Pocket Gamer | www.pocketgamer.co.uk | Latest hardware reviews The latest stories from Pocket Gamer, updated every five minutes. FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NOT TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/ en-gb Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:26:12 GMT Copyright (c) 2017 Pocket Gamer Review: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review - How does it hold up against the Joy-cons or DualShock 4? <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-yqbpe/pro-controller.jpg" width="200" alt="Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review - How does it hold up against the Joy-cons or DualShock 4?" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Just like the Wii U, Nintendo has opted to release a Pro Controller for the Switch. This is likely to satisfy the core gamers amongst you, who just want a traditional experience when sat in front of the TV.<br><br>But at £59.99 / $59.99, it's far from a no-brainer purchase. The Switch already comes with the Joy-con grip which turns the two controllers into an almost-traditional controller, and you can get a DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller for around half of that.<br><br>The real question though, is: is it any good? Let's dig into it to help you make that difficult purchasing decision.<br><br><strong>Design</strong><br><br>The Switch Pro Controller, like the Wii U's before it, mimics the Xbox variety of controllers quite closely. The two joysticks are placed diagonally, with the arrow keys and face buttons placed to the lower, and upper right of them respectively. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Nintendo+Switch/hardware_review.asp?c=73181'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Nintendo+Switch/hardware_review.asp?c=73181 Thu, 2 Mar 2017 17:14:11 GMT Review: Nintendo Switch review - A return to glory? <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-znewp/bundle1.jpg" width="200" alt="Nintendo Switch review - A return to glory?" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> When developing the Switch, Nintendo had quite the job on its hands. The console's predecessor, the Wii U, failed to maintain the enormous success that the Wii enjoyed, and it flopped. Hard.<br><br>Why this happened is anyone's guess - though you could point to a lacklustre launch and third party line-up, a primary innovation that even Nintendo couldn't even figure out what to do with, and marketing that ultimately failed to explain what the Wii U was, or why we should care.<br><br>Meanwhile, Nintendo's space was invaded by the rapid growth of mobile gaming, a revitalised PC market, and Sony's dominance in the console space. With only the quietly successful 3DS pulling its weight, Nintendo had to act.<br><br>The response was to put the Wii U out of its misery and step back to the drawing board. The mission statement to provide an innovative, must-buy product that would once again capture the minds of the masses, while simultaneously clawing back the core gamers lost along the way. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Nintendo+Switch/hardware_review.asp?c=73163'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Nintendo+Switch/hardware_review.asp?c=73163 Wed, 1 Mar 2017 16:56:00 GMT Review: GPD Win review - A PC in your pocket <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-ehst/gpdwin01.jpg" width="200" alt="GPD Win review - A PC in your pocket" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> GPD is a company you may already be familiar with if you've followed the fascinating world of Android-based games consoles.<br><br>The firm released the excellent GPD XD a while back, a clamshell device which looked like a Nintendo 3DS on the outside but offered incredible emulation power on the inside.<br><br>Now GPD is back with a conceptually similar handheld called the GPD Win, and as the name suggests this new device runs Microsoft's Windows 10 OS rather than Android.<br><br>It's powered by Intel's Atom X7 Z8700 processor, has 4GB of RAM and boasts a full QWERTY keyboard – in short, it's a PC you can fit in your pocket.<br><br>But it also has a strong entertainment focus thanks to its full suite of physical gaming controls. Does it deliver on the incredible potential of this idea? Let's find out. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Other/GPD+Win/hardware_review.asp?c=73044'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Other/GPD+Win/hardware_review.asp?c=73044 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:55:10 GMT Review: Gamevice for iPad Pro 12.9-inch <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-efgec/gamevice-ipadpro-starwars-cropped.jpg" width="200" alt="Gamevice for iPad Pro 12.9-inch" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Let's get the obvious out of the way: an iPad Pro with a Gamevice stuck to it looks slightly ridiculous.<br><br>t's 44cm wide and looks like someone steamrolled a Game Gear. You wouldn't want to play this outside of the house and you might shut the curtains before you play it inside the house, too.