Tech Specs At a Glance
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection
100+ hour battery life
One sided controller play
Razer Gamepad app
Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2uFJ3EA
Mobile gaming is something that has been around for over a decade and a half plus and while in the west its been something that’s slowly catching on in the west thanks to mobile games like Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, King of Fighters All Stars, and so much more; in the east mobile gaming is and has been for decades a major multibillion dollar market and is nowhere near slowing down. When it comes to smartphones we are now getting console quality to console perfect versions of games and while this is amazing it is often limited to having to use the touch screen and while in the east this isn’t an issue for us in the west it’s still a point of contention to the point where many don’t consider mobile gaming as something viable. With the current trend of gaming phones from Asus’ ROG Phone line and Razer’s own Razer Phone line of gaming smartphones that have controller accessories and compatibility with console controllers; I’d say that mobile gaming is a very viable option and now with Razer’s own Razer Junglecat Bluetooth controller we’re going to find out how much more viable this controller makes mobile gaming a true gaming experience.
The design of the Razer Junglecat is….well lets be honest its based on the Nintendo Switch and Razer isn’t ashamed of it. The individual controls are basically just slightly smaller joycons with the same button layout as a Joycon. They come connected to a Joycon grip-like holster that is just a convient way to keep the controllers together and stored in a compact form factor that’s a smidge smaller than the joycons connected to the joycon grip. So how do these Joycons-like controllers attach to your smart phone? Well with one of the included cases with the controller. The cases included are for the Razer Phone 2, Samsung Galaxy S10+, and Huawei P30 Pro which all have divots for the controllers to slide into like the Nintendo Switch Joycons slide into the Switch. Again this isn’t being bashful in it’s copying of the Nintendo Switch.
So what happens if you do not own one of the following phones and want to mount the controllers onto it? Well if you had a 3D printer then problem solved but otherwise if you don’t have those phones then you can still use the controller although if you have large hands like I do then this can at times feel cramped. The button layout is easy to navigate and if you’ve used a Nintendo Switch then you will have 0 issues with it
The build of the Razer Junglecat is made of plastic that while not as weight and premium as the Joycons are sill none the less a pretty well-made controller. The D-pad is solid and incredibly responsive regardless of if you’re using it play you video games or navigate your android phone’s menu (albeit fairly limitedly given no home button). The buttons are going to be a point of contention based on how you like the feel of your buttons as if you’ve used razer controllers before such as the Raiju controllers then the buttons will feel just the same; if however you are used to the Nintendo Switch joycons or even the Nintendo Switch Lite then the buttons will feel clicky and potentially to some cheap and hollow feeling. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, one thing is for certain and its that the buttons are incredibly responsive. The analog sticks are honestly indistinguishable from the one’s on the Nintendo Switch and have the same degree of tilt and motion. On the bottom of each of the controllers is a blutooth/power on switch and USB type-C charging ports to charge the individual controllers.
The cases included feel pretty standard hard plastic that isn’t really a protective case at all and if you have the Razer Phone 2 then you lose the ability to see the glowing chroma logo on the back of the phone because the case covers the entirety of the back and some parts of the sides of the phone. Overall the build quality is serviceable and compact even if that means that I may not feel as premium as the joycons or even the Razer Raiju Mobile, they simply work.
Now the advertised game for this controllers is none other than fortnight and honestly it makes sense that this is the featured game on the box art of this controller given how globally popular that title is, HOWEVER, I for one do not care at all for Fortnite nor any battle royale style of game is they simply aren’t for me. That being said, this controller works perfectly for Fortnite, PUBG, and other mobile games of that sort but for me I’m playing this with games like Chrono Trigger, MANA, Castlevania, and more official titles but for me my main usages for this controller paired with my Razer Phone 2 is emulation as controller gives me that Nintendo Switch console like feel with the comfort of playing my retro games and even some homebrew games with utter ease. One of my favorite games to play with my Razer Phone 2 and this controller is both Legend of The Double Dragon and Ultimate Double Dragon which are made by my friend Mahcneto as the definitive Double Dragon experiences and with this controller every move pulled off is done so with ease and allowing me to never miss a beat.
Every emulator I’ve used with this controller is easily mappable and due to the GamePad application, you don’t have to worry about remapping many emulators as the app maps the buttons so you can honestly just fire up your favorite emulator and rom/ISO files and be gaming in minutes without a hitch.
Now lets talk about the one area I see a lot of people going to and that’s using xCloud for cloud gaming. We all know that cloud gaming is on it’s way to becoming the next huge thing in gaming (it’s slowly getting there but it’s way better than Google Stadia by a long mile) and given that it’s the next big thing there’s the desire for many to have full on console experiences on their mobile devices and with the few gaming phones on the market we have a lot of people wanting that experience in their palms and with honestly with my Razer Phone 2 and the Junglecat or even the Raiju Mobile that is a reality. I fired up xCloud and was able to play some Devil May Cry V, Forza 7, Soul Calibr 6, and WWE 2K20 ( Don’t Judge me I love wrestling). Devil May Cry V ran solidly on the Razer Phone 2 with the Junglecat on both wifi and cellular data with no drops in quality and controls having no input lag as I was able to get combos in and kick a ton of ass. In Forza 7 I experienced no issues either and it ran smooth, looked good, had no lag/latency, and just was a blast having my favorite racing game on the go. Soul Calibur 6 was the real shocker here as with the Junglecat and on Wi-Fi and data it ran without a hitch and I dropped 0 combos and had no input delay which when it comes to a fighting game you would expect it to have issue with cloud gaming and it honestly doesn’t. Finally I ran WWE 2K20 and it had no issues other than it’s universal bugginess and it ran generally ok but had some input lag and latency but that’s more of an issue with the game than xCloud paired with the Razer Phone 2 and Junglecat.
The WOW FACTOR of the Junglecat is in how it gives you that Nintendo Switch feel with an enormous library of games from emulation, mobile games, and cloud gaming which there is nothing else like it on the market and while yes you can get any number of controllers for mobile devices that may be more comfortable and cost a fraction of a fraction of the price of the Junglecat, the reality is the Junglecat comes with an app that allows you to fully control the settings and more of the controller along with setting up key bindings to almost all mobile games and emulators or even cloud gaming and that on top of the long battery life and quick charging via usb type-c it’s just awesome!
Well the only thing I personally have an issue with is the fact I can’t game and charge at the same time because after an hour or two the Razer Phone 2 paired with the Razer Junglecat drains the battery down to half battery life due to both the Bluetooth drain and running xCloud or a mobile game and pulling data (Wi-Fi or cellular). Other downsides I’ll mention are not issues for me but for some would be the build or the quality of the plastic and the buttons as many may find them to feel cheap and possibly fragile, but for me, I don’t feel that this is much of an issue as I like the build but that’s me and I need to mention it. The main downside I see that’s above all is the fact that if you don’t have the one of the phones that the Junglecat comes with a case for then that’s going to be an issue as either you have to wait for Razer to eventually make one for your phone or you will have to 3D print one for your phone (I’d love one for my Samsung Galaxy Note 10).
With a small compact for factor when connected to the case of the supported smart phones, excellent battery life with quick charge capability, a game app that auto configures your buttons to the game or emulator or cloud gaming, and responsiveness in games; the Razer Junglecat is my go to mobile gaming controller for my Razer Phone 2 and while I wish it had a case for the Galaxy Note 10, it still is a solid product that I feel is most definitely worth the price of admission given that you have the phone to utilize the case with.