Razer Phone 2
Google is expanding the list of phones supported by its Stadia game-streaming service on February 20th. Initially supported only on its own Pixel phones, Stadia will support Samsung flagship Galaxy S and Note series phones (S8 and newer), as well as gaming phones from Razer and Asus (ROG Phone and ROG Phone II). For a controller, gamers can either connect a Stadia controller via USB, or third-party controllers via Bluetooth. Stadia competes with Microsoft's xCloud and Nvidia's GeForce Now. Like those other game-streaming services, Stadia runs full console-quality games on powerful servers in the cloud, streaming video of the rendered graphics to the user's device. Such services benefit from the higher data rates and lower latency of 5G networks. Forthcoming 5G SA networks will further reduce latency and improve data rates.
Razer has announced the Razer Phone 2, a follow up to the gaming device it launched last year. This new phone carries forward the same basic design, but upgrades the specs and performance. Starting with the display, Razer stuck with the 5.7-inch quad HD IGZO screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate, but improved brightness by 50%. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor at 2.8 GHz with 8 GB of RAM and what Razer calls "vapor cooling" to help control thermals. Keeping the heat down leads to improved performance. The phone adopts a pair of Sony IMX sensors for the camera. The main camera features a wide field of view with a 12-megapixel sensor at f/1.75 and OIS, while the secondary camera has a telephoto lens with a 12-megapixel sensor at f/2.6. The phone can capture full HD video and 120fps slow motion. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor at f/2. Razer added an illuminated Chroma to the rear of the phone, allowing owners to take advantage of presets or adjust the light however they wish. The phone has a 4,000mAh battery that supports rapid charging and wireless charging. The chassis is rated IP67 for protection against water and dust, and a fingerprint reader is located on the right edge. The front-facing stereo speakers are powered by a 24-bit DAC and support Dolby Atmos. Razer nixed the headphone jack, but it included a DAC-assisted USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter in the box. The phone runs Android 8.1 and has its own launcher styled after Razer's design language. It includes the Cortex Mobile app where owners can find the latest games. The Razer Phone 2 comes in either black satin or black mirror. It supports most U.S. LTE bands and can run on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The phone is available for preorder direct from Razer for $799.