Razer purchased Nextbit a while back and now just within the past couple of weeks they have released their very first Android smartphone. Now that users are starting to get their devices in hand, I’m going to give you a list of features and settings that you should be in the know about to make your Razer Phone experience that much better.
These settings and features won’t require you to be some expert Android user in any way. In fact, they are all pretty simple but they are things that will make your Razer experience better in my opinion and might be things that you normally might not be aware of.
Notification Badges Within Nova Launcher
Notification badges are something that majority of use to easily see what new email or text messages we might have from our friends and family and Nova Launcher has some of this built right in since it’s the default launcher for the Razer Phone.
For all of you Pixel loving users who enjoy Google’s Dots for unread notifications, you don’t have to look far as Nova Launcher has this right there on your Razer Phone.
Simply navigate to Nova Settings -> Notification Badges and then choose the style you want. You can choose Dots which will put a dot right on your app icon once you have a notification for that app. It’ll use a color based on the primary color of the app icon but in a slightly lighter or possibly darker color so that it’s noticeable. This is my preferred method but there are two others.
You can choose Dynamic Badges which are a fun play on Dots in a lot of ways and were introduced before Google decided to do Dots. Dynamic Badges will use contact pictures as your badges on the app icons when you have a notification. So if you have them enabled and you get a text message from the wife, her contact picture that you have setup for her will appear in a round dot like form on your app icon.
Dynamic Badges are very useful in the fact that you can often quickly see who a message is sent from instead of just knowing that you have some kind of unread message waiting for you.
The last option is Numeric Badges which also require you to install TeslaUnread which is another app by the makers of Nova Launcher. Numeric Badges however are a bit older and have been around for a while, and they are a bit more customizable. Meaning, you can change the colors of the number badges that appear on the icon as well as even the shape and size.
Unlike Dots and Dynamic Badges, Numeric Badges aren’t 100% notification based and work slightly different. Some apps will use the notification as to how it gets the unread counts, and some won’t. In my personal experience, Dynamic Badges and Dots are much more accurate and informative.
Custom Night Light Schedule
Night Light is an excellent feature for preserving your eyes when reading content from your phone at night. The blue light emitted by a smartphone display can disrupt your circadian rhythm by tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. To mitigate this problem, Night Light allows you to reduce the blue light emitted, producing the effect of a more yellow hue on your display.
This is something that I use on my PC and have it set to come on at a certain time of the evening. It’s a bit weird at first when you’re not used to it, but once you get used to it you often don’t even realize that your screen is changing colors at that scheduled time.
The Razer Phone allows you to customize both the schedule for Night Light and the color temperature that the display will switch to at night. To set up your custom Night Light, head to Settings –> Display –> Night Light. Next, tap on “Turn On Automatically” and choose “Custom Schedule.” This will allow you to specify when the feature is enabled. If you’d also like a custom color temperature, tap on “Color Profiles” to test out the available options.
Double Tap To Wake
One of the best and easiest ways to unlock your device is with Double Tap To Wake. It’s literally exactly what it sounds like. You simply double tap the screen in any place and the screen turns on. This was something that I believe LG was the first to bring to mobile devices several years ago and a lot of other OEM’s have picked up this feature including Razer and I can’t be more happy that they did so.
To enable Double Tap To Wake, simply navigate to Phone Settings -> Display -> Tap To Wake. While you’re there, enabling Ambient Display is a great feature too for getting notifications on the lock screen.
Display Refresh Rate
The Razer Phone is the first phone to include a 120Hz display. Most Android devices have a native 60Hz refresh rate for the display so with the Razer Phone you’re getting twice that.
By default however, the Razer Phone display refresh rate is set to 90Hz so you’ll want to change this right away. To do so simply navigate to Phone Settings -> Display -> Refresh Rate. You can keep it at 60Hz, bump it to 90Hz or go to the max setting of 120Hz. And personally, if you don’t set it to 120Hz from the get go, you’re missing out on an exceptional feature.
This is something I do on any and every device I own that has a fingerprint scanner. I do this for various ways that I might pick up and/or hold my device. So I’ll often setup my left and right index finger as well as my thumbs, depending on where the fingerprint scanner is located on the device.
The Razer Phone has the fingerprint scanner on the right side of the device right where your left middle finger rests on the device if you’re a left handed phone holder. If you’re right handed, it would be where your right thumb is generally resting on the device.
To set up fingerprints on the Razer Phone navigate to Phone Settings -> Security -> Fingerprint. Also remember that you can use your fingerprint scanner to authorize purchases or even access certain apps in certain ways.
Game Booster Settings
Gaming is definitely front and center on the Razer Phone, so naturally, you would expect a few options to customize your gaming experience. Head to Phone Settings –> Game Booster to get started.
From here, you have a few options. If you would like to fine tune your gaming settings for each individual game, you can do this with custom profiles. This option allows you to set a custom CPU speed, frame rate, and resolution for each game. Razer even included a convenient slider in each menu to let users choose whether performance or battery life is most important in their gaming session.
Nova Launcher Night Mode Settings
If you like things on your display to be dark as much as possible, then Nova Launcher has a setting for you while within the launcher itself. It’s called Night Mode and it’s something that a lot of apps have as well as phone OEM’s themselves.
Night Mode will allow you to have a darker colored theme for Nova Settings, the app drawer, app search and search bars on the homescreen, the app drawer icon and even folders.
There are several options for you to choose from when it comes to Night Mode. You can have it off at all times, or you can have on at all times. If you’d prefer to set a custom schedule for Night Mode, similar to how you did with Night Light above, then Nova Launcher allows you to do that as well.
Simply navigate to Nova Settings -> Night Mode and you’ll see the options there. It’s worth noting that if you’re using the default launcher style, the “Drawer icon” options won’t do anything, as the Pixel-style app drawer does not feature a drawer icon.
Gestures are something that I use constantly within Nova Launcher as they make life easier and make using the launcher quicker in various ways. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of gestures you can use within Nova Launcher so unfortunately I won’t be able to give you a list of them all here.
Navigate to Nova Settings -> Gestures & Inputs and there you’ll see a list of the available gestures such as double tap, swipe up, swipe down, double tap swipe up and many more.
For me personally one of the very first things I do with any device that I get for review or own is set the swipe up gesture to open Nova Settings. That way I don’t have to worry about having the Nova Settings icon on my homescreen or even visible in my app drawer. I just always know that Nova Settings is a simple swipe up on the homescreen.
The other gesture I set immediately upon install of Nova Launcher is the double tap gesture and I set that to open up my Phone Settings. As that’s another frequently visited place within my device that I want a quick and easy way to access.
Again, there are many things you can do with gestures and you can even change the behavior of the Home Button on your device. Mine is currently set to open App Search because I use Sesame Shortcuts and it gives me quick access to app search. If I’m on the homescreen, clicking the home button will open app search. If I’m in an app or settings screen, then clicking the home button twice will bring up my app search just like that.
It’s A Wrap
While there are many other features and options you could change on your newly acquired Razer Phone, these are the ones that top the list for me personally that I think will get users quite a bit out of their new device.
With the numerous customization options afforded by Nova Launcher itself, you’ll never get bored with your daily setup. Let us know in the comments below if you have other customization tips to share.
Don’t forget that we also do a Screenshot Sundays post every Sunday so why not show off that new Razer Phone homescreen to us within that and we’ll show it off to the world. You can check out all the information here: Screenshot Sundays.