The best controller for Android is even better

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I’ve been using the SteelSeries Stratus Duo as an Android controller for many years when testing games, and I’m pretty sure it’s out of date with a micro USB port. Thankfully, SteelSeries has updated the iconic Stratus Duo with the release of Stratus +. This includes useful upgrades such as USB-C support and a new controller clip (now included). However, the 2.4GHz WiFi support found on Stratus Duo is gone with the USB dongle. Still, Stratus + is the perfect Duo for the following reasons:


SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on-Top

Stratus + rear trigger

It’s hard to tell the difference between Stratus Duo and Stratus + by appearance alone, but there are some minor changes. First, 2.4GHz WiFi support has been removed, reducing the number of configuration buttons at the top from four to two. There’s a battery level check button on the left side of the central USB-C port, a rough estimate of the four LEDs, and a Bluetooth connection button on the right side. There are also two new holes at the top. These are for inserting into the metal legs of a new phone clip. The Stratus Duo clip is sold separately, but Stratus + solves the problem.

SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Duovs +

Stratus Duo (left) and Stratus + (right)

With the exception of the top changes, Stratus + looks exactly like Stratus Duo. The shape is similar to the PlayStation controller, but with slightly longer legs, but the smooth plastic body is similar in size to the Xbox controller. Of course, like the PlayStation controller, there are two thumbsticks in the center. This can be off for those who prefer the Xbox’s staggered arrangement. For me, it was easy to switch back and forth and the central thumbstick wasn’t a problem at all. In fact, I prefer a centrally placed stick, even though I play games on my PC every night using an Xbox controller.

SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Clip Solo

Use SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Clip

Stratus + clips, solos and in use

Phone clips are enjoying the new design. The Stratus + clip folds flat for easy portability, with two metal legs sliding onto the top of the controller for a very stable feel. I hit ROG 5 without any problems, but this is a messy phone call. Even my RedMagic 7 Pro fits in a clip and the phone barely fits inside Razer Kishi. Sure, if you use a clip that holds the phone over the controller, weight distribution isn’t optimal, but it can still be used for long sessions. It’s not as comfortable as a controller that holds the phone in the center (although even these controllers have problems because of their uncomfortable width).

Of course, the control feel is the most important part, and the face buttons are wonderfully sturdy and have a heavy feel behind them. It can be easily pushed with moderate resistance and tactile sensation. This also applies to shoulder buttons. The trigger provides a slightly upward curve at the back, leaving the finger planted. The cross key is fine, but its edges are a bit sharper than I want. Repeated combos in a fighting game can cause callus to reach your thumb faster than BlazBlue’s Dragon Punch.


SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Game Performance

Rog 5 has been clipped in and ready for mission

Stratus + has removed 2.4GHz WiFi support and selected Bluetooth LE for all wireless connections, so no dongle is needed. One caveat: Bluetooth support is only for Android / Chrome OS for some reason, so you need to use the controller via USB-C on your PC. I can connect Stratus + to my PC via Bluetooth, but I can’t control one game.

However, you may be wondering how well Bluetooth support works on Android and how this affects battery life. A USB-C connection is recommended even when shooting with low latency, but if you don’t mind the slight delay (like all Bluetooth controllers), Bluetooth support works easily with a pinch. Switching to Bluetooth LE will greatly improve battery life. The Stratus Duo provides over 20 hours on a single charge, and the Stratus + provides 90 hours. This is a big difference, and after the first charge in a few weeks of testing, the battery isn’t running out yet. Even better, the USB-C port allows for fast charging, so you can fill up your controller within 15 minutes and use it for 90 hours. That’s great if you’re always playing games wirelessly.

SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Angle Top

SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on-Rear

SteelSeries Stratus + USB and close-up on the back of the device

Stratus + provides Bluetooth and USB-C for connectivity, so you’re limited to devices that support them. The controller officially supports PC and Android and works great on both. But again, you need to use USB-C on your PC. This makes Stratus + the best choice if you want to use a single controller on both platforms. However, the lack of functional wireless on the PC is one of the annoying drawbacks of Stratus + when compared to Stratus Duo. Still, I’m happy to make the trade-off between USB-C and fast charging.

SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Hands-on

Stratus + delivers the expected performance, excellent battery life, and quick charging for all purposes and purposes. You can’t replace the battery like a controller that supports AA batteries, but when I see my Stratus Duo kicking without noticeable battery degradation after three years, the Stratus + holds up without problems. must. believe me. I tried Duo’s pace and tested hundreds of Android games. It’s a champion. That’s why Stratus + is a very welcome update.

Final idea

SteelSeries Stratus + Hands-on Box Contents

SteelSeries Stratus + Box and Contents

I am very happy with Stratus +. Therefore, it is an editor’s choice in the controller purchase guide. Whether you’re streaming on Stadia or playing a native Android game like Stardew Valley, it’s easily the best choice for an Android controller. At $ 59.99, there is no mistake. Especially if you have a lot of much more expensive controllers with less functionality and poorer structure.

So if you’re looking for a high-quality controller that can play games on Android, game streaming services, and PCs, there’s little you can compete with Stratus +. This is a great alternative to the Stratus Duo, and thanks to the new USB-C port, this is ideally a controller that should last for years to come.

Buy SteelSeries Stratus +

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