From the 7+ to a Razer - Review

Rhonindk

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Oct 3, 2014
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I went and did it. Switched from an iPhone 7+ to a Razer Phone.

I did a good bit of comparison shopping before deciding on the Razer.
Bought it on Amazon, unlocked, for $699. Added a 128GB msd card.

First impressions.
Seriously great packaging. Everything seperated and packaged very well. All looks and feels like a top quality item. Even included a sim tray eject tool, something I missed getting with other phones.
It is a solid block of black metal with noticeable speakers above and below the display. Square, and while not as ergonomic as the iPhone, it allows for a better grip. I was surprised at the size. It is almost exactly the same size as the iPhone 7+. It is a bit thicker. Battery and Heat Pipes.

So, I dropped in my SIM (AT&T) and msd card (same tray) and powered it up. Setup was a breeze and I was given the options of pulling data from an iPhone, Android device, or setting up new. I went new. Dropped in my GMail account, setup a Razer account, linked my wifi and within a few minutes I was up and running. Having Nova as the launcher, I did find that this device has a lot of flexibility and options (including themes). No OEM overlays like I saw with Samsung, LG, and others. One note, depending on the msd card, the Razer may ask to reformat it.

Yes, the device defaults to "encrypted". :)

The display is seriously good. The colors vibrant and have a sharpness that is very pleasing to view. That includes angles. The device feels speedy. You can adjust animations even turning them off if wanted. Solid, fast, and smooth are a few descriptive words I would say apply. Went through Google play and added the apps I wanted - just about everything on my iPhone was available. Did enjoy that I could define the default apps. I was very interested in a specific few features;
Fingerprint Sensor - works very well. I would put it on par with Apple's TouchID.
Stereo speakers - these sound quite good. Not as good as decent headphones but pair nicely with a video or just music.
Smoothness - the display is smooth. You can choose 60, 90 or 120 Hz - I did find some jitter at 60. 90 is great and 120 is unreal. I generally let the device decide what I should use. So far has done well.

Been using this for a week + now and have to say I am very happy with this choice. It has been able to handle everything I throw at it. The apps run nicely. App crashes (Issue I had on my iPhone) have not occurred. For a first try, I will say Razer did a really good job with this device. You may have heard / read about it getting hot. My iPhone 7+ ran hotter. It gets warm depending on what it is doing but no different than most devices.

Things that I miss or need improving
Camera software - the camera takes decent pictures but the default software leaves a lot tbd. I installed the Google Camera app and it was a significant improvement. Still, it is not as good as the iPhone or Galaxy devices.
Device interaction - I do miss being able to move from iPhone to iPad to MB almost seemlessly. This does not exist yet however I have been looking at the recently announced Linda "laptop" from Razer. That looks like it may be a great option.
iMessage - yes, this is on thing that I wish I still had. There are a number of messaging options on Android, and you can make them the default, however they are not quite as good.
Speakerphone - Using this device as a speakerphone, the mic seems to be sensitive to distance and angle. For the first few calls, I did get the complaint I would fade out. I was able to figure out placement to minimize this issue. This did not seen to affect dictation.
Waterproofing - not overly concerned about this but it would be a nice addition. It is becoming the norm.

Things I liked
Speed - this device gives the user the perception of fast. Software, videos, games, it all runs smooth and fast.
Display - vibrant and great color balance.
FIngerprint Sensor - works great and can be used for just about any feature or app.
Device design - it feels solid. Not slippery at all. I applied a 9H screen protector - do this on all my devices. I liked a couple of case options however I wanted a leather back. Suprisingly, I found the leather back from Vaja for the iPhone 8+ was a great fit. Nice!
Battery - heard a lot about the battery, good and bad, and have to say after a week I am pleased. I am getting 10-12 hours a day out of it with moderate to heavy daily use. I have been using GSam Pro to monitor my battery use.
Ask Google - so much better than Siri.
Display double tap - great option when I want to quick-check lock screen notifications.
Fast Charging - using the included charger, yes, this device will charge to 100% in 40 minutes or less. I have routinely been in the 20's and had 100% in a half hour or less.

