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Backbone Launches a Mobile Gamepad for Android Phones

The Backbone One paired with an Android phone.

We were deeply impressed by the Backbone One mobile gaming controller when we reviewed it earlier this year. Not only does it feel like an Xbox controller, but it supports a ton of games and popular cloud gaming services. And, after a long wait, the Backbone One is finally available for Android phones.

The Backbone One snaps to both sides of your phone, sort of like two Nintendo Switch controllers. It connects via USB-C, so you don’t need to worry about any Bluetooth nonsense, and it supports passthrough charging. There’s also an integrated headphone jack—something that your phone probably lacks. (Note that you can also use Backbone with a PC over USB-C cable.)

Unsurprisingly, the Backbone One has a fairly simple button layout. There’s a set of Xbox-styled action buttons, two Switch-like analog sticks, a D-pad, and four shoulder buttons. Additionally, Backbone One gives you a screen recording shortcut button, plus three additional buttons to adjust settings or open the Backbone app.

Note that the Backbone One for Android does not come with an Xbox Game Pass trial. Instead, it comes with one month of Google Play Pass. (If you want the Game Pass trial, you need to buy the Backbone One for iPhone.)

Orders for the Android-edition Backbone One are available today. The controller costs $99 and starts shipping before the end of November—if you buy one now, Backbone promises to deliver it before Christmas. Unfortunately, the PlayStation-styled Backbone controller is still an iPhone exclusive.

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