Forget Backbone One — Razer’s new Kishi Ultra could be the only mobile game controller you ever need

Razer Kishi Ultra attached to a phone playing a game
(Image credit: Razer)

Mobile gaming is hotter than a plate full of Carolina Reaper chilis right now, and if you haven't already bagged yourself one of the best phone controllers yet, you'll want to take note of Razer's latest creation.

The new Razer Kishi Ultra builds on the foundations laid by the excellent Razer Kishi 2 V2 and may just be the last mobile game controller you ever need. It's an excellent all-rounder that'll accommodate pretty much whatever you use for your regular Genshin Impact fix. It's compatible with the USB-C-toting iPhone 15 series as well as most Android smartphones — Razer specifically calls out the Galaxy S23 series and up, and the Pixel 6 and up. But it can also expand enough to fit onto an iPad mini or any 8-inch Android tablet.

Finally, you can even tether it to your PC if you're that way inclined.

Personally, I was very happy to see the Kishi Ultra will also work with a number of iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro cases. There's nothing more annoying for me than having to prise off a beaten and weatherworn FineWoven case just to slot my phone into a controller for a ten-minute blast of Call of Duty. The Razer Ultra's full list of supported cases for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are:

  • Apple Clear Case
  • dbrand Ghost
  • dbrand Grip
  • Casetify Mirror Series
  • Casetify Impact Series (Not Ring Stand)
  • Casetify Leather Series
  • Mous Superthin
  • Otterbox Figura Series

Catching the feels

Razer Kishi Ultra attached to a PC playing a game

(Image credit: Razer)

Both the original Razer Kishi and the V2 model were rightly praised for the comfortable ergonomics. And perhaps the biggest draw of the Razer Kishi Ultra is the advanced haptics it brings to the table. The controller features Razer's Sensa HD immersive haptics that — the company claims — converts any audio into tactile feedback. So whether you're gaming, watching a movie or listening to audio, you'll get high-fidelity haptics "stronger, more detailed, and more nuanced than traditional console controller vibrations."

While this is the company's first commercially available product to feature Sensa haptics, it's only available on Android 12 or above and Windows 11. Sorry, iOS gamers.

Finally, there's some neat Chroma RGB lights fitted beneath the joysticks and the controller works with Razer's Nexus app which acts as a launcher for all your native mobile games as well as Apple Arcade and Xbox Game Pass.

Razer Kishi Ultra attached to a tablet playing a game

(Image credit: Razer)

The Kishi Ultra is available right now direct from Razer for $149 (at time of writing, it's out of stock at Amazon) and the company has also dropped a USB-C version of the Kishi V2, which you can pick up also from Razer for $99.

If you need further convincing, just read my colleague Malcolm McMillan's piece on why he'd choose the Razer Kishi V2 over the Steam Deck.    

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Jeff Parsons
UK Editor In Chief

Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.

A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.