The world of mobile gaming continues to grow at a rapid pace. With the exponential growth, there has become an abundant need for some way to game with more accuracy and proficiency on the go. The mobile gaming controller market is still slowly emerging from this need and that is where the Backbone One Controller comes from.
The Backbone One has developed a reputation as being one of, if not, the best mobile controller on the market. So, we decided to put it to the test.
Backbone One Specs
- Requires iPhone with iOS 13 or later.
- Weight: 4.87 ounces
- Width (Extended): 10.14 inches
- Lightning port for charging of your iPhone
- No battery
The first thing you will notice is that Backbone did not try to reinvent the wheel in terms of the layout of the controller. This works to its benefit, as anyone who has used a controller on an Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo will quickly feel at home. It is obvious that the Backbone One is made with quality materials, feeling comfortable in the hand but also durable enough to take the rigors of continual play.
Playing several games using the Backbone One, the biggest thing you notice is the lack of latency. This is a fully integrated product for the iPhone and you can tell because of just how well they work in tandem. Since the controller plugs into your phone, there is no potential delay that may come while using other controllers that rely on Bluetooth.
The face buttons are nice and clicky, giving you the proper feedback while playing. The D-pad is surprisingly well-made, and probably the best we have used in any mobile controller. The analog sticks work well, though, giving that it is mobile gaming, are a little on the smaller side. The shoulder buttons are a bit of a mixed bag, with the L2 and R2 buttons feeling nice and light with the L1 and R1 buttons felt completely different.
The controller also has an opening in the bottom, which allows you to plug in to charge your phone while playing. This is a big plus, even if we found the Backbone itself did not strain the battery too much.
What really separates the Backbone One from other mobile controllers is the software. When you plug it in, you will be prompted to download the app. Now, you don’t technically need to download the app, if you don’t want to, but doing so unlocks the true potential of the Backbone. By downloading the app, you virtually turn your phone into a full-fledged console. The app’s interface is built to resemble what you are used to from console gaming, making the navigation of games extremely easy, which is something mobile gaming desperately needs.
This app also contains your friends’ list. Using this, you are able to add friends who also have a Backbone controller. Friends are able to join voice rooms and play games together with up to eight players.
Finally, the Backbone One has an integrated capture button. This allows you to easily capture images or video from the game, saving it back to the Backbone app itself rather than your camera roll.
The most obvious con to the Backbone One controller is that it is only compatible with iPhones. Those with Andriod phones will need to look elsewhere for their mobile gaming controller needs.
In terms of usage, one other sticking point can be the use of cases on your phone. If you have a case, you will need to take it off to use the Backbone One. This may be a bigger concern for some, as it will depend on what type of case you have. Some will slip off with ease, while other, bulkier, phone cases may result in a bit of a hassle.
When it comes to playing games, the sole knock we really have with the Backbone controller is the R1 and L1 buttons. They work well, but they are very low profile and could be easy to miss in the heat of play. It wasn’t something we had a big issue with, but we could understand if it caused discomforted or missed inputs.
The Backbone One is simply the best mobile controller on the market. The hardware is of higher quality than any other mobile controller we have tried. The software is borderline revolutionary for the experience. The controller itself is integrated beautifully into the iPhone and works masterfully with the games. If you are an Android user, it’s. arel shame that you are unable to use the Backbone One, which is truly the only thing holding it back.