Tag Archives: gaming

Phonejoy Gamepad 2 Review: A Solid Upgrade

Phonejoy Gamepad 2 Review: A Solid Upgrade

There isn’t any scarcity of Android gamepads lately, at costs starting from simply round Rs. 1,000, to between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000 for worldwide manufacturers like Steelseries and Mad Catz. A lot of the gamepads obtainable on-line are both tiny controllers (that are actually not probably the most comfy to make use of), or – as is far more frequent now – roughly the dimensions (and form) of an Xbox One controller, with a flip-out deal with within the center the place you’ll be able to connect your cellphone.

It is a good resolution, for probably the most half, since you do not want a separate stand to prop up the cellphone when taking part in, and the massive measurement additionally signifies that the controller tends to be comfy to make use of throughout lengthy gaming classes. The catch is that many of the controllers of this model are typically somewhat cumbersome – you’ll be able to’t precisely slip one into your pocket and carry it round.

A great compromise between portability and luxury is the Phonejoy Gamepad and an improved model of the gamepad goes to be obtainable quickly. The Phonejoy appears like a miniature controller – and can be utilized like one, should you’re gaming on a pill or a wise TV – however it really splits down the center and might be stretched like an accordion to wrap round your cellphone. The result’s one thing like a PlayStation Transportable, and should you’re a fan of the concept, you’ll be able to set up a PSP emulator from the Play Retailer, assuming you might have a stash of authorized PSP video games obtainable, in fact.

original_phonejoy_android.jpg

In our assessment of the unique Phonejoy gamepad, we might famous that we actually appreciated the little gamepad, and located it comfy to make use of with (and with out) a cellphone. There have been just a few points although – the shoulder buttons had been spongy, and the analog sticks had been too brief to make use of comfortably, and worst of all, there have been some fairly critical compatibility points.

The brand new model of the Phonejoy, which we have been utilizing for per week now addresses all these points, and the result’s a controller that may be a delight to make use of with a battery that’s nonetheless going robust after 10 hours of gaming. Compatibility can also be not as a lot of an issue because it was final 12 months, although the credit score for that lies with Android.

The small, but chunky Phonejoy Gamepad 2 is nearly unchanged by way of design, and whereas it is somewhat too thick to only slip into your denims, it is sufficiently small to place right into a jacket pocket or cargo pants. The interlinked steel part within the center is reassuringly strong trying, and comes again with a snap – this would possibly change over time, however one 12 months down the road, the Kickstarter version of the unique Phonejoy remains to be feeling fairly strong.

phonejoy_side_buttons.jpg

The LG G3 nearly matches into the Phonejoy Gamepad 2, although the perfect measurement is somewhat smaller – round 5-inches. In case your cellphone is greater than six inches then it will not match within the controller – you will should prop it up on a stand whereas gaming as a substitute.

The buttons all really feel very strong, and clicky. The D-pad remains to be somewhat spongy although – it is higher than final 12 months, however that is one space the place there may be nonetheless room to enhance. The identical is true for the analog sticks – they are a particular enchancment over the unique, however in comparison with the total controller model gamepads just like the Amkette Evo Gamepad Professional, that is nonetheless fairly brief, and never as satisfying. It is a obligatory compromise to will let you slip your Phonejoy into your pocket, however it does really feel somewhat stiff consequently.

Connecting the Phonejoy Gamepad 2 to your cellphone is actually easy, and the companion app lets you discover video games you’ll be able to play simply. It divides video games into completely different genres, and likewise exhibits the costs, so you’ll be able to scoop up the perfect free video games if you need. The Phonejoy app additionally features a part for emulators, in case you need to have some retro enjoyable.

phonejoy_buttons.jpg

The general expertise of utilizing the brand new Phonejoy Gamepad 2 is nice, and by now, the library of video games that make the most of this peripheral additionally appears fairly good, over and above the ever current emulators. The catch is the value – you may get a Phonejoy for $69.90 (roughly Rs. four,600); that is a excessive value contemplating that you could get a branded gamepad like Amkette’s for somewhat over half that value. Alternatively, in comparison with Steelseries or Mad Catz, this looks like a steal.

In fact, there’s additionally transport – you will have to purchase it from Phonejoy’s web site, after which transport will value you further. This additionally additional tilts the worth equation.

