Earlier this year at CES 2022, HyperX launched its first-ever gaming controller for Android, the HyperX Clutch. The controller is designed to be used with an Android device and a Windows PC. In this review, I will go through all the information you need when considering this gadget for a better gaming experience.
HyperX Clutch comes with an Xbox style and layout which I think is fine. It feels very sturdy and comfortable when gripped in my hands. Pretty sure the textured grips did the trick to ensure the firm grip. The last Android controller I tried was a Razer Kishi that costs almost double the HyperX pairing. Shall I say it? Yes, the last one was terrible. None of the issues I’ve had with Kishi occur on HyperX Clutch based on my experience. There is a very good first impression of HyperX Clutch. Buds are crispy, not mushy; triggers are resilient, not scratchy; D-pad is responsive, not squishy.
On the bottom of the controller is a switch for three different connection modes – USB, wireless (via dongle) and Bluetooth. If you’re going to use Clutch on PC, I’d recommend going with the first two options to achieve minimal latency. There is a USB-C port on the Clutch for charging. A 3m USB cable is included in the box, which should be long enough if you decide to go for a wired connection. It’s worth noting that the outer ring of the joysticks’ buttons also has a textured design – my left thumb enjoys incredibly stable joystick control all the time. This mobile controller is boosted by a 600mAh battery. According to HyperX, players can enjoy 19 hours of continuous gameplay on a full charge. During my test, I was never interrupted by a low battery. In addition, there are four dedicated LEDs in the center of the front panel to indicate the current battery level.
The build quality is solid. Normally I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear a rattling noise in controllers, especially if it’s made by a third party. I use this controller for about one to two hours a day, mostly with my Android mobile and tablet. In my experience, all buttons and triggers registered correctly and never missed an entry. The game I play the most is Dead Cells. This game can get incredibly difficult if you play at Nightmare or Expert level, which also puts the controller through a tough test. I haven’t had any problems playing Dead Cells with Clutch. All movements of the game character have been performed as expected without any wrong operation caused by the controller.
HyperX Clutch works perfectly on Android, be it on a mobile phone or tablet. For convenience, I’ve been using a Bluetooth connection most of the time. I tested with Type-C cable and 2.4GHz to confirm that all connection modes for Android work, and the result was satisfactory. I’m not going to repeat how much I love Dead Cells, but this controller works really well with platform games. Blizzard recently (and finally) made Diablo Immortal available on Android, iOS and Windows, a perfect opportunity to test this controller.
On my Android device, I placed the mobile on the clip-on phone holder that was attached to the controller. I don’t use this add-on very often because of the non-ideal comfort caused by the unevenly distributed weight, especially after extended use. Interestingly, unlike other brands, HyperX has added a touch of creativity to the phone clip and you can detach the clip from the controller and use it just like a normal phone holder. This small innovation impressed me as it improves the overall gaming experience due to the reduced weight on the hands. The gameplay of Diablo Immortal with HyperX Clutch was satisfying and worked as you would expect. The same game was also tested with Clutch on Windows. Unsurprisingly, I was able to enjoy the game without any issues.
I’m a big fan of retro gaming, all android devices I’ve ever owned have emulators installed. After hours of gaming on PPSSPP, DraStic, John NESS and Pizza Boy GBA, I can see this controller ticks all the boxes on my list.
On Windows, I’ve always kept it connected via the USB dongle, just to distinguish the different usage scenarios and save time when pairing via Bluetooth. I’ve done some extensive testing with games, including Dark Souls, Genshin Impact, Life is Strange, Control, Diablo Immortal, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. HyperX Clutch is directly supported by those games without the help of Steam. The installation remains the same as the Xbox controller and requires no additional steps unless you want to change the button layout to your preference. However, the controller may stop responding after you change the connection type. For example, the Clutch is connected to my mobile via Bluetooth and I want to use it on Windows. So I switched to dongle mode and the controller vibrated, indicating that it successfully detected the dongle on my PC. I can see that Windows recognizes it on Bluetooth devices, but there’s a chance it won’t work at all in games. Not sure if this is expected behavior, but the quick fix is to hold the ‘home’ button on the controller for a few seconds to turn it off and press it again to turn it back on. From there, everything just goes back to normal. I don’t think it will bother the user unless they are constantly switching between Android and Windows.
HyperX Clutch Gaming Controller costs $79 in Australia. In my opinion, this is a very competitive price and you can hardly find a comparable product that offers the same set of features as a reputable brand. As I mentioned before, I paid over $120 for a Razer Kishi mobile controller for Android a while back, and I don’t think it’s any better than the Clutch controller, not to mention the last one available. for a friendlier price. Moreover, Clutch supports Windows games while it is lacking in the others. It feels like you only paid for a medium sized popcorn but instead they gave you an extra large combo.
Overall, HyperX Clutch is an excellent wireless game controller. It’s very hard for me to fault it, especially at this price. This is a solid controller that works flawlessly on Android devices with three connection methods. It also supports games on a Windows PC and works exactly the same way as an Xbox controller.
There is a detachable clip-on phone holder that can be used with the controller as a unit or as a standalone phone stand on a desktop separately. The workmanship of the controller exceeded my expectations. This is mainly because I’ve never used a HyperX gamepad before, and this is the company’s first attempt at using a wireless controller on Android. As far as my review goes, it will be very hard to be disappointed by this controller. If you’re looking for a wireless controller that works well on both Android and PC, don’t miss HyperX Clutch!
- Textured Grips
- Works for Android and Windows
- The innovative phone clip design
- Lack of compartment for the dongle
- Buttons are loud (compared to DualShock 4 and Switch Pro Controller)
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