a handheld built for Xbox Game Pass
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- Logitech G Cloud is a handheld console with support for cloud gaming.
- It lets you stream games from services like Game Pass, and can function as an Android tablet.
- The device’s battery life is great, but it’s expensive and can only stream games over Wi-Fi.
Logitech G Cloud is designed to be a dedicated handheld console for mobile and cloud gaming. It blends the construction of a portable system, like the Nintendo Switch Lite, with the utility of an Android tablet—all in one $350 device.
But unlike the Switch, the G Cloud doesn’t have its own library of exclusive games to play. Instead, the entity promotes the use of cloud gaming subscription services that act as the video game industry’s version of Netflix.
Instead of downloading a title or inserting a cartridge, stream popular Xbox and PC games over Wi-Fi directly to your handheld. And since the games are streamed from more powerful hardware, you can get advanced graphics.
G Cloud also has access to the Google Play Store, so you can still choose to install popular Android games like Fortnite and Minecraft, but the performance of downloaded titles will be limited by G Cloud’s built-in processor.
After testing the G Cloud, we’ve been impressed with the device’s solid streaming performance, lightweight design and long battery life, but there are some limitations that hold it back from being the ultimate cloud gaming handheld.
Logitech G Cloud is a handheld Android device built for mobile and cloud gaming. It has an integrated controller and support for services such as Xbox Game Pass. Performance is solid over Wi-Fi, but it’s a bit expensive for what you get.
G Cloud has an HD touch screen and long battery life
The G Cloud has a similar form factor to other handheld consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch. It feels light in the hand, but has a solid construction.
The integrated gamepad will feel familiar to anyone with previous console experience. The G Cloud also has rounded rear grips with grooved plastic that actually makes it more comfortable to hold for long gaming sessions compared to the Switch.
The G Cloud uses a relatively standard LCD touch screen with a Full HD resolution of 1080p. The screen looks good, but it lacks the improved contrast that comes with OLED screens on newer iPhones and the Switch OLED.
The device’s bottom-facing headphone and USB ports are unobtrusive, though it does make the handheld more difficult to place on a stand while charging or using tablet mode. The G Cloud’s stereo speakers feel powerful for a handheld device, and it also has built-in microphones for voice chat.
The G Cloud’s battery might be its most impressive feature, lasting more than 12 hours under normal gaming conditions. You can easily go a week without charging and play regularly before the battery dies.
G Cloud lets you stream games from popular services like Xbox Game Pass
As the name suggests, G Cloud pushes cloud gaming as one of its main features, and it supports all the major players in this space. The device comes pre-installed with Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now and Steam Link apps.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the most popular service of the bunch. It’s a $15 monthly subscription that gives members access to hundreds of streaming titles from PC and Xbox consoles. If you have an Xbox Series X or One X console, you can also stream games from those systems to G Cloud on your home network for free.
Once you’ve subscribed to a service, streaming games from the cloud requires a strong, stable internet connection, and G Cloud has built-in Wi-Fi so you can connect to your home network. Unfortunately, the device lacks mobile data support, but you can connect to your phone’s mobile hotspot to stream games on the go.
With a good connection, cloud gaming looks good on the handheld. And since many cloud games actually run from Xbox consoles and powerful PCs, the graphics are far more advanced than what you get by playing directly from G Cloud’s hardware. Even games originally built for Android, like Fortnite, can look better by streaming them as opposed to playing them with your device’s built-in graphics.
On the downside, streaming games creates a slight delay in controls. Input lag can be frustrating when playing fast-paced shooters like Doom or Call of Duty, but the streaming experience feels shockingly close to playing a game locally when you have a strong enough internet connection.
It’s a handheld, but its reliance on Wi-Fi doesn’t feel very portable
The G Cloud may be a handheld console, but it doesn’t feel like it’s designed for portable use outside the home. Beyond concerns about the device’s white plastic getting dirty on the road, the lack of mobile data means the G Cloud has to rely on hotspots for cloud gaming when you travel. This may affect the quality of gameplay due to a weak connection.
The G Cloud can easily play downloaded Android apps on the go, but those games are already available on your smartphone, usually with touchscreen control capability. Ultimately, it’s easier and cheaper to carry around your phone and a separate clip-on controller for mobile gaming than it is to carry the G Cloud around in public or on your commute.
The lack of dedicated mobile data also makes it more difficult to use the G Cloud as a standard tablet when you’re not gaming. So while it’s entirely possible to travel with the G Cloud, the question is how often you’ll actually be able to take full advantage of the features outside of your home.
G Cloud allows you to switch between a normal tablet interface and a gaming mode
Logitech developed its own version of Android for the G Cloud, so you can choose to run the device with a standard tablet interface or in a specialized gaming mode. This means that games and apps from the Google Play Store, such as Spotify and YouTube, are fully compatible with G Cloud.
Game Mode uses an interface similar to the home screen on PlayStation and Switch, giving you easy access to your latest games and allowing you to save apps to the toolbar. However, G Cloud cannot run apps and games simultaneously in game mode, so for example you cannot listen to Spotify while playing a game.
Game mode does seem to improve battery life though; we saw less overall battery consumption in game mode compared to running the same game in tablet mode. Common apps – such as YouTube, Google Drive and Netflix – all work seamlessly, and the G Cloud’s touch screen makes navigation simple. The handheld can also be rotated to portrait mode for apps that require it.
Logitech G Cloud vs. the competitors
Even with a similar design and price point, it’s important to recognize that the G Cloud isn’t really a direct competitor to the Nintendo Switch. They’re both handheld gaming devices, but the Switch offers a fully built platform with exclusive games, a docking station for easy connection to your TV, local multiplayer with built-in wireless controls, and a social network for gamers to connect online.
G Cloud, meanwhile, runs on Android and expects users to lean into existing services like Xbox Game Pass and Google Play to make the most of its capabilities. It also means that there are many other devices that can play the same games as the G Cloud for a similar or lower starting price.
However, the G Cloud is less expensive than the Steam Deck, a $400 handheld released in 2022, but it is significantly less powerful. Steam Deck can run hundreds of PC games on its own in addition to cloud streaming. Battery life is much better on the G Cloud, as the hardware is less demanding.
Buyers should also keep in mind that a more direct competitor is on the way. Razer is launching its own cloud gaming handheld with Verizon, called the Razer Edge. It costs more than G Cloud, but has a better screen and the option of mobile data.
The Edge will use Razer’s Kishi v2 controllers, which are removable and use USB-C when connected. The Razer Edge will start at $400 for the Wi-Fi model, but the 5G model hasn’t been priced yet.
Logitech G Cloud specs at a glance
Should you buy it?
After about a month with the Logitech G Cloud handheld, we’re happy with its overall performance, but it’s hard to recommend unless you’re a very specific type of gamer.
Ultimately, the G Cloud is best for gamers who want a handheld they can use around the house to stream popular Xbox and PC games. It’s also a solid fit for people who want to play Android mobile games on a device that has a built-in controller.
But at $350, the G Cloud is a bit pricey, and its lack of cellular data makes it less attractive for travel than a handheld console like the Nintendo Switch. With a Switch you can simply pop in a cartridge to play a AAA game on the go, but with the G Cloud you need access to Wi-Fi to really unlock its full potential.
If you already have a PC or Xbox as your primary gaming device, G Cloud is a nice addition to stream your games without occupying the TV, and it offers excellent performance for mobile titles and emulation. But if you’re a casual gamer, you’re probably better off saving your money and just pairing your phone with a controller.