When you’re comfy with the value, then the construct high quality of the Phonejoy Gamepad 2 is high notch, simply competing with the opposite worldwide manufacturers. And its design is the perfect mix of portability and gaming consolation that we have used up to now. We really feel that in India particularly, the price of transport coupled with cheaper native options (which may be much less moveable, or much less sturdy, relying on what you purchase) make the Phonejoy a tough promote right here, however it’s nonetheless a fairly good purchase. Is that value paying a premium for? Solely you’ll be able to resolve.

 

Amkette Evo Gamepad Pro Review: Good Build, Fun Gaming

Amkette Evo Gamepad Pro Review: Good Build, Fun Gaming

Amkette has, through the years, been rolling out numerous trendy trying cellular merchandise, beginning in 2012 in with the Amkette Evo TV, which was up to date and launched final yr because the value-for-money Evo TV MC. The corporate has additionally launched numerous wired and wi-fi headphones, in addition to a Bluetooth speaker. Now, it is launched the Amkette Evo Gamepad Professional, a Bluetooth gamepad to be used with Android gadgets, accessible solely on Flipkart, at Rs. 2,799.

Like Amkette’s different merchandise, the Evo Gamepad Professional is an efficient trying gadget. The button structure, and the position of its analog sticks seems to attract on the design of the Xbox 360 gamepad, with two analog sticks, a four-way route pad, 4 face buttons, two shoulder buttons, and two triggers, together with dwelling, again and begin buttons.

There is a flip out part within the center, which will be opened to function a stand to your Android telephone. Lifting the duvet additionally reveals the battery mild, together with the 2 indicators for the Bluetooth mode, the Micro-USB port to cost the battery, and an on-off toggle swap. We full charged it 5 days in the past and we’ve not had the necessity to cost it since regardless of clocking in round eight hours of gaming between then and now.

amkette_gamepad_with_phone.jpg

The perimeters of the gamepad are lined with small grooves, which offer a pleasant grip that does not get uncomfortable over a protracted gaming session both. The orange accents below the sticks look good, whereas the buttons and triggers all really feel very rugged and satisfying to make use of. The one challenge we had with the design is that the clip for our telephone did not all the time lock in place correctly, which will be a problem when gaming.

Establishing the gamepad is fairly easy – simply energy it up and preserve the house button pressed for a couple of seconds, and it goes into pairing mode. To make the method even less complicated, you need to obtain the Amkette Evo Gamepad Professional app from Google Play; begin the app and it exhibits you a useful blueprint exhibiting you the place all of the buttons are.

The identical app additionally features a checklist of video games which can be suitable with the Evo Gamepad Professional, so you could find and set up video games simply. Should you’ve already acquired a number of the video games put in, these will even present up within the “Put in” tab within the app. It is fairly just like what Phonejoy did for its gamepad, which launched in April final yr, and this app makes it a lot simpler to search out the video games you need.

amkette_gamepad_shoulder_buttons.jpg

The place issues fall brief, sadly, is within the precise gaming with the Amkette Evo Gamepad Professional. That is as a result of the compatibility with completely different handsets is a little bit of a success and a miss.

When it labored effective, we actually preferred the Amkette Evo Gamepad Professional. We have been reviewing Pac-Man 256 and actually loved enjoying the sport utilizing this controller. Seaside Buggy Blitz and Tabletop Racing each have been a number of enjoyable to play utilizing this gamepad, as was Useless Set off 2, although the latter required a good period of time to be spent customising the controls. However there have been another video games which have been a catastrophe.

For instance Meltdown, a twin stick shooter which is likely one of the featured video games within the Evo Gamepad Professional app – recognised all of the controls, however solely on the settings web page. With Meltdown, we might both shoot or goal. One other featured recreation that had points was BombSquad. There, the settings web page allowed us to assign completely different buttons to run. As soon as the sport began, none of them labored. We had none of those issues with the Phonejoy.

UPDATE: After this assessment was printed, Amkette contacted NDTV Devices to confirm the considerations which we had highlighted. After some testing, Amkette was in a position to confirm that the difficulty was as a consequence of a firmware drawback on the unit which had been supplied for assessment. We’ve since examined recent items of the Evo Gamepad, and confronted no compatibility points. Amkette has advised NDTV Devices that in case of any points with a buyer’s Evo Gamepad, it would present an on-site software program replace to repair the error, and additional, claims that it detected this drawback earlier than the retail items have been being packaged, so the chance of individuals going through points is restricted. Should you bought this gamepad and are going through any compatibility points, we strongly advise you to contact Amkette instantly.

amkette_gamepad_buttons.jpg

Regardless of some points with the primary unit we reviewed, we nonetheless just like the controller – the design and construct high quality is fairly good, and the worth is not unhealthy both. And if it really works nicely along with your Android machine, then we predict it is a fairly good gamepad; it is easy to think about somebody with an Evo TV shopping for this gamepad to play Android video games on their TV.

