Last year, gaming gear manufacturer Razer surprised the world by presenting its first foray into the world of smartphones – a device called Razer Phone (because of course, it is). And it was pretty different from what the leading manufacturers of the smartphone industry were throwing at us until then.
While the rest of the phones on the market are mostly seen as elegant and “cool” devices perfect to snap selfies, update social networks, and slip in an occasional adventure into the world of JackpoCity online pokies, the Razer Phone looks more like a monolith with sharp edges, an amazing screen, and its front-facing stereo speakers that the world keeps praising to this day.
Was Razer right about its decision? It’s hard to say… on one hand, the reviews keep praising the phone for its amazing screen, its amazing audio (it has, after all, Dolby Atmos-certified, front-facing stereo speakers), but they keep bashing it for its screen that’s, well, let’s just say far from being ideal for outdoor use. But its specs are great, its price is similar to what you’d have to pay for a phone with a similar set of specs… and it does indeed have the best set of speakers ever to be built into a smartphone.
Will the Razer Phone start a new trend? Some seem to think so. This April, two other gamer-centered phones were announced, both built by Chinese smartphone makers with well-sounding names: ZTE and Xiaomi.
ZTE has released its gaming phone under the Nubia brand and called it “Red Magic” – an obvious choice given its bright red color. The phone’s specifications are surprisingly similar to those of the Razer Phone – it has the same Snapdragon 835 chipset running at the same speed, it has 8GB of RAM (at least the 128GB version does), but it has a larger screen, a bit smaller battery (3,800 mAh vs the Razer Phone’s 4,000), and other goodies under its hood. And it also has a much better price – it costs around 400 euros compared to the almost 700 euro price tag on the former.
Xiaomi, in turn, took things one step further. For its Black Shark gaming phone, it has chosen Qualcomm’s laters Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with the Adreno 630 GPU that offers insane gaming performance, and added a 128GB/8GB RAM option to the mix, along with a better camera, and a much friendlier price tag to the mix.
Besides, it matched the Razer Phone’s battery capacity and stereo speakers and exceeded its screen size by a bit. All this with a price tag that’s well over the Razer Phone’s price point. And let’s not forget about its controller dock that comes with a joystick and a trigger button to make playing on the go even better.
Until last year, we didn’t even know we needed a gaming smartphone. This year, we already have three models to choose from (so far). Have we entered the age of gaming smartphones without even knowing?