Moto might have just made the best game controller for Android… but it’s only for the Moto Z.
Motorola’s designed its line of Z phones to be transformed by snap-on mods. It’s a plan that’s produced a few exciting ideas, but not many practical ones.
The Moto GamePad, coming this summer for $80 (roughly £60 or $AU110), looks like a no-brainer — not to mention a clever use of the easy-on, easy-off nature the magnetic mod system. It works with the new, as well as last year’s , and phones.
It’s a multi-button, two-analog-stick gamepad, matching the standard layout you’d find on a Bluetooth Android or iOS controller. It has a passing resemblance to other phone-case-meet-game-controller accessories, including the.
The advantage here, of course, is it snaps right in and doesn’t have to be plugged into any ports. But you still need to recharge it: It lasts for 8 hours of gameplay and uses USB-C for charging.
However, you don’t really need a Mod system to do something like this. A battery-powered controller case could also pair via Bluetooth (and many do) and still work about the same. Moto’s direct input might mean a little less lag, but I’m not sure that’s a huge deal for mobile gamers.
On the back of the GamePad, there’s a glowing red “Y” logo. That’s a reference to Lenovo’s Legion gaming line. You’ll find a similar design on parent company Lenovo’s gaming laptops.
The GamePad felt OK when I tried it for a few moments with a pre-production model at a Motorola briefing a week ago. It also supports existing Android games that already work with game controllers.
But its real appeal could come from the widespread emulator landscape, which also has… well, quite a few retro games to explore.
- 8 hours of battery life
- Dual analog sticks
- Four action buttons: A, B, X and Y
- Directional pad
- Four shoulder buttons
- L3D and R3D plus home, select and start buttons
- 1035-mAh battery
- 140 grams
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- 226×75.9x 24.4 mm