Whether or not you are making an attempt to expertise retro remakes, or enjoying a number of the latest Android video games that assist controllers, there are a number of enjoyable experiences to have when you’re a gamer. As gamepads turn into standardised and reasonably priced, we’re hoping that Android gaming will lastly take off.

The Amkette Evo Gamepad Professional launched at present, and is out there solely on Flipkart at Rs. 2,799. We acquired a assessment unit which we used for per week earlier than penning this.

Obtain the Devices 360 app for Android and iOS to remain updated with the newest tech information, product critiques, and unique offers on the favored mobiles.

Original NDTV Gadgets

Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism Review: Gaming in Style

Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism Review: Gaming in Style

The growth of the gaming scene in India has led to a massive upsurge in the availability of quality gaming peripherals. One particular segment that has benefited from this is gaming audio. A steady stream of personal gaming audio products has been making its way to the market, including products from top brands such as Kingston, Asus, Razer, and Steelseries.

Speaking of Danish manufacturer Steelseries, one of its latest products in India is the Siberia Elite Prism. At Rs. 16,999, it’s a fair bit more expensive than a lot of competing products such as the Kingston HyperX Cloud II and Asus Strix Pro. Unlike Kingston and Asus however, Steelseries is a specialist in gaming peripherals and is closely associated with electronic sports and professional gaming around the world. Does that give the Siberia Elite Prism a leg up over its competitors? We find out in our review.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_logo_ndtv.jpg

Design, fit and specifications
The Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism has a frequency response range of 16-28,000Hz, with an impedance of 32Ohms and a sensitivity rating of 120dB. The standard cable that is permanently attached to the headset is 1.2m long, but a 2m extension cable is also included in the box. Both of these cables are flat and tangle-resistant.

The standard connector is a UC-E6 pin, which connects to the included Steelseries USB soundcard. A couple of adapters have also been included, which convert the UC-E6 signal to either a combined 3.5mm headset plug or individual 3.5mm microphone and audio plugs. The headset has a retractable and flexible unidirectional microphone as well. The Siberia Elite Prism is compatible with Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, and the Sony PlayStation 4 out of the box, while Xbox One compatibility requires an adapter which is sold separately.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_software_ndtv.jpg

The included USB soundcard is housed inside a compact piece of plastic that takes over digital-to-analogue conversion duties from your PC when plugged in through USB. It has no controls whatsoever on it; only ports for the UC-E6 and 3.5mm plugs and a small indicator LED. You can choose to bypass the soundcard and just use one of the 3.5mm adapters to plug the headset directly into a source device, or another soundcard or DAC. However, the included soundcard ensures Dolby virtual surround capability and a few other sonic improvements, so we suggest you stick to using it.

Controls for volume and the microphone are on the headset itself. The left casing has a switch that turns the microphone on or off, while the right one has a volume knob. The casings themselves are plastic, but feature a matte finish. The cushioning on the earpads is thick and plush, stuffed with memory foam that makes the headset an absolute pleasure to wear even for hours at a stretch. Although there is no active noise cancellation, the thickness of the padding offers effective sound isolation.

The lower headband is self-adjusting and has its own padding, while the upper headband is exposed steel, holding the entire headset together. It’s a comfortable, well-built and well-designed affair, and even though design is a matter of personal preferences, we think anyone with good taste will agree that this is a beautiful pair of headphones.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_main_ndtv.jpg

The only real flaw is the size of the Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism, which makes it difficult to carry around. This is a big headset with no folding mechanism and no included carry case. Although light and comfortable enough, it’s still an immensely large product that might prove to be inconvenient if you’re used to taking your headphones everywhere with you.

