The Razer Edge may be the dedicated platform you’re looking for if you frequently play games on your Android phone. The company announced at CES that the device will be available later this month for $400.
Companies have taken a variety of approaches to creating something that is superior to a phone but not quite as involved as a full-blown console in response to the phenomenal success of the Nintendo Switch, making the past few years interesting for handheld gaming. The most well-known of these endeavors has been Valve’s Steam Deck, but phone gaming conversion kits like the Backbone have also gained popularity.
While Razer is a major player in PC gaming, the company’s mobile phones and accessories have not made much of an impression. The Edge, a gaming-only Android handheld with no calls or texts, is its most successful venture to date. It’s basically a reworked Kishi phone-mounted controller with more features and a 5G “phone” that stays put.
For serious Android gamers, the device itself is unquestionably appealing: It actually outperforms what most games on the platform support with its 6.8-inch 2,400 x 1,080 AMOLED screen running at a refresh rate of 144 Hz. However, software naturally expands to fit the environment it is placed in, so we can anticipate games that support this display mode natively in addition to those that do (such as Steam Link, but that’s kind of cheating).
It seems promising as a small, dedicated gaming platform, but the real question is whether anyone will pay $400 for the Wi-Fi version and more for the 5G version, when they could get a Steam Deck or Switch for that price. Android has a lot of good games, but when compared to the library on PC and Switch, it may appear to be a little lacking. Additionally, you might have already spent some money on your current gaming phone, which you could upgrade to include a controller for much less money.
However, if you are relying on game streaming services like Geforce Now, a small dedicated handheld with a great screen and 5G (currently available only on Verizon) might be the best option. When it ships on January 26, you have until then to make your decision.