Until recently, smartphones had fairly modest gaming ambitions. While titles such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope are wildly popular, they’re not graphically challenging. But as processors get smaller and more powerful, so game developers are becoming more ambitious. Razer, the company that makes awesome gaming peripherals, has sensed an opportunity here. The new Razer Blade gaming smartphone is built for play and packed with incredible specs. But can this pocket powerhouse justify its $700 price tag?

– New Android phone has 5.7-inch 1440p display and stereo Dolby speakers

– Snapdragon 835 processor and 8GB RAM, powered by 4,000mAh battery

– Sleek aluminum finish, with dual 12-megapixel camera system

Gaming History

Before we start scrutinizing Razer’s new phone, it’s worth taking a trip down memory lane.

Back in 2015, a successful Kickstarter campaign brought to life a new kind of smartphone. Robin was a device based almost entirely on cloud storage. Many users loved this slice of the future, but Robin’s time in the limelight was short lived.

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What happened next was pretty surprising. Nextbit, the company that created Robin, was acquired earlier this year by Razer. Ten months later, and we have a phone that looks suspiciously like the original Robin. The difference is, this new device has been upgraded for gaming.

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Killer Specs

Given the competition between the tech giants nowadays, it’s relatively uncommon to see a phone that truly stands out. Yet the Razer Blade does break the mold in more ways than one.

Firstly, the specs are truly epic. The 5.7-inch 1440p display is the first ever 120Hz screen on a smartphone. This means you can expect incredible response times and minimal lag.

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To supplement the visuals, Razer has included stereo front-facing speakers. The phone comes with Dolby Atmos software preinstalled, which squeezes more from the already impressive hardware. Early reviews suggest that the resulting sound quality is truly stunning.

Under the hood, Razer has chosen to equip its phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. This is the same chip found in Samsung’s S8 and S8+ flagship phones, and it’s mighty powerful.

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The Razer Blade comes with 8GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly, Nextbit’s original offer of free cloud storage died with the Robin. But still, you can expand the local storage of your Razer phone via the microSD card slot. In fact, the Razer Blade can take up to 2TB.

The phone runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, powered by a generous 4,000mAh battery. It also features Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology, which is 15 per cent faster than traditional charging.

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If that wasn’t enough, Razer has paid attention to photography. With two lenses, the 12MP camera is able to perform the same tricks seen on the iPhone.

Worth the Money?

All these numbers are very impressive, but to what end? The Razer Blade is clearly a powerful device. The screen and the audio are truly outstanding.

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But on first inspection, it appears Razer still has some work to do. The new phone is not greatly better at gaming than any other flagship phone. Furthermore, Razer’s version of Android is not in any way adapted for games.

Undoubtedly, however, Razer is on to something. This will likely be the first of many phones from the gaming specialist. And at $700, the Razer Blade offers great value for money in the current market.

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Availability

The Blade smartphone will be available for purchase directly from Razer and on Amazon.com from November 17th. It will be priced at $700 in the USA, €750 in Europe, and £700 in the UK.

Are you impressed by Razer’s first foray into smartphone tech? What features would you like to see? Tell us in the comments!

Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he’s pretty handy with a camera, and he’s a self-confessed tweetaholic.