Way back in June last year, we reviewed Gamevice's MFi controller, and found it to be a pretty decent controller. It was comfortable, well designed, and ideal for playing retro-style games on the go.
It wasn't perfect though. We leveraged complaints at the general flimsiness of the design and, most importantly, that the analogue sticks were poor. They felt very cheap.
Gamevice has listened to us though - and the thoughts of other reviewers - and released a brand new version of the iPhone model that's still not quite perfect, but comfortably beats its predecessor.
So what's changed?
Three things have changed - and they're all a pretty big deal. First off, the vice design has been altered so that it provides a firmer grip to your phone. That's thanks to the addition of two simple rubber grips that hold your phone way steadier than before.
Then you've got the new analogues, which are way grippier than before. The last set looked like joysticks you'd get in a Christmas cracker, but these two are more in keeping with industry standards.
Finally, there's no need to charge the Gamevice this time around. Instead, it draws power directly from your iPhone. As a result, it doesn't require a battery so the Gamevice is lighter, and the best part is, it draws only about as much power as your headphones do.
You can still charge your iPhone while it's in the Gamevice though, thanks to a hand Lightning port on the side.
Can it be improved further?
It's definitely the best iteration of the iPhone Gamevice so far, but the nitpicker in me can't help but feel like it can be improved further.
Despite the improvements, it still does feel a little flimsy. The Gamevice is now competing with the Nintendo Switch, after all, and it's hard to go back to this after playing on a Switch. That thing proper clamps the tablet snug.
By design, the Gamevice could never offer the same stability as the Nintendo Switch. However, I do feel like it could enormously be improved by completely encasing the phone. That way it would look more attractive, and feel more secure.
And efforts need to be made to make the buttons feel more satisfying to press, and premium. For inspiration, Gamevice should look to the Nintendo 3DS - or 2DS, in fact. That device is comparable in price, but offers far more satisfying buttons. These are quite plasticky, and don't have a very satisfying click - particularly the d-pad.
Is it worth it?
Despite these suggestions, it's still hard to argue with the fact that the Gamevice is currently the best MFi controller on the market. It's great that it houses your device, is directly connected so doesn't lag, and allows you to charge your phone while playing.
A few more additions could make it perfect, but the recent changes have made an already great controller much better.