Saturday, September 24

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review: Head in the cl



(Pocket-lint) – We were recently invited to the Logi Play event in Berlin where the Cloud Gaming Handheld was revealed along with a number of other Logitech products.

This handheld had been rumoured for a while and leaked too, so we knew it was coming but not how soon. Now, we’ve actually been able to get our hands on the console and spend some time with it to give you our thoughts. 

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Our quick take

From what we’ve seen the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld is a great bit of kit. It’s great looking, easy to play on, offers plenty of battery life and all this at an affordable price tag. If you’re sold on cloud gaming then this should be a solid investment, though we’d like to have some more time with it in the real-world to see how it holds up day-to-day for that experience. 

The Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld will be available in the US first, starting from 17 October with a pre-order price of $299.99. We’ll have to see how the handheld gets on in those regions before we find out whether it’ll be available elsewhere. 

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review: Head in the clouds?

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

For

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Good-looking screen
  • Comfortable controls
  • Easy access to thousands of games
Against

  • Some latency issues
  • No celluar options

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100% cloud gaming?

  • Compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor
  • Octa-core CPU up to 2.3GHz
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Bluetooth 5.1

Logitech says that its gaming handheld was designed from the ground up for 100% cloud gaming.

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This has some immediate benefits you notice when you first pick it up, including a thin and lightweight body and a pleasing aesthetic. This is an interesting handheld for those who believe in the power of cloud gaming and don’t want, need or have a console or gaming PC already. 

As standard, the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld comes pre-installed with Android 11 and access to the Google Play Store, so you can play Android games on it. But this isn’t intended to be an Android gaming tablet, as is shown by the fact that it works with both Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming straight out of the box. If you’re paying for access to those services and if you have access to a fast and stable home Wi-Fi network, then this might be the gaming handheld for you. 

Pocket-lintLogitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review photo 11

The Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld is a curiosity in a world where the Valve Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch already exist.

Its appeal, though, isn’t the processing power under the hood, but instead the massive library of games available at your fingertips with just a few taps. Cloud gaming gives you access to thousands of games without the need to buy your own expensive hardware and that’s a serious draw. Especially for a handheld console that costs a mere $299.99 (if you pre-order). 

We booted up Far Cry 5, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite and a few other games to see how it handled. We’re pleased to report that the result is a smooth gaming experience and a pleasant one too.

There was some noticeable (minor) lag and some hiccups during our playtime, but this was on a public Wi-Fi network with around 10 of the handhelds in constant use. It’ll no doubt be a better experience at home, assuming that you have a capable Wi-Fi network to power it. 

Pocket-lintLogitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review photo 9

Logitech has partnered both with Nvidia and Xbox to give users easy access to a mass of games with ease. Those games include a fair few triple-A titles as well, so there’s a lot of content to get stuck into even without your own massive library of games. However, for PC gamers it’s worth noting that the Cloud Gaming Handheld also comes with Steam Link pre-installed, so you can stream games from your own Steam library on your gaming PC locally, if you so wish. 

It’s this cloud gaming logic that may appeal to many and, indeed, is one of the main appeals of Logitech’s gaming device. The benefits are not just the number of games you can access but also the other benefits that come with it. 

This machine is powered by a Snapdragon 720g processor. Not the newest available but one that’s perfectly capable for its intended use. This allows Logitech to sell the console at a reasonable price point but it also means that without beefy power under the hood, the console should last longer. Logitech is claiming as much as 12 hours of playtime (not something we could test at the moment) and that’s significantly more than the two to three hours we usually get out of our Steamdeck. That alone is a fantastic benefit. 

Pocket-lintLogitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review photo 13

The Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld feels interesting in the hand, it has a thin body but large textured grips that make it easy to hold. The controls are logically laid out and feel natural and familiar in the hand too. This is one of the reasons to get this handheld over simply playing cloud games on your smartphone – the other being that you won’t be draining the battery on your phone while you’re playing. 

Pocket-lintLogitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review photo 2

Comfortable visuals anywhere in your home?

  • 7-inch IPS LCD panel 
  • 1920 x 1080 FHD (16:9 ratio)
  • 450 nits typical brightness
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Multi-touch enabled 

This handheld has a 7-inch, 1080p display with 450nits brightness and a 60Hz refresh rate. It was certainly bright, vibrant and colourful in the darkened play setting we got to dabble around with it in. How it stands up in brightly lit rooms remains to be seen, but we’re pretty sure it’ll be good. 

This handheld is built to give you the freedom to game anywhere in your home, in an easy way that doesn’t require much fuss. Sadly, because it’s cloud-based, you can’t really take it with you on a plane or train and game outside, but if you want to be free to play in any room in your house then this is perhaps a good option.

Pocket-lintLogitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review photo 10

Internal storage is fairly limited (64GB) as is the RAM (4GB LPDDR4x) but if you’re mostly sticking to cloud gaming that shouldn’t matter anyway. You can choose to upgrade with a microSD card if you do want more internal storage though. 

One thing that may disappoint is there’s no display out, so you can’t plug in and dock to a large TV or gaming monitor and play that way. That shouldn’t matter too much though, as there is the option to cast your gameplay to a Chromecast if you have one. The USB-C port does give you the ability to use a USB-C headset (or earbuds like the Logitech G Fits) as an alternative to using Bluetooth 5.1 (with aptX support), and that same port also allows for fast charging. 

This console sports a 6,000mAh battery which offers 12 hours of cloud gaming, at least under “normal” play conditions (50% volume and 50% brightness). But you can quickly recharge it in just two and a half hours to get it back to full power.  

The interface is fairly straightforward to use too. It’s a touchscreen, but you can easily navigate with the D-pad and thumbsticks. It’s got a clean user interface and easy access on the home screen to all the things you need. We found it easy to switch between games on Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia’s GeForce Now service and it doesn’t take long to do either. 

The benefits of those services also mean you’re running games at high graphics settings without negatively impacting the performance of the handheld. Which is why it feels smooth and is an excellent option if you want to play good-looking titles not only now, but into the future as well. After all, if you own the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld, you shouldn’t need to upgrade in a year’s time and should be able to happily game for quite some time if those services keep running. 

Pocket-lintLogitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld initial review photo 12

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To recap

This could well be an excellent option for those looking for a gaming solution that gives you easy access to games anywhere in the home.

Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Verity Burns.





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