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How Razer Is Making the Smartphone That Gamers Want

October 31, 2017, 3:16 PM UTC

Video gamer-oriented PC maker Razer is coming out with its own smartphone this week, and several recent leaks reveal how the company will focus on its usual crowd for what will be a decidedly niche device.

First, the new phone will have far more RAM than most phones. With a rumored 8 GB of fast memory, the Razer will be able to run the most intense mobile video games with complex graphics more easily than phones with less. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG V30, for example, have half as much RAM and many Android phones have 3 GB or less.

The Razer phone also has a relatively massive 4,000 mAh battery, one-third more than the LG and about 14% more than the Samsung. In ordinary use, that would give the Razer a leg up in up time. But in this case, the extra capacity is probably to help the battery last a full day even with a lot of energy zapping video game playing time.

Finally, the phone’s screen is rumored to have a relatively high 120Hz refresh rate, making it more responsive, an obvious benefit for gaming. Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro has such a fast refresh rate to make it more responsive, particularly when using Apple’s Pencil stylus for drawing.

Some of the Razer’s specifications are just industry standard ordinary for a flagship phone, like the 5.7-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and 64 GB of storage.

But one detail that didn’t leak could be important to potential purchasers and that’s the weight of the new phone. With the larger battery, the phone could weigh significantly more than the S8 at 173 grams (6.1 ounces) or the LG at 158 grams (5.6 ounces).

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Razer is planning to announce the phone at an event in London on Wednesday. The company—which sells laptops, desktops, and peripherals all tuned for top video gaming performance—bought phone startup Nextbit back in January, sparking months of speculation about a new phone. Nextbit struggled after its Robin phone, sold initially via a Kickstarter campaign, never took off.

Tom Moss, now the general manager of Razer’s phone effort and the former CEO of Nextbit, teased the upcoming announcement a few weeks ago, posting a picture of his boss, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, with what appeared to be the new device sticking out of a jeans pocket.

Razer’s move to offer a niche smartphone follows Android creator Andy Rubin’s new Essential phone to market. Essential has struggled to get much traction against market leaders Samsung and Apple, with its new phone seeing a price cut after just a few weeks on the market.