<br><br>It's not unbearably uncomfortable. You'll likely rest the iPad on your lap while you play to offset some of the weight. I found my hands started to hurt from the unnatural angle but I'm broken and old so your mileage may vary.<br><br>The Gamevice consists of two chunky black controllers, strapped together with a rubber brace, that snaps around your iPad like, well, a vice.<br><br>One side plugs into the Lightning connector which means you don't need to faff around with batteries or flaky Bluetooth nonsense. Just plug and play, as they say. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=72501'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=72501 Wed, 28 Dec 2016 14:00:00 GMT Review: NES Mini review - the best way to play Super Mario Bros for the 127th time? <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-lnexgpqw/nesmini-930x542.jpg" width="200" alt="NES Mini review - the best way to play Super Mario Bros for the 127th time?" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> The NES Mini is adorable. It looks exactly like Nintendo's retro console - only, if you accidentally dropped it in a hot washing machine.<br><br>But it's not just a toy to shove on your shelf: it's a fully fledged console that hooks up to your TV and lets you pick from 30 classic games<br><br>The selection is pretty fantastic. It's not just Nintendo franchises like <em>Mario</em>, <em>Zelda</em>, <em>Kirby</em>, and <em>Kid Icarus</em>, but there are games from all the major publishers. Capcom brings <em>Mega Man</em>, Konami has <em>Castlevania</em>, Square Enix offers up <em>Final Fantasy</em>, Namco's got a <em>Pac Man</em> port, and Tecmo brings <em>Ninja Gaiden</em>.<br><br>It's a near-complete list of the most iconic and important NES games - and without the usual filler seen on these compilations, like the dull <em>Urban Champion</em>. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Other/NES+Mini/hardware_review.asp?c=71998'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Other/NES+Mini/hardware_review.asp?c=71998 Mon, 7 Nov 2016 12:02:11 GMT Review: Gamevice for iPhone 6 - Perfect for retro enthusiasts on the go <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-pbhcy/gamevicephone.jpg" width="200" alt="Gamevice for iPhone 6 - Perfect for retro enthusiasts on the go" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> The Gamevice for iPhone 6 just feels so right, and I think that's down to a combination of two things. One, unlike the enormous <a href="/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=70558">iPad Air</a> or <a href="/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=67516">Mini</a> models, it feels about the size of a normal controller. And two, the relatively tiny size emulates the feeling of playing a handheld console.<br><br>That results in a version of the Gamevice that's absolutely perfect for playing retro platformers, bullet hells, or isometric RPGs. Or maybe that's just me.<br><br>The design is very similar to its larger siblings. You click your iPhone into the lightning cable port on one side of the device, then stretch the other over your iPhone until it clamps like a vice. You can then secure it with a slide-y button on the back, and release it with another on the right hand side. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=70570'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=70570 Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:01:05 GMT Review: Gamevice for iPad Air / Pro 9.7-inch <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-flmmx_logo_gamevice_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Gamevice for iPad Air / Pro 9.7-inch" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Way back in September 2015, we got our hands on a Gamevice for iPad Mini, and Mark Brown wrote a colourful <a href="/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=67516">review</a> in which he said:<br><br>"Overall, the Gamevice is a smartly made, comfortable, and capable joypad. As long as you don't mind the funny looks and the odd torn tendon trying to rip it apart from your tablet, it's a good choice for controller."<br><br>The same can be said about the Gamevice for iPad Air / Pro 9.7-inch with one key difference - it doesn't quite grip your device with that same tenacity. That's both good - because it doesn't require Donkey Kong's grip to tear it off your iPad - and bad - because it feels a little bit wobbly on the left-hand side. That's not a dealbreaker though, by any means. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=70558'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPad/Gamevice/hardware_review.asp?c=70558 Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:01:57 GMT Review: Xiamoi Mi5 - Your next Android gaming phone? <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-ghhfh/mi5-01.jpg" width="200" alt="Xiamoi Mi5 - Your next Android gaming phone?" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Xiaomi's stature in the world of smartphones grows with each new release, and the Chinese firm - so often referred to as "The Apple of the East" due to its enviable position in that particular market - sent out a powerful message by choosing to unveil its new Mi5 handset at this year's MWC in Spain.