Great for cloud gaming, but a bit pricey
When Logitech announced the G Cloud, I was genuinely excited. Here was another new gaming device that was attempting to leverage the power of cloud gaming. Made for easy access to your favorite titles using services like Xbox Game Pass, GeForce NOW, Steam Link and more.
It even has Android built-in so you can play mobile games if you wish. After using this thing for a few months to serve my couch gaming needs, I can say this is a great device for shorter, casual gaming sessions or even longer gaming marathons. However, it does have a few missteps that I would love to have seen change, or that I hope change in future iterations should Logitech decide to make and release a follow-up.
There are some improvements that could be made. Regardless, the G Cloud has been one of my favorite devices to game on in recent times. And a lot of that is attributed to its ease of use, as well as its comfortable to hold ergonomic design. That being said, it does lose me in a few areas. So let’s get into what makes this a fun gaming device and what Logitech could improve on.
The Logitech G Cloud is built for marathon sessions
Right out of the gate, one thing I noticed about the Logitech G Cloud is that it was designed to deliver great battery life. That’s why Logitech didn’t bake this thing with top-end components with more than necessary performance and power.
It wanted the G Cloud to last you for a good amount of time before needing a recharge. I was presently surprised to learn that it more or less lived up to what Logitech promised. A solid 12 hours at least. Your mileage may vary, of course, but for me, it was consistently getting 12 hours or more. Give or take the odd cycle where it would last a little less time due to my use of Bluetooth headphones and cranking up the brightness on the display.
Overall, though, you should expect the G Cloud to hit that 12-hour mark almost all the time. Which is great. Because if you’re only playing a few hours a day, you shouldn’t have to plug it in until the end of the week. For me, I found myself using it for two to three hours a day. Which meant I could pull it off the charger on Monday with a fresh, 100% battery and not worry about plugging it in until anywhere between Thursday and Saturday.
Some of the best feeling buttons on a handheld
I’m not sure not everyone would agree with me here, but I genuinely love the buttons on the G Cloud. They’re comfortable to press and give a decent amount of feedback. None of the face buttons feel mushy, and the joysticks don’t make my thumbs feel sore after playing for a few hours like some controllers can.
What I like the most though, are the triggers. They have a noticeable curve to them that just fits the shape of your fingers so nicely as you have them sitting there. And this makes a big difference in not only comfort but a tactile feel when pressing them down.
There’s not too much travel in them and both the triggers and the bumpers have grooves that I’m certain are intended to help with grip and prevent slippage should your fingers get a little sweaty. Though I never found this to be an issue. If there’s one downside to the buttons it’s that there are no remappable buttons on the back or anywhere else. So if you like a more custom set of controls, you won’t find them here.
That aside, all the buttons feel great and like they’ll hold up over time. And I didn’t notice any issues with stick drift which was a big plus.
A great ergonomic design that’s lightweight and comfortable
While I love my Steam Deck, there is no denying that it sometimes feels like an ungainly beast. It’s heavy by handheld standards, and the sheer size of it can make it hard to hold when leaning back in bed or on the couch if wanting to play for more than an hour or two.
You don’t really have that problem with the G Cloud. Which is more lightweight and slightly smaller. It has a great ergonomic design that I found was comfortable to hold for hours. Everything feels like it’s in the right place and I wouldn’t change a thing. Save for maybe moving the Logitech G and home buttons a little more north.
I also wouldn’t mind (and would probably prefer) if the two speakers were front-facing as opposed to bottom-firing. But Logitech probably didn’t do this due to room for all the face inputs. On the bottom you’ll also find the USB-C port where you’ll plug in the charging cable, and a 3.5mm audio port for wired headphones if you want personalized audio without having to drain the battery more than gameplay already will.
On the top is where the volume rocker is located so adjusting volume levels is easy enough, and Logitech opted for a power slider here instead of a traditional button. I found this to be a little more finicky than a power button you press but you do get use to it. Logitech also placed a microSD card slot on the top should you need more than it’s already built-in 64GB of internal storage.
