I spent some time using Logitech’s brand-new G Cloud Gaming Handheld.
On October 17th, Logitech will release its $349.99 G Cloud Gaming Handheld in the US (preorders are available now for $50 discount). I had a little chance to try it out today. Even though the demo only lasted about 10 minutes, I had enough time to take some pictures, run a few apps, and get a feel for the device. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll have a thorough evaluation.
Deathloop, a recently released Xbox Game Pass title, was streaming via Wi-Fi to the handheld’s Xbox Cloud Gaming app when I arrived at the testing facility. Sadly, it was the entrance scene without any action, but I still got to run and jump. Like all of my encounters with cloud game streaming, it wasn’t a fun killer, but there was a slight hint of input latency that was difficult for me to ignore. The configuration of the analogue sticks, triggers, and buttons on the G Cloud feel nice, which is a positive. The game’s gloomy environs appeared a touch hazy on its seven-inch 1080p IPS display, though it’s difficult to say how much of this might be attributed to a busy Wi-Fi network.
When I switched to Fortnite via the Nvidia GeForce Now app, it wasn’t the case. The speed at which I was able to exit Xbox Game Pass and launch a new app was satisfactory. My first opinion is that if the Nintendo Switch is your only benchmark for speed in a handheld, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by how snappy the performance and UI navigation seem. If you’re coming from a Steam Deck, however, you might not be as pleased. Fortnite on the G Cloud Gaming Handheld generally looks and plays better than it does on the Switch (not a very high standard, I know), but this largely relies on your Wi-Fi network’s capabilities.
Of course, given that this portable runs Android, it should be easy to put the Fortnite game directly onto it without having to worry about the cloud. However, with a Snapdragon 720G processor and 4GB of RAM, I’m not sure how well it would operate.
I spent the remainder of my time with the G Cloud Gaming Handheld getting lost in its Android launcher, which Tencent reportedly helped build and seems like a throwback to Android Honeycomb (even though the unit that I tested was running Android 11). All of your apps can be found with relative ease, with the exception of those that are focused on gaming and are highlighted. You can access the Google Play Store by clicking a face button when seeing your complete programmer collection. From there, I assume you can download just about anything. The user interface’s attempt to have a gamer-like aesthetic didn’t quite work for me.
It’s easy to hold the G Cloud Handheld. The textured plastic on the triggers and around the rear of the grips, which are incorporated into the handle, adds a wonderful finishing touch. I’d much rather waste a few hours playing games on this than the Switch just based on ergonomics. A headphone jack and a USB-C connector that is mostly used for charging are located on the bottom.
I inquired if it could enable pushing video out to external monitors, and the answer is no, but it can handle USB-C audio transmitters for headsets that have that capability. A volume rocker and a sleep switch may be found on the handheld’s rail, which is located on the top left (you can power it down through the software, as well). The microSD card slot is located next to the right shoulder buttons over on the side of the device.
It didn’t take me long to acquire the impression that this portable is a device that I want to spend a lot more time trying because it feels and looks beautifully built. Even while it seems professional, like most Logitech products do, spending time with it didn’t make me fall in love with its $349.99 selling price. Not just this portable device, but also the services you wish to use to play games, require your whole commitment. The price just increases from there.
When considering other popular portable consoles outside this one, such as the $199 Switch Lite or the more powerful $299 Switch that can connect to a TV, it’s tough to understate the value they now provide. A tempting alternative if you want to play PC games on the move is the $399 starting price of the Steam Deck. Even yet, there aren’t many Android tablets that have been converted into handhelds, thus the G Cloud Gaming Handheld could become popular. We must wait and see.