One of the most unique features of the design of the Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism is its two 16-million-colour LED bands. Each casing has an LED band which lights up and glows when the headset is plugged in. You can use the included software to customise the colour or select pre-programmed colour combinations and light patterns. The light effects are impressive, and this is something that really makes the device stand out. It’s sure to get you a lot of attention if you use the headset in public.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_headband_ndtv.jpg

Steelseries recommends that you install its Steelseries Engine 3 software to optimise the experience of using the Siberia Elite Prism headset. Although the headphones will work fine without it, it’s still a good idea to get the software installed. It’s an efficiently designed application, and it recognised our review unit immediately on Windows. All settings reflected immediately, from changes in the LED colour to equaliser tweaks. The software is also necessary to switch on Dolby mode for virtual surround sound, and to adjust specific microphone settings such as noise reduction, auto compression, sidetone, and volume.

The Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism is Dolby-enabled for virtual 7.1 surround sound. Although there are just two channels, the tuning ensures that there is a decent and fairly immersive sense of where the sound is coming from. This is particularly useful in FPS games, since being able to accurately pinpoint the location of enemies by their sound can make all the difference between (in-game) life and death. We go more into detail on how the Elite performed in the next section.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_soundcard_ndtv.jpg

Performance
We tested the Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism with a handful of sources and material, including our hardware review rig running Windows, a standard Windows laptop, an Android smartphone, and a Sony PlayStation 4. Games used in the review were GTA V, FarCry 4, The Crew, and Destiny, while media used included a selection of movies and music across genres.

We started out with GTA V on our review rig. The game is known for having some of the best audio design and engineering of recently released games, and we were fairly impressed. The sound was clean, detailed and immersive. The impressive sound imaging and soundstaging abilities of the Siberia Elite Prism made for realistic depth and separation of sonic elements. The sonic signature has been properly tuned to achieve as much detail as possible, and you can hear every bit of audio with realistic depth and feel.

Moving on Far Cry 4, we were able to test the headset’s virtual surround sound capabilities. The effect can definitely be felt – turning slowly on the spot while a firefight was taking place a short distance away gave a proper sense of the effect. Although you can definitely feel the direction and depth of the sound, there’s just a little bit missing in terms of accuracy. The virtual sound stage is excellent, but it leaves the origin of the faintest sounds feeling just a little too wide and unspecific thanks to its subtlety. Most experienced gamers will still be able to pick up on these cues, though, so the slight lack of accuracy is definitely not a deal-breaker.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_led_ndtv.jpg

We used The Crew to test the tone of the sound. The roar of car engines and other loud effects such as police sirens and car crashes were punchy and powerful for the most part, although there was a little bit of thump missing. Once again, this can be attributed to the subtlety and the finesse of the sound, which keeps the audio toned down a hint and doesn’t quite let it achieve the aggression and attack that is sometimes needed to bring out the excitement in game audio.

The Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism is also great for use with movies and TV shows, thanks to its virtual surround experience. Sound was a bit soft, but comfortable nonetheless. Since the tuning is geared towards amplifying mids and highs, it works well with movies and shows. The surround isn’t quite as effective as it is in-game, but it’s still satisfying. The headset’s only real weakness is its handling of stereo music. The sound is weak and lacking in any excitement whatsoever, feeling forced and boring at times.

Finally, the microphone is particularly neat in how it retracts and can be switched on and off, but there is nothing really special about it except that when extended, it is close enough to your mouth to ensure your words are picked up clearly. It functions well, of course, but we didn’t find anything about the microphone that sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill microphones that are on most stereo headsets these days.

steelseries_siberia_elite_prism_mic_ndtv.jpg

Verdict
The Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism is undoubtedly one of the best looking gaming headsets on the market right now, thanks to its sheer size, styling, and the eye-catching LED bands. It comes with its own soundcard and software, both of which work well, and plenty of adapters and extension cables to make sure that you don’t have any connectivity issues. The sound is also excellent for the most part, with detailed and immersive audio performance with games and movies. The virtual surround effect is also fairly satisfying and detailed.

There are some minor weaknesses, such as a slight lack of accuracy with the faintest of sounds in surround mode, and poor performance with music. While the latter would be a serious concern with most headsets, it’s important to remember that these headphones are designed for gaming and music wasn’t meant to be a strong point. Furthermore, this can be improved a little bit by playing around with the equaliser settings.

On the whole, the Siberia Elite Prism is a comfortable, good looking and sonically capable headset. While it is a bit on the expensive side, rest assured that you are getting a decent return on your investment. We highly recommend the Steelseries Siberia Elite Prism to gamers looking for an immersive, detailed and good-looking pair of gaming headphones.