<br><br>The company's phones are intended for sale in its homeland and parts of India, and while Xiaomi has hinted at a global release, it hasn't happened yet.<br><br>If you're interested in the Mi5 then you'll have to import the phone from resellers online, but is it really worth the effort when we already have so many amazing phones available to us here in the UK? Read on to find out.<br><br><strong>Design</strong><br><br>Xiaomi has a reputation for ripping off Apple when it comes to design - the Mi4 looked a lot like the iPhone 5, for example. A quick glance at the Mi5 might lead less kind individuals to point the finger yet again, this time with Samsung as the offended party. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Xiaomi+Mi5/hardware_review.asp?c=70094'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Xiaomi+Mi5/hardware_review.asp?c=70094 Tue, 17 May 2016 16:14:00 GMT Review: LG G5 <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-sdbb/lgg5-06.jpg" width="200" alt="LG G5" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> LG made quite a splash when it unveiled the G5 earlier this year. The phone's unique modular design instantly set it apart from other handsets, offering the promise of a device which can be upgraded over time rather than replaced entirely.<br><br>Now the phone is here, it's time to see if this intriguing concept can possibly live up to the hype - and if LG has released a product which will allow it to outshine tenacious rivals like Samsung, HTC and Sony.<br><br><strong>Design</strong><br><br>At first glance, the G5 hardly sets your pulse racing. Compared to the wacky leather-backed G4 which preceded it, the handset is altogether unremarkable looking.<br><br>It would be a real stretch to call it unattractive, but the rounded corners and largely plain back panel just make it blend in with the crowd rather than stand out. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/LG+G5/hardware_review.asp?c=70041'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/LG+G5/hardware_review.asp?c=70041 Thu, 12 May 2016 13:00:00 GMT Review: HTC Vive - Reviving the VR revolution? <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-ukvdc/htc-vive-pre-system.jpg" width="200" alt="HTC Vive - Reviving the VR revolution?" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Reviewing a new category of products, or at least what feels like one, is tricky. Reviewing something like VR, which needs to be shown to really make sense, is even harder.<br><br>Still, you can't assume that everyone will pluck down the hefty tag of £689 (before shipping) without first getting their hands (and eyes) on it.<br><br>The HTC Vive, unlike the Oculus Rift comes with two motion controllers and some base stations called Lighthouse that can detect your movement in a given area. <br><br>This means that you'll need to mount them and have some free space to move around. Of course, the HTC Vive also supports stationary experiences as well.<br><br>If you can, you should try one at a local games fair or event. If you can't, or if you are still on the fence, read on to learn what it's like from the other side of the lenses. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Virtual+Reality/HTC+Vive/hardware_review.asp?c=69785'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Virtual+Reality/HTC+Vive/hardware_review.asp?c=69785 Tue, 19 Apr 2016 15:00:00 GMT Review: Samsung Galaxy S7 <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-bxio/galaxys7-07.jpg" width="200" alt="Samsung Galaxy S7" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Apple has been taking the "two-year" approach for some time now, releasing a new handset design one year and then iterating on it the next.<br><br>It's a tactic which has proven to be particularly fruitful for the Cupertino firm, and as dutifully as ever, Samsung has decided to follow suit.<br><br>The Galaxy S7 is more like the S6 Mark II - it retains the same basic design but boosts the processing power and brings back trademark Galaxy S features which were annoyingly removed from the 2015 model.<br><br>Does this result in a phone which is as commendable as the superb S6, or should Samsung have been bolder with its 2016 flagship? We're going to find out.<br><br><strong>Design</strong><br><br>Viewed from the front, the S7 is virtually indistinguishable from the S6.<br><br>Samsung's decision to build on last year's excellent metal-and-glass aesthetic should be celebrated, as the S6 was easily one of the most gorgeous handsets to come out of the Korean tech giant. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Samsung+Galaxy+S7/hardware_review.asp?c=69718'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Samsung+Galaxy+S7/hardware_review.asp?c=69718 Mon, 11 Apr 2016 15:00:00 GMT Review: Look to the future with our review of the Samsung Gear VR <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-vrsg/gearvr01.jpg" width="200" alt="Look to the future with our review of the Samsung Gear VR " border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Virtual Reality is about to explode. While the notion of immersive entertainment has been around for decades, it's only now that technology has caught up and finally made it a viable proposition for consumers, and 2016 may well go down in history as the year VR broke into the mainstream. HTC has its Vive headset, the Facebook-owned Oculus has the Rift - arguably the product which kick-started the public's reappraisal of VR in general - and in the home console arena Sony is ready to spring its PlayStation 4-focused VR headset.