Logitech clearly put a lot of thought into the design and build quality of this device. It feels rigid and doesn’t have any flex because it’s one solid unit. While I would leave almost everything untouched, I do wish it came in more than one colorway. A nice matte black would have been a great option.
Satisfying software makes the experience better
Software makes up a good portion of the experience with any system. And Logitech has done a great job here I think. The home interface has an easy to navigate UI with all of your apps laid out in a series of panels you can scroll through horizontally.
Not unlike what you’d find on a PS4 or PS5. Things like the Play Store, GeForce NOW, and similar apps for cloud gaming are already in this list but you can also add more panels if you end up installing a game you want quick access to. A simple downward press on the d-pad brings up the “add app” function where you can select from all of your installed apps and games.
One of my favorite parts about the system software is the audio. You can certainly turn the sound effects off. But for me, they add to the experience. And the unique sound effects for scrolling and menu navigation give it more of a fun feeling. Since this is essentially just a skinned version of Android, you’ll update all your apps via the Play Store just like you did if this were a phone or tablet. And you can easily check for updates by tapping the quick settings buttons above the left joystick and four action buttons.
And when in apps like Xbox Game Pass, you can use the G button to bring up your friends list to see who’s online. This button doesn’t do the same thing in every app though. For instance, in GeForce NOW it takes you back to the home screen just like the home button does. So Logitech’s thoughtful integration doesn’t apply everywhere.
Still, the user interface and software as a whole is easy to use and I don’t think it’s going to bother anyone the way things are set up.
You’re limited to Wi-Fi, and that’s the main downfall
The only real issue with this device is that it is a Wi-Fi-only handheld. It does come with integrated storage. So you can install Android mobile games at your leisure and play them when you desire. But due to the G Cloud’s more mid-range specifications, games like Genshin Impact are probably out of the question. Unless you want to dump the graphics down to their absolute lowest. Either that, or the games tend to suffer from low frame rates.
Logitech wasn’t exactly shy about this fact though. It was straight up from the start that this was designed as a handheld meant for cloud gaming. And that’s really how this device should be used if you want to get the most enjoyment out of it. Therein lies the problem though. You’re limited to using Wi-Fi. Since it doesn’t come with a 5G connection capability. And it doesn’t do too great when connected to a hotspot either, at least not for games that offer online multiplayer. Destiny 2 for example, not great when playing via a tethered connection.
If all you want is something to use on Wi-Fi then you will love this thing. Because it makes for a perfect couch companion and it’s great for playing games in bed.
The verdict: Should you buy the Logitech G Cloud?
I think Logitech had a clear customer in mind when setting out to make this device. But unfortunately for Logitech, it has plenty of competition from handhelds that offer equally (if not sometimes more) compelling features and performance.
The G Cloud is made well and I have enjoyed using it. Thoroughly. However, it’s a tough sell for me at its price point. You can now find it at $50 off the launch price (which was $350), so it’s a better deal now than it was when it first released. Still, $299 is a big ask for something that won’t play graphically demanding local mobile titles, and can’t connect to mobile internet without a hotspot for cloud gaming.
Especially when your phone already does the same things the G Cloud will do. Then you have to factor in that devices like the Steam Deck, which can be had for just a little more money and will play games locally without internet. Not to mention Razer’s newly released Edge can be had in a 5G model. Which is a direct competitor to this handheld. But all of that said the G Cloud is still a really cool piece of gaming hardware and I do think it’s a good buy for some gamers.
Buy the Logitech G Cloud if:
- You want a dedicated cloud gaming handheld that isn’t your phone
- You plan to use it mostly at home or other locations that have Wi-Fi
- Comfort and battery life are important to you.
Don’t buy the Logitech G Cloud if:
- You want something that connects to 5G
- You want to play graphically demanding local games
In the end, the Logitech G Cloud is a well-made gaming handheld. If it didn’t suffer from the lack of mobile internet capabilities, it would be a solid buy for more people. Either that, or a price drop down to around $200-$250 would make it more of a good value. I can certainly recommend it. But I do also suggest doing some heavy consideration on why you want one before making the purchase.