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The perfect Gamepad for our Galaxy S3

8 posts in this topic


Hello everyone.

Eversince I received my Galaxy S3 and installed a bunch of games and emulators on it, I can't help myself but think that a real controller is kinda necessary for these games. Sure, the easier missions on Grand Theft Auto III seemed possible, but as soon as you fail 3 times in a row due to sucky touch-screen controls (car chases anyone), every true gamer is looking for some way to fix this.

Fortunately, there are a lot of possible options for gamepads on Android. My goal here is to present the various options, discuss their pros and cons and in this way, save everyone the time I needed to find and research all the possible options.

Bluetooth Gamepads

The gamepads in this section are mostly designed for mobile devices. Although most of them can be used on Windows/MacOS/Linux, they feature special holders for keeping the phones screen attached to the controller.



Website: http://www.icontrolpad.com/

Price: $62.49 / £39.99 / 45.99€

Description: The iControlpad is developed and manufactured by the same team as the OpenPandora Console, so these guys should know their stuff. The analog sticks are the same as on the OpenPandora console and are reported to be very good.

Their official feature list:

  • The worlds smallest, lightest and fully functional bluetooth gaming controller
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, Samsung Galaxy S2 and many, many more
  • iCade emulation for over 30 compatible App Store games (no jailbreak required!)
  • Dual analogue nubs, digital D-Pad, 6 face buttons and 2 rear buttons
  • Bluetooth connection with HID keyboard, joystick and gamepad modes
  • Universal Metal Clamp, for attaching it securely to almost any phone
  • Dual analogue on your iPhone without jailbreaking!
  • Internal 1360mAh rechargable battery, with support for charging your phone via USB
  • Upgradable firmware, new features can be added and restrictions bypassed
  • Exclusively made in the UK and Germany


    • Includes dual analog sticks for controlling all games and emulators available.
    • Features an universal holder for fitting most phones.
    • Actively maintained and developed by an active team.

      • Price: The product itsself isn't cheap and the shipping costs to anywhere but the UK are quite high.
      • Rubber clamps that used to hold the phone in place (works for iPhones only to my knowledge) are now replaced by a universal holder, and are therefore rather useless.
      • It is unsure if the unviersal holder will fit a Galaxy S3 without modification.
      • The placement of the shoulder buttons on the back of the unit might need some time to get used to.


        Website: http://gametel.se/
        Price: $62.20 / £39.99 / 50.90€ (this price includes shipping, available here)

        Description: The Gametel is made by a relatively unknown swedish company. The quality of the product is reported to be very good though, and it's also one of the smallest devices available.
        Their official feature list:

        Gametel is a Bluetooth controller for Android and iOS devices. It’s also working with Windows and OS X.
        To make it easy for you we’ve made an app for both Android and iOS where you can find compatible games.
        Gametel supports several modes to be able to work with different platforms.
        Press the Start button and the action button indicated below when you start the Gametel to enter the chosen mode.


        • Small and lightweight controller.
        • The universal holder included is confirmed to fit the Galaxy S3.
        • Actively maintained and developed by an active team.
        • Relatively cheap price compared to the other solutions. (due to free worldwide shipping)

          • The Gametel is obviously missing the dual analog sticks and is therefore not useable for all games(N64 comes to mind).


            Website: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e762/
            Price: $89.99 / £57.90 / 73.75€

            Description: This product started out as an april fools joke and later became reality.
            Their official feature list:

            • Beautifully retro-styled tabletop arcade cabinet for your otherwise useless iPad
            • iPad connects to the iCADE controls via Bluetooth
            • "Atari Greatest Hits" iPad App ready to go with the iCADE, including support for over 100 classic Atari games.
            • Atari App comes with Missile Command for free, other games available for in-app purchase. 3-game packs are $1. All 100 games are $14.99
            • Compatible with both the original iPad, iPad 2 and New iPad (iPad 3)
            • Ships separately in packaging that lists the product name on the outside


              • Nothing comes closer to real arcade feeling.

                • Made for tablets rather than smartphones.
                • Not portable at all. (and doesn't want to be)
                • Rather expensive.


