Gametel Bluetooth Controller review [Android]
The latest Bluetooth pad to hit the market turns your phone into a portable games console, but is the Gametel worth the £50 price tag? Our review finds out
The demand for proper gaming controls on smart phones is increasing. We've already seen Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play handset - complete with a PlayStation-style slide-out game pad - pave the way for more traditional gaming experiences on phones.
The British-made iControlPad offers a similar solution for owners of existing phones who want to move beyond the touch-screen, but don’t want to entirely upgrade their mobile device.
The latter is now joined by the Gametel pad, a clip-on peripheral that connects via Bluetooth - like the iControlPad - and allows players to use a physical interface during their heated gaming sessions.
The Gametel is a plastic pad that has a spring-loaded gripping arm, into which you place your handset in landscape mode. The grip has a rubber clips which provide a firm hold, but, thankfully, won’t damage your handset’s casing.
An 8-way ‘rolling’ D-pad offers sublime levels of control, and the four face buttons mimic the arrangement made famous by the Nintendo SNES and Sony PlayStation. Finally, you’ll find left and right shoulder triggers at the top, as well as a Start and Select button.
Connecting the Gametel to your phone couldn’t be easier. On the back of the packaging there’s a QR code which takes you direct to Gametel application on the Android Market. Download this, pair the Gametel pad with your phone and you’re away. The best thing is that once you’ve done this, the pad will automatically connect whenever it is in range of your phone, saving you the hassle of doing the procedure all over again.
Once the link is made, most games will automatically map their controls to the appropriate buttons on the Gametel. As a rule of thumb, if a game has Xperia Play support, you’ll be able to use the Gametel pad with it. Emulators - such as SNES9X EX and MD.emu - require a little more work. Even then, though, it’s just a matter of re-mapping buttons, which takes a matter of seconds.