One of the best ways to play games on your phone just got a whole lot cheaper thanks to an Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deal. The Backbone One controller for Android is currently on sale for a very nice $69.99 ($30 off) at Amazon in either PlayStation (white) or Xbox (black) flavors. You can take your pick based on control layout, though they work the same way. By plugging into just about any current Android phone’s USB-C port, you get native physical controls for compatible mobile games or games streamed via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PlayStation Remote Play, or Steam Link.
The Backbone One can give you a competitive edge (or it allows you to cheat, depending on who you ask) in mobile games as well as a traditional controller layout with proper console games via streaming. Backbone’s app gives all the corresponding game software on your phone a cohesive launcher, though, speaking from personal experience, I’d say you don’t really have to subscribe to the Backbone Plus paid service to enjoy this great mobile controller.
The Backbone One can connect to Android phones running Android version 8.0 or newer through the USB-C port. It’s a fully featured controller complete with dual analog sticks, a headphone jack, and its own software for capturing screenshots and connecting to game-streaming services.
While there are a lot of mobile game controllers out there — including regular gamepads with attachable clips and quirky hybrid controllers — the Backbone One feels the least flawed compared to most. The biggest downside is that you have to remove any case from your phone to use it, but once you do, it’s a seamless experience that you can play for hours thanks to passthrough USB-C charging.
Plus, the Backbone includes a 3.5mm headphone jack to put back what smartphone makers took from us. And while this model is just for Android phones, there’s a decent chance it will become the universal version when / if a potential iPhone 15 switches to USB-C (hopefully).