Mobile gaming is obviously a huge thing now, and goes far beyond the limited horizons of, say, Candy Crush. But would you buy something marketed as a ‘gaming phone’? Well, that’s what Razer – known best for their popular gaming laptops and peripherals – are hoping, with their first smartphone, appropriately named the Razer Phone.
The company introduced the phone today, and the reception has been somewhat mixed. A gaming phone is an interesting proposition, given that all top-shelf iOS and Android phones are already beasts performance-wise.
The Razer does pack in some good specs: a 5.7-inch 1440p screen, a Snapdragon 835 processor, 8GB of RAM, a hefty 4,000mAh battery and an iPhone-like dual camera system. But every flagship Android phone is packing a Snapdragon 835, so it’s not a point of difference.
— Kent German (@KentGerman) November 1, 2017
The screen is pretty interesting – it’s an adjustable framerate Sharp IGZO panel which can switch from slow framerate when you’re browsing the web and sexting furiously, up to 120Hz for silky-smooth gaming performance. That’s pretty cool, but… y’know. That alone doesn’t sell the ‘gaming phone’ moniker.
The other concern is that it’s not a particularly attractive device like iPhones or high-end Samsungs. Over at The Verge, they described it as looking “like someone revived Brutalist architects from the 1960s and tasked them with devising the world’s blockiest phone”. Hard to disagree. Something called a ‘gaming phone’ maybe doesn’t need to be super slim in order to pack in more performance, but its not in doubt that most consumers won’t be willing to compromise on that metric.
It also lacks a headphone jack, for some reason. Apple can get away with that – just barely – because of their relentless drive to make their devices slimmer and more minimalist. Someone who is dead keen on using their phones for higher-end mobile gaming are probably going to want a headphone jack.
It’s an interesting sell, though – and it’ll be worth watching to see whether the marker for people who are willing to compromise on some aspects of the modern smartphone in order to max out performance might respond.
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