Pros

  • Looks good; well designed
  • Extremely comfortable to wear
  • Soundcard, software and adapters included
  • Detailed, clean sound with excellent depth and soundstaging
  • Virtual surround sound works well for the most part

Cons

  • Slight lack of accuracy in the virtual surround
  • Could do with a bit more aggression and excitement
  • Poor performance with music

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4.5
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 4
  • Overall: 4

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Original NDTV Gadgets

Asus Strix Tactic Pro and Asus Strix Claw Review: Gaming With Precision

Asus Strix Tactic Pro and Asus Strix Claw Review: Gaming With Precision

PC gaming is serious business, so much so that competitive gamers will do anything it takes to get the headshot every single time. For this reason and more, gamers need expensive mechanical keyboards and gaming mice with high dpi ratings for better precision.

Asus’ Strix series of performance gaming hardware, introduced last year, is aimed at such gamers – the kind who carry their own peripherals to a LAN party. Asus sent us the Strix Tactic Pro mechanical gaming keyboard and the Strix Claw gaming mouse for review, and after playing around with them (quite literally) for a while, we have our opinion.

Asus Strix Tactic Pro
Saying the Strix Tactic Pro is packed to the hilt with features would be an understatement. From 21 programmable macro keys to replaceable WASD keys, Asus has gone whole hog with this keyboard.

The Strix Tactic Pro is not as heavy as other mechanical keyboards we’ve used in the past thanks to the use of plastic in its build. However, it is definitely heavier than common membrane keyboards. If viewed in profile one can see that the keys are placed in a gentle curve which makes for great ergonomics. There are two sturdy kickstands on the underside of the keyboard which can be used to prop it up when required.

asus_strix_tactic_pro_cover_ndtv.jpg

Apart from two columns of five keys for macro functions on the left of the keyboard, all the function keys can also double up as macro keys. There are three more macro keys on the wrist rest at the bottom of the keyboard. These keys use decidedly lower quality plastic and are not mechanical. The multimedia keys are placed above the numpad, as is a wheel for volume control. This wheel has good traction and we got accustomed to using it. Asus also provides four separate, unlabelled orange keys which can be used to replace the WASD keys. The Strix Tactic Pro uses a fat braided cable which doesn’t tangle very easily and stays stiff.

Unlike Razer and Mad Catz, which use custom-made switches in their gaming keyboards, Asus has gone with the tried-and-tested standard Cherry MX switches. You can choose between Black, Red, Brown and Blue Cherry MX switches as per your preference.

asus_strix_tactic_pro_cherry_mx_red_ndtv.jpg

The Black variant was the first Cherry MX switch to ever be introduced way back in 1984 and it is the stiffest one of the lot. Cherry introduced the brown variant in 1994, which has a non-clicky sound and is more suited to typing in quiet environments. The Blue Cherry MX switch makes the loudest sound when clicked, making it easier to figure out when the key press has been registered. Cherry added the Red variant to the MX range in 2008, and it is more suited for gaming. Our review unit of the Strix Tactic Pro had Cherry MX Red switches. Regardless of the type of keys, they have a lifecycle of 50 million keystrokes.

These Cherry MX Red switches are great for rapid action, but remember that you need to bottom out (push the key all the way down) to register a key press on the keyboard. The keys aren’t too loud, which means they won’t annoy those around you very much. The face of each key is concave and so you always end up hitting them dead centre when typing.

asus_strix_tactic_pro_orange_switches_ndtv.jpg

Gamers will also be delighted with the true NKRO feature, which means unlimited N-key rollover, on the Strix Tactic Pro – that too over USB. As a result you will be hard-pressed to detect any ghosting. Asus even lets you switch to a 6KRO mode in case you want the Strix Tactic Pro to behave more like a regular keyboard.

The Strix Tactic Pro has orange LEDs under the keys and one can adjust the intensity of the backlighting using the included software. There are four possible levels, but the colour cannot be changed.

