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The Razer phone and my initial thoughts

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The hype around the Razer phone has been nothing short of Apple fandom. It was a great surprise from one of the best gaming laptop makers out there.  But not all is well in the land of the matte black and green.

Here are my initial thoughts on the new Razer phone and what I think of it after using it for 3 days.

Overview

I’m going to save all the specs for my full review, but I’ll break this down into 5 sections.

  1. Build quality
  2. Screen
  3. Speakers
  4. Battery life
  5. Camera

If I take all 5 of these things and clump them together into a rating, I’d put it at 8.5 out of 10.  But that is a little misleading.  So I’ll break them down in a different way.  Separately.

Build Quality

This is about the easiest thing to talk about.  it’s a big, fat, square metal slab.  You know it the minute you pick it up out of the box.  It’s very well made.  It’s has very good fit and finish to it. The only thing I can see that is even remotely something, is that on the front facing camera and sensor, it looks like there is a “depression”.  And I’m not sure if that is the correct word here.  It’s like it bends inward right around that area, then goes back to being the perfectly flat speaker grill.  I guess the best analogy is if you slightly pressed your pinky in a cake before you put on the icing.   Score: 9.8

Screen

Well this ain’t your normal rodeo here cowboy!  It’s a glorious thing to see.  Buttery smooth.  Good color representation.  It is up there where it needs to be.  Plus, having the choice to change the refresh rate is something that is amazing.  I found myself moving to 120 Hz for games, and then back down to 90 Hz for everything else.  Yes I could have kept it at 120 Hz and never cared.  They did an excellent ob here.  Score: 10

Speakers

The only set of speakers that even come close to these are the ones on the Nexus 6 and HTC M8.  That’s it.  Nothing else is even in the same ballpark.  They are scratchy at full volume, but that is to be expected.  But turn them down to about 60% or so, and you are right in the sweet spot.  Once you have these, you will NEVER want anything that isn’t front facing.  Score 10

Battery Life

This is such a subjective thing.  While some like to use all their battery and never charge during the day. Others, like me, charge up when I have the time.  So I can’t say that this thing lasted me 27 hours with 6 hours screen on time and still have 35% left.  I’m not that guy.  But, what I can tell you, is that in the course of my normal day, I didn’t really think about charging it up.  I plugged it in, if I just happen to have seen the USB-C cable.  But to be honest, I never gave it much thought.  Which if you think about it, is EXACTLY how it should be.  And this battery life does exactly that.  Score: 10

Camera

I’m sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but this camera sucks ass!  It just does.  It’s so bad that I have had to carry my HTC U11 around with me to make sure I don’t miss a picture.  It’s slow, missing a lot of features and just plain sucks.  I’ll give you one little example of what is so frustrating about this phone.  Every phone, that has the ability to have removable storage, gives you the option in the camera settings to choose where you want your pictures saved.  Either internally or to the SD Card.  This phone doesn’t have that option.  So you have to pray that the photos are being sent there and not taking up your internal storage.  That in and of itself is crappy.  They need to really focus on improving this big time!  Score: 4

 

Conclussion

So if you take those score and do the math, you get 8.76 for the average score.  And that is kinda sad that the camera brings the phone down that much.  Since the rest of the experience is so good. This phone is a media and game consumption power house.  There’s no denying that.  But for it to become the phone that replaces the Samsungs, HTCs, LGs and others, it has to step up it’s game (no pun intended) on the camera side.

While this phone is the perfect gaming phone, it’s not the perfect overall phone.  And until they make it that, it’s going to have a very hard time replacing the big dog’s of the phone world.

Published in Phones Review