One of the coolest devices we’ve had the chance to play with recently is HyperX’s ChargePlay Clutch for the Nintendo Switch. It is truly a game-changer for anyone who wants to play with their beloved Nintendo console in portable mode.
Now, HyperX is at it again, this time aiming to change the way we play games on our smartphones. The ChargePlay Clutch has all sorts of features that promise to make playing games on your smartphone go from a somewhat enjoyable experience to one that rivals playing on a console.
Does the ChargePlay Clutch live up to its promises? Does it offer the same level of impressiveness as the product with the same name for Nintendo Switch?
There’s a lot to like about the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch for mobile devices. It’s especially useful for someone like me who doesn’t particularly enjoy playing games on my phone (with the exception of Hearthstone) because I prefer the feel of a controller and actual buttons. While the ChargePlay Clutch doesn’t provide any physical buttons, it definitely gives the phone a more controller-like feel with a bigger, textured surface to grip.
The wireless charging is a really nice feature to have (assuming your phone supports Qi). Being able to just open the grip, slide your phone in, and have it charge without connecting any wires is quite nice. If you don’t have Qi charging, you can still connect a cable to your phone to keep it juiced up through the battery, but it’s not nearly as convenient.
There’s a built-in 3000mAh battery that will keep your phone topped up for extended play sessions. Seeing as the whole point of this device is to make playing games more comfortable so you can play longer, the inclusion of a battery is a smart choice.
Another smart choice regarding the battery is the ability to remove it from the case to lighten the load. It’s held on by magnets, so it’s easy to pop off (maybe a little too easy). If your phone has plenty of battery and you know you’re not going on a marathon session, dropping the extra weight is a nice option to have.
The grips are adjustable, so you can fit pretty much any phone inside, no matter how big or small it is. I have an iPhone XR with a case on it and it fit and charged with the case on without an issue.
Overall, the ChargePlay Clutch is a solid device, but it’s not perfect. The biggest issue I have is how easy it is to remove the battery pack from the back. On a couple of occasions, I had my dogs running around while I was playing and they bumped into it and knocked it off. Obviously, this isn’t too much of a problem at home, but if I was out in a crowd or on a train, it could lead to losing to the battery.
The battery is also a little on the heavy side, which makes it feel a bit unbalanced when you’re playing. Because the Switch is such a large device compared to a phone, the weight of the battery was more evenly distributed on that device, but with the phone, all the weight feels like it’s in one spot. It’s not heavy that’ll be uncomfortable (it’s still way more comfortable than just holding the phone), but it’s something to keep in mind.
The only gripe I have is the price—it’s a tad expensive for a grip that features a relatively small battery. It’s not so expensive that it’ll scare you away, but at $60, it’s not a tiny investment.
As mentioned, the battery pack is removable, which means you can actually use it to charge your phone even without connecting it to the Clutch. You just need to use a USB cable. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s nice to know you can get a little extra versatility for the price.
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