How much time do you spend playing video games on your Android phone or tablet? The Amkette Evo Gamepad Pro (Rs 2,799) is not the best controller I’ve seen. But it’s not bad. And answering that question decides whether you should buy it or not.
What’s the Gamepad Pro?
Quite simply, this is a video game controller, much like the one you see on an Xbox 360. You start it up, you pair it with your Android device via Bluetooth, and you’re ready.
You’ll need to download a special Amkette app to go through the setup, but it’s fairly painless. Once you’re down, you will see a list of games that are supported by the Gamepad Pro—this is the standard list of games supported by third-party controllers, and includes several popular ones like Asphalt, Riptide, Modern Combat 5, FIFA, and more.
The Gamepad Pro works only with Android, not with iPhones and iPads, BlackBerry or Windows Phone devices.
How Does It Feel and Perform?
You’ll find four buttons for your right thumb as well as an analog stick, a D-pad and an analog stick for your left thumb, and a shoulder button and trigger for each index and middle finger. The Gamepad is light, has a good grip, and feels comfortable even when playing for hours together. However, the build quality of the buttons and sticks feels cheap when you compare it with a Moga Pro or Xbox 360 controller.
The Gamepad also has Home and Back buttons, to operate the device without actually reaching out to the touchscreen. This is handy in its “mouse mode”, which lets you use the controller as a mouse for your Android. It’s convenient to use this if you’ve connected tablet or phone to your TV via a cable.
In terms of battery life, I managed about 5 hours of continuous gameplay on games like FIFA 15, Asphalt 8, and Dead Trigger 2. Unfortunately, the device does not seem to power down when not in use, like how most Bluetooth headphones and speakers do. This means that the battery keeps draining even when not in use, so you have to remember to switch it on and off each time. And I often forgot to do that, so I would end up starting the Gamepad and find it without any battery.
There’s One Big, Big Problem
The Evo Gamepad Pro has a flip-open handle in the middle where you can dock your phone. Unlike other similar controllers like those by Moga, the build quality of this part is a major letdown.
After a week of usage, the handle would not stay firmly in place once opened, bobbing back and forward if I moved the controller. It’s tremendously annoying, not to mention my confidence in recommending this is thus low.
Should You Buy the Gamepad Pro?
First, you need to check compatibility. While we didn’t have any trouble in connecting several different Android phones and tablets, buyers online have noted troubles with some phones. Please ensure your phone is supported by emailing Amkette before you purchase this.
And after that, ask yourself the question we started with: How much time do you spend gaming on your phone or tablet? The Gamepad Pro costs Rs. 2,799. That’s the same price as the Moga Pro.
The Moga Pro isn’t available officially in India, so warranty will be a problem if you get it from outside the country. The Evo Gamepad Pro is available here, but the build quality does not inspire confidence. The call is yours.
In my experience, video game controllers usually start deteriorating well beyond the first year of usage, so Amkette’s local warranty isn’t a draw for me. I would go with the better long-term quality of the Moga Pro over the Evo Gamepad Pro.
That said, if shipping a Moga Pro from outside India isn’t an option for you, the Evo Gamepad Pro is a good enough alternative.