The Razer Phone was ahead of its time with that neat 120Hz display, but it was behind on software. This phone launched with Nougat after Oreo was already out there, and it's still running Nougat all these months later. Razer is making progress, though. There's a preview build of Oreo for the Razer phone available for download. You can install it right now if you're the adventurous sort.

This first Oreo build has the March 2018 security patches and is based on Android 8.1. There are several important caveats to note here. The Oreo build is only available as a system image, which will wipe your phone after installation. You have to unlock your bootloader to install it, which also wipes the phone. Razer's warranty doesn't cover unlocked devices, either. If that sounds alright, you can grab the 1.6GB package and flash it to your phone using the Android dev tools.

This is a preview image, so it might be a pain to use long-term. Razer does not plan to release OTA updates for this version, so you'll have to flash back to stock or manually update to newer previews (assuming those happen). It's also not certified for certain carrier features like VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling. Google's Safety Net will also prevent Google Pay from working. This is all in addition to the usual warnings about pre-release software bugs. It could be broken in all sorts of ways. Proceed with caution.

Release timeline

It looks like Razer plans for a final release in mid to late April.

New features

According to XDA, there are a few new features in the Oreo developer preview for the Razer Phone. Here's what we've got.

  • Double-tap the lock screen to sleep
  • “Vivid” mode in the display color settings
  • Dolby Atmos app

That vivid display mode will be nice. While the Razer Phone display had that cool 120Hz refresh rate, it was a bit dull and dim. The Atmos app lets you tune the phone's (excellent) speakers, too. The double-tap to sleep feature is useful, but it only works on the lock screen.