Razer Kishi Ultra vs. Backbone One: Clash of the Extendable iPhone Gamepads

Cupertino, July 9, 2024

Gaming on the iPhone has evolved significantly. Now, users can enjoy retro-emulator games from platforms like Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Game Boy, as well as console-quality games such as Death Stranding. This expansion necessitates the use of a high-quality gaming controller.

iPhone gamepads have come a long way since the first debuted in 2013 with the iPhone 5s. Controllers like Logitech’s Powershell were once bulky and cumbersome, resembling SEGA’s Game Gear with poor DPAD responsiveness. Fast forward to 2024, and we have a plethora of sleek, wired and wireless controllers available for iPhones.

Among these, two gamepads rise above the rest: the Backbone One USB-C and Razer’s Kishi Ultra. The Backbone One merges the design elements of a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con and an Xbox controller. On the other hand, Razer’s Kishi Ultra features customizable Razer RGB Chroma lighting and an extra USB-C port, making it versatile for use with various devices, including the iPad Mini.

In light of their capabilities, we’ve put them head-to-head to determine which one comes out on top.

Backbone One vs. Razer Kishi Ultra: Specifications

The differences between the two controllers are subtle yet significant. Here's a quick rundown of the key specifications.

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Specs Backbone One Razer Kishi Ultra
Dimensions Height: 93.9 mm Width (Contracted): 176.2 mm Width (Extended): 257.6 mm Depth: 32.6 mm Length: 110.8 mm Width: Collapsed: 244.8 mm Expanded: 334.8 mm Height: 64.3 mm Length: 210 mm Thickness: 13.5 mm
Weight 4.87 ounces 9.38 ounces
Price $99 $149
Compatibility Android and iPhones with USB-C iPhones with USB-C and iPad mini 6
Apps Requires $49.99 yearly fee to use Free to use

Backbone One vs. Razer Kishi Ultra: Design

Razer Kishi Ultra showing Hades on iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)

Both controllers exhibit a design that adapts to the varying sizes of iPhone models. However, Razer’s Kishi Ultra stands out by also accommodating an iPad Mini, enabling gaming on its 8.3-inch display.

The Backbone One employs a button layout akin to a PlayStation controller, while the Razer Kishi Ultra follows the Xbox layout. Both controllers feature capture buttons for recording screenshots and videos, allowing for easy sharing on social media platforms.

A common feature between both controllers is the inclusion of a headphone jack, which lets players use wired headphones and charge the device simultaneously. The key difference, however, lies in the lack of RGB lighting on the Backbone One, a hallmark of Razer products. The Kishi Ultra features customizable RGB lights controlled via the Razer Game Launcher app.

Backbone One vs. Razer Kishi Ultra: Feel

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