With the first Razer Phone, the gaming hardware company kicked off a hot trend of gaming-focused smartphones. How will Razer answer the new competition? The brand has sent out invitations to the launch event of the Razer Phone 2, but there are many conflicting rumors swirling around the new gamer's phone. Here's everything we know so far.
The smartphone by gamers for gamers: that's how the Razer Phone was pitched when it was introduced. The result was a device that definitely better for playing games in certain ways, but was not completely convincing. What we actually got was another high-end smartphone with some special features such as the 120 Hz display.
Ready player one...October launch date confirmed
As previously assumed, the Razer Phone 2 will be unveiled to the public on October 10. The gaming experts have sent out invitations for a launch event on October 10 and the keynote will start at 6:30 pm. Although the smartphone is not explicitly mentioned there, the outlines of the invitation with the buttons on the left side are a more than clear hint.
This date will mark almost a year after the launch of the original Razer Phone last year on November 1. But the smartphone market has changed since then. New offerings from gaming specialists such as the shoulder button-sporting Asus ROG Phone and the Xiaomi Black Shark have, among others, given Razer some real competition in this niche. So how will the trend-setters show that they are still on top of the game?
Technical specs should step up for the Razer Phone 2
We expect the Razer Phone 2 will be equipped with the latest Qualcomm chipset. The company's vice president has confirmed as much. The question remains whether this means the already available Snapdragon 845 or perhaps the newer Snapdragon 855. The latter is to be manufactured using the 7nm process, which means it will be more energy-saving and powerful.
Recently, our colleagues at XDA revealed that the Razer Phone 2 (codenamed “aura”) showed up in Google's Play Console for certification, with 8GB RAM, Snapdragon 835, and Chroma app. Wait a minute...Snapdragon 835?
We're as confused as you are, and so was XDA, who, after speaking to some trusted sources, believe that Razer may have accidentally copied over text from marketing material related to the original Razer Phone and sent that to Google.
What's interesting about the Play Console listing, however, is the presence of a pre-installed “Chroma” app that could be the rumored app to control LED effects for notifications. A hallmark of Razer's gaming hardware, this Chroma RGB lighting was conspicuously missing from the original Razer Phone.
When it comes to the chipset, we think it is unlikely that we'll see the Snapdragon 855 chip emerge in the Razer Phone 2. In the past, Qualcomm always introduced its new top chip at the end of the year, but the first smartphones with the chip came out the next year, in this case in 2019. That will probably also be the case this time. The Razer Phone 2 has surfaced on Geekbench and Antutu with the SD845, so that's still our most likely candidate.
Either way, the device should once more have 8 GB RAM but this time finally a larger internal memory of at least 128 GB, which can be expanded again. The Razer Phone 2 is expected to have an even larger battery (4,500 mAh) than the first Razer Phone. In our opinion, the software can then also be further optimized so that the battery lasts longer even during intensive use and gaming on the smartphone.
What will the Razer Phone look like?
The rumor mill has churned out some contradictory tales about the possible appearance of the Razer Phone 2.
According to the following image leaked to Android Headlines from a supposedly trustworthy source, the design of the Razer Phone 2 has hardly changed at all compared to its predecessor.
The camera placement on the right has changed only slightly, so that wouldn't be much of a reinvention from Razer. Still, perhaps the back part would be more interesting and light up with Chroma LEDs...or maybe the Razer Phone 2 hides something even stranger behind its back...
"Jeff": I took some pictures of the upcoming Razer phone. Almost the definitive design.— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 11, 2018
Evan: Cool, where did these come from?
J: Got a friend in Razer, he sent me them. Obviously I can't reveal his name.
E: Sure you can, just make something up. You've been on a roll so far! pic.twitter.com/cVn2Ycr7Y1
The above tweet from Evan Blass shows a concept of the Razer Phone sporting a touchpad on the back. Needless to say, it's not quite convincing, but even if this is fake, some kind of extra functionality on the back for gaming or use with peripherals such as Project Linda would be a way for the Razer Phone 2 to improve on the first model.
Hopefully, Razer will also accept criticism of its first smartphone. This included the manufacturer's decision not to integrate a jack connection. It was not possible to charge the smartphone and play over headphones at the same time. Bluetooth is not always great for headsets, as many gamers rarely use these because of the audio delay, and with some games also causing interference of audio playback.
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In a leaked video making the rounds online, the next Razer Phone is assigned completely different technical data. Here we are talking about a 6.6-inch ultra-wide display in 21:9 format with 144 Hz (without notch), a loudspeaker along the left long side. However, this information comes from a hitherto completely unknown source and can currently only be regarded as an attempt to attract attention.
Project Linda for the Razer Phone 2?
At CES 2018, Razer presented Project Linda, a new concept to combine a smartphone and laptop, using the Razer Phone's touchscreen as a laptop touchpad. Razer itself has plenty of laptop expertise thanks to its Blade range, and the ability to make use of a high-spec Razer Phone by turning it into a laptop is certainly exciting.
At the moment, Project Linda has yet to become a reality for the Razer Phone, but perhaps it could become one of the key features of its successor. With the emergence of more sophisticated docks and game streaming services, the convergence of high-end smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs is happening, and the Razer Phone 2 would turn a few more heads with Project Linda on board.
What features would you like to see on the Razer Phone 2? Let us know in the comments!