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Review Razer Kishi Game Controller for Android and iOS


hey everybody it’s lan seidman and the other day we took a look at the backbone controller for the iphone and i really like this one and i wanted to see what else was out there that works with the iphone but also maybe something with android and i picked up this one this is the razer kishi that a lot of you recommended i look at there’s a version of this for android which is what we’re looking at today and there’s another version that works with ios devices if you’re on that platform and we’re going to dive in and take a closer look and see how this performs in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all of the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this video nor is anyone reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded and additionally the phone that we’re testing it with today is a pixel 4 from google that came in free of charge from them a little while back but they are not reviewing or approving or paying for this video either so let’s get into it now and see what this controller is all about now at the time i’m recording this video the controller here is about 66 dollars for android the ios version will cost a little bit more than the android one does primarily due to that apple tax that gets added onto all of the accessories for that platform now the controller here requires a usb type-c connection on the phone that you’re docking to it and i’m going to work backwards here and take the phone out so you can see how it all comes together so i’m just going to pull it out like so and then pull out the other end here to get the phone out this by the way is a pixel 4 xl it is the biggest phone that i own in my repertoire at the moment and you’ll note that i don’t have a case on it at this point in time but i will put a case on in a minute and show you

how to get a thicker phone into the case here now this is designed to work with a lot of different phones i would say that it’s probably going to work with something up to about a galaxy note size phone it will not fit a tablet because this is about as far as it goes it does stretch out here a little bit to accommodate whatever phone you’re putting in and then when you’re done with it it will fold up for you and what you want to do is get these two ends to kind of go in underneath each other so you can see how we’re putting it together like so and once you get those two ends met you snap this back plate on and now it can be transported now when you look at this you might think hey this would be cool just to work on its own without the phone installed in it but this is not a bluetooth controller it has to be plugged into a phone so it will not work in this mode this is strictly for portability they do not include a carrying case in the box so you may want to pick that up to prevent it from getting damaged while it’s in your bag and then when you’re ready to install the phone again you just hit these little tabs here to pull out the little back plate and then you’re good to go once more now i’m going to put my phone in a case here and when i do that you’ll note that the phone and i’ll give you an overhead view here the phone will not fit because it’s too big but there is a way to get a thicker phone installed and that consists of pulling out these little pieces of rubber that are inside the controller and when you pull these out that will give you more room to fit a larger phone and now our phone with the case actually fits pretty snugly in here you just don’t want to lose these things should you ever get a thinner phone my

understanding is that some of the razer phones might require their own pieces of rubber and if you contact razer they will send those to you to get the phone to fit better just know that not every phone is guaranteed to fit in this thing there are so many different android phones out there i did hear from a few viewers who said that the camera bump on their phone was making it hard for it to fit and they had to shave down some of the rubber here so you’ll just have to see how it works i would imagine it’s going to fit some of the name brand more popular phones better than some of the unknown ones that are out there once it’s in it feels pretty good the only thing that i’m noticing and this is irrespective of whether or not these rubber stoppers are in is that it flexes quite a bit if you pull this end of the controller towards you so as you’re playing here it does sometimes feel a bit wobbly so it doesn’t really have a very firm fit that i would like to see at least with this phone but again there might be phones that fit it a little bit better than mine does but again this wobbliness here especially on the left hand side was something that i noticed with my pixel 4 phone and a few others that i stuck in here to see how they came together and fit the sticks here aren’t bad i’ll do a demo of this in a little while there is a huge range of travel to these sticks and as you’ll see there’s a dead zone that is quite extensive on this and i’ve seen some other people talk about this on reddit in other places and it’s something that i definitely noticed as well as i was playing so i would have liked a shorter travel stick because these are really not ideal everything really feels large on this controller the sticks and the d-pad the d-pad we’ll demo in a minute or two as well not as bad as the sticks it works pretty well i was playing some sonic the hedgehog with it on

a live stream earlier and i felt it was decent enough for the task but not the best you’ve got analog triggers here on the left and right hand side along with shoulder buttons this is the xbox edition of the controller so it’s got the xbox button down here for the game pass streaming it does also work of course with their console streaming services you’ve got the xbox colored buttons here the buttons feel very nice again lots of nice travel on this and one of the things that i like about this style of controller is that everything feels very balanced because the heaviest part is in the middle and that’s the phone of course i’ve tried out some of those clips that you can get for your xbox or playstation controllers but they tend to be very top-heavy this feels much more comfortable to hold versus that and i really do prefer this and again it’s very easy to get your phone swapped out when you want to go back to just using it as a smartphone now on the bottom of the kishi here is a usb type-c port this though is for charging only you can’t plug in another controller or headphones or some other type of device all it will accept is a usb power source but that will allow you to charge the phone while you’re playing games and of course games do eat up battery life quite a bit so if you got one of those portable batteries this is a great way to make use of that you do not get a headphone jack on this so if you do want to listen to your games with headphones you will need to use bluetooth for that now razer has an app on this but it is very limited so you can get kind of a rudimentary game launcher here they also have some curation that they’re doing to find games that work well with the controller and these will take

