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There have never been more options for enjoying console-quality controls when playing your favorite mobile and cloud-based games on the go, from phone attachments like the Backbone One controller to dedicated Android handhelds like the Logitech G Cloud. However, those solutions each come with their own compromises, from a fast-draining phone battery to a lack of 5G support for playing out in the wild.
These are the exact kind of issues that Razer is looking to solve with the new $399 Razer Edge, which the company bills as “the ultimate gaming handheld.” I got to spend some time with Razer’s new device at CES 2023, and while I don’t think everyone needs to spend a few hundred bucks on a dedicated mobile gaming console, it’s certainly shaping up to be the best take on the concept I’ve seen yet.
• Product: Razer Edge
• Launch date: Available for reservation now on Razer.com (Wi-Fi) and Verizon (5G)
• Price: $400 (Wi-Fi); From $360 with special offers (5G)
• Why it’s worth your attention: The Razer Edge solves a lot of problems we’ve had with other cloud gaming devices, including a lack of 5G support and non-removable controls. You’re getting just about the most powerful Android device out there for playing Play Store games and streaming titles from Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now, as well as a mini tablet with a great screen for binging movies when you’re not gaming.
The Razer Edge consists of two parts: a 6.8-inch tablet with a vibrant AMOLED screen, and a detachable Razer Kishi V2 Pro controller. Put it all together, and you have a compact, Switch-like gaming handheld that plays Android and cloud-based games — and does a pretty good job of it based on my short hands-on time.
The biggest thing that stood out to me about the Edge is the display, which produced rich, vibrant colors whether I was staring at the rainbow pattern on the device’s home screen or engaging in a big Fortnite showdown. The display here isn’t quite as big as the 7-inch screen on the Logitech G Cloud, but it’s richer and sharper, and has a much smoother 144Hz refresh rate (compared to 60Hz on the Logitech) for maximum responsiveness in competitive games.
The Kishi V2 Pro’s controls were comfortable and reliable in my testing, whether I was picking off aliens in Halo Infinite or racing against a colorful suite of cars in a custom Fortnite match. Its haptic feedback gives it a nice advantage over other mobile solutions like the Backbone One, and you’ll also get USB-C passthrough (so you can charge while you game) and a headphone jack for getting immersed in the action.
On the software front, the Edge runs full Android 12L, meaning you can access the millions of apps on the Google Play Store for everything from gaming to productivity. Better yet, a dedicated button on the Kishi controller opens up the Razer Nexus app, which provides quick access to services such as Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now while offering curated lists of Play Store games that offer gamepad support (something Google itself doesn’t do). Razer even got Valve to update its Steam Link app for this device, meaning you’ll be able to stream your favorite PC games directly from your computer when you’re away from your rig.
Razer also made a big deal of the Edge’s Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 processor, which is designed specifically for high-end gaming (and isn’t available on any other mobile device yet). I’ll have to spend more time with the Edge to see how this compares to the average phone, but I can say that the device ran Fortnite locally very well, and stayed impressively cool and quiet after a fairly long play session.
The Edge also comes in an optional 5G variation exclusively through Verizon, who are promising fast ultra wideband speeds for gaming on the go. I’m particularly eager to test this feature out, as the lack of cellular support was one of my biggest sticking points with the $350 Logitech G Cloud. That being said, my test unit was able to stream Halo Infinite from Xbox Game Pass fairly well, even on spotty hotel internet.
The Razer Edge is one of the most impressive gaming handhelds I’ve tested, offering the best display, processor and cellular support I’ve seen on this kind of device. However, that $399 price is nothing to scoff at, leaving this as a somewhat niche product for the most hardcore of mobile gamers (or folks willing to splurge on a companion device that lets them take their PC and console games anywhere).
If you just want a better way to play mobile games, I’d still point most people to the excellent $100 Backbone One or Razer’s own $100 Kishi V2, both of which attach to your phone for instant console-like controls (Razer also noted that you’ll eventually be able to get the Kishi V2 Pro on its own for around $150). The Logitech G Cloud offers a bigger screen, and goes for a notably cheaper $300 these days. Still, if you’re a mobile or cloud gaming enthusiast who wants the best of the best, the Edge should be on your radar.