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Hands on: Razer Kishi Review

Is Razer’s controller made for game streaming set for world domination?

First Impressions

The Razer Kishi is a well-built peripheral that has the potential to become a very popular device. Being a controller that works across Android and iOS gives it universal appeal, but it could be quickly extinguished if not priced carefully.

The Razer Kishi is a universal controller for mobile phones (Android and iOS) – taking aim at becoming the go-to choice as game streaming begins to blow up.

The Kishi follows Razer’s Junglecat, which was a Switch-like case and set of controllers for mobile. However, it was hamstrung by limited compatibility and a near £100 price-point.

The Razer Kishi has universal compatibility with mobiles – well, it probably doesn’t work with the Galaxy Fold and some other exceptions – that works be simply clamping onto the top and bottom of a device.

The premise is simple and the device looks impressive but does it have what it takes?

Related: CES 2020

Razer Kishi

Razer Kishi price – How much will it cost?

Pricing will be a huge factor in the success of the Razer Kishi. As someone who has been looking for a good mobile controller for the likes of Apple Arcade and, eventually, utilising the likes of Google Stadia and Project xCloud, the Razer Kishi is an exciting proposition.

We don’t yet know the pricing of the upcoming controller and so the Razer Junglecat is the best frame of reference we have for pricing. The Junglecat was priced at under £100 – quite pricey for a controller.

The Kishi does look like more akin to universal game controllers of years passed and that may mean it isn’t made with as costly materials as the Junglecat – however, that’s just speculation.

If pricing ventures too far above the £50 mark then the Razer Kishi is unlikely to reach a mass marketing. If Razer can manage to sell this controller for under £50 then we could be onto a hit.

Related: Hands on: Dell XPS 13 (2020)

Razer Kishi

Razer Kishi release date – When will it be available?

The Razer Kishi controller will be available from “early 2020” and works with both Android and iOS.

The release early in 2020 will give you plenty of time to get used to the new peripheral before game streaming truly blows up.

Related: Hands on: Alienware Concept UFO review

Razer Kishi

Hands on: Razer Kishi

During CES 2020, I got to take a look at the new Razer Kishi and the concept very much seems like a success.

The main worry of a universal controller is whether its performance will greatly vary with different phones and – while I wasn’t able to test in on different phones – the Kishi was firmly secured to the device. The Razer Kishi and phone truly felt like one device.

The buttons, joysticks and layout are similar to an Xbox One controller – except for the shoulder buttons which are more akin to the chunky equivalent on a Nintendo Switch Pro controller.

Nothing stands out about the user experience of the Razer Kishi – good or bad. The build doesn’t feel premium and it doesn’t feel cheap. The fact that the Kishi seems like a solid performer may bode well when it comes to achieving the perfect pricepoint.

Razer Kishi

Should you buy the Razer Kishi?

It is hard to know whether you should buy the Razer Kishi before we know the pricing of the controller. 

The controller seems like it could be a great option for mobile gaming especially as game streaming advances, but if its priced too high then it may be hard to recommend. 

However, the options for good mounted mobile game controllers are few and far between so if the Kishi does turn out to be pricey then you may want to shell out regardless.

Razer Kishi – Early verdict

The Razer Kishi is a well-built peripheral that has the potential to become a very popular device. Being a controller that works across Android and iOS gives it universal appeal but it could be quickly extinguished if not priced carefully.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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