Razer has not released to the market since its Razer Phone 2 in 2018. Those two years of absence are like decades in the technology space. Though Razer was one of the early entrants in the space, competition is fierce now with products like Asus’ ROG Phone III, Nubia Red Magic 5G and the Black Shark 3 Pro occupying the space.
Despite these factors, that has not stopped speculation that Razer could be hard at work at a third model. A report from XDA stated that a merchant on China’s Taobao marketplace briefly listed what appeared like a Razer Phone 3 prototype for CNY 10,000 (about RM 6,104). The product listing has since been taken down.
It seems that the merchant was more interested in showing off the prototype than actually selling it. There was also no specs shared on the listing page though the prototype seems to be in working order given that one of the photos shows the lock screen.
Externally, the supposed Razer Phone 3 prototype carries over the same design language used in the Razer Phone 2, featuring a block design and Razer’s bright green logo adorning the back of the device. The only other difference is the inclusion of a triple camera array instead of the dual array found on the second Razer Phone and it has slimmer top and bottom bezels.
Given the rather suspicious manner in which the device was listed and suddenly de-listed, it calls into question how legitimate the prototype really is. It is worth bearing in mind that prototypes that end up on online marketplaces do not necessarily reflect an actual product in the works. They may even represent cancelled products that manufacturers have simply abandoned.
Razer’s founder and chief executive officer Tan Min-Liang had said that a new Razer Phone is not on the cards at the moment until commercial 5G technology is more widely available. But at the same time, he did not confirm if the company would actually make a third Razer Phone.
Regardless of whether the Razer Phone 3 prototype is real, the real question is whether such a phone would stand a chance in today’s competitive space? When the Razer Phone 2 was introduced, it boasted a 120Hz display which was new at the time.
Now displays with high refresh rates are commonplace in non-gaming phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. Razer will have to up their game if they are to stand a chance and the competition is already ahead of them with phones like the Nubia Red Magic 5G sporting a 144Hz display.
Gamers are spoilt for choice now and each phone manufacturer needs to include unique features on their device to help them stand out. This ranges from having shoulder triggers to help them aim and shoot better in games like PUBG, larger battery to play longer while on the go or gamepads that you can attach on the sides of the phone.
If Razer were to stand a chance in today’s competitive marketplace, it will need to seriously update the specs of its phone and come up with some mind-blowing new features to attract mobile gamers. But unlike your typical smartphone manufacturer, Razer is under no pressure to return to the gaming smartphone scene as it can focus on making new gaming peripherals and grow its fintech ambitions.