We should have known that it would only be a matter of time until Nintendo’s brilliant Joy-Con design would be copied by another company. At first you would think Sony or Microsoft may be to blame, but no, it’s Xiaomi. Following the release of the latest Black Shark gaming phone earlier this year, Xiaomi’s new Gamepad 2.0 is comprised of two controllers that slide onto the sides of the Black Shark. The controllers pair using Bluetooth, offer a joystick and D-pad on the left, a touchpad and ABXY buttons on the right, and triggers on the top of both.
The Xiaomi Gamepad 2.0 is equipped with Bluetooth 4.2, providing great battery life and solid connectivity. While it’s not the latest and greatest Bluetooth 5, that’s not terribly important when considering that the headlining features of it are increases in speed, range, and throughput.
When it comes to charging, most consumers will be thrilled to see a USB-C port instead of its dreaded brother, microUSB. This isn’t too much of a surprise considering that the Black Shark phone uses USB-C, but realistically I don’t think I would have been shocked to see microUSB since it is still quite pervasive in a lot of new tech.
Over the last few years battery life in game controllers has become significantly better. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller offers approximately 40 hours and its Joy-Cons offer 20 hours each, for a combined total of 40 hours. The Xiaomi Gamepad 2.0 is right in line with that, calling out 40+ hour battery life on its marketing page. This kind of battery life means that users will be able to spend way more time gaming instead of fumbling to find a charger.
Pricing and availability
The Xiaomi Gamepad 2.0 is priced at $89 and is available to ship today. At launch it is only available in its UK and EU stores. I tried adding it to my cart anyway, but was halted with a message saying that Xiaomi will not ship it to the US. Here’s to hoping that these controllers make it to the US someday.
Considering that Xiaomi’s new gamepad is not available in the US at this time, there are a lot of mobile game controllers for those of us who don’t live in the UK or EU. If you’re on Android, the SteelSeries Stratus XL or the MadCatz GameSmart C.T.R.L. are viable options along with a plethora of other solutions from lesser-known brands. If you game on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, it’s hard to go wrong with the SteelSeries Nimbus, but there are a ton of other MFi (made for iOS) game controllers to choose from.
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