Talking about the software, it is very unintuitive. The keyboard itself provides two modes – hardware and software – for programming the functions to macro keys. You can create three profiles in the hardware mode, and cycling through them on the fly is very easy. The keyboard stores these profiles in its 4MB of inbuilt memory so you can use them immediately on new PCs. You can also add many more profiles to your computer’s hard disk. Unfortunately, the software stops responding quite often, which can get annoying.

asus_strix_tactic_pro_switch_removal_tool_ndtv.jpg

Asus Strix Claw
The Asus Strix Claw is a light and simple gaming mouse that is ergonomically suited for right-handed gamers. The design of the Strix Claw is great if you predominately use a palm grip, but Asus claims it is designed for all grip styles.

Apart from some funky graphics, the Strix Claw has a fairly unassuming design, which is actually a far cry from other gaming products. However, the plastic build of the body doesn’t inspire confidence nor does it justify its high price. A scroll wheel sits in between the left and right buttons, and below it there is a DPI Clutch button which allows you to switch DPI levels on the fly. A large Strix logo is placed below the DPI switch, and it lights up in bright orange to match the Strix Tactic Pro.

asus_strix_claw_left_ndtv.jpg

There are three claw marks on the right button, which also have LEDs under them that act as a vague indicator of the DPI level as you cycle through them. There are three programmable buttons on the right, where your thumb naturally rests. Talking about DPI the Strix Claw’s 5000dpi Pixart PMW3310 optical sensor promises precision 1:1 tracking in-game. The mouse also uses Japanese-made Omron D2F-01F switches, which have great tactile feedback and a satisfying click, but the buttons themselves feel flimsy.

Using the mouse is easy and it feels very comfortable. The fairly low lift distance of 3mm is great for players who often reposition their hands to line up shots without the crosshair moving wildly. The smooth movement of the optical tracking is an added advantage.

The software lets you program all the keys, including the scroll wheel, to your preference. Once again, we were really let down by the iffy nature of the software.

asus_strix_claw_cover_ndtv.jpg

Verdict
Asus has priced the Strix Claw and the Strix Tactic Pro at Rs. 3,600 and Rs. 7,200 respectively, which is frankly quite good value for what both offer. The well-built Tactic Pro is lighter than other mechanical keyboards and has a great set of mechanical keys, thus making it a great LAN party tool. Similarly, the Strix Claw is easy to use and the 5000dpi sensitivity is great for precision gaming. If you can look past the not-so-user-friendly software, which might still be fixed through future updates, both gaming accessories are good investments if you are particularly into FPS and MMO games.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Original NDTV Gadgets

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Review: Console Quality iOS Gamepad

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Review: Console Quality iOS Gamepad

Purists always argue that gaming on a smartphone is inferior to console or PC gaming, and quite a big chunk of their argument has to do with the unintuitive nature of touchscreen controls. In a way, they are right. Racing, fighting, and first-person/third-person shooter titles are the most affected by the placement of on-screen buttons. For example, the original Bioshock on iOS was panned by critics for its poorly implemented virtual buttons.

However, there is a solution in the form of game controllers that either plug in to smartphones or work as standalone Bluetooth accessories. Apple opened this avenue to third-party manufacturers with iOS 7, albeit with a long list of conditions.

The Logitech PowerShell, MOGA Ace Power and SteelSeries Stratus are a few examples of gamepads made for iOS devices and certified by Apple. However, all these controllers had some flaw or the other; if one had tiny analogue sticks another was too expensive. Mad Catz, a gaming peripherals manufacturer that has been in the business for almost 25 years, hopes its own controller will solve all the problems of iOS gamers who want a console quality experience on the go.

mad_catz_ctrl_i_bluetooth_buttons_ndtv.jpg

Look and feel
The C.T.R.L.i, which is part of its GameSmart brand, looks unmistakably like the Xbox 360 controller, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It has the same asymmetrically-placed joysticks, a D-pad, and face buttons that are labelled X,Y, A and B just like on the Xbox 360 controller.

Four pressure-sensitive analogue triggers sit on the rear of the controller. A pause button replaces the Xbox 360 guide; this button can, as the name suggests, pause games and take you to their menus. It worked without any glitches in all the games we tested. The Bluetooth toggle lies above the pause button, and four LED indicators are below it.

mad_catz_ctrl_i_power_button_ndtv.jpg

On the front, sandwiched between the handles, is a power switch that springs back to its original position. Thankfully, the device turns itself off after 30 minutes of inactivity, and you can’t set any other duration of time. The rear has a mount to which the travel clip can be screwed. There is a compartment for two AAA batteries on the bottom.

