hands-on with the Razer Edge 5G, an ultra-affordable Android portable console

At CES 2023 in Las Vegas, Razer is unveiling its portable Android console Edge 5G in more detail. Consisting of a fairly classic tablet and a dedicated detachable controller, it’s the perfect solution for gaming on the go. But Razer prohibits other uses, including telephony. What is the cost of this console, which will be offered for $ 400 in the United States? Answer in this grip.

In October 2022, Razer officially released the datasheet for its first 5G portable console under Android: the Razer Edge 5G. A product designed to compete with Valve’s Steam Deck, Logitech’s G Cloud or Nintendo’s Switch. This console will soon be released only in the US, with no international launch planned to date. The price of the console is as follows $400 in WiFi version and 500 dollars in the 5G version.

The Razer Edge 5G spec sheet is optimized for gaming

The technical sheet of the console is quite complete. Let’s start with the heart of the system. This Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 The processor from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 888+, is also optimized for gaming use. (((We find 1 very powerful core, three powerful cores and four less greedy cores. The maximum frequency is reached. 3GHzFor Snapdragon 888+ (and 2.84 GHz for Snapdragon 888).

Adreno GPU is faster compared to Snapdragon 888+. This is the hour 970 MHz (vs. 840 MHz). Its modem, the Snapdragon X65, is newer to integrate 5G connectivity to match the ambitions.))) In addition 8 GB RAM in LPDDR5 format. This may seem relatively small when the ROG Phone has 12 and 18 GB of RAM. But here it is enough, because there are not all the processes associated with telephony, which are usually very greedy.

razer edge 5g will hold

The rest of the spec sheet features a widescreen display 6.8-inch Full HD+ AMOLED. Its refresh rate increases as much 144 Hz. Below the screen you have the processor 128 GB memoryIt can be expanded with a microSDXC port that accepts cards up to 2 TB and a battery 5000mAh. The chassis consists of two matched balanced speakers THX Spatial Audio and two microphones. Finally, you’ll find a selfie sensor in the center of the top edge of the screen (when the console is held horizontally). 5 megapixels (up to Full HD video recording at 60 frames per second).

Also read – Nintendo: bad news, Switch Pro canceled according to Digital Foundry

Add to that the controller that comes with all copies of the console. It is about a Kishi V2 Pro. There are two analog sticks, a directional cross, four buttons on the right side, two triggers and two buttons on the top edge, and two programmable buttons. At the bottom edge you find another USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm jack port to connect headphones. The Kishi V2 Pro connects to the tablet portion of the console via a side USB Type-C port, which is also used to power the accessory. No battery or Bluetooth connectivity. Razer explains that this improves in-game latency.

razer edge 5g will hold

Razer Edge 5G offers Nintendo Switch grip

We had a chance to preview the Razer Edge 5G, and our first impressions are good, but it raises a few questions. But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at the product together. First of all, the console looks like a tablet with a Kishi controller attached. And in an absolute sense, the Razer Edge 5G is “just” that. Both accessories are designed to work together and they work quite well. The grip is very good and there is Comparable to Switch or ROG Phone when a Kunai controller is connected to it. The weight is also quite close among all these products.

razer edge 5g will hold

When you carry the console, you can separate the two parts and put your tablet in your pocket. The borders are not too thick and the weight is not too important, especially for a platform with a screen of almost 7 inches. As for the controller, you can fold it up and store it in a carrying case. And voila. Razer developed this product to be portable…just like the Switch.

The tablet can be used alone, using the touch controls of the game and operating system. Then you will find the fairly classic operation of an Android tablet. As with all other Android consoles (and controllers), physical controls may not be supported by games. Some, like the Dead Cells that appear on the screen in our photos.

Razer Edge 5G is optimized for cloud gaming and local gaming

On the operating system side, the Razer Edge 5G runs on Android. Version not specified. When you start the console, you arrive very different interface than what you are used to. Razer has indeed added an app launcher on top of Android to ease access to games for an experience designed to be closer to the habits and customs of gaming consoles (especially the Nintendo Switch).

razer edge 5g will hold

On this console, of course, you can install games from the Play Store. But you can also use apps to connect to streaming game services. On the screen you can see SteamLinkTo connect to the PC and play the games available there, also for the client GeForce Now From Nvidia. The console also supports the service Microsoft cloud gameto the delight of all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.

Razer has removed all telephony components from this platform. Microphones and speakers do not support voice calling. On the other hand, nothing prevents you from installing a video app like Zoom and making calls with it. It is not created for, but the most ruthless will certainly find a solution. On the other hand, the 5G version of the console is not “tied” to a phone number: you share your data plan with it, just like a GSM Apple Watch or a GSM iPad.

Razer Edge 5G: Android console for those without a ROG Phone

The strategy behind the Razer Edge 5G is completely different from any other console on the market, whether it’s the Steam Deack or the Switch or Logitech’s G Cloud. Not really focused on hardcore gamers like the Steam Deck, not as casual as a standard smartphone, or completely mainstream like the Switch, the Razer Edge 5G is a bit at the intersection of all those worlds. Aside from Logitech’s G Cloud, Razer’s take on cloud gaming deployment, the Razer Edge 5G seems to us It’s pretty close to gaming smartphones like the Asus ROG Phones.

razer edge 5g will hold

And the comparison is not insignificant: Asus and Razer were the first brands to enter the smartphone market for gamers, the Taiwanese has been more successful than its American rival, which hasn’t tried the adventure since the Razer Phone 2. However, ROG Phones have the advantage of combining mobile gaming and phone communication, while the Razer Edge 5G n is just a console. telephone part. Therefore, Razer’s strategy is based on the complementarity between the console and a smartphone that will not be so good at gaming, but will provide all the uses forgotten by the Edge 5G, that is, mainly communication and Photos.

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