                  Website: http://www.phonejoy.us/
                  Price: $49.90 / £32.12 / 40.88€

                  Description: The phonejoyis a PS-like controller with an integrated holder for smartphones.
                  Their official feature list:

                  • Bluetooth enabled wire­less connection
                  • Two fully func­tional ana­log sticks for pre­ci­sion con­trol in newer 3D videogames
                  • Sup­ports nearly all Android 2.2+ and Win­dows devices
                  • Emu­lates “vir­tual key­board”, i.e. works with all apps and games that sup­port key­board input.
                  • Sup­ports all pop­u­lar emu­lat­ors and more than 100 nat­ive Android games!
                  • Sup­ports on-screen mul­ti­player (N64oid – 4 Player modus!)
                  • Com­pletely wire­less with range of sev­eral meters
                  • 14 pro­gram­mable but­tons plus pre­cise dir­ec­tional controls
                  • 10+ hours bat­tery life!


                    • Features the same buttons and layout as a PS2 Controller and therefore has more then enough buttons for all emulators and games.


      [*]The buttons are reported to press harder than an original PS controller.

      [*]Rather bulky in comparison to other gamepads.



    Website: http://www.zeemote.com/js1/

    Price: $29.99 / £23.99 / 30.60€

    Description: The Zeemote JS1 is designed like a Nunchuck for the Wii-console, but features 4 action buttons instead of only one on the original.

    Their official feature list:

    The ZeemoteTM JS1 controller simply delivers the world’s best mobile gaming experience. Equipped with an analog thumb stick and four assignable buttons, the JS1 offers console-style gaming on AndroidTM devices. Devices running Android 2.x and above are recommended. Get the full experience with Zeemote-enabled Android games at the Play Store or start at our Featured Games page.


    [*]Small and lightweight.

    [*]Relatively cheap.

    [*]Available at Amazon.


[*]There is no way to mount your phone on the unit.

[*]No second analog stick.

[*]Probably hard to control some games with this and needs time to get used to.

Other solutions

Dualshock 3


Website: http://us.playstatio...roller-ps3.html

Price: $39.99 / £29.99 / 34.99€

Description: The Dualshock 3 controller designed for Playstation 3 is a lightweight, well designed controller that can be used on Android devices through Six-Axis-Tool. Unrooted phones can only use it with USB-Host functionality though.

Their official feature list:

The DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller for the PlayStation®3 system provides the most intuitive game play experience with pressure sensors in each action button and the inclusion of the highly sensitive SIXAXIS™ motion sensing technology. Each hit, crash and explosion is more realistic when the user feels the rumble right in the palm of their hand. It can even detect natural movements for real-time and high precision interactive play, acting as a natural extension of the user’s body. DUALSHOCK®3 utilizes Bluetooth technology for wireless game play and the controller’s USB cable to seamlessly and automatically charge the controller through the PlayStation®3 at anytime. By integrating all of these features into the popular PlayStation controller design, the DUALSHOCK®3 will further enhance the advanced game play experience only available on the PlayStation®3 system.


[*]High quality controller

[*]All necessary buttons and sticks for all emulators and games available.

[*]Available everywhere.

[*]Useable for PS3, PC/MacOS/Linux and Android.


[*]Bulkier than other solutions

[*]Needs root for wireless gaming.

[*]Needs special holders for mounting the phone on the controller.



Website: http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=1476571

Price: $34.26 / £22.02 / 28.03€

Description: The Andraxis project is a solution for mounting various phones to a Dualshock 3 controller. It is made through 3d-printing with very little benefit to the creator. The owners report it to be sturdy and of high quality.

Their official feature list:

The Andraxis project is 3d-printable mount/clamp/dock/holder thing that, when paired with the awesome Android Sixaxis controller tool, will allow you to turn your Android phone into a real mobile game platform.

The project can be bought from www.shapeways.com, I will be doing my best to keep its cost under $30 USD.

This project is going to be funded entirely by donations. That means on the Shapeways shop, I am not going to get a single penny of profit from each one sold. This ALSO means if I don't get any donations, I won't be able to improve on the design. The total cost for each revision I make for myself, living in Japan, is going to be $30 + $20 shipping. If you want to help me out, any amount of money will help. Just click on the "donate" button to the left, or send some money to my paypal account: [email protected]

What you will need:

Two standard 3mm screws. These are the same screws you can find in your PC case. One is to fasten the dock around the sixaxis controller, the other is used to lock the telescoping arm into position.

Some rubber tack or foam tape. Or if your cellphone has a silicone case, that might do just fine as well. Essentially, you need something that will give it extra traction to reduce the risk of slippage.