The travel clip can hold a phone as large as the iPhone 6 Plus. The C.T.R.L.i can easily slip into a bag but don’t expect it to fit in a trouser pocket like the Logitech PowerShell can. Attaching the travel clip and a phone actually makes it top heavy, so you’ll need to hold it tight. We received the black variant for review but the C.T.R.L.i is also available in red, blue, orange and white.

mad_catz_ctrl_i_phone_propped_ndtv.jpg

We have only one gripe with the design: the glossy faceplate looks rather cheap and attracts smudges and scratch marks. On the flip side (quite literally), the bottom has a matte finish which helps in gripping the controller.

Adhering to Apple’s stringent policies, Mad Catz claims that the each of the controller’s buttons is rated to last one million cycles. Of course we couldn’t test that claim, but we can say for sure that the buttons did feel sturdy. The face buttons had great tactile feedback but for some reason the X button on our review unit was slightly more recessed than the others. The D-pad buttons make hollow clicking sounds which aren’t very satisfying. We absolutely loved the sturdiness and the feel of the analogue joysticks. Even the triggers felt solid.

mad_catz_ctrl_i_face_buttons_ndtv.jpg

Usage and performance
Connecting to iOS devices over Bluetooth was a fairly painless process. Long pressing the Bluetooth button puts the controller into pairing mode and the LED indicators start blinking rapidly. After pairing your device of choice once, the connection establishes itself automatically in the future. Unfortunately, the controller can only connect to one device at a time.

A companion app is available in the App Store. This app has three basic tabs: Updates, Gamepad, and Gamesmart. Updates displays the remaining battery capacity in percentage and automatically updates the firmware (if any) over the air. One can use the Gamepad mode to check the pressure sensitivity of the buttons. Gamesmart is an online resource that displays the number of compatible iOS games.

The list of supported games is long enough to satisfy most gamers, but the absence of popular ones such as Modern Combat 5 and N.O.V.A 3 may not go down well with some (Update: Mad Catz added support for Modern Combat 5 after this review was published). For testing purposes, we used an iPhone 6 and played Oceanhorn, Into the Dead, Dead Trigger 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Asphalt 8, Real Racing 3, FIFA 15, Bruce Lee: Enter the Game, Joe Danger: Infinity and Impossible Road.

mad_catz_ctrl_i_stand_Slot_ndtv.jpg

Of all the games named above, we had the most fun with Into the Dead and Asphalt 8. Into the Dead has a very simple objective: escape from zombies. With the controller attached, we broke our previous high score on the very first attempt. We think the C.T.R.L.i actually feels tailor-made for Into the Dead. Similarly, race cars in Asphalt 8 could be controlled really well using the C.T.R.L.i, especially with the pressure-sensitive triggers coming into play. On the contrary, the more true-to-life environment of Real Racing 3 didn’t really translate well using the controller. The awkward camera angles that capture the action when hitting corners caused some distraction.

To navigate through the menu screens of certain games such as Oceanhorn, some publishers have implemented a mouse cursor in the shape of a hand. However, in other games such as FIFA 15, the menu is inaccessible by the controller in which case one has to use the touchscreen. Admittedly, it feels awkward to switch between using the touchscreen and the buttons.

Mad Catz claims that a pair of batteries will last for 30 hours on a single charge. which we found to be mostly true considering after almost 20 odd hours of gaming we still had 29 percent of battery life remaining.

mad_catz_ctrl_i_cover1_ndtv.jpg

Verdict
The Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i gets a lot of things right like the tactile feedback of the buttons, the inspired design, the ergonomics, and to a large extent the roster of supported games. However, at Rs. 4,990, the C.T.R.L.i feels overpriced. The Logitech PowerShell is now available for as little as Rs. 2,250 and the Moba Rebel can be had for Rs. 4,490. We would still recommend the C.T.R.L i to interested buyers because there aren’t many options available in the market, and this one could very well be the best of them.
Mad Catz also makes an Android version of the controller, called C.T.R.L.R. Priced at Rs, 3,990, the C.T.R.L.R is cheaper than its iOS counterpart.

Price: Rs. 4,990

Pros

  • Great tactile feedback
  • Good design despite being an inspired one
  • Travel clip is a good addition

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Glossy body attracts smudges and scratches

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Performance: 4
  • Ergonomics: 4
  • Value for money: 3
  • Overall: 3.5

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Original NDTV Gadgets