Turtle Beach’s Atom Mobile Controller is a Great Controller Option for iPhone

The Turtle Beach Atom controller is launching for iPhone this month. The compact mobile controller has been previously exclusive to Android devices. Revealed last month, iPhone users can snag their own controller with a brand new colour option.

The Atom controller is a unique two-piece mobile controller. Similar to the Nintendo Joy-Cons, the controller is fixed to the sides of the mobile device. Unlike other mobile controllers, the Atom does not have a middle bracket, connecting one half of the controller to the other. Instead, Turtle Beach designed the Atom to work independently using a 2.4GHz wireless link. The iPhone is placed in the middle and secured by adjustable clamps. From there, the two Atom controller modules connect to the iPhone via Bluetooth to provide a low-latency experience.

I went hands-on with the Atom controller for Android last year. At the time, I commended Turtle Beach for creating an ergonomic and compact device, capable of replicating that console-like controller experience. The iPhone model presents the exact same feature set and layout. With an asymmetrical thumbstick layout and face buttons akin to the Xbox controller, the Atom offers a familiar experience.

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What mainly differentiates the Atom from the likes of the Backbone or Razer Kishi is its power source and battery. Unlike more traditional mobile controllers, the Atom doesn’t rely on the iPhone for power. Instead, the Turtle Beach controller has its own battery. Turtle Beach claims it offers 20 hours of total battery on a single charge. Our independent testing last year determined these are fairly accurate numbers. Recharging the Atom to a full charge requires roughly two hours of time.

When not in use, the Atom is compatible. Thanks to the use of magnets, each individual piece of the controller connects into a small shape. It’s small enough to be able to throw into a bag when travelling, making it a great companion device when on the go. The setup process is also super simple so if only have 15 minutes or so of downtime, you can get into the game quickly. When in its compact state, the right controller charges the left so you’re ready to go during your next session.

The Atom controller has been specifically designed as a means of adopting a console-like experience when playing games on Apple Arcade, Xbox Game Pass, GeForce Now, and other cloud-based services. This is a great perk for anyone who wants to have the tactile advantage of thumbsticks, face buttons, triggers, etc. The latency is also exceptionally low. Sure, it may not be ideal for competitive games or action games that require precise inputs. The Atom is very serviceable for puzzle games, platforms, and other more laid-back experiences.

The Atom Controller for iOS is launching in a brand new ‘Cobalt Blue’ colour option. It’s compatible with every iPhone model from the iPhone 11 onward. In Canada, the device will be available on September 11th, with preorders available for $139.99.

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