Don’t waste your money on PlayStation Portal — buy this amazing iPhone accessory that’s over $30 off instead

BackBone One PlayStation Edition - Uncharted 4
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re a fan of the PS5’s Remote Play feature and own an iPhone 14 or older Apple smartphone with a Lightning connector, hot damn do I have a good Amazon Big Spring Sale deal for you. Not only does this fabulous gaming accessory cost well under half the price of the PlayStation Portal, it offers a far smoother experience based on my extensive testing of both devices. 

Right now, the Backbone One Mobile Controller for iPhone PlayStation Edition is on sale for $65 at Amazon. Usually this attachable gamepad sells for $99, meaning you can make a cool saving of $34 if you take advantage of this current deal.

Backbone One PlayStation Edition (Lightning):

Backbone One PlayStation Edition (Lightning): was $99 now $65 @ Amazon
Using an older iPhone sporting a Lightning port? Backbone’s got you covered with a version of its controller that sports this connector. You get all the same perks of the USB-C model, but perfect for previous versions of Apple’s smartphones.

I have a newfound appreciation for just how good the Backbone One is, too. Recently, I made the mistake of overpaying for a PlayStation Portal. Not only was this a bone-headed decision, I went and further dented my wallet by picking up a new Wi-Fi 6 router to try and improve the Portal’s performance, because out-of-the-box, the experience was flat out bad.

While my new router has improved my experiences with the PlayStation Portal, I still find the quality of streaming the best PS5 games on Sony’s $199 gadget can vary massively game by game. No matter what settings tweaks I try on either my router or PS5, the likes of Returnal just won’t run well for me, even though I have 1GB fiber optic broadband. Housemarque’s brilliant roguelike shooter is constantly plagued by micro stutter on my Portal and there’s seemingly nothing I can do to kibosh this distracting performance defect.

On the Backbone One, though, Returnal and every other PS5 game I’ve tested including Sifu and the magnificent Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 on this iPhone accessory perform way more smoothly than they do on my PlayStation Portal. Input lug is noticeably lower on the Backbone One and I’ve yet to encounter anywhere near the level of stuttering that has plagued much of my admittedly short time with Sony’s divisive streaming gadget.

BackBone One PlayStation Edition - Returnal

Returnal feels a whole lot smoother to stream on the Backbone One PlayStation Edition than it does on Sony's own PlayStation Portal.  (Image credit: Future)

This gizmo feels lovely in the hand, too. The buttons and triggers are obviously far smaller than on the much larger PlayStation Portal, but they feel nice and clicky and it’s easy to take screenshots on the Backbone one that get directly saved to your iPhone’s Photo gallery.

If you sign up to the BackBone+ Membership that currently costs $39/£34 for an annual sub, you can stream games directly to Twitch, get personalized game recommendations through this app, with the added benefit of gaining easier access to other streaming services, like Xbox Remote Play and Nvidia GeForce Now. That’s right, you can also stream some of the best Xbox Series X games and best PC games through the awesome peripheral. Another feature that makes it far better value for money than the PlayStation Portal.

I regret buying Sony’s streaming device especially seeing as I’ve owned my Backbone One controller for well over six months. If you’re keen to stream games through your iPhone, for my money, this is a far more reliable device than the Portal.

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.