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The perfect Gamepad for our Galaxy S3

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#1
Strianer

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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.


iControlPad
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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • 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.
Cons:
  • 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.
Gametel

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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:
Spoiler


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

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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • Nothing comes closer to real arcade feeling.
Cons:
  • Made for tablets rather than smartphones.
  • Not portable at all. (and doesn't want to be)
  • Rather expensive.
Phonejoy

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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • Features the same buttons and layout as a PS2 Controller and therefore has more then enough buttons for all emulators and games.
Cons:
  • The buttons are reported to press harder than an original PS controller.
  • Rather bulky in comparison to other gamepads.
Zeemote

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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Relatively cheap.
  • Available at Amazon.
Cons:
  • 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

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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • High quality controller
  • All necessary buttons and sticks for all emulators and games available.
  • Available everywhere.
  • Useable for PS3, PC/MacOS/Linux and Android.
Cons:
  • Bulkier than other solutions
  • Needs root for wireless gaming.
  • Needs special holders for mounting the phone on the controller.
Andraxis

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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • Mounts various phone models to the Dualshock 3.
Cons:
  • 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.
Gameklip

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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:
Spoiler


Pros:
  • 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).
Cons:
  • Fits only one specific phone model.
  • High shipping costs outside the USA.

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,

Strainer

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#2
Deus_ex11

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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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#3
Strianer

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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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#4
Deus_ex11

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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, 02 August 2012 - 05:05 PM.

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#5
Strianer

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

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#6
erolz

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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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#7
futaris

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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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#8
Sunny020288

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Hi,
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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