Disclosure: This wireless gamepad is provided by EasySMX.
EasySMX… Wireless Gamepad
EasySMX is probably not something that you’ll think of buying peripherals from unless you have some experience with it. Sometimes, it is unfortunate because much smaller brands do have some good products to use it with. This is its ESM-9013 wireless game controller that light in weight and light in the pocket. I haven’t use gamepads for a very long time so it should be interesting as a PC user how this goes.
Packaging and Contents
The game controller is very light. This was flown in from another country and shows no sign of damage. It works and its good enough. No fancy contents- just the controller, the wireless dongle and an instruction manual. There are two accent colour variants- red and blue. I have the blue. I have seen an all-black EasySMX controller as well which looks the same as this one but with the different model number.
|Operating Range||10 m, 32.8 ft|
|Operating Time||20 hours|
|Compatibility||Android 4.0 / Windows XP, Vista, Windows 8 / PS3|
|Length||77 mm, 3.03 in|
|Width||135 mm, 5.31 in|
|Height||175 mm, 6.89 in|
|Weight||220 g, 0.49 lbs|
|Box Content||1 x ESM-9013 Gamepad, 1 x Nano Receiver, 1 x User Manual|
Naturally, the casing of the EasySMX is plastic, but the build quality is rather impressive for a low-cost game controller. True to the word ‘blue’ it uses blue accents below the analog stick and borders for the grips. The grip has some texture on it. The design and shape of the gamepad are good enough to access all the switches with ease. No fancy LED lights, except for the wireless indicator that turns around (between select and start) button. The top side casing is matte finish with glossy D-Pad and a panel on the top. The base shell has a shine but it isn’t glossy plastic.
Its one of those familiar designs when you look for cheap game controllers. There are some variants with different brand names and subtle changes. But there’s no way telling if it has the same build quality internally and externally. EasySMX controllers are branded and sold directly in many online stores. Don’t be fooled with the same designs from different branding.
There are two analog buttons with clickable button function, an eight-way D-Pad, four trigger buttons and the standard action buttons. In total, there are 15 actuation switches, two analog sticks and a D-Pad. The D-Pad and the action buttons are stiff. While I would like to say these buttons may get less stiff in time, I’ve been using this game controller for a couple of weeks. The analog sticks are fairly comfortable. I wish the action buttons had some rubberised coating to it since some of the buttons you will tend to hold it down, especially in racing games.
Wireless and Actuation Experience
The EasySMX controller is wireless and requires two AA batteries. There is no direct USB connectivity to use as an alternative or charge the AA batteries internally (but can any wireless gamepads do that???). There is no Power On/Off switch but the gamepad turns off automatically after 5 minutes when on idle. I have no complaints about the wireless experience. It works the way it should. All the keys are pre-mapped and its a plug-and-play with no hassle. All the keys are responsive all the way to its edges, which is important to notice in racing games when you make a sharp turn while managing manual shift and brakes. According to the test, the D-pad indeed works all eight ways and the analog stick switches detect and button numbers 14 and 15.
The instruction manual indicates compatibility with Android devices with OTG support from 4.0 onwards and a PlayStation 3. On the Android device, you will need an OTG cable to plug in the wireless adapter. In the PlayStation 3, it works by hooking the adapter on its USB port. I’ve tested this only on the PC. EasySMX controller weighs 220 grams without the battery. The battery sits in the middle of the controller so there’s no chance of having added weight on one side of the controller. Naturally, you’ll be more inclined to use rechargeable batteries. EasySMX states an 1800 mAh works for 90 hours. I am using Eneloop 1,900mAh AA batteries and it lasts longer.
My Experience with Game Controllers
Its been a very long time since I’ve used a gamepad, but I’ve used the ones in Sega Dreamcast and for PlayStation 2 and 3. I never really liked the way PS3 trigger switches actuate. This is my experience with gamepad controllers so far. I really liked Dreamcast and PS2 controllers. The Dreamcast was large and easy to hold, spreading fingers around easily. PlayStation Dualshock controllers fit like a glove. I may have played on Xbox a couple of times but nothing really significant to write it here.
Coming back to this EasySMX controller, I’ve played few racing games and a fighting arcade game (A few ‘Need for Speed’ series from Underground 2, Asphalt 9 Legends PC version AND Street Fighter V). If you use manual gearshift in racing games and use additional buttons for braking, reverse and NOS you have to operate around the action buttons frequently, with one finger on the accelerator and another two on the trigger buttons for gearshift. A different material for action buttons is recommended. On Asphalt 9 Legends PC it was fun to use because of the nature of the game. But if you are hands-on with manual shifting and constant button crunching in arcade-style fighting games, you may experience some pain around the wrist and index fingers. This is very subjective as nobody has the same size hands as I do. EasySMX does say in its manual to take rest whenever needed. Ideally, you should- and it is not limited to a gamepad.
Is it hard to ask for more?
Asking for more is easier said than done since this game controller costs 1/3rd of the XBOX One gamepad with a wireless controller. I heard a lot about Xbox USB gamepads, but it does have similar looking action buttons. I would be tempted to arrange one and see how it feels. Irrespective of that, you get what you pay for with the EasySMX gamepad and you get something that costs less with clickable analog sticks and a good enough build quality with a responsive wireless experience.
I would like to see maybe a broader design. Maybe for an extra $10-20, EasySMX can make a great controller for intense gameplay. But maybe it is not a niche EasySMX wants to go for, at least for now.
Fun to use for fun games
If you are not going to use game controllers all the time and have very intense gameplay with it for hours, you would naturally look for something that doesn’t cost as high as the Xbox One wireless controller. The EasySMX wireless gamepad fulfils that gap easily because for the price it works once it is plugged in, very lightweight and decent build quality. For casual games, arcade fighting and racing, you’ll not mind the stiffness in the D-Pad and the action buttons. I am sure this is something you’ll use in indie games for fun as well. You can use this with Android devices 4.0 OS and above provided you have an OTG cable (and OTG support which I am sure a handful of manufacturers cut it off for some reason). Its easy to use and its easy with your wallet. They could have cut-off some function- vibration function and maybe analog stick’s buttons. But they didn’t. It’s incredible value for money that wouldn’t mind having one and using it whenever you get a chance.
Recommended for fun gameplay!
- Build quality
- Uses AA battery
- Cross compatibility with Android and PlayStation 3
- Action buttons could be softer
@EasySMX_Gaming #Wireless ESM-9013 #Gamepad #Review https://t.co/n39afOSCjz via @hardwarebbq #pcmr #pcgaming #racing #racingsim #nfs #streetfighter #ps3 #android #androidgaming #pcgamer #pcgames #racingsim #asphalt9legends #asphalt #logitech #thrustmaster #wirelessgaming
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) September 14, 2018