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Razer Phone

The first phone from lifestyle gaming brand Razer wants to blow you away.  

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

It starts with a 5.7-inch screen that refreshes at a rate of up to 120Hz, which promises to make mobile gaming buttery-smooth. And it truly does.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

And not just gaming, either: That 120Hz screen makes everything feel smoother and faster, whether it's swiping across home screens, scrolling down websites, or even tapping to launch apps or press virtual buttons. 

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

Audiophiles will also give the Dolby Atmos speakers along the top and bottom an appreciative nod. These puppies get LOUD -- and stay surprisingly clear. We've listened to them for hours now.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

Here's what one of those speaker-filled bezels looks like up close.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

Those big speaker bezels make for a pretty big phone, though.   

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer vs. iPhone 7 Plus

It's the size of an iPhone 7 Plus or 8 Plus.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

The Razer Phone's sharp-cornered design will remind you of their laptops, down to the insignia on the back (we miss the bright green, too).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

But Razer also outfitted its Phone with the modern trappings of a high-end device.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

Like the 2,560x1,440-pixel screen resolution, which will be sharp when you're reading the news and answering texts.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

Inside, it's powered by a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset.  

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

You get two 12-megapixel camera lenses, one wide-angle and one telephoto.   

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

You can pinch and zoom the screen to switch between the two.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone zoom, compared

But unless you zoom just right, you'll get ugly digital zoom instead of crisp optical zoom, and the zoom you'll find on an iPhone 8 Plus still does a better job.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sean Hollister/CNET

Razer Phone

Also, the Razer Phone's HDR mode is painfully slow -- over a second for each shot -- and not worth the wait, since it makes your photos far noisier while barely improving their shadows and highlights.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

The fingerprint sensor's conveniently built right into the power button -- and you can double-tap it to launch the camera. 

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

Do note, though, that it's a little tough to find the fingerprint sensor by feel alone. I often have to tap it a couple times to log in with fingerprint because I don't always hit it just right.  

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

There's an 8-megapixel camera lens up front.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

The Razer Phone has a USB-C charging port, but no headphone jack -- unless you count the included USB-C to 3.5mm dongle. 

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

And that flat bottom means the Razer Phone can stand up all by itself. 2001: A Space Odyssey, anyone?

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

(Here's proof we're not using a stand to hold it up.)

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

(Oh, and the phone stands up by itself in landscape mode, too.)  

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

There's plenty of storage space for your games: 64GB onboard, with 8GB of user-accessible RAM, and up to 2TB of external storage through a microSD card. It'll only support GSM cellular, though, so CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint won't work.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

It's still fairly thin despite a 4,000mAh battery -- but don't expect days of battery life. We made it to bedtime most days, but that's about it.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

Here's a close up of those finely carved metal volume keys. They feel fantasticly clicky.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

Razer Phone launches with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo down the line.  

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

It's refreshing to see how little bloatware comes on the Razer Phone. Perhaps that's one of the reasons it's so speedy.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

But there is a piece of Razer-specific software we do like: Razer's Game Booster app, which lets you set your processor's max clockspeed, the screen's refresh rate, and even enable antialiasing to smooth out jagged edges in game titles.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Razer Phone

One last shot of the Razer Phone standing up on its own.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Razer Phone

We lied. Here's one more monolith photo.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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