Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Backbone controller, now available for Android
Harrison 08:45 22nd November 2022
Backbone controller for Android Smartphones


The Backbone controller was released some time ago. It's a controller that you slot your smartphone into to turn it into a gaming handheld. There are many different makes and models of similar controller, but the Backbone had received lots of great reviews for build quality and support. Unlike other makes it has a companion app to directly sync with the controller, to create button layouts and peofiles, as well as directly integrate with Xbox Gamepass cloud gaming and other services.

Until now it was iPhone only because it had a lightning port and the app was only available for iOS. This had now changed with the release of the Android version, and the Play Store App to go with it.

There was another exclusive white version released that swapped the Xbox button ABXY layout for the Playstation symbol button layout to use with PS Plus remote play, but there has been no mention of an Android version yet.

This and similar controllers that wrap around a smartphone are a great way to utilise an older smartphone when you upgrade. Even 2 year old Smartphones are often far more powerful than standalone handhelds. Great for emulation, Android games and streaming services.
J T 01:21 24th November 2022
That does look neat. Does it have a battery or does it run solely off the juice provided by the phone? Would be neat if it could top-up the phone charge, as gaming seems to hammer phone batteries
Harrison 10:17 24th November 2022
No battery. It draws power from the phone, but it's meant to only use a minimal amount.

It would be a cool idea to be able to charge the controller and use it like a powerbank to extend phone life. Maybe the weight would have been too much. 🤔

Gaming definitely hammers phone battery life. My Samsung S20 normally easily lasts more then a day, but if I do some gaming it's about 2-3 hours.
J T 20:37 24th November 2022
You're probably right, a powerbank would add weight (and) and if it wasn't done well could also imbalance the controller, which wouldn't feel nice.

Does it have a USB-C input so you can charge the phone from a mains cable while playing?
Harrison 08:50 25th November 2022
That's a good question. I just checked and..

"Fast charge via a pass-through USB-C port and listen with wired headphones using the 3.5mm audio port."

So yes.
J T 09:07 25th November 2022
Clever. Seems they've thought of most things
Harrison 09:18 25th November 2022
It's also on Black Friday offer today too. 25% off.

Has Black Friday reached Australia yet?
J T 20:36 28th November 2022
Yes, it's mostly online currently but it is growing. Also 'cyber monday'
Harrison 00:41 29th November 2022
I don't really get cyber monday as its just the other end of Black Friday with the same deals.
J T 08:04 29th November 2022
I'm sure there will be an extension into even more days soon enough, although I don't know what they will call that. Someone will come up with some ****y name for it, like, I dunno.... um, Techno Tuesday
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