Arms-on with Logitech’s new G Cloud Gaming Handheld

Yesterday, Logitech introduced its $349.99 G Cloud Gaming Handheld, which is popping out within the US on October seventeenth (till then, it’s $50 off to preorder). At this time, I received to briefly try it out. It was only a 10-minute demo, nevertheless it was lengthy sufficient for me to snap a couple of pictures, launch some apps, and see the way it felt in my arms. We’ll have a full assessment within the coming weeks.

As I arrived on the testing station, Deathloop (freshly obtainable on Xbox Recreation Move) was streaming by way of Wi-Fi to the hand held’s Xbox Cloud Gaming app. Sadly, it was the action-less intro sequence, however I nonetheless received to dash and leap round. Although it wasn’t a enjoyable killer, like all of my experiences with cloud sport streaming, there was only a whiff of enter lag that, at the very least for me, is tough to disregard. On the plus facet, the G Cloud’s buttons, triggers, and analog stick format really feel good. As for visible constancy, it’s powerful to know the way a lot may be blamed on a congested Wi-Fi community, however the sport’s darkish environments appeared a bit of fuzzy on its seven-inch 1080p IPS panel.

The cloud model of Fortnite felt fairly good to play on the hand held, even with a touch of enter latency.
Photograph by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

That wasn’t the case once I switched to Fortnite by way of the Nvidia GeForce Now app. Exiting Xbox Recreation Move and booting into a brand new app was satisfactorily speedy. My preliminary impression is that in case your baseline expectations for pace in a handheld include simply the Nintendo Swap, I believe you’ll in all probability be impressed with how responsive the efficiency and interface navigation really feel — maybe not a lot if you happen to’re coming from a Steam Deck. At its finest, Fortnite on the G Cloud Gaming Handheld appears higher and runs smoother than it does on the Swap (not a really excessive bar, I do know), although that relies upon completely on the capabilities of your Wi-Fi community. In fact, since that is an Android-based handheld, it’s in all probability potential to get precise Fortnite loaded onto this factor and never fear about the entire cloud side. Although, I’m undecided how nicely it’d run with its Snapdragon 720G and 4GB of RAM.

The remainder of my time with the G Cloud Gaming Handheld was spent getting misplaced in its Android launcher that Tencent apparently assisted with in growth, which feels ripped out of the Android Honeycomb days (despite the fact that the unit that I examined was working Android 11). It’s simple sufficient to search out all your apps, apart from the gaming-focused ones that it places entrance and heart. While you’re your full app library, you possibly can click on a face button that serves as a portal to the Google Play Retailer, the place you possibly can obtain virtually something, I’d think about. Aesthetically, the consumer interface is making an attempt for a gamer-y vibe that didn’t completely click on with me.

A top view of the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Headset that shows its shoulder buttons, which are covered in a textured plastic.

The shoulder buttons and grips are coated in textured plastic to offer extra, nicely, grip.
Photograph by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

The G Cloud Handheld is comfy to carry. The built-in grips provide quantity of palm assist, and the textured plastic round its again and on the triggers is a pleasant contact. When it comes to ergonomics alone, I’d undoubtedly favor to lose a couple of hours enjoying video games on this than on the Swap. On the underside, there’s a headphone jack subsequent to a USB-C port that’s used primarily for charging. It may’t assist pushing video out to exterior screens — I requested — although it’ll work with USB-C audio transmitters for headsets that supply that sort of factor. On the highest left of the hand held’s rail, there’s a quantity rocker subsequent to a sleep swap (you possibly can energy it down by means of the software program, as nicely). And eventually, there’s a microSD card slot over on the precise facet, subsequent to the precise shoulder buttons.

This image showcases the volume and power buttons located on the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

There’s an influence slider subsequent to a quantity rocker alongside the highest rail of the hand held.
Photograph by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

This handheld feels and appears nicely designed, and it took no time in any respect for me to really feel like this can be a gadget that I need to spend so much extra time testing. Although, like most Logitech merchandise, polished because it feels, spending time with it didn’t change that I’m not a fan of its $349.99 retail worth. You must be completely purchased in, not simply to this handheld however to the companies that you just wish to play video games on. So, the associated fee solely goes up from there.

This image shows the charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack located on the bottom of the Logitech G Cloud Gaming handheld.

The hand-held doesn’t assist video out by way of USB-C, however you possibly can plug in USB-C audio transmitters for wi-fi headsets, along with charging.
Photograph by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

Wanting exterior of this handheld, it’s actually tough to underplay how a lot worth a few of the different common handheld consoles provide proper now, together with the $199 Swap Lite or the extra succesful $299 Swap that may hook up with a TV. To not point out, the Steam Deck’s $399 beginning worth is a tempting different if you wish to play PC video games on the go. Even so, Android tablets original into handhelds which are available for buy are simply unusual sufficient that the G Cloud Gaming Handheld might be a success. We’ll must see.

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