you to the google play store to download them but the app doesn’t do much beyond that unfortunately there’s no calibration no button mapping no utility to maybe shorten up those dead zones on the controller and that’s one area i would like to see them improve to give you some customization of the controller itself because by default i don’t think it’s going to be ideal for everyone let’s take a look now and see how it does with a couple of different types of games alright so we’re going to start off here with sonic the hedgehog because this is a game where i will immediately notice any significant button lag if a controller has it and here it actually feels really good there’s really no noticeable delay between the time that i push the button and when something registers on screen that’s due to the fact of course that this doesn’t work over bluetooth this is a direct wired connection but every phone is different and if your usb controller on your phone isn’t as good as what i have running here on my pixel 4 you might notice a different experience than what i’m having here so it’s going to vary again based on the phone that you’re using but with this pixel phone and i would imagine with a lot of other kind of top of the line flagship phones it should feel pretty good i also measured this a little bit earlier using my high speed camera on my iphone and i was able to pick up a latency of only about 52 milliseconds from the time that i push the button until something happens on screen and that’s actually a bit lower than what i typically see with my nintendo switch with its joy cons doing that very same activity so i think overall the lag on this is very minimal at least based on how i measure it so i think you should have a pretty good experience with very fast action games like this one i found the d-pad to be just fine for this game nothing really to complain about it is a bit stiff but it’s responsive and again i really didn’t have any real concerns here as i was playing through this classic

game by the way this game is not emulated this is kind of a mobile recreation of the original and it seems to be working pretty nice let’s take a look at something else alright so here we are playing fortnite a game you can’t play on the iphone and as you can see we’re able to use the analog sticks here no problem this game of course supports this controller but this is where you’re going to notice those dead zones look how far i have to move this stick before things get registered so that’s something that i would like the ability to be able to adjust because you really have to force these sticks completely forward to get the character moving and that’s something that i’m noticing in most of the games that i’m loading up that use the sticks it just doesn’t feel right to me some people might like this so there’s always personal preference that comes into play but that’s why i think having some adjustments here would make a difference but beyond that it seems to play just fine on fortnite one thing to note is that call of duty mobile is not compatible with this controller at the time i’m recording this my understanding is that it only works with xbox and playstation controllers not this one so in addition to now platform exclusivity in the gaming world we’re soon going to have controller exclusivity as well get ready for that let’s take a look at a few other things so let’s take a look at some cloud gaming now and we’re running uh the xbox cloud gaming service which is part of game pass ultimate this will work with just about any cloud service

that runs on android so the compatibility should be there but once again and i know i sound like a broken record on this issue i am noticing that controller dead zone problem here so you can see just how much movement it requires to get things to happen here on screen additionally the triggers here have a pretty extensive range of travel to them as well and they have a similar dead zone problem so i’ve got to really mash that button all the way down and then as i’m trying to precisely mine things you can see that you’re often getting some jerky movement here because there’s such a wide dead zone when you go from one direction to the other that you often result in things happening that you don’t intend to happen because you go a little bit too far or maybe not far enough and that’s where once again i think having some ability to adjust those dead zones would have made this a better product now as i mentioned i got the xbox branded version of the controller so you get an xbox button on this one that is mapped to the controls of the streaming service so for example if i hit this i get my side menu and i can go here and quit the game or do some of the other things that you can do while you’re on their cloud service but again this will work with any cloud gaming service with an app that supports a game controller let’s take a look at one more thing you asked me to take a look at and that is its compatibility with emulators all right let’s take a look at retro arch here and see what happens and when i click on it and load it up what you’ll see here is that it detects the razer kishi and automatically configures it so i can go here to a game that we played a little bit earlier and load up the core and get going here and although i didn’t get rid of my on-screen controls yet you will see once i get the game started here that all of the controls are working and of course you can remap everything inside of the game if you

want so let’s just jump in real quick and see how it all performs here and if you are looking to play retro games through an emulator this will provide a relatively lag free experience here depending on the emulator and the performance of your phone so overall this is not a bad game controller in fact the lag on this is among the lowest i have tested on the android platform so that’s a good thing but i really wish they add some customization options to the app they have you install with it because right now this is really a glorified launcher and a marketing platform and not much more than that and i think if they added some customization controls inside of this app to adjust the stick sensitivity and maybe remap the controls if you want to do that this would be much more appealing to me and i think many other gamers so that is an option that they could implement here if they decided to and ultimately that would make this a better product but right now i’m not crazy about this and i think if you’re on the ios platform definitely look at the backbone that i bought and reviewed recently because this is a much better controller than the kishi is at the moment but the kishi has potential if only that app could allow for some customization that is going to do it for now until next time this is launch thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by theland.tv supporters including gold level supporters chris allegretta tom albrecht jim calliger hot sauce and video games and brian parker if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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