As someone who sometimes uses a controller for gaming on PC, I know I know, a controller on PC is sacrilege against the PCMR, but for some titles I prefer using one. If you’re like me (which is okay) then you maybe looking for an affordable controller, so is this offering from EasySMX a good one?
In the box
Included with the controller you get the controller itself, an adapter to allow you to use the controller on PC or console and the manual.
Design and Build
The style of the controller is very nice and I like the way it looks. I have the white one and its available in Black too. The controller is fairly understated and only has a small logo on the front. Other than that, its pretty clean. I do really like the White and Black combo and its a little fresher than just a traditional all Black one. Not saying that an all Black one is bad, but its refreshing to have something a little different.
The main body is finished in a matte White and Black plastic, it feels pretty decent considering the low price point. The quality isn’t on a par with an Xbox One controller, but that is almost three times as expensive. The controller also has a slight smooth feel too, it adds a touch more class and makes it feel a little more expensive than it actually is.
The contrasting Black areas are situated on the D-Pad, the select button, the home button, the start button, the home button, XYBA buttons, the left/right triggers, the RB, LB buttons and the back section. This isn’t too much and it does a nice job of breaking up the White facia. There is also a small Black accent around the joysticks too.
The front also houses a selection of LEDs, this lets you know what the controller is connected to and if its working correctly. For example on PC you get two Blue lights indicating that its functioning correctly. You can refer to the manual to see the light notifications for your chosen platform.
The buttons and switches are again made from plastic and feel okay. The XYBA are printed onto the buttons and are likely to fade after a while. How long, I can’t say. The D-Pad follows the trend and again is made from plastic which again feels okay. The left/right trigger and LB/RB buttons are, you guessed it, plastic. Again they feel as durable as the rest of them.
The joysticks are quite good. They have a soft rubber texture to prevent fatigue and it works well and oddly (to me) feels a little better than the ones on the Xbox One controller. On the downside, these are likely to wear down quite quickly in comparison to the Xbox controller.
The cable next is pretty standard, its coated in plastic and again is decently made, but nothing to write home about. It does have some decent strain relief where it counts, which is good as it shouldn’t break early in its life.
The cable also houses the split where attach the adapter to make it work on PC. This is again plastic but its pretty clever in its design. Rather than having the connection exposed, its housed away inside and makes it a really secure and safer fit. If it was left on the outside, it would likely break, but as its not, it should last a while.
The overall build is actually better than expected, again not on a par with more expensive controllers, but there is no flex and the controller doesn’t creek like some other more affordable options. All in all, it looks nice and is better built than I expected.
Using the controller is super simple. With PC you attach the extension to the Micro USB side and then plug into a free USB port. Windows should pick it up and install it, so there is no worrying about drivers. If you’re using it with a PS3 then the same applies as above but with the consoles port instead.
With use on console there is an issue. The cable is very short at just around 2.2m. Its fine for PC and maybe in smaller rooms but if you’re anything further away than 2.2m, then you’re out of luck. You could always buy an extension like this one and that will give you the extra length you need, but its a little extra cost on top of what you’ve paid. Not a deal breaker mind, but still something to take into account if you have a larger room.
Use on mobile is pretty solid too, just make sure you have
- A phone or tablet that supports OTG
- Is Android (Above 4.0)
- A phone or tablet stand
- Games that support controllers
The experience is pretty enjoyable. Games like Asphalt play really nicely with this controller and for me it takes the game to a new level. All the buttons works as they should and there were no issues at all.
My only issue with this and other controllers like this is the lack of Type-C support. Type-C is becoming much more common and I think they should start including adapters. I would happily pay a few quid more if they came bundled with a Micro to Type-C adapter or additional cable, so that I could game on my LG G6. Yes you could buy adapters like the Rampow ones I reviewed, but that would create a weak point and also add extra cost to you. So yes there is a work around if you have a Type-C phone, but its not ideal.
The layout of the controller if easy to get to grips with if you’ve ever used a Xbox 360 controller you’ll pick it up no problems at all. The D-Pad is positioned nicely for your thumb and if you have small or medium sized hands you’ll be okay. If you have larger hands, then it might be a little uncomfortable. The joysticks are again really positioned well and feel great to use. They are smooth and fairly responsive. The spring back action and responsiveness doesn’t seem to be as quick as the official Xbox ones, but they are quick enough for most games.
The XYAB buttons are okay, they are a little mushy and don’t give off the same satisfying tactile feel as the One controller. They aren’t as responsive either and sometimes there is a slight delay or even a unregistered response. For example you press the A button to select a option and sometimes it doesn’t register and nothing happens.
The left/right triggers again feel a little soft and mushy and don’t feel to great. They are fairly responsive, but if you want to burst fire some shots, the spring back is a little slow and it takes a little longer to repress the trigger. This isn’t an issue with the One controller, but its something I experienced with this. Its okay for casual games, but if you want to play something a little faster it can give you a little disadvantage.
Apart from the slight responsiveness issues its lightweight, comfortable to use. Though not as ergonomic as the Xbox controllers, it still is quite nice to use for long gaming sessions.
As a whole its a solid controller, its very affordable at just £12, its nicely designed, well made and quite comfortable. The response issues do plague it a little which ruin it for competitive games, but for just playing casual racing games etc, its a pretty good budget option. Also it would have been nice if it was compatible with the newer PS4 and Xbox consoles. I mean its got the same layout as an Xbox controller, so why it doesn’t work with the consoles is beyond me. Either way, it works great on PC and on any phone that has OTG support. Overall its a solid well rounded budget option.
Pick one up here via Amazon UK
EasySMX PS3 Wired Gamepad (White)