Razer and Verizon introduce ‘the world’s first 5G gaming handheld’, and it’s coming soon

Razer Gaming Handheld Qualcomm
(Image credit: Razer)

What you need to know

  • Verizon announced that it had partnered with Qualcomm and Razer for “the world’s first 5G gaming handheld.”
  • It’ll be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1.
  • The handheld will “give you access to games you love, whether they are downloaded to play locally, streamed from your console or accessed directly from the cloud.”
  • More information will be released on October 15 at RazerCon.

In December 2021, Razer and Qualcomm announced a handheld gaming device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1. It features 144 FPS support, 4K HDR HDMI output capabilities, updatable Adreno GPU graphics, and more.

The little rig seemed perfect for Xbox Cloud Gaming and Xbox Game Pass, which were mentioned several times during the presentation.

The one catch? It was for developers only.

Since then, we haven’t heard anything from Razer about a consumer version of the device, which is why Logitech’s recent foray into cloud gaming in a handheld was so surprising.

That will change as Verizon spilled the beans (opens in new tab) on a new project today. Announced at Mobile World Congress in Las Vegas, the company teased that it had a device coming.

Verizon noted in a press release that “Together, Verizon, Qualcomm and Razer will introduce the world’s first 5G Gaming Handheld built on the Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 Gaming Platform and designed for high-performance gaming on the move.”

Razer and Qualcomm's handheld gaming device (2021). (Image credit: Razer)

The significant highlight here seems to be the mention of Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband (mmWave), which, while limited in coverage, is fast enough to handle cloud gaming since it can peak at 1.0 Gbps for downloads.

More details about the device will be announced at Razer’s RazerCon event (opens in new tab) on October 15.

However, since Razer already announced a cloud-gaming-focused handheld, it’s likely a similar device to what was announced in late December. From our earlier reporting about the device:

“It sports the standard ABXY buttons with Xbox-colored buttons, offset joysticks, shoulder buttons, D-pad, and triggers. Embedded in the center is a large display, powered by Android, complete with an embedded webcam for live streaming — although I doubt many streamers will enjoy the low angle this camera will produce.”

The handheld also features stereo haptics, 4-way speakers, the ability to connect to a TV outputting in 4K with HDR (via USB-C), Wi-Fi 6, and, of course, 5G mmWave/sub-6 capabilities. That last part makes it a dead-ringer for the previous device that Razer announced, though Verizon will likely add some of its branding to the device.

Razer and Qualcomm's handheld gaming device (2021). (Image credit: Razer)

While not labeled as an exclusive, there is a good chance that Verizon has a lock on such a device for the foreseeable future, especially with support for 5G mmWave/sub-6 capabilities.

It looks like we’ll have to wait until October 15 to learn about pricing and availability, which undoubtedly will determine the success or failure of this new gaming form factor.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.