Razer’s the new Kishi controller dock for Android phones is exactly the device I wanted. It has all the inputs you need to control modern blockbuster games, making it ideal for streaming from a local machine or the cloud. But the Kishi also connects directly to your phone via a USB-C connection. This eliminates the pairing procedure as well as the wireless input offset. The best part is that the Kishi uses a more universal design than Former Razer’s smartphone controller dock, the Junglecat. This means it works with a variety of Samsung, Google and other Android smartphones.
And this device is a worthy accessory for anyone who wants to have more control over mobile games. Streaming games are often still a headache, but the Kishi makes sure the controller isn’t a problem.
Razer Kishi works well with most Android phones
The Kishi has a more universal design than Razer’s other attempt for a clamp-type mobile controller. Instead of slipping some smartphones into cases that attach to the Junglecat, the Kishi wraps around most phones, regardless of their size. The main compatibility issue is the location of the USB-C port. As long as your phone and its USB-C header located in the center at the top or bottom, the Kishi should connect without problems.
My Google Pixel 3A XL slides directly without problem. It also holds securely in place without the impression that it will collapse.
Once connected, the Kishi offers you all of the input options of any modern gamepad. It has analog triggers, clickable sticks and an 8-way D-pad. And it’s quite comfortable.
In my hands, the Kishi looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite. The sticks are in an ergonomic position and feel good in action. I think the D-pad is a bit soft and the pimples on the face are slightly stiff. In addition, the shoulder bumpers are difficult to touch if you use your index fingers on the triggers. But they are also too close to rest your index and middle fingers simultaneously.
But overall, using the Kishi in games is great and ergonomic enough to allow long play sessions.
What I like most about Kishi is that Razer designed it to fit the way I want to use it. I don’t want to have to charge a mobile controller. Instead, I should just remove it, fix it and start playing. This is exactly how Kishi works.
By connecting directly into the hardware instead of wirelessly, the Kishi is easy to install. Just plug it in and start playing. Nor does it have a battery to recharge it. Instead, it drains to your phone’s battery. If this starts to fail, the Kishi has its own USB-C passthrough port to charge during playback.
And while Bluetooth wireless continues to improve, it is often still very slow. If you’re also streaming a game from your PC or the cloud to your phone, that latency starts to pile up. And it helps eliminate that wherever you can.
The Razer Kishi is quite similar to the Gamevice. The difference is that the former promises more compatibility than the latter. You can get a Gamevice that works with a Pixel phone or that works with Galaxy devices. And that could make the most of it if you plan to stick to one brand. But the Kishi seems to have a better chance of receiving continued support for your next smartphone purchase. And that could give him an advantage.
I also significantly prefer the offset analog sticks on the Kishi. This greatly improves comfort for me.
If you want a comfortable and smart controller dock for your Android phone, the Kishi is ideal.
Razer Kishi is now available for $ 80. Razer provided GamesBeat with a sample unit for this review.