Razer is entering the game console market with an Android product. We were able to take it in hand during a short session, here are our first impressions.
Since the success of the Nintendo Switch and more recently from Valve’s Steam Deck, handheld consoles have found a new fashionable design. Other brands would now like to invest in this market. We saw Logitech unveil his Logitech G Cloud console and now here the Razer Edge.
An Android console and not a smartphone
Let us present again the concept of this product which is rather particular. It is a device that looks like a smartphone, but lacks several important components such as the back camera or the phone application. Razer associates a particular version of his Razer Kichi V2 controller to make it a portable console.
By skipping some unnecessary components for a gaming console, Razer engineers can take advantage of the space to improve chip cooling and battery volume.
It is in fact above all through its operating system that we get closer to a smartphone: the product runs on Google’s Android with the Google Play Store. No games exclusive or dedicated to this console. This means that there is no need to buy back the games you already have on your smartphone, but it also means an absence of high-budget premium games that you find at Nintendo or on the Steam Deck. .
An impressive technical sheet
The Razer Edge console will launch in early 2023 in the US starting at $399.99 for the Wi-Fi version. 5G is already planned with the operator Verizon.
Here’s what the Razer Edge offers for that price.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 chip
- 8GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 6.8-inch Full HD+ AMOLED 144Hz display (2400 x 1080 pixels)
- 128 GB of UFS 3.1 storage (microSD reader up to 2 TB)
- 5 MP 1080p @ 60 fps front camera
- 5000mAh battery
- WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
The G3x Gen 1 chip was unveiled by Qualcomm at the same time as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It is a chip dedicated to video games, which emphasizes its graphics power.
The experience offered by the Razer Edge during our handling is very similar to that of a modern smartphone with a controller as an accessory. We have a large screen with rather thin borders and a joystick on each side to control the game.
After a short gaming session, the device’s cooling system seemed perfectly capable of keeping it cool. That’s a pretty good sign for performance.
If the screen format can be intriguing, mobile games have long been adapted to wide formats (wider than 16:9). This allows Razer to equip yourself with a stunning 144 Hz AMOLED panel which will undoubtedly be one of the strong points of the product.
The version of the Razer Kichi controller offered with the Razer Edge console includes a 3.5 mm jack port for connecting headphones and a vibration system. Razer told us that for now, this version of the controller will be exclusive to this console.
The advantages over the Nintendo Switch
At first glance, we admit to having difficulty being convinced by the idea of the product. The question is simple: why buy a console that can run the same games as your smartphone, rather than a dedicated console like the Switch or the Steam Deck? That’s the question Razer was asked directly, and the answer is pretty compelling.
First of all, as we have explained, on this device, there is no need to repurchase its games. We find access to the same backups, the same games, with the same in-app purchases as on our smartphone.
The second advantage is to use a dedicated device. We will therefore not consume the battery of our smartphone which can be reserved for professional use.
Last immediate benefit: access to cloud gaming services . Unable to play on GeForce Now Where Xbox Cloud Gamingfrom a Switch and access from a Steam Deck is not easy. Here, it’s natively integrated and completely designed for this use, especially with the 5G model.
Good idea from Razer, the Epic Game Store has also been pre-installed to find Fortnite more easily, the game is still banned from the Google Play Store.
Who is this product for?
The head of Razer present during our handling seemed to believe in the future market for portable consoles under Android. On our side, we still have some reservations for the Western market fed for a long time on consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
On the other hand, in other markets much more fond of mobile games such as China, India and emerging countries, portable consoles such as the Razer Edge could find great interest among the public. It’s not for nothing that brands are multiplying smartphones “gamingfor several years, especially Chinese brands.
It now remains to wait for the press tests to verify the autonomy of the product, its management of the heating and the performance of its G3x Gen 1 chip.
We wish to thank the writer of this post for this incredible content
Razer Edge 5G hands-on: Who is the portable Android game console for?
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