Conclusion
This device is as advertised. The smoothness of use sells it. Display, sound, and battery just add to the devices charm. I do agree they need a camera software improvement. On that hand, Razer is pushing out software updates and improving the device all around. Razer is listening to its users. Android 8 is in test and should be seeing that shortly.

Update 01
Using Dolby Atmos that is built into the Razer, I pulled up my current playlist, linked up my B&O H3 headphones and compared the same songs on the 7+ and Razer. The Razer wins hands down. The music on the Razer has far more depth / clarity to it. Really nice considering the 7+ is no slouch.

Update - at 2 Weeks
Have just passed week 2. Playing around with settings a bit trying to fine tune this device for a "my experience". Been through a few different SMS/MMS apps - staying with Messenger. One surprise was the use of Microsoft Outlook. Had problems with this on iOS and under Android it is running smoothly.
Battery use has continued to level out and improve. I am at 62% with 5H 49M of on-screen time. Scrolling and screen use continues to be extremely smooth.
One new "annoyance": I tend to dislike the use of vibration for normal tasks. I have been able to turn it off for everything except the Fingerprint Sensor.
The Razer phone is everything I had hoped and am very pleased. :)

Update - Week 3+
As I have continued using my Razer, I have also kept up with my iPhone 7+ in an effort to ensure I was not coloring my Razer experience. At this point, iMessage flexibility between devices is the only aspect I am missing.
Onto the latest with the Razer. There was another update and the device continues to improve with each. The camera saw additional improvements and the battery life continues to improve. In most cases I am seeing 9-10 hours of screen on time when I charge it in the evening with about 30% of battery life left. Seriously good. The quick charge is beyond awesome. I can plug it in after work and in about 30 minutes or so, it is at 100% and I'm good till the next evening. Even if I forget to charge it, plug it in during breakfast and I'm full by the time I finish. Extra charging units are available from Razor or Amazon.

Update - Use of a Watch
One item I was looking to replace as I moved to the Razer, was my Apple Watch 2 Nike. After doing some looking around I went with the Samsung Gear Sport. It best reflected what I really used my Apple Watch (and previous FitBit) for.
Purchased on Amazon (on sale), charged and linked to my Razer via BT. The watch recommended several Samsung apps which I installed, paying close attention to the permissions asked for. Just to let you know, you can fine tune permission once installed, in some cases during installation.
The watch is working well with the Razer. I am using it for my workouts, daily cardio, flights climbed, steps, heart, sleep, email headlines, weather, and texts. Battery life has been 2-3 days for the watch and has had no noticeable impact on the Razer battery life.

Update - Week 4+
Couple of new things to add with this update. Going forward I will be adding to this as I discover new or find updated information. Still really liking this device.
Charging - I ordered a heavy duty USB C cable (10’) to allow a bit of flexibility at home. Discovered that the longer cable, or perhaps the brand, slows the charging rate. Instead of the approximately 40 minutes to fully charge, the use of this longer cable extends iOS to around 70 minutes. Still darn good. I may order a couple of alternate brand cables to see if this holds true. Cable I bought: (WiroTech USBC to USBC Fast Charging Cable 10’).
I continue to try out different apps to see how the device handles things and if it is something I don’t want I will uninstall it. With all of this happening, the few system updates, app updates, and fairly heavy use, it remains as fast and as smooth as the day I bought it. Battery life has stabilized around 9-10 hours of screen time. I pulled out my iPhone 7+ and did a perceptual comparison. The 7+ is a slug.
Yes, the Razer remains a solid device with minimal issues.
 
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LovingTeddy

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2015
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Canada
it is a seriously good phone. The 120Hz display is super nice and the speaker is great. Gaming on this thing is seriously good.

However, the price tag in Canada is 900 dollar. This is push to 1000 dollar range after tax. I would still prefer my Huawei Mate 10 which I brought for cheaper price (I brought that in China, during my trip last year)
 
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Rhonindk

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Original poster
Oct 3, 2014
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it is a seriously good phone. The 120Hz display is super nice and the speaker is great. Gaming on this thing is seriously good.