The Android Sixaxis controller tool, or some way for your phone to read the input from your sixaxis controller (can't Android 4.0 do that natively now?).

A sixaxis controller. If this project takes off, I might make different versions for other 3rd party controllers as long as they work on the software front. If you have a 3rd party controller you want to work with, give me its dimensions and as long as it doesn't require a drastic redesign I'll see what I can do.


The material used his highly porous and has a rough, gritty texture. The white, undyed material yellows somewhat when exposed to ultraviolet light (read: sunlight). Because of the porous and gritty texture, it also traps dirt and grime very easily. Pretty much, don't expect it to stay pristine and clean without any post-production methods. I hear varnish works well, but there's a whole section devoted to post-production at the Shapeways forum. I haven't experimented with the pre-dyed material yet, maybe it will fare better without any post-production.

Additionally, a number of the tighter interactions will need to be worked a few times to smooth them out. Examples being the locking clasp for the arm hinge and the sliding mechanism for the telescoping arm.


[*]Mounts various phone models to the Dualshock 3.



[*]Needs some work to be done yourself. (Requires two standard 3-mm screws to be inserted, rubber tape to keep the phone shut and a razor to cut some plastic connection)

[*]No possibility to return product (as it is 3d-printed on order).

[*]Costs nearly as much as the Dualshock 3 itsself.



Website: http://thegameklip.com/

Price: $15.00 / £9.64 / 12.27€

Description: The Gameklip, as the Andraxis project, is used to mount your phone to a Dualshock 3 controller. it is custom made for each phone model.

Their official feature list:

Touch controls work for some games, but as I'm sure most of you have experienced, controlling anything more complex than an angry feathered creature is next to impossible. After hours of trying to play Grand Theft Auto III with virtual on-screen joysticks, I went looking for a better answer.

After flipping through pages of cheap gimmicky Bluetooth controllers, I stumbled across the Sony Dualshock3 controller and the Sixaxis app. The Sixaxis app allows many Android phones to connect to a Playstation 3 controller to give native analog input and emulate touch and hardware controls. I thought I had found my answer, but where do I put my phone if the controller is in my hands? Enter the GameKlip™.


[*]Cheap solution to mount your phone to a Dualshock 3.

[*]Offers a cable solution where the controller can be plugged into your phone (USB-host required).


I hope that some of you find this overview helpful. Please post any experience you got with any of the devices in this thread and post suggestions on updates or mistakes I made.

Thanks for reading,


[*]Fits only one specific phone model.

[*]High shipping costs outside the USA.


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Great list you put together. I just ordered the GameKlip with cable. It came to just over £26 with delivery. I'm hoping I don't get hit for import tax.

That Andraxis is a weird one. The icontrol pad and Gametel are pricey for a not very ergonomic controller. They would hurt my hands after a short gaming session. That iCade is only for posers and too much money on their hands. :-) It all comes back to the good old dual shock 3. Works on anything and wireless with the sixaxis controller app and with the Gameklip it will make the SGS3 into a versatile portable games console. Who needs a ps vita when you've got this brilliant combination.


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Thanks for your feedback.

I'm also considering the Gameklip, I'm just not sure If the cable actually are useful. If the controller loads through the USB-port on the Galaxy S3, I think the battery time will be worse than with Bluetooth connection enabled. Would be nice if someone could test this out.

Andraxis looks good imho, the big letdown for me is that I'm not sure how well the S3 will fit it. The big advantage is that other phones will fit it just fine too.


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Posted (edited)

You should post this list on XDA sgs3 accessories forum. XDA Link. XDA Gameklip Link. They would appreciate it there. The Gameklip maker has his own thread.

I've played for hours with my controller plugged in and when the powers low I change batteries. ;-) I might try a test later to see which drains battery fastest.

Edited by Deus_ex11

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I initially wanted to post on xda, but I can't yet post links there.


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Thanks from me for this post. I am looking for gampad solutions for my S3 and this is a great guide. Thanks


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You need to also mention the Spiderpodium and the RAM X-Grip. Both useful ways of mounting a Dual Shock 3 or similar to your S3. Also useful for other mounting options / viewing stands...


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Thanks for the list of the controllers.

I would like to know if I buy some unbranded controller that doesn't appear in the list, my rooted Galaxy S3 is going to support it?


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