CES 2023: The Razer Edge is one of the most promising gaming handhelds yet

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From phone accessories like the Backbone One controller to dedicated Android handhelds like the Logitech G Cloud, there have never been more options for enjoying console-quality control when playing your favorite mobile and cloud-based games on the go. However, these solutions all come with their own compromises, from quickly draining your phone’s battery to lack of 5G support for fun in the wild.

Those are the problems Razer hopes to solve with the new $399 Razer Edge, which the company calls “the ultimate gaming handheld.”I got a hands-on with Razer’s new device at CES 2023, and while I don’t think everyone needs to shell out hundreds of dollars for a dedicated mobile gaming console, it’s sure to be my best take on the concept yet Seen

product: razer edge
launch date: Now available for pre-order on Razer.com (Wi-Fi) and Verizon (5G)
price: $400 (WiFi); from $360 with special offers (5G)
Why it’s worth your attentionWhat: The Razer Edge addresses many of the issues we’ve had with other cloud gaming devices, including lack of 5G support and non-detachable controls. You get the most powerful Android device for playing Play Store games and streaming games from Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now, plus a mini tablet with a big screen to watch when you’re not gaming Movie.

Razer 1

Mike Andronico/CNN highlights

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 can play both Android and cloud-based games — and based on my brief hands-on time, it does a good job.

What impresses me most about the Edge is the display, which produces rich, vibrant colors whether I’m staring at the rainbow pattern on the device’s home screen or participating in a Fortnite showdown. The display here isn’t quite as large as the 7-inch screen on the Logitech G Cloud, but it’s richer, sharper, and has a smoother 144Hz refresh rate (compared to Logitech’s 60Hz) for maximum performance in competitive gaming. responding speed.

The Kishi V2 Pro’s controls were comfortable and reliable in my tests, whether picking off aliens in Halo Infinite or racing colorful cars in custom Fortnite races. Its haptic feedback gives it an edge over other mobile solutions like the Backbone One, and you also get USB-C passthrough (so you can charge it while gaming) and a headphone jack to keep you immersed in your game.

Razer 3

Mike Andronico/CNN highlights

On the software side, the Edge runs full Android 12L, which means you get access to millions of apps in the Google Play Store for everything from gaming to productivity. Even better, a dedicated button on the Kishi controller opens the Razer Nexus app, which provides quick access to services like Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now, while offering gamepad support (not supported by Google itself). Featured Play Store games listing does not). 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 makes heavy use of the Edge’s Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 processor, which is designed for high-end gaming (it’s not currently available on any other mobile device). I’ll have to spend more time with the Edge to see how it compares to the average phone, but I can say that the device runs Fortnite natively pretty well and stays impressively cool after a decent amount of gaming time and quiet.

The Edge also offers an optional 5G variant, offered only by Verizon, which promises fast ultra-wideband speeds for mobile gaming. I’m particularly eager to test this feature out, since the lack of cellular support is one of my biggest sticking points with the $350 Logitech G Cloud. That being said, my test device was able to stream Halo Infinite from Xbox Game Pass just fine, even over spotty hotel internet.

Razer 2

Mike Andronico/CNN highlights

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 a device of this class. However, the $399 price tag isn’t something to scoff at, and it’s just a bit of a bargain for the most hardcore mobile gamers (or those willing to shell out for a companion device that lets them play PC and console games anywhere). niche products.

If you just want a better way to play mobile games, I’d still recommend the $100 Backbone One or Razer’s own $100 Kishi V2 to most people, both of which tether to your phone for Console-like instant controls (Razer also notes that you’ll eventually be able to buy the Kishi V2 Pro on its own for around $150). The Logitech G Cloud offers a larger screen, and it’s now a notably cheaper $300. Still, if you’re a mobile or cloud gaming enthusiast who wants the best of the best, Edge should be on your radar.

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