Razer Kishi review: A smooth play for mobile gaming

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I crammed the Razer Phone II into it with out acknowledging it wanted an include-on. It labored, but don’t check out this at home.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Gamers with modern telephones, rejoice. Razer follows up its Junglecat controller with a much more sizeable Pleasure-Con-alike product: the Razer Kishi, very first introduced at CES 2020. The Kishi’s pads use tension to connect to the telephone and join through USB-C, which removes the latency and lag of a Bluetooth connection, and implies the controller won’t have to have charging. 


  • Regular Xbox and Nintendo Change controller format, for the most portion
  • USB-C connection with charging go-through

Will not Like

  • Thumbsticks are rather limited and D-pad feels mushy
  • You drop USB-C audio

The Kishi’s greater design will allow for a much more solid grip, and it has the familiarity of the Xbox and Nintendo Pleasure-Con Professional controller layouts. It can be not a best emulation — the controls are in different ways spaced from every single other than on these other controllers and the truly feel could not be to everyone’s flavor — but it is 1 of the most classy, usable controllers for cellular gaming I have tried using.

The Razer Kishi for Android is out there now for $eighty (£80, AU$one hundred fifty). The enterprise expects to ship an MFi-certified product for iOS in August.


The Kishi awaiting its telephone fun.

Lori Grunin/CNET

It can be significantly fewer finicky about compatibility than the Junglecat, which demands particular situations and for that reason precise telephone guidance. The Kishi will fit any telephone with a USB-C connector in the middle of the bottom and proportions of 15.7 to six.4 by 2.7 to three.one by .three inches (145.three to 163.7 by sixty eight.2 to 78.one by 7. to eight.eight mm). That encompasses most modern flagship telephones, notably the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Ultra and quite possibly the upcoming Take note twenty. Razer’s possess telephone, the Razer Phone 2 is actually a hair too massive to fit comfortably, so the enterprise gives a kit to deal with that. I failed to understand that when I begun screening with the Razer Phone 2: It nevertheless works, but demands much more power to insert than you want to utilize.

The two sides are hooked up to every single other through an elastic tether with a plastic plate in the middle. You slip 1 close of the telephone into the correct aspect USB-C connector and the other over the prime. The finishes sit in rubber indentations, and the plastic sits on the back of the telephone. This offers you someplace to rest your fingers that’s not slippery like the backs of most telephones and that’s even with the back of the controller instead than recessed. When you happen to be not applying the Kishi, that plate snaps the two sides alongside one another.


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You will find a USB-C go-through connector for charging the telephone — audio dongles won’t work with it — and the spot won’t interfere with applying the controller.

Like a typical controller, it is received two clickable analog thumbsticks, a D-pad, ABXY buttons and left and correct triggers and buttons. You will find a Residence button, and back and forward buttons emulate menu and look at. The D-pad feels especially mushy to me, as do the triggers, and the thumbsticks are too limited and springy. It can be feasible to get used to them, though I don’t consider I’ll at any time like the truly feel of the D-pad.


The thumbsticks aren’t offset from the other controls as a great deal as on a typical controller. It weighs about nine.three ounces (265 grams).

Lori Grunin/CNET

If you happen to be relying on muscle mass memory, the positioning of the thumbsticks may well pose a problem as well. They are offset from the middle of the buttons instead than aligned with the sides of the ABXY buttons and the D-pad, so you could over- or underreach. And though lots of avid gamers most likely know the ABXY buttons by coronary heart, newbies could discover the very low-distinction, slender-typeface labels too difficult to see when transferring fast. (Frankly, I want they lit up on all controllers so I could discover them in the dim).

You don’t need to install the Razer Kishi app to use the controller, but it is demanded for any firmware updates and it can propose online games that guidance controllers. I located that some controller-supporting online games, like Oddmar, failed to work with the Kishi. But the controller felt as responsive as you would count on, flying through platformers and battling through monsters and undead hordes in cellular online games like Grimvalor, Teslagrad, Destiny 2 on Stadia and much more.

The Kishi can make the telephone set up broader than a Nintendo Change ($439 at Amazon) — about ten.5 inches (267mm) on the Razer vs . nine.4 inches (239mm) for a Change as well as Pleasure-Negatives. Once more, that may well truly feel odd for some persons. 

Scaled-down and lighter than a comprehensive-size controller and fewer lag-vulnerable than a Bluetooth wireless product, the Razer Kishi is on the high-priced aspect in comparison with its much more classic rivals. But it is a neat gadget if you devote a large amount of time gaming on your telephone and you can find the money for to splurge a tiny.