The Razer Edge is awesome but I wish they'd kept making phones instead
I loved the Razer Phone. I'd rather have another than the Edge.
The Razer Edge is shaping up to be a really impressive device. Our own Daniel Rubino has already written about how it's got him back into gaming, even more so than the Steam Deck. By all accounts, it's a fantastic piece of kit.
But, I also know it's not for me. And that's fine. I have a Steam Deck I use religiously because I play a lot of PC games. I also have a smartphone and an iPad I can (and do) use for cloud gaming. So I don't really see a space in my bag for something like this or the Logitech G Cloud.
The reason is precisely that I do already have a smartphone. I also have a Razer Kishi to use with that smartphone and a 5G data plan I already pay for every month. I also loved the Razer Phone, remember that? We only got two of those, and I had both. I actually still have the second iteration. For me, I wish that Razer had just kept making phones for gamers rather than branching off into what has eventually become the Edge.
The Razer Phone was different
I'm not about to sit here and wax lyrical about how perfect the Razer Phone was, either generation, because they weren't. Far from it. The second was a definite improvement, but you could easily pick faults in both versions.
There was a definite weakness in the camera, for example, and the display on the first had its issues. But it was different. In a sea of me too phones, Razer did something else. The screen was flanked by two massive speakers which were extremely impressive. The overall design was awesome, and the second one added Razer Chroma RGB which further helped it stand out from the crowd.
Razer went into high refresh rate displays before most other phone makers, too, and I always enjoyed excellent battery life. It was different, it wasn't another slab that looked like all the other slabs. And to this day I still use the Razer Phone 2 inside my Kishi at times for some cloud gaming. It really was a phone for Razer's target audience, that is to say, gamers.
It was great for native and cloud gaming, too. But mostly, it was a phone. It was something I had a SIM card in, that I could access my emails and important daily information on, do social media, and when required, play games. It did everything.
And that's precisely why I wish Razer had kept up with making phones over going down the route of the Edge. For me, another mobile device that accesses the same things as my phone just doesn't make as much sense.
Two devices versus one
I'm not remotely denying that devices like the Razer Edge or Logitech G Cloud make great sense for many people. If you buy one I hope you love it, I have no issues accepting it's a great device.
But it's the additional device that doesn't make as much sense to me. I have a data plan on my phone, and if I want to use the Edge to its best on the go I would need an additional plan and the cellular version. I can play cloud games on my Steam Deck using my phone as a hotspot, so a Wi-Fi-only Edge definitely wouldn't make sense.
Naturally, it's way more portable than a Steam Deck and the battery life will certainly be better. But you know what I take with me in my pocket anywhere I go? My phone. And the Razer Kishi is hardly a bulky accessory to stick in a coat pocket or my bag to use with it if I wanted to.
And then you have touch controls on Xbox Cloud Gaming, which a lot of the time makes an external controller not necessary. I can't tell you how many hours of Minecraft Dungeons I've played on a phone just using the excellent on-screen controls. For a long trip, I'd still always take my Steam Deck and/or a laptop anyway to game offline.
The Razer Edge really is a great device. But I just feel like I would have preferred a new phone instead to be my only device. And I'm sure I'm not alone.
Razer Edge Gaming Handheld (opens in new tab)
The Razer Edge is a full-fledged Android gaming handheld from Razer, tapping into all the latest mobile games, with easy access to the growing range of game-streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now.
From: $400 at Razer (Wi-Fi) (opens in new tab) | $10/month at Verizon (opens in new tab)
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine