Top positive review
31 people found this helpful
Cost effective joypad, fantastic for emulators and such
on 21 October 2013
There's a lot of negative reviews here saying the joypad doesn't work or that it's flimsy and cheap. Don't put too much stock in those highly negative reviews - this isn't a perfect product but it certainly does the job as intended and isn't as flimsy as I thought it would be from the reviews already posted. Don't buy this thinking you're getting Xbox 360 or PS3 controller quality and you may be pleasantly suprised.
The iPega is essentially a small bluetooth joypad that you'll pair with you phone or tablet to play games with. Before you buy this the first thing you need to realise is the NOT ALL ANDROID/iOS GAMES SUPPORT JOYPADS. Check the support ofor external input devices for your favourite games before you buy and you'll avoid the disappointment that others may already have suffered.
The iPega has 4 modes of operation, allowing it a reasonable chance of working for a game that won't directly support it. It can act as a keyboard (allowing you to map keyboard bottons to your game/emulator and use the joypad that way), it can act as a joystick/pad (for those games directly supporting joypads), it can act as a mouse/trackball (for games using the touchscreen like a mouse), and it can act as a native iCade controller (for those of you that spent money on the iOS iCade application). You have to set which mode it will operate in when you're pairing it. If you have no joy once paired, unpair it and try a different mode to see if that works for you.
Pairing it is simple. Turn it on, hold the joypad button matching the mode you want then press the HOME button in the middle of the pad. An orange light flashes on the pad. Once the light is flashing, scan for bluetooth devices from your phone or tablet and select the joypad to pair with. As I said, simple.
The joypad itself is designed along the same lines as a third party SNES controller with a couple of analog sticks thrown in. It's lightweight (good for portability) and about the same size as an old Sega Master system controller (although it is thicker). The face bottons feel solid as does the body of the controller but the shoulder triggers are a little 'clicky'; and feel less solid than the other control buttons. If any buttons will break first, it'll be these shoulder triggers.
The iPega has an intenal battery, charged via a standard micro USB port. That's handy as it means no carrying batteries for it. On the flip-side it does mean if you're out of charge on the go then you're out of luck.
Another feature of the controller is that it includes an extendable arm that clamps around your phone handset to attach your phone to the controller which folds neatly away when not in use. This is a good idea but by far the worst feature of the iPega. The spring load on the clamp arm is weak, the plastic feels a little flimsy and the balance of the phone when it's in the cradle feels odd, as the joypad is very light compared to a modern smartphone giving the whole unit when connected together an unbalanced feel. This is the result of the lightweight controller design and is where the budget nature of the controller clearly shows.
So far the iPega has coped with every app I've thrown at it, sometimes on the 2nd or 3rd connection option I've tried. It's best application is on emulators so if you have an old SNES, Megadrive, GBA, NeoGeo pocket or similar knockling around that you never carry this controller can help turn your phone into an all-purpose portable gaming device. I've used this on a Sumsung Note 2 (Android 4.1) and a Galaxy S3 (Android 4.2) with no difficulties.
One last note of criticism: The manual is TERRIBLE. It's clearly a bad translation but it does point out that the joypad can also be used on PC. Could be one for the laptop bag then :)
CONCLUSION: The iPega is a cheap and cheerful joypad best suited to emulators but capable of much more. As a pad it feels light yet sturdier than the price tag (and some reviews) suggests but it's phone clamp is clearly a weak point. Overall this is well worth £16 and was just what I needed to prevent me carrying my mobile gaming platforms as well as my phone. Check compatibility with your games before you buy and you shouldn't be disappointed.