Razer looks set to launch first smartphone

Razer's Singaporean CEO Tan Min-Liang confirmed in a recent interview with CNBC that the gaming company is working on a mobile device "specifically geared towards gaming and entertainment".
Razer's Singaporean CEO Tan Min-Liang confirmed in a recent interview with CNBC that the gaming company is working on a mobile device "specifically geared towards gaming and entertainment".ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Gaming firm's hints, leaked images suggest device is a reality and could be out in 2 weeks

Gaming hardware maker Razer looks set to launch its first smartphone, barely 10 months after acquiring smartphone start-up Nextbit.

After months of speculation, all the signs now suggest that the Razer phone is a reality and could be unveiled in two weeks.

Images of the purported device have been making the rounds online and the company itself has dropped a number of big hints.

During an interview with CNBC a month ago, Razer's Singaporean chief executive officer Tan Min-Liang confirmed that the gaming company is working on a mobile device that is "specifically geared towards gaming and entertainment".

Then about a week ago, Razer teased the upcoming device with a webpage showing a man holding a smartphone-like gadget with the date Nov 1 listed, hinting at the date of its unveiling.

On Monday, an image showing the rear of a smartphone bearing Razer's logo was leaked via tech website TechByte.

From this leaked image, it looks like the upcoming Razer smartphone will take plenty of inspiration from Nextbit's Robin Android smartphone.

The device has a rectangular shape similar to that of the Robin, but with a rear dual-lens camera set-up.

Even the smartphone's specifications have been leaked.

A listing appeared on graphics benchmark website GFXBench around three weeks ago, showing a Razer Android smartphone.

Based on this listing, the Razer Phone will sport a 5.7-inch touchscreen display with a screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB of internal memory and a whopping 8GB of system memory.

By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 has 6GB of system memory, while the newly launched Google Pixel 2 XL has 4GB of system memory.

If accurate, the specifications suggest that the Razer handset intends to differentiate itself from the Apple and Samsung phones by being more targeted at gamers.

System memory is needed for multi-tasking operations as well as gaming. This would fit perfectly with Razer's emphasis on gaming and entertainment for its upcoming mobile device.

And, for further proof, there is a tweet by Nextbit founder Tom Moss, currently the senior vice-president of mobile at Razer.

The Oct 4 tweet shows him and Mr Tan posing for a photograph, with the Razer phone barely visible in Mr Tan's pocket.

Razer has declined to comment.

The likely announcement about the smartphone will come at a time when Razer appears to be looking to expand beyond gaming. Last month, it submitted a proposal to the Government to develop a unified e-payment system here.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2017, with the headline 'Razer looks set to launch first smartphone'. Print Edition | Subscribe