- Connectivity: MicroUSB, Bluetooth 3.0 + HID
- Battery Type: Rechargeable 160mAh
- Buttons: 1x 8-way Directional Pad, 4x Action, 2x Analogue Stick, 2x Trigger, 1x Play, 1x Select, 1x Start, 1x PLAY button
- Adjustable Holder Range: 4~6.3-inch Display
- NFC Support: Yes
- Auto Connection: Yes
- Dimensions: 137.78 (W) x 31.80 (H) x 86.47 (D) mm
- Weight: 195g
- Supports a good range of device sizes
- Nice and responsive action buttons
- Comfortable & compact design
- Easy to pair and setup
- Limited game compatibility
- Limited support for non-Samsung devices
- Analogue sticks not raised enough
Get Your Game On!
Mobile gaming has grown extremely fast and is now one of the most lucrative markets for game developers. These days, mobile games no longer just rely on swipes and simple gestures to play, in fact, mobile games now come in the same genres as PC and console games. For those who prefer more tangible and tactile controls, this is where accessories like the Samsung Smartphone GamePad comes in.
To cater to mobile gamers, Samsung have done quite a good job at making the GamePad quite portable. It may not be the slimmest controller compared to the many third-party ones but it won’t add too much heft to your laptop bag or backpack. Samsung also have placed two rubber grips on the sides that gives it that little extra grip.
One of the neatest things about this GamePad though is how you attach your smartphone to it. Samsung have found a way to retain the GamePad’s portability and yet support smartphones with displays ranging from 4- to 6.3-inch and this is with the adjustable holder situated between the two trigger buttons which slides in and out from the top of the device. The holder holds on to devices pretty snuggly.
The button layout of the GamePad draws inspiration from Microsoft’s Xbox controller where the Direction pad (D-pad) is placed on the bottom left next to the right analogue stick instead of two analogue sticks side-by-side. We found the action buttons to be nice and responsive, however, we felt that the analogues were a little unresponsive as they felt a little stiff and since it isn’t raised it feels as though movement was a little limited.
Pairing the GamePad with your smartphone is also pretty straightforward as it can be done via NFC or Bluetooth. Both provide a quick and easy way to connect to the device. You can use the GamePad with just about any Android device but it is definitely better with a Samsung branded smartphone as it requires the S Console app and this is where a disappointing bit comes in as at time of writing the GamePad only supports about 50 games and while you do have some great titles here, they are a bit old. So if you do use a non-Samsung device, you may have to play a little guessing game first to find a game that works.
CHIP CONCLUDE: At the end of the day, we have to say we like the Samsung Smartphone GamePad for its portability and also the fact that it gives gamers more tactile controls. But with that said there are a few niggles such as the analogue sticks and limited game support.
(previously published in issue November 2014)