Razer Smartphone Launch Event Live Blog (8pm UTC)by Ian Cutress on November 1, 2017 2:30 PM EST
03:34PM EDT - Razer is in London to launch a new smartphone (as shown by the launch photo above) for gamers. We're here ready to follow the keynote headed by Razer CEO, Min-Liang Tan. The event is set to start at 8pm local time (8pm UTC, 4pm Eastern US) and I'm waiting to get inside. The Live Blog will start close to 8pm UTC.
03:36PM EDT - Front row seats
03:36PM EDT - The wide-angle lens on this V30 seems to be sufficient though
03:37PM EDT - This event only has a few press but is mostly public. A little different to most hardware launches
03:37PM EDT - Should be starting in just over 20 minutes
03:48PM EDT - There has been a few leaks, some of which may or may not be confirmed
03:48PM EDT - It will be interesting to hear the reasons that Razer give for making a smartphone
03:49PM EDT - They acquired Nextbit a while ago, who made the Robin smartphone. They've also acquired THX since
03:49PM EDT - There's also the question as to how you make a smartphone for gamers
03:49PM EDT - all the smartphone flagships already have the best hardware available, and Razer isn't rolling it's own SoC
03:51PM EDT - It will have to be a combination of specific features as well as software enhancements
03:51PM EDT - This presentation is scheduled for an hour, and it doesn't take an hour to announce a smartphone
03:51PM EDT - 10 minutes or so to go
03:55PM EDT - It sounds like they flew in a number of press for it; I've seen Youtubers, twitch streamers, at least one analyst
03:56PM EDT - Music is getting louder, and creepier?
04:01PM EDT - Countdown begins
04:02PM EDT - The music has gone a little 'epic end of the world' now
04:03PM EDT - We're sitting in an IMAX theater, so they're making full use of the Cinema-esque audio facilities
04:03PM EDT - I wonder if the venue is THX certified
04:08PM EDT - Timer is on 2 minutes
04:10PM EDT - Presenter to the stage
04:11PM EDT - MLT to the stage
04:12PM EDT - The state of things at Razer before the launch
04:12PM EDT - Razer is 3 segments: hardware, software, and services
04:13PM EDT - First hardware: gaming peripherals
04:13PM EDT - 'We invented gaming peripherals'
04:14PM EDT - number 1 gaming brand for peripherals in US, EU and China
04:14PM EDT - Number 1 in third-party PS4 controllers
04:15PM EDT - Kyro and Seiren launched 3 weeks ago at Twitchcon
04:15PM EDT - Sold out in 40 minutes, more stock soon
04:15PM EDT - Now laptops
04:15PM EDT - Only three laptops, not hundreds
04:16PM EDT - Blade Stealth 13-inch, Blade 14-inch, Blade Pro 17-inch
04:16PM EDT - Razer Core v2 for eGFX
04:16PM EDT - 'We invented TB3 plug and play enclosures'
04:17PM EDT - Top 3 brands for gaming laptops worldwide, only just started selling in EU
04:17PM EDT - Number 1 laptop brand in US retail over $1800
04:17PM EDT - Now software
04:18PM EDT - Synapse, Chroma and Cortex - more than 40M users
04:18PM EDT - Synapse is a device configurator for Gaming IoT
04:19PM EDT - 'We were the first to put onboard memory onto gaming peripherals'
04:19PM EDT - Synapse can upload to the cloud and download peripheral settings when up update them/replace them
04:20PM EDT - Razer Chroma - RGB everything. World's largest RGB platform, over 750 games that integrate Chroma
04:21PM EDT - Razer Cortex tracks deals on 44000 games - updated every hour
04:21PM EDT - Cortex is one of the largest game launchers in the world'
04:22PM EDT - Services: zGold and zSilver with digital wallets, over 1M offline distribution points in south east Asia
04:23PM EDT - Over 3M wallets registered. Can use credits to buy 2500 games with zGold
