Logitech G Gaming Handheld Review

Logitech G is A bold piece of hardware that has very little to show.

Logitech introduced their G Cloud Gaming Handheld last month. It was a big hit with many people, including mine. It’s clear that the future of cloud gaming is in our sights. We can access thousands of quality games instantly without having to wait for updates or downloads. The cloud gaming landscape in 2022 is still messy. Xbox Game Pass continues its growth and expands to new platforms such as VR. However, other cloud services like Google Stadia have stopped supporting it after a few years.

The Logitech Cloud is in a unique position. The G Cloud is somewhere in between streaming games to a mobile phone with a dedicated controller or something more powerful like the Steam Deck. The G Cloud feels more like a proof-of-concept than a real competitor due to the limited number of cloud services available and the high price of entry.

Logitech Cloud Design and Features

Logitech G Gaming Handheld Review

The Logitech G Cloud 7-inch Android tablet is built in a custom hardware shell. It features all you would expect from a modern gaming controller including dual analog sticks and bumpers and triggers as well as option buttons and a home button.

The G Cloud’s internal processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720 G, a midrange 8-core processor that was designed to be efficient over power and has been around for nearly three years. This is not a problem as most of the heavy lifting for cloud gaming is done server-side. You shouldn’t expect the best performance if you download and install games from the Google Play Store. You can also expand the storage via microSD cards to increase it further.

The LCD 7-inch display has 450 nits brightness and IPS technology to provide good viewing angles. The display has a resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 60Hz, which is plenty for cloud gaming. Multi-touch is also supported by the display. This means that typing on the keyboard isn’t so bad and you can navigate menus with your finger if you like. Touch is the only way to navigate menus in some apps that don’t recognize these built-in controls.

The 6,000mAh internal battery will give you approximately 12 hours of battery life, as most of your gaming time is spent streaming and not running local games. Based on my experience, it was accurate. It decreased by about 5-10% per hour when I used the Xbox Cloud Streaming App. Fast Charge 3.0 is supported via the USB-C port at the bottom. This allows you to charge your device from 0% to 100% in as little as two hours. Although the G Cloud claims that it has a standby time of 830 hours, this number can vary depending on how you use it. The handheld sat idle for about a week and was completely drained when I returned it to use. It was still very reliable, even though I used it frequently. I just had to remember to close all apps after using them.

The G Cloud supports WiFi 5, a somewhat outdated standard (802.11/a/b/g/n/ac), and can connect to both 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks. WiFi 6 is a missed opportunity in 2022, given its speed increase and overall efficiency. However, most home networks will need to be upgraded to reap the benefits. The Logitech G cloud doesn’t have an internal 5G radio. To play, you will need to connect to a hotspot on your mobile device or find WiFi elsewhere. This is the biggest flaw in its design. It was made for a future that we aren’t ready for in terms of infrastructure and accessibility. The G Cloud is a mere paperweight without WiFi – unless you intend to use it to run Android mobile games.

The G Cloud, just like other mobile devices, also has a 3D Gyroscope and haptic feedback. However, this was not supported during my cloud gaming sessions and only appears to work with native Android games and apps.

The Logitech Cloud’s bottom has a pair of stereo speakers, a jack for headphones, and a USB C port that can charge your device. It also supports USB-C digital headphones for audio. The device supports Bluetooth headphones and has a stereo microphone that can be used to provide limited echo cancellation and noise suppression.

At 463 grams, the G Cloud is quite lightweight. Most of its weight is distributed between the left- and right grips. It is slightly heavier than the Nintendo Switch, which weighs around 422 grams with both Joy-Cons attached. However, it is significantly lighter than the Steam Deck 669-gram-weight. The G Cloud’s rounded edges and textured ergonomic grips make it easy to hold for long periods of time.

Logitech Cloud – Software

Logitech GCloud ships with Android 11 as its OS. This is a strange choice considering Android 13 was only released on some devices a few months ago. However, I think most users won’t care about the latest Android features anyway. To get the full Android 11 tablet experience, you can use the G Cloud with “Tablet Mode”, but it is recommended that you play in “Handheld Mode”. This overlays a dedicated launcher similar to the Nintendo Switch home screen. It includes a series of tiles cascading horizontally, in order of the most recent use, to give the device a console feel.

Before I could boot it up, I had to configure the device with my Google Account. After that, I was offered the option of choosing between the Handheld and Tablet Modes. The device comes preloaded with Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Streaming beta apps. It also includes the standard Xbox and Steam Link apps to stream locally. You’ll find four game options as well as the standard Google apps like Chrome, Calendar, and Contacts. Unfortunately, these apps cannot be removed.

