Games on smartphones and tablets have gotten really, really good. With phones regularly packing in 1.5GHz quad-core processors and 2GB of RAM, the games are fast approaching console-quality. The one thing holding them back? Touchscreen controls aren’t nearly as good as a handheld controller. Here’s a brief review of 7 such controllers which can work well with your smartphones and tablets.
1.MAD CATZ L.Y.N.X 9
Mad Catz has announced the L.Y.N.X 9, a new modular gamepad controller at CES 2015 which will work with your smartphone, tablet and your gaming PC as well. The controller is now available for pre-order for $299 (Rs. 18,900) from the Mad Catz website and will start shipping by March 2015.The L.Y.N.X 9 is made mostly of metal and since it is a modular controller, the whole controller can be adjusted to your liking. The controller is made primarily for Android gaming and can accommodate up to a 7-inch Android and hold it in place. The bundled app which comes with this controller lets you change the precision levels for individual sticks and triggers. It also has a built in mic which can used for calling or can be used for Google voice. The controller uses Bluetooth and Mad Catz claims that the rechargable battery on the controller will last 30 hours. The controller can also be used with your Windows powered PC or laptop via Bluetooth, the only requirements being Windows 7 or above and the required proprietary software. You can also hook the controller to your HDTV via Play Big cables and mirror your device to your HDTV. And if you have an Onlive or Steam account, you can stream your games from your PC to the screen you desire.
There’s a new gamepad available for iOS devices, and this one should appeal to those who prefer their controllers wired instead of wireless. 60beat’sGamePad, now available, is a $50 external game controller with 6 face buttons, 2 analog joysticks that can click in as buttons, a d-pad, and 2 shoulder buttons. It doesn’t use the dock port or USB to connect – instead it connects through the headphone/mic port, in a similar method to the iRig. While this naturally means the speakers won’t work, a headphone cable splitter is included.
The Phonejoy is small, slightly chunky, and does not look like it would be very comfortable to hold. It’s very slightly taller than a PS Vita, and about twice as thick. The width is adjustable, but with a 5-inch phone inside, this thing dwarfs the Vita.The buttons and analogue sticks are laid out in the same placement as an Xbox 360 controller. The left analogue stick is high with a direction-pad below, and to its right is the right analogue, and the four face buttons are above that. On top there are two shoulder buttons for each side.In the middle, the design has a toothed pattern – this is where the two halves of the Phonejoy meet.
The build quality of the gamepad is actually pretty impressive – it feels more durable than a Playstation 3 gamepad and the buttons and sticks look great and feel great too. The shell is made with from pastic, but all the buttons are bordered in chrome and topped with a layer of rubber, including the analogue sticks and even the power and invert toggles.
Compatibility: Android, iOS, also works with Mac, Linux, and Windows PCs
Price: about $50
The iCade 8-Bitty Retro Wireless Game Controller is cute, not too expensive, and works with a decent batch of iCade-compatible games. It’s also Android-compatible.it sure looks like a classic NES gamepad alright. It connects to your mobile device wirelessly over Bluetooth and requires two AAA batteries to operate.
- Small and durable
- Button layout intuitive
Compatibility: Android, iOS
It’s like a smaller, flatter console controller. An arm flips up to hold any sized phone (yes, even the giant Galaxy Note II). There are two sticks, two shoulder triggers (not depressible), four buttons, Start, Select, and a mysterious MOGA button. No D-pad.The controller is light and ergonomically comfortable to hold. It grips phones very securely. Pairing with phones and tablets is fairly easy, though you have to us the MOGA app, which is sub par. There was no perceptible lag in the gameplay.
• Network: Bluetooth
• OS: Works with Android 2.3 and above
• Battery: Two AAAs.
• Weight: 5.2 ounces (with battery)
• Price: $45
These miniature controllers are very light and fit comfortably in the hand, with a kind of rubberized texture which means they won’t slip out of your hands.They consist of a little joystick for your thumb, an A and B button for your index and middle fingers and a C button tucked in a recess underneath the controller.The end of each controller slides open to allow insertion of two AAA batteries.It would not be wrong to make a comparison to the Wii nunchuk attachment. The Zeemote is almost functionally identical.These are great little controllers, but the problem Zeemote have is developer support. Most Android games are designed for touchscreen and don’t support the Zeemote. Even those that do, often still require menu buttons to be pressed on-screen meaning you interrupt the hands-off experience by going back to your tablet/phone.
High level of control
The idroid:con controller provides gamers with a true, premium, console-based controller. In fact, this has been the best feeling controller that New Gamer Nation has been able to get its over-sized hands on. Aesthetically, the controller is laid out the same way as your PlayStation 3 controller is laid out, giving gamers a much needed familiar feel. However, Snakebyte goes above and beyond in striving for the highest quality. The controller’s size and weight more closely resembles an Xbox 360 controller. Whether you’re a Sony or Microsoft gamer, the design should feel familiar and comfortable to you. Snakebyte has done a fantastic job easing the transition from console to mobile.For all the controller’s strengths, there was one minor issue with the design. The idroid:con controller uses a mini, and not a micro, USB port for charging. Android smart phones and tablets use micro USB as the standard port for charging. However, since SnakeByte provides the cable in the box, it isn’t a big problem, but just a minor annoyance.
The idroid:con controller performed very well whether it was tested on an Android or iOS device. The controller had solid response time regardless of the operating system. The controller provides five different function modes which allow for all different types of games to be played.
Compatibility: Android, iOS