Razer Phone, The First Gaming Phone Enters the Market

Not long ago, gaming accessory maker Razer has made its break into the world of smartphones with the (surprise, surprise) Razer Phone, a smartphone made with gamers in mind. The phone is not entirely dissimilar from this year’s other major smartphone releases: it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 8GB of RAM, a massive battery, and a 120Hz LCD screen that offers players a never-before-seen smoothness of graphics – only a few of Sharp’s Aquos handsets and the iPad Pro have similar capabilities. The Razer Phone is built with gamers in mind – it has not only the hardware to run any of today’s games smoothly but also a front-facing pair of stereo speakers to offer an even more immersive experience. And it will be a gaming-centered device that will most likely succeed, unlike many of its predecessors that were built with good intentions but apparently not with the real needs of gamers in mind.┬áLong before the release of the top games to play on your smartphone 2017 with RedFlush, Finnish phone maker Nokia attempted to lure gamers to its side.

Its gamer-centered device, the N-Gage, in turn, failed at what today’s smartphones have succeeded in doing perfectly well: merging a phone with an entertainment device. The N-Gage was an amazing handset for its time: it has an ARM 920T CPU running at 104MHz, 3.4Mb of internal storage, advanced connectivity (HSCSD, GPRS, and Bluetooth), along with a 2.1″ screen with a 176×208 pixel resolution. A truly advanced device for 2003.

Unfortunately, the N-Gage had some design mistakes – its shape was too strange, its solutions clumsy, and the games that it had initially were also pretty weak. In spite of its game library’s expansion to 56 titles later, including well-known ones like Call of Duty, FIFA, Red Faction, and mobile versions of The Sims, Warhammer 40,000, and many others, it kept getting bad reviews and was ultimately discontinued after selling just around 3 million units in two years.

Xperia Play, a similar attempt to merge serious gaming and smartphones, was attempted by Sony Mobile (Sony Ericsson at the time) in 2011. Sony tried to counter the fall in its handheld console sales by attacking the console market with the PlayStation Vita and the smartphone market with Xperia Play. The phone was an interesting concept, with a full-size touchscreen on its front and a PSP-like controller sliding out from its back. And it was a pretty decent smartphone, too, with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 SoC, and Adreno 205 GPU, 512MB of RAM, and 400MB of internal storage. It has a 4″ display with an 854×480 pixel resolution (245ppi), a 5.1MP camera, and was capable of running selected PlayStation games through the PlayStation Mobile service.

Months after the release of the Xperia Play, its price was already halved by retailers due to the low interest for the device. It was soon discontinued, with Sony giving up the idea to merge gaming and smartphones this way.

The Razer Phone doesn’t try to appear something that it isn’t – it’s a smartphone that looks and feels like a smartphone, nothing more. The changes made to the handset compared to a “standard” smartphone are subtle but important for dedicated smartphone gamers – and this (along with its friendly price) is what will make it a gaming phone that’s likely here to stay.

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