Razer Edge first impressions - "A versatile handheld gaming device"More Next Level Gaming in association with Razer
In 2022, Razer unveiled a brand-new handheld gaming device called the Razer Edge. It promised to be a jack-of-all-trades, adept at playing Android games, using cloud streaming services and remote play. There's even scope for emulation if you enjoy indulging your nostalgia from time to time.
I recently had a chance to go hands-on with the Razer Edge. Since I'm based in the UK, I've been testing a Wi-Fi unit since the 5G version is currently exclusive to America. Still, besides the obvious 5G capabilities, the only other key difference is the Wi-Fi version sports 6GB RAM while the 5G device has 8GB. With that bit of housekeeping sorted, let's discuss why you might want to consider picking up a Razer Edge.
So, what is the Razer Edge exactly? Essentially, it's a tablet, although slightly smaller than most on the market, whilst being larger than your average phone. It also comes bundled with a Razer Kishi V2 Pro, an upgraded version of the stellar controller with a few extras including, thankfully, a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Razer hasn't gone overboard with the design. The Edge is a fairly plain-looking device without any gamer-like trimmings big companies sometimes favour when making these types of devices. That's a point in its favour for me. I see little need for all the added bells and whistles you often find, like RGB lighting or brightly coloured accents. Smart and stylish is my preference for any of my gadgets.
Don't let that make you think the Razer Edge is boring, though. Once set up, a beautiful screen greets you with an impressive brightness range. It can become incredibly bright if that's what you're after or be dimmed to near-total darkness, making it usable in plenty of differently-lit situations.
In terms of specs, the screen is a 6.8” FHD+ AMOLED display with a 144hz refresh rate, with the option of switching it to 60. Those are some impressive stats, particularly when you consider the Razer Edge starts at $399.99. If you're looking for a phone with an equivalent refresh rate, it will cost you considerably more.
A beautiful screenUnsurprisingly, games look beautiful on the Razer Edge, with a smooth experience when playing anything you've installed on the device. It can be a different story when streaming, but that's to be expected since the performance depends on your internet speed in that case. However, the Edge boasts Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, so if you have a decent internet set-up at home, you can expect your games to look and play well.
But, of course, for anything installed on the device, it's not just the refresh rate that governs how great your experience will be. That job also falls on the chipset. The Razer Edge features a Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, which, at the time of writing, is only found in this device. And it does a fantastic job regardless of what game you're playing.
Unsurprisingly, any games that aren't particularly demanding are a doddle for the Razer Edge. I enjoyed the likes of Vampire Survivors, Rocket League Sideswipe, and Stumble Guys without any dip in framerate. In most cases, that wouldn't be something to scream about, but alongside playing these games flawlessly, the device remained cool the entire time, which is great news for anyone who enjoys playing mobile games for more than five minutes here and there.
The same can't be said for playing a game like Genshin Impact. After spending a good hour on it, the Razer Edge did start to warm up. However, it's also worth pointing out. I'm yet to find a device that doesn't heat up when running HoYoverse's gacha RPG. And the Razer Edge doesn't get as hot as some other devices I have tried. It gets warmer, sure, but it didn't become a radiator like my phone. On top of that, and far more importantly, the performance didn't dip, even after playing for several hours.
Alongside its top-tier performance, the Razer Edge also gives you plenty of options to decide how you want to enjoy your games. As mentioned, it comes bundled with a Razer Kishi V2 Pro, meaning you can play games using a touch screen or controller, depending on your preference. Using the pre-installed Razer Nexus app, you can bind touchscreen inputs to the Kishi V2, effectively adding controller support to any mobile game.
The controller is also detachable, which makes the Razer Edge a more portable prospect than most of its contemporaries, coming in with a smaller form factor than the Nintendo Switch. In fact, sans Kishi V2, it's slim enough to fit into your pocket, although that's not something I would personally recommend.
Haptic feedbackThanks to the Kishi V2 Pro, the Razer Edge also boasts haptic feedback. Any apps that natively support vibration will benefits from this alongside streaming services like Steam Link and Moonlight. On top of that, it will also work with emulators such as Duckstation, Retroarch, and AetherSX2. That means you can enjoy a console-quality experience on the go by tapping into all the immersion that vibration brings.
Razer is also working on bringing vibration to games that don’t natively support haptic feedback. Using HyperSense Haptics, it creates vibrations by using the game’s audio. It’s a cool feature and works well with Diablo Immortal, and I hope to see it come to other games in future.
All of this serves to make the Edge an incredibly flexible handheld. It can play anything on Google Play with ease while there are several other options available. Xbox Cloud Gaming (beta), Parsec and Steam Link are all pre-installed and easy to use, so if you want to enjoy Game Pass or your PC library while laying back on the couch, you totally can. The device also has excellent emulation potential, something we might touch on in the future.
For $399.99, the Razer Edge is incredible value considering what it's capable of. A 144hz refresh rate would cost you more with most other devices, while the chipset is incredibly capable of running the latest games without any dips in performance, even after hours of play. It's also a versatile device since it can stream games with a 144hz refresh rate, emulation and, of course, play Android games.