Razer Phone review

A gaming smartphone with super speakers

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The Razer Phone is one of the most innovative and interesting flagship smartphones on the market. Its design may not be eye-catching, its camera may be run-of-the-mill and the lack of a headphone jack will irk, but it's the only phone pushing mobile gaming to the forefront.

It's easy to appreciate the excellent audio and smooth gaming experience. The 120Hz refresh-rate screen and dual-amplified stereo speakers are features we'd like to see on more phones, and currently no one does these specific features better than Razer.

View our quick verdict video of the Razer Phone below.

The gaming brand has a legion of fans, so perhaps this phone will really speak to them – but while its gaming credentials may be applauded it doesn't feel like the definitive answer to mobile gaming we've been waiting for.

There are better all-round devices on the market for a similar price, which can provide a strong gaming experience alongside excellent cameras and general usability. Then there's the fact that the Razer Phone feels a little light on actual games.

There's the promise of more titles fine-tuned for the handset in the coming months, but as it stands it doesn't feel like it works hard enough to push the best titles to your screen.

Who's it for?

There's no question that the Razer Phone is aimed at gamers. However, the question remains whether gamers – who are used to PC and console power, controls and graphics – view mobile gaming in the same light.

The Razer Phone will appeal to enthusiast gamers who appreciate the ability to adjust frame rate, power distribution and resolution on a game-by-game basis, but for a wider audience it's likely to be less appealing.

Should I buy it?

The Razer Phone is a solid smartphone with big gaming potential, and while its potential may not be fully realized just yet, it offers something different in a market where handsets are becoming more and more alike.

If you're looking to part with the sort of money Razer is demanding for its phone, and you want decent camera performance from your phone as well as decent gaming, then you're better off looking elsewhere.

But if you want something a bit different with some unique gaming features, the Razer Phone may be for you.

As we say, there's plenty of competition for the Razer Phone, and we've listed three of its biggest rivals below.

Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 may be six months older than the Razer Phone, but it packs a whole lot of power, a brilliant screen and a top-notch camera to give you the best all-round smartphone experience.

It's also witnessed a price drop since its launch, so you can pick up the Galaxy S8 for around the same price as the Razer Phone, making it an even more tempting proposition.

Google Pixel 2 XL

The Google Pixel 2 XL is more expensive than the Razer Phone, but you won't find a better smartphone snapper on the market.

If photography is important when it comes to picking your next high-end smartphone the Pixel 2 XL won't disappoint, plus you get a large 6-inch QHD display, plenty of power under the hood and the stock version of the latest Android operating system.

iPhone X

If you have more money than you know what to do with and want a smartphone that'll turn heads, the iPhone X could be the phone for you.

It's almost double the price of the Razer Phone, and runs iOS rather than Android, but the App Store has a wealth of top-notch games to keep you entertained on its 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display.

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.