Razer Phone 3 Prototype May Hint Why It Was Canceled

Remember the Razer Phone? The not so unexpected smartphone from the gaming giant can be credit for having carved out a niche gaming smartphone market. Unlike the ones that followed its lead, however, Razer has failed to continue what it started, stopping at the Razer Phone 2 from 2018. Razer laid the blame of the Razer Phone 3's delay on the uncertainty of the 5G network rollout but an alleged prototype of that phone may suggest it had other bigger problems to deal with.

We definitely can't be sure if the Razer Phone that suddenly popped up in Chinese marketplace Taobao is even a prototype for the Razer Phone 3. Presuming the logo on its back is legit, the subtle design differences do confirm that it is at least not the Razer Phone OG nor Razer Phone 2. Here are the photos that accompanied the listing:

This Razer Phone, as you can see, has a triple camera array that neither of those two had. It may have been designed way before Google and Apple settled down on the square camera bump for their late 2019 Pixels and iPhones, respectively. It does show the phone's age or suggests Razer was not a fan of recent trends anyway.

Other than that, however, nothing about this phone really stands out as something noteworthy. The bezels are ever so slightly slimmer but they're still there, especially at the top and bottom. It definitely bears the design language that Razer inherited from the Nextbit Robin, a design that is now more than four years old.

If this is as far as the Razer Phone 3 got, then it might suggest that Razer got stuck at a design dead end. It may have intentionally opted to stick to something that will make it easily identifiable as a Razer Phone, just as the iPhones barely changed their designs for years, but that may ironically be unappealing to its target gamer audience.