Razer Kishi out in the market: Does your phone work with it?

Razer Kishi out in the market: Does your phone work with it?

Razer finally launched the Razer Kishi. The company claims that this gamepad fits most modern smartphones available. But does it?

It is not the first time Razer tried to produce its gamepad. The Razer Junglecat came out first, but it has limited device compatibility. Razer Kishi aims to solve that problem.

The Razer Kishi has a bottom-mounted USB-C port for better compatibility. However, the Apple iPhone is still incompatible with this device as it still uses the lightning connector. There is an upcoming lightning Razer Kishi version coming soon, nevertheless.

Razer Kishi features

Razer’s newest gamepad has two sides that look like Nintendo Switch Joy-cons. It has thumbstick on each side with bumper buttons.

However, this gamepad lacks rumble. It could have been the perfect “mobile switch” if it was added.

One unique feature is the expandable design. The Kishi ditched the modular case design of the Junglecat for a better alternative. The gamepad expands and clips to any smartphone within the specified dimension.

This controller connects to a device through Bluetooth. Razer claims that this type of connection has minimal battery consumption. The expected battery life may last up to 100 hours on standby.

There is a USB-C pass through, but it does not have audio playback. That makes it difficult to play audio. There is a vent on the gamepad that is supposedly where the smartphone’s speakers will play through. But, it only works if the speakers perfectly match the vent.

Razer Kishi in use

Gamepad app is a must

Not all games have the same button mapping. The proprietary Razer Gamepad App is needed to connect this controller to a smartphone. But, it can do more things than just to connect the gamepad.

This app allows the user to map different keys depending on the game played. There is also a sensitivity adjustment for the thumbstick. It allows players to tailor the gamepad depending on their gameplay.

What smartphones are supported to date?

The Razer Junglecat has limited smartphone support, as mentioned earlier. This time, Razer managed to list down a lot of compatible phones for the Razer Kishi.

As of the moment, here are the supported Android devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus
  • Samsung Note 8, Note 9, Note 10, Note 10 Plus
  • Google Pixel 2, 2XL
  • Google Pixel 3, 3XL, 3a
  • Google Pixel 4, 4XL, (Pixel 4a unconfirmed yet)
  • Razer Phone 1 and the Razer Phone 2 (need rubber grips to fit)

The Kishi is not exclusive to these devices. As long as an Android phone has a bottom-center mounted USB-C port, there is a huge chance that it will work.

A smartphone should be 5.7-6.4 inches tall, 2.8-3.1 inches wide, and 0.28-0.34 inches thick to be able to fit the Kishi.

There is a huge size gap between the minimum and maximum dimensions. It causes smaller devices to wobble while attached. Larger devices do not experience this problem.

Razer tried to support a lot of smartphones. However, there are devices that fit in size but do not have a center-mounted USB-C port.

These include the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, OnePlus 8 Pro, Moto G Power, and the ASUS ROG Phones. It is still unsure if Razer will create a “plus” version of the Kishi for phablets.

Apple devices supported soon

The Apple iPhones remains to use the lightning port. It means that this new gamepad does not work right out of the box.

But, Razer has confirmed that there will be a lightning version soon. The iPhone lineup starting from the Apple iPhone 6 to the iPhone 11 Pro Max will be supported.

The Apple version has no confirmed release date yet. However, Razer hinted at arrival in the last quarter of the year.

Razer Kishi compatibility

Is the Razer Kishi worth buying?

Razer is known for expensive gaming peripherals. The Razer Kishi is not an exception. It is difficult to recommend as a dedicated gamepad for US$80 [AU$116]. There are Bluetooth gamepads from third-party brands such as 8bitDo, and Ipega that offer gamepads at a fraction of the price.

The only advantage of this gamepad is the unique looking aesthetic. Other than that, an external Bluetooth gamepad can do what the Kishi can without breaking the bank.

Nonetheless, the Razer Kishi works on Android and PC games. Google Stadia, Fortnite, and other games also support this controller.

All images used courtesy of Razer Kishi

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