<br><br>However, all of these units come with lofty price tags attached which could prevent them from hitting the audience they deserve; it falls to Korean tech giant Samsung to provide a truly mass-market VR headset in the form of the Gear VR, designed in conjunction with the aforementioned Oculus. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Gear+VR/Samsung+Gear+VR/hardware_review.asp?c=69440'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Gear+VR/Samsung+Gear+VR/hardware_review.asp?c=69440 Thu, 17 Mar 2016 12:08:00 GMT Review: Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 - New year, pretty much the same device <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-hnfpxoa/shieldk1_pg_01.jpg" width="200" alt="Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 - New year, pretty much the same device" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Nvidia has rather cornered the market when it comes to Android gaming with its range of high-spec devices and exclusive software.<br><br>The trend began with the <a href="/r/Multiformat/Shield/hardware_review.asp?c=53414">Shield portable</a>, and has continued via the <a href="/r/Android/Nvidia+Shield+Tablet/hardware_review.asp?c=61234">Shield Tablet (2014)</a> and this year's Shield Android TV.<br><br>We're getting a second Shield product in 2015, but rather than an all-new offering it's a revised version of the aforementioned tablet with some subtle design changes and not much else.<br><br>The lack of change matters little, however - even after 12 months on the market this is still a seriously powerful slab of tech and comes with a reasonable price point (£150 compared to last year's £240) that will make it popular with Android gamers this Christmas season. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Nvidia+Shield+Tablet+K1/hardware_review.asp?c=68459'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Nvidia+Shield+Tablet+K1/hardware_review.asp?c=68459 Wed, 2 Dec 2015 17:00:00 GMT Review: Nexus 5X - Vanilla Marshmallow tastes good, but it's not without its problems <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-cqgf/nexus5x_pg_06.jpg" width="200" alt="Nexus 5X - Vanilla Marshmallow tastes good, but it's not without its problems" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> The 2013 <a href="/r/Mobile/LG+Nexus+5/handset_review.asp?c=55845">Nexus 5</a> was a triumphant combination of excellent specs and a mid-range price point, offering Google fans an affordable means of getting "pure" Android without having to break the bank.<br><br>With last year's <a href="/r/Android/Nexus+6/hardware_review.asp?c=64122">Nexus 6</a> proving to be too large for many people's pockets (and wallets), the news that Google would once again be teaming up with LG to make another low-cost 5-inch Nexus was met with a positive reaction.<br><br>Although this time around the Nexus 5X is playing second fiddle to the Huawei-made Nexus 6P, a larger, more premium offering which launches at the same time.<br><br>Both phones come with Android 6.0 on-board, and share many similarities - including the same camera and fingerprint scanner - but the pricing is very different, as the 6P starts at £449 while the 5X is a more reasonable £339. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Nexus+5X/hardware_review.asp?c=68444'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Nexus+5X/hardware_review.asp?c=68444 Tue, 1 Dec 2015 15:00:00 GMT Review: Merge VR Headset Review <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-gldrzi/12189926_10153699074447463_1823032832127755251_n.jpg" width="200" alt="Merge VR Headset Review" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> If you want to get involved with VR right this minute, the cheapest and easiest way is by slotting your mobile device into one of the many inexpensive VR headsets now available.<br><br>The best known of these is, by far, the Google Cardboard, but there are a host of options for those happy to look around.<br><br>The Cardboard is great, but the real problem comes from the fact that it's made of cardboard. While it's cheap enough to giveaway for free, it's not particularly sturdy. You wouldn’t want to toss it in a bag or give to a rampant toddler.<br><br>Enter the Merge VR which, for my money, is the best low-price headset out there.<br><br>Currently it's selling for £49.99 on the Game website, and while this is much more expensive than every other device in its class, the quality that extra cash brings is obvious.<br><br><strong>Quality product</strong> <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Merge+Goggles/hardware_review.asp?c=68276'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Merge+Goggles/hardware_review.asp?c=68276 Thu, 12 Nov 2015 14:00:00 GMT