Ever since we heard about Motorola's upcoming Gamepad Mod for the Moto Z series, it's been top-of-mind for gadgets to try. Well, that will soon be possible when the add-on goes on sale exclusively at Verizon on August 25 for $79.99.
Yes, along with a red-hued JBL SoundBoost 2 speaker Mod, the Moto Gamepad will be sold only at Verizon stores and online, though it doesn't appear that the carrier will prevent wireless customers from other carriers from buying one.
Like all other Moto Mods, the Gamepad uses the pins on the back of the Moto Z series phones to form a direct data connection with the phone, eschewing unreliable Bluetooth that most game controllers use. Instead, the Moto Z sits flush inside the Gamepad, making the phone into a veritable portable gaming system. The 1035mAh battery lasts for approximately eight hours, and there are dual control sticks, a D-pad, and shoulder buttons that resemble those of a Switch or PS Vita.
Of course, most Android games aren't console quality, nor are they tailor-made for controllers. Only a few really take advantage of all the potential button combinations, and Motorola says it isn't working with any developers to optimize their games for the form factor, so users will have to be selective about the games they play (or download apps that map custom controllers to traditional touch inputs).
At $79.99, the Gamepad Mod isn't cheap, but combined with the Moto Z2 Force, which has a Snapdragon 835 processor inside, it may be one of the better options for those yearning for the halcyon days of the Sony Xperia Play and its gaming-focused ilk.
In other Moto news, the Moto Z2 Force is up for pre-order on Verizon for $15 per month over 24 months with an Unlimited plan, which works out to just $360 total. The savings are applied through monthly bill credits, and begin a couple cycles into the payment, but they should eventually catch up once the phone is fully paid for. Verizon customers also get a free Insta-Share Projector Mod, which is neat.
The Moto Z2 Force isn't proving to be one of our favorite flagships of 2017, but it has some serious upsides — especially if you're clumsy.
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