Late last year, we got a little surprise from Razer. The gaming company released its first smartphone, and as expected, it targeted gamers. Branded as a gaming phone, it started a trend which several others companies followed soon after, including ASUS, Xiaomi, and even Samsung. So as you can imagine, many are excited about its successor.
Razer had one of the few phones last year that made conscious decisions in both the design and software experience of the phone. The higher refresh rate screen, the stereo speakers, even the placement of the fingerprint scanner were designed for the best experience whether you were gaming or watching videos. However, it wasn't flawless. Its boxy design, LCD panel, and lack of headphone jack did deter some folks. So with Razer's second try, fans are hoping they improve on the failures and add new features.
- OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: Up to 512 GB
- Display: 5.7" 120 Hz IGZO QuadHD LCD
- Rear Cameras: No info
- Front Cameras: No info
- Audio: Dual front-facing speakers
To make this information easier to digest, I'll split this rumor roundup into two sections. First, I'll go over the confirmed details and the various rumors that have a high confidence level. Then, I'll talk about the latest speculation is a What We're Waiting to Learn section below.
A leak by AndroidHeadlines has given us a very good idea of what the Razer Phone 2 will look like. Suffice it to say, if you didn't like the design on the first Razer phone, you won't like the design this year. On the bright side, the fact that the two devices appear to have an identical footprint points towards Project Linda being a reality. More on that here.
One thing we can see clearly in the above leaked image is the dual front-facing speakers. The powerful speakers are making a return, with a speaker grill which once again takes up the width of the phone. We don't know how Razer improved these from last year, but honestly, even if Razer gave us the same speakers, I won't be mad. These are easily some of the best speakers on a smartphone. Razer managed to make them both loud and clear, managing to offer even better sound than many laptop speakers.
The Razer Phone 2 has appeared twice on Geekbench, revealing some of the new changes to the phone. The first being the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845. This is the best SoC available to non-Huawei, non-Samsung, and non-Apple devices, and easily runs all the latest games on the highest settings, including PUBG Mobile and Fortnite.
Both benchmarks revealed a return of the 8 GB RAM found in its predecessor, so even the most demanding of games won't eat up the RAM. Finally, we do know the screen is 2560 x 1440, meaning there will be no 18:9 aspect ratio display or display notches. More than likely, Razer will once again use the Sharp-developed IGZO display to produce another 120 Hz screen (crossing my fingers for 240 Hz because why not).
There will be a 512 GB storage option, just like the new iPhone XS (and XS Max) and Galaxy Note 9. Last year's model had expandable storage, so we expect Razer to bring that feature back again so users can use up to 512 GB micro SD card for a total of 1 TB of storage.
Finally, despite the near stock experience, Razer is opting for Android 8.1 Oreo instead of Android 9.0 Pie. It is a bit disappointing because Razer Phone 2 users would benefit from the new UI and gesture controls. However, if last year's model is any indication, Razer will quickly update the phone to Android 9.0 Pie.
We learned from credible leaker Roland Quandt that it is highly likely Razer will bring the most requested feature of the Razer Phone to its successor, RGB lighting. Roland tweeted that it is highly likely Razer brings their Chroma LED software to the phone. Based on the images, we expect it will probably be in the logo on the back.
If you look carefully at the leaked image, you will see the lock screen showing a future date, October 10th. This will likely be the day it is announced, which is a little more than 11 months after the first phone. No rumors have come out as to where the event will take place or if they plan to have an event at all.
That's about it for confirmed information and rumors that we believe are fairly concrete. The rest of this roundup will feature information that's mostly speculative at this point. As we get closer to the release date, hopefully more of this information will move above this break.
We don't know how much this phone will cost, but we are hoping for a small price increase. If Razer does opt for such a similar look, it would be hard to ask consumers to spend $100 more for a SoC bump.
One of the most highly criticized aspects of the Razer Phone was the camera. While they did improve them with software updates, many reviewers claimed the initial release were unusable, taking images worse than many mid range phones. We expect Razer learned from their mistake and will present much more formidable cameras. Maybe not rivaling Google's Pixel 3, but we at least expect it to be inline with other flagship phones.
Also, we don't know how many cameras are on the rear. We can clearly see their is still one selfie camera, but with the triple camera trend first introduced by the Huawei P20, we don't know if Razer will opt for three cameras as well, or even four or five like the rumored Nokia 9.
While Razer did include one of the better USB-C dongles for wired headphones, it doesn't replace the ease of use of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. We don't see the top or bottom of the phone, so we don't know if they included the feature, but besides RGB, this is one of the most requested features.
While we have a good idea of when it will be announced, we have no clue for its release date. Last year, Razer took 17 days to actually release the phone, but remember, this was their first phone. Hopefully, they are able to ship the phone much sooner this time.
Since Razer first branded their phone a gaming phone, competition has followed. Phones like the Galaxy Note 9 and Nubia Red Magic made small additions to justify a "gaming phone" branding, but ASUS went all out. The ASUS ROG Phone is a gaming phone dream, including a number of features like an overclocked Snapdragon 845, stereo speakers, better cooling, and dual USB-C. And then there are the accessories which enhance the gaming experience, including a dock that lets you turn it into a mini-computer, a button attachment, and a second screen.
Razer can't simply enter the market with a similar phone and expect to win. We hope that Project Linda comes to fruition, giving them something to show off their commitment to mobile gaming.
Right now, I don't know how to feel about the Razer Phone. On the one hand, I am excited about the possibility of Project Linda, giving me an alternative to a tablet, which is a dying market. But I'm worried that Razer might have become super complacent and not made any noticeable change. While the Razer Phone was amazing, it wasn't perfect, and I hope they correct it. Until October 10th, we won't know anything officially, but hopefully, Razer can surprise us once again.