The Razer Kishi is basically a USB Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller that’s meant for most Android phones out there. And if you’re thinking that the design looks somewhat similar, well, you aren’t wrong.
Razer worked with Gamevice on this, so yeah. Right out of the box, you get, well, the Kishi itself.
First impressions are really positive. Compared to the Razer Junglecat, which I personally own, the Kishi is more ergonomic and feels much better. To just give you an idea, the Junglecat is really similar to that of the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, while the Kishi is like taking the Switch Pro controller and you cut that into two halves.
The triggers are much bigger, the sides are much more rounded, which fits nicely into your palm, and the rear has a slight indentation, giving you space for your fingers to rest on comfortably.
As for the buttons themselves… they feel fine.
Now I’m going to compare to the Junglecat quite a bit, but the buttons on those are really similar to that of the Joy-cons, while the Kishi is more like the Switch Pro controller.
This means the buttons have a more mushy feel to them, rather than a solid click, but with that said, Razer has managed to keep it consistent across the board for all the buttons, so it’s the same experience no matter what you press.
As for the triggers, you get two on each side.
I actually do like the R1 and L1 triggers, because it is tactile, but not the R2 and L2 triggers. It feels really springy and cheap, but at least you have those buttons.
As for the D-Pad, it actually reminds me more of the PlayStation Portable, more so than any controller at the moment. It feels pretty similar as far as I can remember, so in short, it’s great.
Then, of course, you get your asymmetrical thumbsticks. It does also have L3 and R3, so you can click them in. In short, it feels great to use, nothing to complain about here.
So in order to use it, you have to first unlock and extend the Kishi. Release the two latches on the back, and you can simply pull them out. As you can tell, that rubber extension strip is what allows the Kishi to be universally compatible, though there is a limit to how big of a phone you can use it with. In general, it should fit most flagship Android phones out there.
Now I personally use a Razer Phone 2, and it fits perfectly. But there’s a catch.
If you’re planning to buy the Kishi, or you just bought it, you will realize that you can’t actually fit the Razer Phone 2, out of the box. That’s not a lie, it’s the truth.
In fact, it’s even written on Razer’s webpage, that if you did purchase a Kishi, and would like to use it with the Razer Phone 2, you actually have to send an email to request for the rubber inserts to fit the Razer Phone 2.
As far as I know, the service is free of charge, but yeah, it is troublesome.
Now, of course, you can simply pluck out the rubber inserts, and then you can use the Razer Phone 2 with it, but you do lose a bit of structural rigidity, and as well as placing unnecessary strain on that USB-C port, so I would suggest not to do that.
Though if you’re using any other phone, the Kishi will work just fine. As long as the USB-C port on your phone is centred.
Anyways, once you have the Kishi on, it basically feels like a Nintendo Switch, though slightly more comfortable.
Do note however that once you have it installed, you can’t really use the rear cameras at all, nor will you be able to use your fingerprint touch sensor should it be located on the back of the phone. Basically, you’re strictly gaming.
Honestly, gaming on it is really great. Playing games like GTA Chinatown Wars just reminds me of my days with my PSP, and you can also hook up your PC via Steam Link and play any triple-A titles that way. You’ll basically have no issues with the controller at all, as long as you’re playing a compatible Android game or using Steam Link.
But if you want to use the Kishi for anything that’s not compatible, then you’re out of luck. Because unlike the Junglecat, this does not have support for touch button remapping or overlay. So the only mobile game I play, Azur Lane, doesn’t work with the Kishi.
So in all, it’s quite a fantastic mobile controller. I really enjoyed gaming with it. But there are a couple of differences you have to take note of between this and the Junglecat.
First is compatibility. With the Junglecat, you basically only have 3 smartphones that you can use to mimic gaming like on the Nintendo Switch, because that system requires a custom case for it, in which Razer only provides 3. The Kishi on the other hand, will fit far more smartphones out there.
Second is wired vs wireless.
The good thing about the Kishi, is because it’s directly connected, you won’t experience any kind of latency or input lag, and you do also get a Type-C pass-through for power, so you can charge your phone while playing.
On the other hand, the Junglecat is Bluetooth enabled. Not only do you have to charge the controller separately, if you use it with the case, you can’t charge and play. But, the advantage is that it’s Bluetooth. So it’s not limited to just your smartphone. You can use it with your PC, your tablet, anything else you like.
So if you’re rocking a Razer Phone 2 like me, I will take the Junglecat over the Kishi. But if you own any other smartphone, the Kishi would be the one to go for.
All in all, I think the Kishi really does enhance the mobile gaming experience and is really comfortable at that as well. If you’re vested into mobile gaming, or perhaps this tickled your interest, take a look at it. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.