Now Android Gamers Can Get a $99 Backbone Mobile Controller Too
The well-regarded iPhone mobile gaming controller finally has a version for Samsung and Google phone owners.
David LumbMobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertisesmartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
The Backbone One mobile controller wraps around phones as a Nintendo Switch-like console peripheral, edging out competitors like the Razer Kishi 2 as arguably the best way to game on the go -- though the original version that launched in 2020 only worked with iPhones. At long last, Backbone has a new model built specifically to work with Android phones, and it'll be out before the end of the year.
The Backbone One for Android is virtually identical to the iPhone version, from the black plastic appearance to the extra face buttons below the control pad and sticks. It works the same, too, allowing you to slip your smartphone into the controller between the gamepad halves and directly connect through the USB-C port. That makes for a more seamless experience with little to no input issues or lag, unlike other mobile game controllers that connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. Linking through USB-C also passes chat and audio through the Backbone One's analog jack.
The Backbone One is compatible with "most Android phones from Samsung, Google and more," according to a press release; it's unclear which specific models are compatible with the controller. Backbone didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
The Backbone One for Android has the same $99 pricetag as the iPhone version, and orders placed now are expected to be delivered before Christmas. We'll see whether Backbone follows it up with a DualSense-colored PlayStation Edition at some point.