Did you know Razer is making a smartphone?
The 12-year-old company has been hardcore teasing us this past summer. Most recently, it invited the media to a press event in November, when it will most likely make the handset official. The smartphone market has hit near-parity, in that it is getting harder to determine which flagship is truly better, but at the same time, we're finally seeing some solid competitors to Apple and Samsung pop up.
Google, for instance, has the Pixel line, and Essential is trying its luck with the Essential Phone, and now, Razer will attempt to seduce its customer-base of PC gamers into buying a Razer-branded device, presumably, for mobile gaming. The move actually does make sense for the company, which focuses on gaming products such as laptops, tablets, PC peripherals, wearables, and accessories.
So, here's everything you need to know about Razer's first smartphone.
- Razer upgrades the Blade Pro laptop more powerful CPU
- Nextbit has been bought by Razer, will continue 'cool stuff in mobile'
- Razer Project Valerie: Crazy gaming laptop concept packs in three screens
Razer smartphone: The story so far
- The whole Nextbit team joined Razer
- Nexbit made the Robin phone
- Nextbit is now doing cool stuff in mobile under Razer
Nextbit, the maker of the Robin smartphone, became a Razer company in January 2017. Former members of Google’s Android team, along with the former head of design at HTC, founded Nextbit in 2015. In our review of Nextbit's first (and only) phone, we said the Robin offers a good Android experience without breaking the bank and that its stand-out cloud storage solution works well.
The CEO of Nextbit, Tom Moss, told The Verge in January that the "whole team" joined Razer, giving the company access to more resources than it previously had. Moss also said Nextbit planned to continue doing "cool stuff in mobile" under Razer. However, according to Recode, Nextbit then immediately stopped production of the Robin. It no longer sells it and has scaled back on support.
Rumours and teases
- Bloomberg first claimed Razer might make a device
- Razer CEO confirmed it's planning a device
- Razer CEO was pictured with a Razer-branded device
Bloomberg reported in July that Razer wanted to make a device following its acquisition of Nextbit. CEO Min-Liang Tan then confirmed the news in an interview with CNBC in September. He said: "One of the most hotly rumored things about Razer is that we're coming up with a mobile device. And I can say that we are coming up with a mobile device specifically geared toward gamers and entertainment."
He also said he hoped to release the phone by the end of 2017. Well, one month later, Tom Moss, the SVP/GM of Mobile at Razer, tweeted an image of Tan with what appears to be a phone peeking out of his pocket. The phone clearly features Razer's neon green snake logo. So, we can safely assume that Razer has built a phone and that it is coming soon. In fact, Razer has an event set for 1 November.
Razer smartphone: Release date and pricing
- Razer will hold a 1 November event
- It promises to unveil something big
- No word yet on release date or pricing
Razer recently revealed it will announce something on 1 November. It posted a teaser to Twitter that shows a man holding what appears to be a smartphone-shaped device in his hands (notice you can't see the snake logo this time, though). The tweet has this tagline: "Watch for our biggest unveiling...", followed by a link to a placeholder page that will presumably host the event's livestream.
There's no word yet about when the phone will actually be available for purchase, let alone how much it will cost.
Razer smartphone: Specs and features
Leaked spec list
- 5.7-inch display
- Snapdragon 835 chip
- 8GB of RAM
Phone Radar noticed a listing on GFXBench for a “Razer Phone” (it has since been removed). It listed high-end spec details like a 5.7-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (the same as the LG G6). It also listed a Snapdragon 835 processor, single 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, 64GB of internal storage, and, amazingly, 8GB of RAM. Most Android phones have 4GB or 6GB.
Device for gaming
- Extra RAM could make phone powerful
- Rumoured to be running custom version of Android Nougat
- Could also have smart cloud features, thanks to Robin
Razer is interested in building a smartphone for gamers, according to a report from Bloomberg. Extra RAM will obviously help with that, but we won't know if will actually perform better than other phones until we get a chance to see it in person. The phone will reportedly be running a custom version of Android based on top of Nougat, which, obviously, isn't the latest version of Android.
Also, remember Nextbit's Robin phone had really smart cloud features, so Razer could incorporate some of that into the operating system.