SteelSeries has long been one of the biggest names when it comes to phone controllers, and the company’s latest model — the Stratus Duo — looks to address some of the bigger complaints from the last few models, adding Wi-Fi for better desktop connectivity, improved triggers, and a rechargeable battery.
The idea is that players will be able to use the 2.4GHz wireless connection to play games on Windows PCs. Then, with the flip of a switch, swap over to Bluetooth to play on something like an Android phone, an Oculus Go, or Samsung Gear VR headset. (iOS and Mac devices don’t seem to be supported here.)
Aside from the improved internals, though, the Stratus Duo is largely similar to SteelSeries’ Apple TV controller, the Nimbus, albeit with a slightly tweaked design. Battery life also took a hit, going down to roughly 20 hours on the Stratus Duo from 40 hours on the Stratus XL, but that’s the price you’ll pay for not having to shell out for AAs. (The Stratus Duo can still work while charging, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.) Sadly, SteelSeries has chosen to continue using Micro USB for charging. That makes very little sense since most of the phones that the company is envisioning that players will use with it have switched over to USB-C, but I suppose there’s always hope for the next version.
SteelSeries’ timing is apt, too, given that Fortnite — the biggest game on mobile devices that would benefit hugely from real controllers — just got support for Bluetooth controllers this week, something that the Stratus Duo seems perfect for.
The Stratus Duo is available now from SteelSeries for $59.99 with an optional “SmartGrip” phone mount accessory set to go on sale in a few weeks for an additional $9.99.
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