After two months with the control Gametel, at hand, we have information that is more than necessary to weave a complete analysis of this product. The small controller that arrived here in September, really improves the experience of the player who wants, how can I say, dedicate himself more to some games.
Although it is far from being a complete and anatomical control like video game controllers, the Gametel perfectly fulfills the bluetooth control function for your gadget, be it a smartphone or a tablet.
What is? What is it for?
Gametel is a bluetooth controller for Android smartphones and tablets. It also works with Apple devices like iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The control is for the player to have fun with their games without having to keep their finger on the screen all the time. With a long-lasting rechargeable battery and a large list of compatible games, it's the only controller of its kind officially on sale in Spain.
Unfortunately, as it is an imported product, the Gametel costs around R$250 reais. It is possible to buy it for a cheaper price on international sites like Ebay and Amazon for prices around R$ 49,95 (about R$ 100 reais).
The Gametel has a 250mAh battery that lasts for around 9 hours of intense gaming. Playing moderately, one to two hours a day, the battery lasts for a week. The control is very light, weighs only 80 grams and fits comfortably in any pocket, including your shirt. The dimensions of the children are: 120x67x24mm.
The Gametel buttons resemble an old acquaintance, the Super Nintendo controller, and despite not having letters, I can't call the buttons “Action buttons”. For me they are famous: Y,X,B,A, the “defenses” L and R, Start and Select. As you can see Nintendo indoctrinated me in the 90s.
One of the highlights of the Gametel is a clip in the form of a hook that “hugs” your smartphone so that it fits snugly. unboxing video, we suspended a Motorola Milestone 3 of almost 300g without any sign that it was going to fall.
Today (18) almost two months later, the clip didn't show any signs of wear and I used the controller almost every day, plugging and unplugging the smartphone over and over again.
One of the most important points of a controller is how it feels in your hands. It's no use being functional if it's heavy or has a "strange" grip on your hands. In this regard, the Gametel Design is very satisfactory. The controller fits very well in the hands, both large hands and those with small hands will not feel discomfort. The control is super light, so light that at times it even gives an aspect of fragility.
This aspect of fragility is also evident in the buttons and directional pad. If you're the type to “wash clothes” with the controller, you'll probably need to use Gametel's one-year warranty.
On Android, Gametel has an application that communicates. The app turns on your smartphone/tablet's bluetooth and still pairs. The application still displays a list of compatible games, some famous ones like Corby e Sonic CD.
On iOS the thing is a little different, before pairing, you have to change to “iPhone Mode”, more precisely “iCade Mode”, changing the configuration of your Gametel. To do this, with the Gametel turned off, you press the Start + Y buttons (Start + left action button) for three seconds until the green light flashes quickly and then turns off.
The app you download from the App Store only gives instructions on how to enter “iCade Mode” and you have to do the pairing yourself, although easy, the app could also give instructions on how to do it. Like the Android version, the iOS version shows a list of supported games with direct links to the App Store. The vast majority of games are free.
Once the configuration and pairing is done in iOS, the Gametel starts to operate in the “iCade Mode”, being also compatible with any game for this control, this expands the compatibility of Gametel games. The iCade, for those unfamiliar, was the first real controller for iPhone and iPad.
How to Switch Between Android and iPhone on Gametel
Here's a little tip, because I had a little headache to keep switching between “Android Mode” and “iPhone Mode”. To return to “Android Mode”, you must press the Start + X buttons (Start + action button up) for three seconds, with the device turned off. The strange thing is that nowhere have I read this information. It is not in the Spanish manual or in the English forum. It was by deduction that I decided to try and it worked.
Works with games made for smartphones and tablets
Gametel works great with the games indicated in the apps, the responses are accurate and there are no lags. played Temple Run for several minutes, passing 10 kilometers, a place where the commands must be more than accurate and I didn't feel the control hurt me at any time.
I tested about 10 games on each platform and everything went very well with the control serving what it was meant to do, “prevent you from putting your fingers on the screen”. But one of Gametel's main “defects” is the lack of support for famous games. Well, on Android I didn't have much luck trying to adapt some games for Gametel, but on iOS I had much better results.
Operation in Emulators
It wouldn't be fair to make an analysis without checking the Gametel's performance with emulators. On Android, where emulators are practically official (since they are all over Google Play), Gametel supports practically all of them, we only tested the most famous ones like Snesdroid (Super Nintendo) and the FPse (Playstation One).
In both the Gametel worked, but it was not as satisfactory as expected. I don't know if it was because of the limitation of the emulator or my smartphone (a Motorola Milestone 3) but in both emulators, although all the commands worked, there was always a small delay.
Those who play adventure, RPG or even racing games may not notice it, but those who are fans of fighting games will notice a delay of a few milliseconds. This delay even harms the gameplay in games like Super Street Fighter 2 e Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. But I don't blame the controller, my distrust is deposited in my smartphone, which besides being tired has to deal with a lot happening with only 512 MB of RAM. It may be that a newer, or more powerful smartphone or tablet, the answers with emulators are more satisfying.
Already on iOS, but precisely on the iPad 2, the control responded very well, even in fighting games. The functionality in the emulators was something more than expected, after all, this type of application is already designed to support Bluetooth controls. But what, for those who have iOS, became the main reason to acquire the Gametel, is what comes next.
Gametel + Blutrol = the perfect combination
before meeting the blutrol, Gametel had only convinced me that it was a great option for those who use emulators to play games. But when I discovered Blutrol, then yes, I saw the magic happen.
Blutrol is a tweak that only works on iOS and Jailbroken devices. Available in Cydia for five dollars, it works an interesting magic: it maps areas on the screen to be recognized by the controller.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UwNlUUBZc_8#!
In games where the camera is fixed and the virtual d-pad is static in just one place, Gametel, together with Blutrol are more than perfect! The answers are fast, there is no Lag! This setting is responsible for a dozen Japanese and Koreans having added me to Game Center after playing Street Fighter X Tekken Mobile with me. They must think I'm one of the best players there is, little do they know what my secret is.
The Gametel and the feedback that only a controller with physical buttons can give is a big advantage against any player in any fighting game for smartphones and tablets.
Despite official support for many games, some well known, in the end, Gametel is an excellent choice for emulation fans. The controller masterfully solves that horrendous problem, which was the huge amount of buttons on the screen, when we started an emulator.
I recommend Gametel for emulation fans, both on Android and iOS, but with the exception of the former. And finally, I highly recommend it to anyone who has an iGadget with Jailbreak and is a fan of fighting games or football. Gametel controller gives you a huge advantage against other players in any competition whether offline or online. Now, if you're the kind of guy who just likes casual games, style Angry Birds or shooting games like ShadowGun e Modern Combat, you don't even need to look at this control.
- Very familiar button configuration
- Works with emulators
- Fragile, can be damaged by “truculent” players
- Did I already say price?
[originally published November 18, 2012]