However, the price tag in Canada is 900 dollar. This is push to 1000 dollar range after tax. I would still prefer my Huawei Mate 10 which I brought for cheaper price (I brought that in China, during my trip last year)
That does look like a great device. :)

Sad to hear about the Razer price in Canada. Ouch :eek:
 

kazmac

macrumors 604
Mar 24, 2010
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Any place but here or there....
Thanks for the review. Outside of the Essential Phone, the Razer is the other Android phone I would possibly consider down the road ($699 being my maximum price for a phone going forward.)

Glad it is working so very well.
 
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AppleRobert

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Nov 12, 2012
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I have been checking it out at Microsoft store, not a big fan of the design but the phone is solid as far as my needs go. But this one will be like the Essential in so far as a quick price drop.
 

AppleRobert

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Nov 12, 2012
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Anything not CDMA - so not on Verizon or Sprint.
I use it on AT&T.
The audio quality is super, I brought my Sony Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones with me and listened to some stuff on YouTube. My jaw dropped.

That puts me over the fence with this phone, once a price break comes I am getting it. Hauwei did the US bad with Oreo update and the waiting game with the Mate 9 which I own. Way to lose a customer, they should never have done that so I am not getting the Mate 10 Pro which I intended to check out. And that one is more expensive anyway so I will save bucks.
 
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Rhonindk

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watching the birth of the Dem WTH Party
The audio quality is super, I brought my Sony Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones with me and listened to some stuff on YouTube. My jaw dropped.

That puts me over the fence with this phone, once a price break comes I am getting it. Hauwei did the US bad with Oreo update and the waiting game with the Mate 9 which I own. Way to lose a customer, they should never have done that so I am not getting the Mate 10 Pro which I intended to check out. And that one is more expensive anyway so I will save bucks.
Agree. I have a couple pair of B&O headphones and they work awesomely with the Razer. :)
 

Rhonindk

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Original poster
Oct 3, 2014
3,762
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watching the birth of the Dem WTH Party
I'm curious to know if the camera got any better with the latest update?

https://www.droid-life.com/2018/01/29/razer-phone-update/
View attachment 749474
I will let you know. I just installed the update today and will be taking some various test shots today / tonight.
[doublepost=1517530193][/doublepost]
I'm curious to know if the camera got any better with the latest update?

https://www.droid-life.com/2018/01/29/razer-phone-update/
View attachment 749474
Here are some images I took before and after the update. Small are at 1x and large is 2x.
Same light same position. Left = Old Right = New
IMG_20180118_090427.jpg IMG_20180201_154630.jpg
IMG_20180118_090430.jpg IMG_20180201_154626.jpg
Will do some low light later tonight....
 
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co.ag.2005

macrumors 68020
Jun 17, 2009
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Fort Worth, TX
There does seem to be some improvement on handling photos Norm > low > flash
Razer with latest software update

These do continue to improve with each update.

The object is a white UGG blanket.
Flash needs some work next ...
Thanks for testing! The camera was the one thing that was holding me back from trying this phone. At this point, I may wait till Razer 2 comes out to try but definitely want to check out that 120Hz screen.
 
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Rhonindk

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Oct 3, 2014
3,762
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watching the birth of the Dem WTH Party
Can you compare size of both phones and post pictures
As requested.
Side by Side - Razer on the left, iPhone 7+ on the right.
Stacked - iPhone 7+ on top of the Razer.
SideBySide.jpg Stacked.jpg
They are pretty much the same size.
The rounded edges of the 7+ make it appear smaller until you stack them.
[doublepost=1518025659][/doublepost]
The design leaves me cold but other than that it meets my needs well and I will seriously consider getting it with a price drop.
The Razer looks a bit stark in comparison to other rounded phones.
Couple of benefits I did find:
  • When playing games in landscape the device is easier to hold.
  • The squared / flat sides make it far less slippery in hand for those who like to go caseless.
I did add a leather back to both (from Vaja) to make the grip more comfortable.
I do feel, personally, slightly rounding the corners would help with appearance.