Razer is stepping into the world of handheld gaming consoles with the Razer Edge and Razer Edge 5G, an Android tablet with a controller attachment that’s focused on streaming games over Wi-Fi and 5G.
Handhelds have been having a year thanks to the splashy launches of the Steam Deck and Playdate, but Razer’s focus on game streaming puts it more in line with the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld, a dedicated game streaming device that can also play Android games on the side. Unlike Logitech, Razer has two twists on the formula that make a huge difference: a tablet form factor and 5G support.
A GAMING TABLET
The Razer Edge is a tablet, but really only because its dimensions are a little too large to comfortably be called a phone. Well that, and because you can buy it without cellular connectivity. The Edge’s 6.8-inch, 2,400 x 1,080 FHD+ resolution AMOLED display has up to a 144Hz refresh rate, which Razer notes should offer better contrast while being more energy efficient. Inside, the Edge has a Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 chipset, which means it should be pretty capable at playing demanding mobile games like Genshin Impact as well.
RAZER EDGE SPECS
The real plus of the Edge might be the fact that it’s two distinct pieces: the tablet and a new Kishi V2 Pro controller attachment. Razer’s Kishi line of mobile phone controllers are fairly well-known, but the V2 Pro (currently exclusive to the Edge) adds improved Razer Hypersense “advanced haptic feedback” and a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to your games in private. The idea of having a handheld gaming device that’s in some sense upgradeable, where Razer could introduce a new tablet that can slot in between the same Kishi controllers, seems like a novel idea.
Logitech’s handheld will likely never be upgraded, but the Edge could be treated like a smartphone, with trade-in programs that keep it refreshed every few years, and the flexibility of playing games that make more sense as touch-only without having to deal with a controller.
5G FOR WHEN YOU’RE ON THE GO
The smartphone quality of the Edge extends to Verizon’s role in its creation. You can buy a 5G-enabled version of the Edge exclusively from the carrier and take game streaming on the go. That’s a possible solution to what’s been the main tension of handheld cloud streaming devices — they’re very portable, but typically Wi-Fi-only. That’s not to say 5G will necessarily be better than Wi-Fi or satisfying to use, but it does mean the Edge should be a bit more flexible.
You just have to be willing to pay for a data plan on top of the subscription you’re paying for your game streaming service of choice. But maybe that’s less of an ask than it used to be.
The launch of Razer Edge is tentatively in USA for now. The Razer Edge Wi-Fi is available to reserve now for US$5(~S$7.10) before it ships in January 2023 for $399.99(~S$567.75). The Razer Edge 5G will be available in January 2023 exclusively through Verizon, but neither the carrier nor Razer have shared the final price for that version of the handheld.
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