  And having the best camera is of paramount importance to me as far as hardware features.
  • Then you're probably going to be better buying an iPhone if you don't like Android.
  • It's so sad that this is a true statement.
  • Nope. The dirty little truth is that I don't have to buy EITHER.
  • At some point you might have to.. Your WP won't last forever, and there's no guarantee that MS is coming with a new mobile device.
  • Well, he can always buy a Nokia 3310.
  • Exactly... Which is is what pisses me off about it. In 2-3 when I actually NEED to replace my 950, I won't have any options other than a possible 1000 dollar device that bearly makes phone calls correctly (you just know they are planning on using Skype *shiver*) unless I want to change OSes and probably entire ecosystems. I could use eBay and stay on WP, but what's the point? By then the phones will be unusable, we already have services breaking down.
  • I just scored a 1520 in good condition for 70€. It has to be my all time favorite smart phone. If it only had on screen navi bar..
  • ScubaDog you living in small bubble.  
  • Tin cans and string FTW
  • Assuming you mean vs Microsoft with the Weiss optics and superior photos? How I miss my old 929 I still think it took better pictures, more real pictures, even vs my note8.
  • I thought many gamers and razor fans love those RGB lighting.  should have put it somewhere and cater to those crowd. 
  • That'll be next year. Chroma logo for sure. Either that or ditch the front speakers and just have full Chroma strips.
  • Ur crazy lol how about make the speakers smaller, waterproof, and light strips, subtle thin, not blinding.
  • When has Chroma ever been subtle? C'MON!
  • It exists. The rear logo lights up green in an upgraded model. It's on Razer website.
  • That isn't a light up model. There are 1337 limited edition versions with a green logo instead of the silver one. But they're not going to waste those on reviewers.
  • I hope next year's phones are going to start sporting decent sized batteries. I like this and the HTC u11 plus, the batteries are great. Just a headphone jack and wireless charging needed. Be interesting to see Sharp's Euro phones in 2018.
  • BlackBerry too likes huge batteries. 4000mAh (same as this) in the Motion.
  • If I wanted to read a review on an andorid phone, I'd read it on AndroidCentral which I also frequestnt along with iMore. This site is designed for Microsoft/Windows-based stuff. An Android phone is based on Andori and that is within the scope of AnndroidCentral. Are you now doing their jobs?
  • Yes. https://www.windowscentral.com/why-were-covering-razer-phone
  • I read that article, but I won't come to Windows Central for my Android news. I come for news on Microsoft stuff. Unless you are comparing how MS software perfoms on this Android device over another, it is irrelevent to your goal of reporting Microsoft stuff. That is my two cents. If you don't want my two cents, I'd be happy to spend it elsewhere.  
  • You can spend your two cents wherever you want to spend it. We've been over this ground already, I'm not wasting your time or mine by going over it again.
  • There's going to be some overlap no matter what. Just skip the articles you don't care about. I frequent this site a lot but doesn't mean I read every single article they put out, some of it I'm less interested in.
  • Yet you're here anyway? Something tells me you've given your 'two cents' more than once.
  • I stopped android central because their ads were getting overwhelming. Hopefully we don't get the same here.
  • Looks like a very uncomfortable phone to hold or to have in your pocket. Pointy sharp edges and thick as a brick. The dongle crap is a deal breaker, no excuse on a phone this thick.
  • Thinness isn't why the headphone jack isn't in this phone. That jack takes up space INSIDE the phone. It also needs its own DAC which takes up more space. It's also not thick by any stretch. My Lumia 950 XL is as thick as this. And wider, and more uncomfortable to hold.
  • Well, there is another design flaw: It does not fit in my pocket, nor can i use it with just one hand since it's significant larger than 4,7".
  • So you need an iPhone then or a Sony XZ1 Compact. Not really much else around for people wanting what is now considered a small phone. Don't think your comment has any relevance at all tbh.
  • Buy bigger trousers. ;-)
  • Managed to have a look at one yesterday for the first time and although the screen was silky smooth and the size perfect for me I didn't like the overall design. It really does feel dated. I instead opted for a Pixel 2 XL which I'm finding to be super. There are literally no drawbacks for me with this and feels like it is worth the cost. If I'd got the Razer Phone I think I'd have been disappointed paying £45 a month for it.
  • For that price, rather get a Nokia 8.
  • Damn, first high end Android I have liked and of course my key feature, the camera, is the flaw.
  • Interesting review. On another site, although they said the THX Dac was very loud, they noticed that there was actually quite a lot of noise being added in, both via headphone and speakers. For me the biggest problem is going to be the camera performance, just not good enough, and that is mainly down to software of which the Razer team will need a lot more experience to get the processing right.
