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The Razer Kishi V2 is a switched-on smartphone controller


Razer’s smartphone-hugging game controller is back for a second go round. The Kishi V2 builds on the original with support for fatter phones, a new button-customising companion app, and uprated internals that promise to bring a more console-like feel to your mobile gaming sessions.

Unlike the first-gen version, which used membrane switches for its buttons, V2 comes with microswitches. That means a satisfying click with each press. it’s still packing a set of triggers, but now gains a share button for snapping screenshots or recording video clips while you’re mid-game.

It still slims down when you’re done playing, but the mechanism has changed from a fiddly folding arrangement to a more straightforward slider. This and the uprated internals mean it’s put on a bit of weight, so it now clocks in at 284g – up from 163g in the original Kishi. But on the plus side, it’ll now play nicely with the current crop of oversized flagship phones, even if you don’t liberate them from their cases first.

Phone and controller communicate over USB-C, so there’s no input lag or latency to battle with, but there’s no passthrough headphone port. Not that many Android phones have one these days anyway.

The biggest new addition is Razer Nexus, a tie-in app that isn’t required, but seems to be well worth the download. It’s just a button press away, and will let you program buttons, including the two multifunction ones next to the analogue triggers. It will act as a launcher for all your mobile games, record gameplay footage, and stream it directly to Facebook, YouTube or other video sites. And importantly, it won’t cost you a penny – unlike the similar Backbone controller, which charges a subscription for its similar service.

Right now Kishi V2 is Android-only. An iOS version is in the works, but it’s not expected to land until later this year.

Android owners wanting to get gaming now can pick up a Kishi V2 today. It’s on sale in the US and UK for $99 and £99 respectively.

Related: The 51 best free Android games for your phone or tablet


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