We’re big fans of making the mobile gaming experience better here at Talk Android, even if that means gluing a Nintendo Switch grip to a Moto Mod gamepad.
But if you’re looking for a less DIY solution, HyperX has a new product for you. The HyperX Chargeplay Clutch is a pretty simple handheld controller attachment for your phone that promises to make your games a little better. It adds some grips and extends the battery life of your smartphone in a universally compatible way.
Is it worth the investment? Let’s find out.
The Chargeplay Clutch is fundamentally just a controller. It’s got grips on the side that extend out from the center of the gadget to hold your phone in place. It’s designed to be fairly universal, too, so just about any phone will fit in it.
There’s a bit of soft cushioning on the inside of those grips, too, which should prevent any scratching or damage to your phone. The edges of the grips have cutouts for access to your phone’s ports, microphones, speakers, headphone jacks, etc; you’ll be able to retain full access to your phone in case you want to plug in your gaming headset or still charge your phone.
And charging your phone is where this thing really does get interesting. The back of the grip has a magnetic portable battery, and it’s got a dual-function. If your phone supports wireless charging, you can simply turn this thing on and the entire grip will wirelessly charge your phone while you’re playing games. No wires in the way, just you and the game and no more worry about battery.
If your phone doesn’t support wireless charging, you still have options. There’s a USB-C and USB-A port on the battery compartment, so you can run a cable from the grip into your phone to still keep the game going. Those cutouts on the grip will allow a cable through, which makes for a really cool design.
If you’re not worried about charging, that battery is still detachable to save on some weight. It’s a 3000mAh battery, so it does add a little heft to your setup, which may not always be desirable.
Using the grip is a surprisingly great experience, especially if you’re the kind of person that wants a little extra grip on your phone. It’s not useful for everything, especially something like a card game or match three style game where you’re doing more regular dragging and dropping. But more action oriented games is where it really shines.
I played through quite a bit of The Elder Scrolls: Blades with the Chargeplay Clutch and it definitely helped the entire experience. Walking and turning and slashing and swiping felt much more natural, or at least more like what you get from a traditional console experience. There’s no buttons or anything here, so it’s not exactly like some of those grips you see on Amazon that have the trigger/shoulder buttons to quick tap the screen for a shortcut. All this does is give your hands something else to hold onto while you still use all of the regular touchscreen controls that the game provides.
Shooters, like Call of Duty or Fortnite, also greatly benefit here. You’re getting something a little more ergonomic that keeps your hands comfortable over longer sessions, but unlike those other grips with the buttons and shortcuts, your entire screen is still unobstructed, which is nice.
If your battery starts to dip while you’re gaming, just tap that button on the back battery to kick on wireless charging and you can get back to your game without worrying about your phone dying. It’s a 3000mAh battery, which is enough to extend out your playtime on just about any phone. It’s not a super fast charge, but it does get the job done, and if nothing else should keep your battery from depleting any further.
You can detach that battery and use it separately if you want, too. It’s got those two USB ports, but it’s shaped kind of weird for that. In a pinch, it’s fine. The detachable battery can be charged wirelessly as well.
This thing is weird, but it’s just weird enough that I really like it. It’s not overly done or some weird overt gaming accessory. There’s no complicated Bluetooth connectivity, useless RGB lighting, or buttons and switches to deal with. It’s simple, and that’s what makes it great.
It’s a basic accessory that turns your phone into something that more closely resembles a console gaming experience, at least with games that can benefit from it. At $59, it’s priced about like a controller, too, so it might be worth checking out instead of an Xbox controller or something if you’re a fan of touch controls. This could pretty easily be used for game streaming, since most of those services offer some kind of on-screen touch overlay. It’s a game-changer for emulation, too.
The battery on the back is just icing on the cake. It probably inflates the price a bit, but the seamless connectivity between the two is an incredibly polished experience, which you don’t normally see on something that’s designed to be so universal. Honestly, I don’t have anything to complain about here; if it’s in your price range, pick one up.
HyperX Chargeplay Clutch | $59 | Amazon