  • @Johnny Ware,  Just goes to show the massive subjectivity of ANY review.  One person may find the photos really good,  others may find them crap.  Same goes for sound.  I have a REALLY sensitive ear for music/noise/artifacts/additions to sound.   If there are any I WILL pick them up.  Most everyone on the planet says the iphone sounds fantastic while playing music.  I can hear alot of signal reduction,  and channel drop on one of two channels depending on the song.   Stuff that should be loud,  and is,  on my computer,  is dull and lifeless on the iphone.  Camera,  Everyone touted the iphone 6s the best camera when it was released.   My 1020 KILLED the iphone and does to this day in image quality.  Now flippy little features like slow mo etc...sure.  But....for PURE IMAGE QUALITY,  NO camera compares to the 1020.  I wish I kept one of two of mine.
  • Problem with the audio stuff is it also depends on how good your headphones are. I can honestly say there's no added noise (that I notice) on mine, and the THX DAC is only in the dongle, not the phone. From my own experience, the sound quality is better than other phones I have access to right now, including my iPhone, Galaxy S7 or Elite x3. But sound is difficult to quantify in a review hence why we don't spend too long dwelling on it. I don't have so-called audiophile headphones, but they're decent. And in truth, we've been in close contact with Razer for quite some time regarding this device. If there are flaws that we're spotting, they're knowing about it. They're probably sick of seeing my name in the inbox by now ;-)
  • Cheers for the reply Richard, this was from a more scientific method, being plugged into a recording device rather than a human listening: Clarity was very good with an active external amplifier although we see scores are slightly lower than usual for this case. Plugging in a pair of headphones cases a small hike in stereo crosstalk but since that was a bit high to begin with the final result isn't great. The signal-to-noise ratio as identified by the Noise level reading Is subpar too. All in all it's a good performance, but a step behind just about every other flagship out there. The loudness, on the other hand, is quite impressive and the Razer Phone should have no trouble driving even high-impedance headphones.
  • I am doing the same...running my phone through my onkyo receiver through PSB Stratus gold speakers (look them up).   The iphone has terrible losses and sound artifacts that other players including my lovely little zune does not have.  
  • I was honestly hoping that with how much Razer supports gaming and live streaming, this phone would have had streamers in mind and provided an amazing front facing camera with OIS. Maybe next year :(
  • Front camera is OK, but like, unless you're broadcasting just your face it's all small anyway?! On Mixer Create it's this tiny little box in the corner of the screen, looks pretty rough on every phone I've tried it on
  • If the next version corrects the screen reflectiveness and moves the THX inside behind a headphone jack I might consider because otherwise it seems wonderful and I don't care about phone cameras, I probably take 4 or 5 pictures a year with my phone.
  • The headphone jack will not be coming back in a hurry I hate to tell you. If it's gone, it's pretty much gone for good.
  • Wouldn't the screen reflectiveness be fixed with a tempered glass screen protector?
  • That's what I've done, but instead of a tempered glass one which will be reflective too I'm using a matte screen protector which definitely cuts the glare and makes the screen twice as viewable outside.
  • Fairly comprehensive review Richard. Before I put any of these phones on my shortlist for consideration, I'm waiting for an ifixit tear down for the LGV30 and the Razer Phone, as LG managed to squeeze in a DAC and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Before anyone starts pointing out my posts about ios and android. Yes, I'm a fan of windows on phone but I'm no fanboi but a realist and a idealist, plus I said shortlist for consideration not that I'd be buying one tomorrow lol.
  • LG is on its third V phone so I dunno, maybe they've got some magic going on. I don't know if the V30 is bigger or not but I'd wager on the Razer Phone the decision (right or wrong) to put massive speakers in was part of it. And thanks! Not many folks round here may know I spent a long time on Android Central so I've seen a phone or two over the years :)
  • You're welcome Richard, the long term memory of most people is almost none existent these days lol. We've got social media to thank for the lack of memory retention The LGV30 has a 6" qhd display, so it's marginally bigger compared to the 5.7" iqzo display on the razer phone. I'm curious about the internal placement of the DAC and 3.5mm headphone jack on v30. As we can't really say for certain it's because of the 0.3" we got no internal dac and 3.5 mm jack on the razer phone as for all we know, 0.3" could be empty space in the v30 lol. I prefer to have facts as opposed to speculation :).
  • From our briefing with Razer they said it was a combination of factors, with giant speakers being one of them. It would be interesting as you say to see the internal layouts of both, because I'd always prefer the jack over not having it. The THX dongle is good, but I've already misplaced it twice!
  • I don't know. I some way I could have bought this if it was not because I already have a Lumia 950 XL. My camera is state of the art and gaming or game dev is all on my custom built Alienware m17x R2 system I even have a Alienware m11x if I really need to be that light and mobile. Kind of hard to justify buying a Razor phone.