Razer Phone Review: Call Quality
Author:Soomal
Source:eng.soomal.com

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The emergence of Razer phones has stimulated interest in products and concepts of gaming phones. Although Razer is a new player in the mobile phone market, compared to the so-called Black Shark or Red Devils, no doubt its brand positioning and technology should concentrate more on mobile gaming, with UltraMotion's 120HZ ultra-high refresh rate and low power consumption IGZO display screen and the lowest input delay of 8ms, even in the absence of cooperation and optimization, the "king of glory" under high performance mode can exceed any domestic mobile phone by an average frame rate of 65FPS. So, can the performance of voice calls become a plus point for mobile phones with clear advantages and disadvantage.

No matter how powerful the Razer phone is in terms of game performance, it cannot be popularized in China. The primary reason is the sales channels and network support. Although this phone is produced by BYD, the baseband of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor also theoretically supports the mainstream commercial mobile network. However, this mobile phone is only sold on the Internet channel, and it has not entered the Chinese market as rumors. Interestingly, this phone also supports China Mobile's TDD-LTE and TD-SCDMA networks [which need to be upgraded to the latest official system], in addition to supporting China Unicom's WCDMA 3G and FDD-LTE 4G. Mobile, users can also use this phone normally, but they still do not support China Telecom's network. The Razer Phone also supports the standard wireless features of global handsets such as 802.11ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. Only support single nano SIM card use and MicroSD memory card expansion.

Razer Phone is running on Android 7.1 system and can be directly upgraded to 8.1 version. The built-in interface is the well-known Nova Launcher on the Google Play market, and has unlocked professional features, functions and options more abundant than the free version of the regular version. The phone and contacts interface are still Google's native Android style. By convention, voice calls are conducted through China Mobile 4G and China Unicom's GSM network.

Earpiece Speaker Test

We place this cell phone indoor with normal signal, and set the call voice volume to maximum, then call 10010 [GSM], which is China Unicom customer service hotline. Then use professional sound card and microphone for recording and analysis.

Testing Item Razer Phone Galaxy S9+ Galaxy S9 Huawei P20 Pro vivo X21 iPhone X
Output Level of Earpiece,dB -9.31 -8.41 -8.58 -8.66 -9.4/-10.08 -8.36

Although the ear volume of Razer's mobile phone is not comparable to S9 or iPhone X, it is still at a good level. The vocals are also clear enough, and the dynamic control is good. Just pay attention not to take the phone upside down.

Loud Speaker Test

Speaker test was undertaken indoors with ambient noise level at 40dB or less, we turn up the ringtone volume to its maximum, and then use a sound level meter to measure sound level at the distance of one meter from the phone.

Testing Item Razer Phone Galaxy S9+ Galaxy S9 Huawei P20 Pro vivo X21 iPhone X
Face Up,dB 73.1 74.5 74.3 76.8 77.7 78.5
Face Down,dB 73.1 73.9 75.4 74.6 78.2 78.6
In Camera Bag,dB 68.7 69.5 69.4 69.6 72.0 72.2

Razer Phone is now a rare symmetrical stereo design, audio and video sound field performance is relatively advantageous. The built-in Dolby Atmos virtual sound effects, with Dolby's official surround sound recording video effect is not bad, but to the games, it is not helping correct positioning of sounds. In terms of sound style, Razer Phone is more neutral than S9. The distortion at the maximum volume is smaller than that of an ordinary mobile phone, while the sound pressure is lower, and it is best to cooperate with the incoming call vibration to avoid missed calls.

Noise Reduction Test

We place this phone indoors with ambient noise level at 32db or less, in the middle of the room, we use a human-like structure "handholding" the phone to send voice signal, and put surround speakers in a certain distance playing 5 kinds of simulating ambient noise at 6db SNR. Then we standardize the recording from this end, and run a specific program comparing this recording with raw speech recording and noise-speech mixed recording to get noise reduction level, SNR improvement and SNRI-to-NPLR difference quantitative result.

Testing Item[Hand Holding] Noisy Crowd Background Music Pink Noise Roadside Voice
Total Noise Level Reduction,dB[Higher is Better] 46.3 45.7 47.0 45.9 44.3
SNR Improvement,dB[Higher is Better] 32.8 34.3 33.9 33.0 30.3
SNRI-to-NPLR difference,dB[-4 to 3] -4.1 -1.1 -3.5 -3.7 -1.3
Testing Item[Hand-Free] Noisy Crowd Background Music Pink Noise Roadside Voice
Total Noise Level Reduction,dB[Higher is Better] 29.0 19.8 38.4 43.2 19.9
SNR Improvement,dB[Higher is Better] 19.5 15.4 30.6 32.2 12.8
SNRI-to-NPLR difference,dB[-4 to 3] -2.5 0.8 -6.9 -4.3 1.8
  • Total Noise Level Reduction, TNLR: Total Noise Level Reduction illustrates the reduction of ambient noise level. The average level is above 5dB. Theoretically, higher TNLR would be better, but an over high result may be caused by severe attenuation of voice signal, or interruption caused by poor phone signal or noise reduction algorithm flaw.
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio Improvement, SNRI: capability of an NS method to enhance the speech component of a noisy speech signal from an additive background noise. SNR improves after noise reduction by comparing noise-reduced and raw voice signal. Generally, the improvement is over 4dB.
    SNRI-to-NPLR difference, DSN: the signal level difference between raw and noise-reduced. Noise reduction process would attenuate voice signal level, cell phones would gain signal to ensure the call quality. Theoretically, it would be best that signal level remain the same before and after noise reduction. A standard signal level peak is -2.5dB. If the signal was gained too high, overflow would happen, and that means frequent crackle, too low, voice signal strength would not be enough, and that means the sound would be too low, and the other end would not hear clearly.
    The result is just a test reference under similiar circumstances or conditions, third-party websites or official technical data cannot be used for comparison.

Razer does not have much experience in R&D of mobile phones. Calls, cameras, and other hardware and software technologies rely on Qualcomm's standard design [QRD] templates. In the handheld mode, the noise reduction performance of the Razer Phone is excellent, and the background music such as difficult music and vocals can be filtered to be hard to detect, even slightly better than Huawei's P20 Pro. In the hands-free mode, Razer Phone's high-intensity continuous signal processing such as pink noise is relatively common. Occasionally, some voice hyphenation occurs. However, noise performance in the car, road noise, and fetal noise is relatively better. Car hands-free using is still reliable.

On the whole, the Razer Phone's call noise reduction shows a first-class, high-level performance in hand-held mode. The hands-free mode is also relatively stable. The stereo speaker phone brings sound quality advantages, but the volume is somewhat small, and it will be in noisy places risking missing calls. Although the Razer mobile phone is not listed in China, it is rare to support China Mobile¡¯s 3G and 4G networks. It may also be considered for Chinese mobile users who are only thinking about single-handedly killing in MOBA mobile games. Perhaps this also implies that Razer really intends to enter the Chinese mobile phone market?

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