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Phonejoy review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £60
inc VAT

The Phonejoy is clever, but it's also a bit fiddly and far too expensive for what it is

At rest the Phonejoy looks like a video game controller that’s been squashed down. Grab each half and pull, though, and the whole thing concertinas out like an exercise device for building up your quads (whatever they may be). The spring-loaded mechanism is designed securely hold your smartphone, and it’s big enough to hold even phablet-sized devices (a 7in tablet will fit, but only vertically).


Rubber grips on either side, and plastic teeth on top, stop the phone pinging out, and we had no problems once it was positioned inside. Getting it in is a bit tricky until you get the knack, you have to hold the phone in one hand and then ease the jaws apart, then use the phone itself to push them apart.


One problem is that many phones have their headphone and micro USB sockets at either end, making them inaccessible when playing – a disaster if you need to wear headphones to play on the train or in another public place. The device connects by Bluetooth and there’s an app where you can buy games. The Advanced package (£70) includes adaptors for both of these, so you can connect them at the bottom, however these are fiddly to attach and take off again for a quick game, and with both attached we couldn’t still fit our Nexus 5 in the Phonejoy’s grip. If you only want the headphone adaptor it’s £6.


Everything from within the app is, obviously, supported by the controller but then so are most games you’d expect these days. The number of good Android games is growing slowly, but it’s still fairly minimal compared to the wealth of stuff on iOS. The number of games that work well with a joypad is even less of course, as much are designed for and work best with touch. This is a big problem, but it’s the same for any such device.

The controls are generally good, though the sliding analogue pads tend to stick in the middle and then whip off to the edge under pressure, making subtle control harder than it is on say the Nintendo 3DS. With a full selection of pads, buttons and triggers, you’ll have no problem playing any game.


The Phonejoy is a nice idea, but the execution is merely OK and the need for a headphone adaptor makes it a bit fiddly to use as well. The number of game supported as a percentage is great, but there’s still not loads to play on Android and classic emulated titles will make up a lot of your gaming time with this. At £60 for the device, or £70 with the adaptors, it’s simply far too expensive to recommend when compared to the simpler and more practical Moga Pocket Controller (which costs just £18 from , or the Moga Pro with its proper analogue sticks for £40.

The Phonejoy is smaller the Pro admittedly, and has more controls than the Pocket, so it might win over someone who wants a fully-featured joypad in a fairly pocketable package, for us though its price and fiddly design outweigh any such positives.



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