Gaming controllers for phones are becoming increasingly popular. As mobile only games get better, older games are ported onto mobile and with streaming ‘real games’ to mobiles on the very near horizon we expect they will become even more popular.
Mobile controllers seem to fall into two broad categories, standard wireless controllers that you control your games with om mobile, and cases the envelope your phone and give you control sticks on each side turning your devices into a mobile phone powered Nintendo Switch style device.
We recently spent some time with the Razer Junglecat dual-side gaming controller for Android. How did it perform? Read in to find out.
In the box you’ll get the two controllers (left and right) three phone cases for popular devices the Huawei P30 Pro, Razer Phone 2 and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and mounting plate to turn the controllers into a mini Bluetooth game pad.
The controllers aren’t as big as the controllers on a device like the Switch, but your phone also isn’t as big as that screen. With your proportion expectations celebrated I actually found that when attached to the compatible phone case the proportions of the controller is perfect for phone gaming.
The Phones case are obviously a bit limited to the supported devices, it would be good to see Razer sell a few more after market to expand the line up. The cases were also a big rigid for a phone case because they had to withhold the tension of game play.
When docked with the mounting plate the control felt a bit smaller in my adult hands, but more than ergonomic for gaming on the go. My seven year old got hold of the controller and absolutely loved using it on her tablet and I lost ownership of the controller for a few days until I had to pull rank.
The controllers both feature an analogue stick and a D Pad on the Left, 4 buttons on the right and two shoulder buttons.. Inside there’s Bluetooth 5.0 for individual connections back to the phone and they both charge vie dedicated USB-C connectors.
WHAT’S IT GOOD AT?
Gaming, unsurprisingly the game pad is good for gaming. I have found many games just unenjoyable on Mobile because the phone controllers were a bad emulation of a controller. When you add those controls back on they get a whole lot more fun.
I play a myriad of games including several from the Lego franchise, Goat Simulator, Zombie Gunship and several others. They were all universally better to play with the controller than without.
I found that the dual Bluetooth 5.0 connections to the controllers provides no detectable latency in controls and was able to blast my enemies away with little thought of the controller. Because each controller has a dedicated Bluetooth connection you also don’t seem to get any mismatch between controllers.
When in dual-side gaming mode the controller is comfortable to use and provides a study frame to game with and I found the locations of the controllers to be very ergonomic. I did find the the shoulders buttons could have been a little bit further along the controller, but that would have made them too bulk and not so portable.
Battery life is amazing with a rating at 100+ hours of game play and let me tell you that no gaming session came anywhere close to depleting the battery, in fact multiple sessions didn’t manage to flatten it.
HOW COULD IT BE IMPROVED?
Honestly there is very little I found about the Razer Junglecat that was lacking. Aftermarket case options for more devices so more users could use the Junglecat would be good. Another small gripe is that to charge the controllers you need 2 USB C cables, there’s only one in the box.
It’s a small issue but if I was trying to do a rapid recharge between sessions it could be an annoyance. Of course it;s only compatible with USB C phones, so you should have at least one more cable laying around!
If you’re looking for a gaming controller and happen to have one of the three compatible devices, I think that the Razer Junglecat is a worthy contender for your gaming dollar. Razer is a strong and reliable brand in gaming accessories and is building quite the prowess in the Android space as well.
At $167.95 RRP the the Junglecat is not the cheapest mobile controller on the market, but is a good pedigree, feel premium and is rock solid. You can get the Jungle car from the Razer store or selected local retailers.