You can get almost any app from the Google Play Store, including Netflix, Disney+, and the seemingly endless stream of Android shovelware apps. Apps like Amazon Luna and PlayStation Remote Play didn’t recognize the controller and offered only the option of using touchscreen controls or pairing a separate Bluetooth control for gaming. Although it’s not clear if additional cloud-based or local streaming apps will be available in the future, you can currently use the four listed above.

Logitech doesn’t appear to have any special integration with these apps. The Xbox Cloud Streaming app, which comes preinstalled on G Cloud, is really just a shortcut to xbox.com/play. A separate Xbox Game Pass app, with a different user interface, is available through Google Play Store. You can click any link at the bottom to close the app. There is no way to relaunch the app. Instead, you will have to close the app and relaunch the browser version. Or, manually navigate through Microsoft’s website to get to the Xbox Cloud Streaming beta page.

The Nvidia GeForce Now application was also not very good. After launching the app and signing in using my Nvidia account I was informed that I did not have a subscription. It sent me back to the login screen with no option to sign up for the service or to try it free of charge. Instead, I had to go to Nvidia’s website to sign up, then return to the G Cloud to sign in again to be able to start gaming. It’s hard to believe that this device is designed to be spontaneous.

The handheld mode can be customized with the settings app, which offers four wallpapers and a light or dark theme. However, there are no options to customize or create your own wallpapers. There’s also a section to remap every button except the G button.

Logitech G Cloud – Gaming

This section will be prefaced by saying that because this device is intended for cloud streaming, your experience may vary depending on many factors such as your location and network speed. My testing was done with a connection speed of 300Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. This enabled me to stream games over WiFi.

I spent the majority of my time playing various games via the Xbox Cloud Streaming app. It was easy to navigate the menus and find the game I wanted to play. The built-in gamepad recognized my device easily. It took me about 20-30 seconds to launch a game, while it connected with the Xbox servers. Then I was in.

It’s still magical to have large, beautiful games like Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon in your hands. The Xbox Game Pass experience felt similar to my previous testing of a variety of mobile game controllers. However, this one felt stronger and had a larger screen. Although it may not seem like much it makes the experience feel more dedicated. I didn’t get distracting notifications every few minutes and the controls felt more console-like.

The G Cloud is made primarily out of plastic but it feels solid and sturdy. It feels great with a comfortable thumbstick, clicky D-pad, and responsive buttons. Although the triggers are slightly wider and deeper than traditional gamepads, they are analog so you have more control over how fast you move in games like Forza Horizon 5. The only problem I have with the controls is the distance between the A button and the right analog stick. The analog stick is located directly below the A button, with a clearance of about half an inch. This can lead to accidental bumping, which could cause you to lose your aim in action games or fast-paced shooters.

The biggest lesson I took away from using a dedicated cloud device to stream games was that not all games can be streamed to small screens. Doom Eternal ran exceptionally well, hitting its 60 fps target consistently with no noticeable latency in regard to controls. Unfortunately, a lot of the text and icons on-screen were difficult to read due to the loss of clarity when streaming over WiFi. There were also a lot of artifacts when running in fast-paced shooters like Deathloop or Halo Infinite.

I downloaded the PlayStation Remote Play App from the Google Play Store to stream games to my PS5. However, the app didn’t recognize my built-in gamepad and instead displayed touchscreen controls or the option of pairing a separate Bluetooth controller. This could be fixed with a software upgrade, but there isn’t any integration from Logitech to ensure that apps recognize the controller automatically. It seems a little disappointing that the handheld is limited to two cloud streaming services (Xbox Cloud Streaming, Nvidia GeForce Now), and two local options (Xbox Link and Steam Link) at this time.

Even more confusing is the fact that none of the Google Play Store games, such as Apex Legends Mobile or Call of Duty Mobile, recognized my built-in gamepad. This meant I was limited to using touch controls which isn’t practical due to the device’s width. Although this device is cloud-first, limiting local options to touchscreen-only further limits its usefulness when it’s not in an area with WiFi.

A second problem, though minor, is the inability to delete any preinstalled Google applications. This is an Android experience at its core. It feels overshadowed and overwhelmed by Google. Google’s 15+ apps are constantly updated, which invariably pushes the few gaming services from the home page launcher. This leaves you with many tiles for Maps, Messages, and other services that you probably don’t want to use. It’s not something I want to do. I don’t want to go to the messages folder and see a lot of emails that I don’t care about. In Handheld mode, I would have liked to be able to disable Google services and specific apps so that it is more focused on gaming.

Purchasing Guide

The Logitech G cloud gaming handheld can be purchased directly from Logitech or Best Purchase. Or, you can buy it through Amazon at an MSRP of $349.99.


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