Razer Kishi Review

Ever since the Razer Kishi controllers were announced I had always had my eye on getting one, the only sticking point had been the price that they were going for.

Months later and I managed to snag one from Amazon for a decent price, and now it was just a waiting game for delivery, which being a prime member, wasn’t too long, and as luck would have it, it was delivered the next day. 

First impressions of it were very good, neatly packaged and when getting it out of the box I was very impressed with how it folded down nice and compact, which I thought would have been handy to carry around with me, so on my lunch at work I can just hook it up and play. So you know what I did? Exactly that and I have to admit that it was glorious, being able to just connect up my phone and dive straight into games like GenshinImpact on my iPhone was amazing.

The native games played well, were responsive and the controller was instantly recognised by my phone so there was no need to set up and mess about with it, it was straight into playing games. I have streamed games to my phone from Xbox Cloud Gaming and my Series S as well as from the Steam Link app. All of which worked great, there was the odd one or two moments where it would just not be recognised when going into the apps, but a quick disconnect from the phone and reconnect sorted these issues.

The Razer Kishi was easy to set up as well, all I needed to do was plug it into the lightning port at the bottom of the phone and then stretch the other end over the top of the phone and it was secured in. One of the good things about the Kishi, because it connects directly to your phone, this will reduce the input lag a little bit. 

The overall feel of the controller in the hand was good and comfortable, however after playing for a prolonged period I did find my hands were starting to cramp up, which didn’t surprise me as I do have fairly big hands, but for the majority of it, the Kishi was comfortable to hold.

Playing some Terminator Resistance through the Steam Link app

The button placement on the controller was pretty much in line with what it would have been for an Xbox controller, but due to the shape etc it was slightly off, which is the be expected, but the diagonal positioned thumb sticks were there with the standard A,B,X,Y buttons. The thumbsticks felt fine under my thumbs, didn’t really have any issues with them, and the buttons felt solid when pressing and the controller comes with a decent sized D-Pad to use.

One of the issues that I had with the buttons was that my finger would go straight to the B button instead of A when confirming something and this was down to position of the buttons, as the natural position I would put my hand on a normal Xbox controller would have gone to that point, which if I was playing a Nintendo Switch wouldn’t have been a problem, but as B tends to cancel actions on Xbox, things got a little annoying.

One thing that did bug me about the controller though was that as it connects directly to the lightning port on my iPhone, that port is taken up and can’t be used. Now, there is a charging port which is on the bottom of the controller, but this can be used only for charging. You can’t plug in a set of wired headphones and listen that way, you can only use a pair of Bluetooth headphones if you didn’t want the sound blaring out of the phone. Personally, I don’t know why, I would have thought they would have been able to do both, but obviously not, so that was a little disappointing. 

Speaking of the sound coming from the phone, this was another thing that I was impressed with, the controller doesn’t block or hinder the sound at all and is as clear as if the controller wasn’t attached to it. This is down to the slits that have been placed on the edge of the controller which allows the sound to filter through. 

There is a Razer Kishi app which you can install to your phone which will allow you to update the controller, this is the only feature that I can see from that. 

Overall, this is the one of the best peripherals for mobile gaming that I have played with, its comfy for the most part, its design and build is great, and the fact that it connect directly to your phone and you can just plug in and go is amazing. For those who can use game streaming comfortably without drop outs, this controller would be a winner and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

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