04:23PM EDT - zSilver is the rewards system. Earn zSilver by spending zGold, or earn zSilver by being paid to play
04:23PM EDT - zSilver for DLC or peripherals
04:24PM EDT - Earn zSilver by launching in Cortex and being played by the minute
04:24PM EDT - Over 6 billion zSilver already issued, buying things like the RGB Chroma cup holder
04:25PM EDT - That's the intro, looks like it's time for the announcement
04:26PM EDT - 'Watch Listen Play'
04:26PM EDT - Put together some of the best talent in the world on the project
04:26PM EDT - 2 years ago, Razer acquired Ouya
04:26PM EDT - Also Nextbit, produced the Robin smartphone cloud phone
04:27PM EDT - 'Focused on mobile and entertainment'
04:28PM EDT - 'When are Razer going into Mobile'
04:28PM EDT - That answer is today - we've been working on it for a while
04:28PM EDT - 'The Ultimate in Mobile Entertainment'
04:28PM EDT - Announcing the Razer Phone
04:29PM EDT - 5 steps to the Razer Phone
04:29PM EDT - 5 Differentiating features to other smartphones available today
04:29PM EDT - Number 1: the display
04:29PM EDT - 'We spent an insane amount of money'
04:30PM EDT - Proprietary screen, only available to us, designed specifically for gamers and entertainment
04:30PM EDT - World's first 120 Hz UltraMotion display
04:31PM EDT - 'It requires seeing in person to get the benefit'
04:31PM EDT - Ultramotion is an adaptive refresh technology that synchronizes the GPU and display
04:32PM EDT - Our display does similar to G-Sync/Freesync. Built with Qualcomm
04:32PM EDT - No tearing, no lag at the highest frame rates
04:32PM EDT - Dynamic, so battery life improvements
04:33PM EDT - 5.7inch 120 Hz Ultramotion, Wide Color Gamut, 1440x2560 QHD (9:16), Sharp IGZO
04:34PM EDT - Number 2: Audio
04:34PM EDT - 'Need to look and sound good'
04:35PM EDT - We've taken the Cinema and put it in the phone: True-to-life Cinematic Audio. Probably the loudest phone
04:35PM EDT - Powered by Dolby Atmos, World's first certified by THX (which Razer owns)
04:35PM EDT - Dual front facing speakers
04:35PM EDT - Massive speakers
04:36PM EDT - Each speaker has a dedicate amplifier
04:36PM EDT - Audiophile headphone sound. 24-bit DAC
04:36PM EDT - Number 3: Performance
04:37PM EDT - 'Insane Performance'
04:37PM EDT - Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
04:37PM EDT - When looking at RAM, we looked at all the flagship phones and looked at what gamers need
04:38PM EDT - 8GB DRAM
04:38PM EDT - Benchmarks against S8+ wins on every benchmark
04:39PM EDT - Razer wins in each benchmark *
04:39PM EDT - Out of all the S835 phones that are shipping, the Razer outperforms them all for thermal performance
04:40PM EDT - Number 4: Battery
04:40PM EDT - 'Power that just keeps going'
04:40PM EDT - 'It's annoying when all the phones are getting thinner so we made a phone that makes sense'
04:41PM EDT - 4000 mAh
04:41PM EDT - 12.5 hours at 200 nits, using 4 Mbps High Profile AVC
04:42PM EDT - 63.5 hours music, local mp3 with screen off at 25% volume
04:42PM EDT - 7 hours of Hearthstone
04:42PM EDT - Supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+, first phone shipping with this
04:43PM EDT - 1 hour to charge to 85%
04:43PM EDT - Number 5: Camera
04:44PM EDT - Dual 12MP rear cameras, wide angle and telephoto, seamless zoom with image fusion
04:45PM EDT - More features for the camera - slomo etc will be available through updates over the next couple of months
04:47PM EDT - Other specs: 64 GB Storage with microSD, fingerprint sensor in the power key, Android 7.1.1 (Oreo in Q1), comes with stock android, 8MP front facing camera, Nova launcher
