Looking to invest in a handheld gaming device, but don't have the money for a Nintendo Switch? Motorola might have the next best thing with the latest Moto Mod add-on for its lineup of Moto Z phones. The $79.99 Moto GamePad will launch sometime this summer, allowing you to turn your Moto Z into a bonafide gaming system.
Moto said it was working on a gaming add on for its phones at Mobile World Congress in February as part of a push to release more Moto Mods out into the world, but E3 was the first chance we had to actually try out the Moto GamePad. Similar to the Moto Z's other accessories, the GamePad connects to the phone via a set of strong magnets. Once I snapped the phone in place, it recognized the GamePad instantly. From there it was just a matter of choosing a game and start playing.
I'm a fan of the GamePad's design since it closely mimics Lenovo's Legion gaming laptop and desktop line. The majority of the body is made of black plastic. A red Y sits in the center of the rear panel and lights up when the phone is attached as do a pair of lights on the shoulder buttons.
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For my demo, I took a couple of laps in a racing game. Similar to other gamepad accessories, the Moto version has a pair of analog sticks that I used to steer and control the camera along with a d-pad and face buttons. Along the top of the device are a pair of shoulder bumpers, which I used to brake and accelerate. The buttons delivered firm, bouncy feedback as I played, which made for a more comfortable gaming experience.
Unlike most of these snap-on gaming devices, the Moto GamePad has an integrated 1,035 mAH battery. That way you won't drain your Moto Z's power while you battle the forces of evil, create majestic worlds or solve a puzzle or two. Overall, the Moto GamePad could be a great alternative for Moto Z owners who don't want to break the bank on a more expensive handheld system.