Razer unveiled its first offering to the handheld gaming space recently. Whatsmore, the Razer Edge has set its sights on the hearts of gamers across multiple platforms. The Edge will seek to offer the ultimate handheld gaming experience with no compromises. This is undoubtedly a result of the recent resurgence of handheld gamers. Nintendo has been breaking sales records every other day and mobile gaming has proved incredibly lucrative for those willing to take the plunge. Let’s take a look at the unveiled features.
Speaking at Razer Con 2022, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, introduced the public to the Edge. The Razer Edge will reportedly feature “insane, insane performance” in order to satisfy the most ambitious of Android gamers, while also attempting to accommodate PC and console gamers. Razer is working hand in hand with Qualcomm and as such the Edge will feature a Snapdragon G3X GEN1, which is reportedly the greatest processor that Qualcomm currently has to offer. It will be complemented by a sophisticated cooling system developed by Razer’s very own in-house engineers. This is comforting, as a handheld that aims to keep up with modern games has to offer a somewhat future-proof feature set to remain current.
Paired with this performant package is Razer’s Kishi V2 Pro telescopic controller. This controller has been heralded as the penultimate companion controller for Android gamers. The Kishi V2 Pro uses Micro switches for the face buttons, programmable buttons, precise analog sticks, and analog triggers. It has a pass-through so that you can charge both the controller and your device while gaming. For the PUBG players, it’s possible to just pop the device out of the controller. So rest assured, nothing is going to stand between you and your gameplay. The bundled controller will also feature “Hypersense Haptics” which aims to further deliver a more immersive experience.
The Edge will also sport a 6.8in, 2400×1080 AMOLED FHD+ touch display, with a refresh rate of 144HZ. Furthermore, the touch screen comes with Gorilla Glass and a 288HZ sampling rate. For perspective, this display will be slightly smaller than that of the Switch OLED, albeit with a somewhat higher resolution. At that size, it would be pretty difficult for your games not to look gorgeous.
Network and connectivity
As with other devices in this category, game streaming will be a key feature. To this end, the Razer Edge is promising cutting-edge WiFi 6E with a dedicated 6GHZ channel. Alternatively, there will also be a network-capable variant that will be capable of ultrawideband 5G making use of Verizon’s network infrastructure. While this is a great feature that will give fans access to their games on the go, it will also tie you to one network provider which isn’t ideal, it will also likely cost more. Although that’s speculation at this point.
Razer has sought the help of Nvidia in order to offer an optimized Geforce now streaming experience. Razer is also attempting to optimize the Steam link experience in order to offer a full 144HZ smooth gaming experience. For those would-be gamers who don’t have access to a console and instead make use of the Xbox game pass subscription. This is a great feature for fans who want to make use of a comprehensive game library on a budget. It’s worth reminding would-be purchasers that this will depend on your network connection or Verizon package.
Razer also gave fans a sneak peek at its Nexus App which offers a gaming frontend for users to interact with. It will feature a curated list of games to entice you into spending more money. It will also act as a central hub for operations and allow users to capture footage or stream it to friends or fans. The inclusion of screen mapping software is not mentioned but it would be a very welcome feature.
Pricing, competitors, and availability
Making use of the door-in-the-face compliance method Min-Liang Tan introduced the price by first hitting us with some truly unpalatable figures like $699 before finally unveiling the actual price of $399. This is likely because the device is coming in high to a fairly competitive market.
The Razer Edge will be competing with the likes of: The Logitech G-Cloud ($350), the Steam Deck which is of arguably better value, is dockable, and comes with a case, (starts at $399). What’smore, devices like the AYN Odin (starting at $198) have proven themselves not only to be competent streaming devices but also very capable Android gaming and emulation handhelds. If you’re willing to take a hit on the performance front there is also the Retroid Pocket 3, another Android-based handheld that is a very competent streaming and emulation handheld available for $119-$129 depending on the variant.
One current caveat is that the device will initially only be available in the U.S.. Although in the CEO address Min-Liang Tan expressed that the company is looking to expand into other markets with time. While this may get you down if you’re outside the U.S.A, it is a pretty standard practice at present. All we can do is hope that this device won’t be as constrained by chip shortages as its competitors have been.
It’s clear that Razer is very excited about its entrance into the gaming market. They’re shooting for the moon, should they miss we can only hope they fall amongst the stars. Especially if they expect customers to drop $400 on their first offering in this category. It’s always worth doing your research at this price point. So you can ensure that you’re happy with your purchase. If you want to shop around you can also look at some of the Steam Deck competitors here.
If you’d like to watch the full announcement video, check it out below.