04:47PM EDT - 8mm z-height, 197g
04:47PM EDT - Nova Launcher Prime Razer Edition
04:48PM EDT - Same weight as an iPhone 8 Plus
04:48PM EDT - 'All the flagships look kind of the same, we wanted something different'
04:49PM EDT - video time
04:52PM EDT - Hands-on after the presentation
04:53PM EDT - 'We've worked with the Hero 6 Black that records 2K at 120 Hz'
04:54PM EDT - 'Buttery smooth'
04:54PM EDT - even scrolling
04:55PM EDT - 'a multimedia powerhouse'
04:55PM EDT - We use our phones for entertainment, so we focused on movies, music, and games
04:55PM EDT - 'Game Booster'
04:56PM EDT - From Cortex on PC to the smartphone
04:56PM EDT - For each game, you can set the phone to balance performance and battery life, as well as disabling notifications
04:57PM EDT - Can change the frame rate per game as well
04:57PM EDT - Worked with some game developers to get the best perf
04:57PM EDT - Some developers have made Quad-HD 120 Hz versions
04:57PM EDT - Arena of Valor
04:58PM EDT - 'We work with Tencent very closely'
04:58PM EDT - Tencent to the stage
04:58PM EDT - Razer brings the realtime gameplay to the small screen
04:59PM EDT - Most mobile games are casual or casually competitive
04:59PM EDT - Through the partnership, Tencent is delivering the first true multiplier battle arena game
05:00PM EDT - Already launched in Europe
05:00PM EDT - a 5v5 competitive game
05:00PM EDT - coming to US soon
05:01PM EDT - The news embargo just lifted, here is our news post: https://www.anandtech.com/show/11977/razer-enters-the-smartphone-arena-with-the-razer-phone
05:01PM EDT - 'Playing Arena of Valor on the Razer Phone gives the best experience'
05:02PM EDT - (Screen doesn't capture so great with the V30)
05:03PM EDT - Basically looks like League of Legends ?
05:03PM EDT - Razer MLT to the stage again
05:04PM EDT - Two other games to share - Tekken and FF15
05:04PM EDT - Oooo Final Fantasy.
05:04PM EDT - Two videos back to back now
05:08PM EDT - 'First time anyone has designed a phone for gamers by gamers'
05:09PM EDT - Now a game called Ultra Hunt, kind of like PUBG. Powered by THX
05:09PM EDT - 'The definitive survival shooter
05:11PM EDT - Basically PUBG. Early access signups start now
05:11PM EDT - Now showing the Razer advert
05:13PM EDT - Now price and availability
05:13PM EDT - 'People online predicting up to $3000'
05:15PM EDT - $699 for US and EU
05:15PM EDT - Razerstore.com, reserve from today, shipping Nov17
05:16PM EDT - Partnership with 3 in the EU
05:16PM EDT - In store exclusively at 3 in UK, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden from Nov 3rd, shipping from Nov 17th
05:17PM EDT - 'Over 2B gamers on smartphones'
05:19PM EDT - Attendees to the launch today can pre-order at the venue
05:21PM EDT - Razer partnering with Microsoft to sell in MS Stores in US and Canada from Nov 17th
05:21PM EDT - Also is coming with a Special Edition, only 1337 units available
05:22PM EDT - Special edition has a green rear logo, rather than a chrome logo
05:22PM EDT - Available from Razer Store in SF, MS stores, and 3 stores in UK
05:22PM EDT - Another announcement: Razer Theme Store
05:23PM EDT - Like windows themes, does a takeover of images, sounds etc
05:23PM EDT - Can have game specific themes
05:24PM EDT - Razer theme store has a toaster easter egg theme called 'BreadWinner'
05:24PM EDT - All themes are free who order the phone at launch
05:25PM EDT - Last few photos do not seem to have uploaded
05:26PM EDT - Two phones are being given to the non-press at the event
05:29PM EDT - That's a wrap, time for some hands on.