Available for $699.99, the Razer Phone offers an audiovisual experience like no other phone on the market. RED’s Hydrogen will launch soon. Time to ask: is this the future of mobile theater experience?
Although different products, the new Razer Phone and RED’s Hydrogen do share some characteristics, from the processor, the Snapdragon 835 chip (similar to the one used in both the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel 2), to the high capacity battery, 4000 mAh on the Razer Phone and 4500 mAh on the Hydrogen, to the QHD resolution of the 5.7-inch screen used. Sound is also a section where RED’s Hydrogen promises to be special, with “multichannel spatial sound… from the phone’s internal stereo speakers or headphones.” According to a thread on RED’s forum, “the audio demo has achieved as high of marks as the display tech. Same reactions. Again, no way to describe. You just need to hear it.” Razer Phone is also unique in terms of sound and we already know it offers Dolby Atmos on the built-in speakers and THX certified sound for the headphones to guarantee audiophile quality sound for your entertainment.
With RED’s Hydrogen available for pre-order next April and delivery somewhere during Summer, the market will have more choices in terms of high-end Android phones offering users a new world of experiences. True, RED’s Hydrogen is a 3D smartphone, and a modular system that will connect with the RED Cinema cameras, but on its own, it’s also a new solution to access the mobile theater experience. RED says that the company is showing prototypes to content producing partners in preparation for the HYDROGEN Network.
Time to look at the offer from Razer, which may also become more than a smartphone, in a near future. In fact, at CES 2018 Razer showed the Project Linda concept, which is an ultraportable laptop design powered by the Android-based Razer Phone. The docked phone serves as an intelligent touchpad, bridging the gap between handheld entertainment and laptop convenience. The Razer Phone’s performance, display, and dual front-firing speakers combine seamlessly with Project Linda’s larger 13.5-inch screen, keyboard, and battery to provide the ultimate mobile hybrid setup for gaming, creativity, and productivity.
Featuring a 5.7-inch IGZO LCD with 2560×1440 pixels high resolution screen backed by UltraMotion technology that delivers refresh rates up to 120 Hz, meaning zero lag or stuttering – just fluid, buttery smooth motion content for you to enjoy – and with a HDR10-enabled display boasting wide color gamut so everything looks vibrant and sharp, the Razer Phone does not skimp when it comes to sound: it offers dual Dolby-certified speakers, to complete its goal, which is to provide users an unmatched mobile theater experience.
Founded in 2005 and dual-headquartered in San Francisco and Singapore, Razer has nine offices worldwide and is recognized as the leading brand for gamers in the USA, Europe and China. With this pedigree, you may think the Razer Phone is a product for gamers… but you’re wrong. Although the smartphone, as any other smartphone, will also allow you to play games, it was conceived to offer more than that. It is, in fact, the first smartphone to support both premium audio and video formats for Netflix.
“We engineered the Razer Phone to handle HDR video and sound like no other phone on the market,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “We are incredibly excited to deliver Netflix entertainment on a smartphone like never before, enabling us to take full measure of the Razer Phone’s HDR10-enabled display and dual-firing, front-facing Dolby-optimized speakers and THX-certified headphone connectivity.”
The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 support on the Razer Phone is a first for Netflix on a mobile phone. The designation is typically reserved for high-end entertainment systems and PCs. 5.1 is the most commonly used layout in home cinema. It exploits five full-bandwidth channels (the “five”) and one low-frequency effects channel (the “point one”). 5.1 is also the standard surround sound audio component of digital broadcast and music.
A product like the Razer Phone makes you wonder what the future will bring, and if there is a need for more and more pixels, when the Quad HD resolution of a smartphone can give you, if Razer’s words are correct, the freedom to infinitely stream Netflix (you still need a subscription…) in high definition wherever and whenever you want, with sound to match. In a mobile world, will a device like this contribute to change consumer habits, and transform each of us into the owner of a mobile theater we carry in a pocket?
“The Razer Phone brings an incredible Netflix viewing experience to the smartphone,” says Anthony Park, vice president of engineering at Netflix. “We look forward to delivering this experience to our members around the world so they can watch their favorite entertainment on the go in the best possible quality.”
Existing Razer Phone users will also benefit from the Netflix and Razer partnership with an over-the-air update later this month. This update will include the Netflix app and home screen widget for easy access, as well as firmware improvements to screen and sound to ensure a great Netflix experience. This update will come preloaded on all future Razer Phone releases.
With 8GB dual channel (LPDDR4, 1866 MHz) memory, 64GB UFS internal storage and the option to use a microSD (class 10, 2TB max.), the Razor Phone comes with 12MP dual cameras, and one 8MP front camera. A 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery guarantees all the systems have the energy needed to run.
The Razer Phone with Netflix comes to the market at a time when we see huge changes in the way entertainment is consumed. The changes, though, started some years ago, fueled by the widespread availability of broadband Internet and the launch of powerful devices that allow users to consume VOD and linear TV services anywhere and anytime.
The trend of consuming video services anywhere-and-anytime, is reflected in video downloading or streaming by consumers on connected devices. A document created for the workshop on the Future of Cable TV, which takes place 25 and 26 January 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland, indicates that “the share of time played on mobile phones has steadily increased over the past four years (July 2013 to June 2017). In June 2017, smartphones made up most of all video plays on connected devices, about 48%, whilst tablet plays made up about 11%. The rest of the videos played are on other connected devices, such as connected TV sets and desktops.”
The anywhere-and-anytime trends shows that Cable TV network operators cannot offer their services without having a clear mobile strategy, whereby service delivery on mobile devices is truly integrated. This suggests that more and better smartphones – there are rumors that Razer will launch a Razer Phone 2 before 2018 ends – are probably needed, as consumers will continue to move towards the “anywhere-and-anytime” concept.