Razer Phone review

A gaming smartphone with super speakers

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Operating system and interface

  • Runs Android Oreo 8.1
  • Uses Nova Launcher for greater customization options

You get a relatively stock Android experience on the Razer Phone

You get a relatively stock Android experience on the Razer Phone

The Razer Phone runs Android 8 Oreo, which has just arrived in April 2018 after its November 2017 release.

It's not stock Android on the phone though, with Razor instead opting to pre-install Nova Launcher on the handset. In general, Nova behaves almost identically to Android, which means there's no learning curve required when you pick up the Razer Phone.

Nova Launcher would normally cost money if you were to download it from the Play Store on another Android device, but it's provided free of charge here, and allows greater customization and the use of themes from Razer's Theme Store.

The Theme Store stocks licensed content, starting with game partners and moving on from there. 

There's already a decent selection of free themes available to get you started, and they don't just change app icons and wallpapers, but also notification sounds and more - providing an extensive transformation of the device.

The Theme Store has a good selection of free themes for the phone

The Theme Store has a good selection of free themes for the phone

Nova Launcher also provides a range of additional functions in the settings menu, perfect for those who like to fine-tune the operating system of their smartphone.

Some of the more useful features include 'double-tap to wake' and 'lift to wake' the screen to view any notifications you may have without having to reach for the power key, and Night Light, which tints the display amber for a more comfortable reading experience in low light and may make it easier for you to get to sleep after using your phone at night.

Watch our review of the UI and multi-media of the Razer below.

Movies and music

We've already covered the Razer Phone's gaming prowess, but its power, screen and audio skills mean it's also well suited for movies and music.

The large QHD display delivers crisp visuals when you're watching films and TV shows, with smooth blur-free motion, although the LCD display means colors aren't as vibrant as on the OLED panels on the likes of the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG V30

The speakers, which we've already covered in detail, enhance the experience with excellent audio quality and stereo sound, immersing you in the action on screen.

The Razer Phone's lack of a headphone port will annoy some, but an adapter that plugs into the USB-C port is included in the box, allowing you to connect a traditional pair of cans.

The adapter also features a 24-bit DAC (digital-to-analogue converter), which enhances the audio signal to your headphones for an improved listening experience. 

It comes in handy when you fancy a music binge, with tunes sounding great through both headphones and the in-built speakers we talked about earlier in this review.


Under the hood the Razer Phone packs the latest power, with a Snapdragon 835 chipset and a whopping 8GB of RAM.

We still believe 8GB of RAM is excessive for a smartphone, but Razor claims the additional memory lets you run multiple high-power apps (such as Twitch, YouTube and games) with no lag or slow-down. 

We didn't experience any degradation of performance, and the Razer Phone was able to keep multiple games running in the background as we skipped between them in the multitasking menu, which shows the 8GB of RAM does work.

You also get 64GB of internal storage, and there's a microSD card slot allowing you to build on that with memory cards up to 2TB in size. Plenty of space for all your gaming needs then.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.