- The Razer Junglecat is a $US99 wireless controller that can turn an Android phone into a portable video game console.
- The Junglecat functions as a standard controller for PC computers and Android, but you can use the included case to split the Junglecat and attach the controls to the sides of your phone.
- The Junglecat case works with the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Samsung Note 9, and the Huawei Mate P30 Pro.
- The hybrid controller is clearly influenced by the massively popular Nintendo Switch, and it’s looking to reach a growing group of gamers playing on mobile devices.
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Razer is looking to bring Nintendo Switch-style controls to Android phones and computers with a new $US99 controller.
The new controller, called the Razer Junglecat, includes a pair of left and right wireless controllers that connect via Bluetooth. They can be used separately or together, and will work with games and apps that feature native controller support. Razer also has a Gamepad App that lets players customise the controls for specific apps if necessary.
Unfortunately, the Junglecat only connects to Android phones and PC computers for now – iPhones and other Apple devices have stricter approvals for Bluetooth devices. The Junglecat package includes cases for three specific phones that will let the left and right side Junglecat controls slide onto the sides of your device.
The controller is available to buy on Razer’s official site and through other online retailers.
A growing number of gamers are playing titles with controller support on their phones, and it appears that Razer is looking to capitalise on that. Wildly popular games like “Fortnite” already support controllers on mobile, and companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all in the process of launching new mobile gaming platforms with controller support in mind.
For people already dedicated to gaming on their phones, the Junglecat is a quality controller that offers some convenience, though in comparison to the Nintendo Switch, its certainly rough around the edges.
Here’s a closer look at how it works.
Razer’s Junglecat Controller can be used in its compact form, or you can separate the left and right sides to attach them to the Junglecat case.
The controller is clearly inspired by the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, but unlike the Joy-Cons, the left and right sides of the Junglecat never make a direct physical connection to your phone. They pair together automatically and connect to your phone as a combined bluetooth device.
Razer says the Junglecat’s battery lasts for more than 100 hours, and after more than a week of regular, use I haven’t needed to recharge. Oddly, the two sides of the controller charge separately, but with such a long battery life, it’s not too much of an issue.
The case works with four phones: the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the Razer Phone 2, and the Huawei P30 Pro.
According to a Razer representative I spoke to at a press event, the company would like to make more cases to make the controller fit around more phones, but the phones chosen seem to be the most popular among mobile gaming enthusiasts in the US and abroad.
Because of Apple’s strict rules for Bluetooth devices, the controller cannot connect to the iPhone or other Apple devices at all. However, Razer said it hopes to bring MFi (Made for iOS) support to the Junglecat in the future.
Games and apps with native controller support connected to the Junglecat automatically.
Once you’ve attached the Junglecat to your phone, it feels like you’re playing a full-fledged video game console. The joysticks on the Junglecat are also quite similar to the Nintendo Switch, though they’re positioned parallel to each other rather than staggered. This makes it a bit easier to use the buttons on the right-hand side, but just a bit tougher to play games that require both analogue sticks at once.
The Junglecat case is held in place by basic plastic connections, but I never felt concerned that the phone would fall out or the controllers would fall off. It would be nice to have the satisfying lock mechanic Nintendo uses for the Switch, but the Junglecat is just as easy to slide on and off the sides of your phone.
Carrying the controller around is easy enough, and the case adds a minimal amount of size to your phone. You can use it with PC games, too.
If you do have the right phone and are already an avid mobile gamer, the Junglecat does feel like a more practical option than carrying around a phone clip and controller setup.
The portability and modular design of the $US99 Razer Junglecat are impressive, but the limited number of compatible phones limits its long-term value.
You can buy the Razer Junglecat on Razer’s official site, or other online retailers.