The recent release of handheld gaming devices such as the Steam Deck and Ayaneo 2 have made it easier to play games on the go, but these devices are not very portable. As a solution, cloud gaming has become popular and newer mobile devices like the Razer Edge are attempting to provide more travel-friendly options.
The Edge uses Android for lightweight apps and relies on services like GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud gaming for more demanding games. The device also offers 5G connectivity for those who need constant access to their games. However, the question re which features an identical arrangement of buttons, and triggers, or is desirable, even with a starting price of $400.
The Razer Edge is designed differently from Logitech’s competing handheld gaming device, the G Cloud. It consists of two parts: a black slab with a 6.8-inch 144Hz OLED display and a detachable controller that looks like Razer’s Kishi V2 gamepad. The Edge’s controller, called the Kishi V2 Pro, has the same layout of buttons, triggers, and joysticks as the Kishi V2 but with added haptics and a 3.5mm audio jack, which is important because the only port on the Edge is a USB-C connector. Additionally, the Edge has a microSD card slot, which is a useful feature in a world where expandable storage is becoming rare.
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The Razer Edge has a plain exterior design made of plastic material. It is larger and thicker than a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, with a boxy frame and relatively large bezels, making it somewhat bulky and not quite smartphone-sized or tablet-sized. The device features stereo speakers on each side and a few vents on the back for internal fans.
Unlike typical smartphones, the Edge has a 5MP front-facing camera mounted on its longer side to facilitate live streaming while gaming. Its design is focused solely on functionality and lacks Razer’s trademark RGB lighting. However, it lacks a fingerprint sensor, which would have been a more convenient option than using a PIN, swipe, or password for unlocking the device. The absence of a fingerprint sensor is an inconvenience that could have been addressed in the next iteration of the Edge.
Setting up the Razer Edge for gaming is a simple process. The gamepad can be extended to accommodate the Edge, and then the USB-C port on the right side of the device can be aligned before locking the controller back into place. Razer has made small cutouts in the controller to prevent the stereo speakers from being muffled, and the setup feels secure despite a bit of wiggle room when pressing down firmly.
After completing the initial setup, the user is presented with an Android 12 home screen that has been customized with green accents and a colorful wallpaper by Razer. Games and services can be launched from their respective icons, but to take full advantage of the Edge, the user must press the button below the right joystick, which summons Razer’s Nexus app. This app is a launcher that allows for quick booting into games and provides settings for controller remapping, live streaming, and haptics features.
The Edge has a useful feature that automatically detects games with controller support, allowing users to easily start playing games like Diablo: Immortal and Streets of Rage 4. In addition, an update to the Nexus app now enables users to remap touchscreen controls to physical buttons and joysticks on the Kishi V2 Pro, making games like Genshin Impact more enjoyable for those who prefer physical buttons.
However, activating the touchscreen remapping feature can be a bit challenging as users need to manually update the Nexus app and toggle on an accessibility setting before restarting the device to get everything working. Despite this, the process is a one-time setup, so users won’t have to repeat it for every app.
The Razer Edge comes with a useful feature that detects games with controller support, making it easy to start playing games like Diablo: Immortal and Streets of Rage 4. An update to the Nexus app also allows users to remap touchscreen controls to the physical buttons and joysticks on the Kishi V2 Pro, which is particularly beneficial for those who prefer physical buttons when playing games like Genshin Impact.
However, activating the touchscreen remapping feature can be tricky as users must manually update the Nexus app and toggle on an accessibility setting before restarting the device to get everything working. Despite this, the process only needs to be done once, so users won’t have to repeat it for each app.
The Edge’s gamepad has a solid feel despite its small size, with clicky buttons and responsive joysticks. It even includes bonus controls for Mouse 1 and Mouse 2 on the shoulders, along with extra buttons for functions such as taking screenshots and accessing Android settings. Before discussing performance, it’s important to clear up some confusion about the Edge’s specs.
While both the standard Wi-Fi-only and 5G models were initially listed with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, Razer has since clarified that the Wi-Fi version only has 6GB of memory. Additionally, some thought the Edge’s Snapdragon G3x chip had an Adreno 730 GPU, but it features Adreno 660 graphics. This means the Edge may not be as powerful as some people expected, which is reflected in real-world performance.
The Edge is like a phone with an additional $100 add-on, the Kishi V2, that you can purchase separately. If you remove the add-on, you have the option of buying an Android or iOS version of the Kishi V2. If you already have a recent phone with good performance, it may be a better option to purchase the gamepad alone rather than the entire Edge.
This way, you can enjoy the benefits of having a dedicated gamepad while managing and carrying fewer devices. Alternatively, for the same price of $400, you could consider purchasing a Steam Deck, which is slightly larger but has more power and can stream games from the cloud or play AAA games using local hardware.