The latest 8BitDo controller is designed with Xbox Cloud Gaming at the forefront.
I play a lot of retro games, and over the years I have come to rely heavily on 8BitDo. They produce quality hardware that often resembles older controllers, but without overcomplicating things. It's simple and it works. That's why I've been curious about their solutions for Xbox Cloud Gaming for quite some time.
Of all the variants I've tested so far, I think Razer Kishi is the best option because it essentially transforms your smartphone into a portable game console. The next best option has been to play with an Xbox Series S/X controller. Thanks to the simplicity of switching between Bluetooth and Xbox, it's a convenient way to play the games with the controller actually created for them.
But there is a downside. You can say a lot about the Xbox Series controller, but it's not pocket-friendly. This is where SN30 Pro for Xbox Cloud Gaming on Android comes in handy. Behind the boring name lies a Super Nintendo-shaped controller with a battery life of around 15 hours that easily slides into your pocket. Also included in the package is a clip/holder to attach your smartphone to the controller to create a portable gaming device.
So how good is it? Well, the question is actually not that easy to answer, and for me it lands in that "how are you going to use it" boundary. Let's start with the above mentioned clip/holder. It is a well constructed object partly in metal for stability and holds my smartphone steady with a good grip. But the controller is so small and light, and my mobile (a Samsung Galaxy S20) is quite hefty, and no matter how I adjust, it's hard to play like this for an extended period of time.
When I play with a PowerA Moga Mobile Gaming Clip and an Xbox One controller, the controller's greater weight and grippy surfaces make it feel more comfortable to play for a longer period of time. With the SN30 I cramp up and become repeatedly frustrated, and was at the point of delivering a negative review. But, then I unhooked my smartphone and played with it separately instead - and reversed my opinion.
Because the fact is that this is a very nice controller. The buttons are distinct, the analogue sticks phenomenal and LT/LB and RT/RB are cleverly designed to not take up space but still be easily accessible. In addition, the other buttons (those tragically not called Select/Start anymore, but 'two squares' and 'three lines') are well placed so you don't accidentally press them. When I have the opportunity to lean my smartphone against a wall or put it in bed in such a way that I can comfortably see the screen, I think the SN30 Pro for Xbox Cloud Gaming on Android works great.
In addition, the controller supports both Bluetooth and USB-C gaming for those who really want to minimise lag to Xbox Cloud Gaming. With software, you can also customise the buttons to your liking and taste, and the trigger buttons are really useful. Beware though, this is an Android only controller. It does not work with Xbox and barely even with a PC.
So to sum it up, I am sitting here feeling a little divided. On one hand, it is certainly not pleasant to play for longer moments with the clip/holder mounted, on the other hand it works flawlessly separate without it. Whether this is a product for you depends on how you plan on playing Xbox Cloud Gaming for Android. However, I would still say that Razer Kishi is a better solution in the end regardless, but that's also more than twice as expensive.
... As a final note, I wish the mobile manufacturers would stop putting the volume or on/off button exactly where all mobile clip/holders grab smartphones. But it is, of course, a mere footnote in this context.
7 / 10
Very portable, 15 hours battery life, low lag with USB, very affordable, smartphone holder included.
Gets quickly uncomfortable with the holder, only works with Android.