HyperX's peripherals have long had a reputation for no-nonsense quality which should be music to the ears of mobile gamers who can run into any number of issues when trying to use a wireless gaming controller, not only to get it working on their device at the most fundamental level but also performing as you would expect of a controller on console or PC.
It is with those thoughts I took the HyperX Clutch Wireless for a spin; to see if HyperX could deliver an experience that makes carrying around a controller worth the hassle. Did they manage it? Our review reveals all.
HyperX Clutch Wireless Review
It should be worth noting that HyperX's Clutch Wireless is not just a controller for your smartphone or tablet, though that is what many will be picking one up to do, but also perfectly capable of being used on the PC via USB, Bluetooth, or via the 2.4GHz RF dongle.
But full disclosure, I am the content lead over at EarlyGame's mobile gaming-focused sister site, Mobile Matters, and understanding how frustrating controller support can be on mobile, there was only one thing I wanted this HyperX Clutch to do – which is to help me tap heads on Call of Duty: Mobile, drift effortlessly in Asphalt 9, and crank 90s in Fortnite. So, let's see how I got on.
The first thing you notice when you first get the HyperX Clutch in your hand is the quality of the controller.
Mimicking the look and feel of the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S controllers, the HyperX Clutch feels as well-put-together as Microsoft's best. Weighty but not heavy, the buttons have that satisfying click, the D-pad is a true omnidirectional pad and there are two sticks that feel great on the fingers. Two triggers, one more elongated than you will see on the Xbox controller round off the inputs.
Then there are the palm grips. Not everyone will love them - but I did. It gives the controller a tactile feel and elevates it above other, cheaper, controllers.
Setting up on mobile is easy, mine came out of the box charged, and after setting it to Bluetooth (which can be done on the controller quickly and with little fuss), my OnePlus 7T picked it up without trouble.
Straight onto Asphalt 9, but before we get into the game, it's definitely worth talking about what comes in the box. Alongside the controller, you get a USB-C to A cable for charging and connecting via USB. A 2.4GHz RF dongle for wireless connectivity to PC, and the real prize; a phone clip.
Now, this phone clip aka mobile clip has two functions. You can clip it into the back of the controller, and then your smartphone into its perfectly engineered clutches and soon find yourself wondering why so many other devices with similar functionality find it so difficult to get this right. The weight balance with my OnePlus 7T was faultless and soon your phone, the controller, and the clip all feel at one. The clipping action also doesn't have that snappy spring that gives you nightmares of your phone being capitulated across the train tracks. It just works, and works beautifully, and if there are any console/PC gamers unconvinced by the joys of console gaming, you feel this should be their gateway drug.
The phone clip can also fold in on itself and become a stand, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to playing comfortably. Sitting on the bed with no hard surfaces around? Use the clip. At a desk? Time for the stand. The other major drawback is that, if you are gaming on a tablet rather than a smartphone, the clip will not hold your device.
Play At Your Best (Most Of The Time)
Okay, now onto Asphalt 9. Big fan of Gameloft's arcade racer and with my new controller in hand I felt I should put some rubber to the road. Asphalt 9 recognized the controller immediately which also helps allay fears that your new device hasn't been worth the purchase. All the buttons were immediately configured and before long I was flying along the streets of Barcelona with a newfound comfort. Nothing much more to say here, other than it worked perfectly.
Sadly, I wish I could say the same for Call of Duty: Mobile. I'm unsure whether to blame my phone, CoD: Mobile, or HyperX, I could not get CoD: Mobile to recognize my controller in-game meaning that any testing was well and truly over. It is a damn shame. The only saving grace is that the HyperX Clutch Wireless is a relatively new device, and you hope that a device or software update will make the controller functional.
No other games gave me trouble, trying Apex Legends Mobile, Rocket League Sideswipe, and Stardrew Valley.
I also stuck it on the PC (which was easy enough with a click of the interface switch), fired up the mainline Rocket League, and found it as good as my PS5 controller. This controller is truly of the highest quality, the buttons, the analog sticks, and triggers. I realize I am possibly repeating myself, but it can go toe-to-toe with any other controller.
Battery For Days
You can charge the controller with the supplied USB-C cable which is easy enough to do. You can tell how much charge is on the controller by the white LED lights that are on the front of the controller. Four in total, they will go off one-by-one, until you will find yourself needing to charge.
HyperX states 19 hours of playtime on a full charge on its 600mAH battery and that feels more than right. I played with the HyperX extensively over five days and only had to charge it near the end of that playtime and, certainly compared to my phone, it was never the HyperX's battery life that was holding back my game time.
It is probably plainly obvious to you, but the HyperX Clutch Wireless controller is a special piece of kit. And while a nominally mobile controller has long shed the connotation of poor quality, the HyperX Clutch brings an ease of use, familiarity with its Xbox layout, and ingenious design that makes it a worthwhile addition to any mobile gamer's setup. Add in the fact that it doubles up as an excellent PC controller, and you really have the makings of a must-have piece of hardware.
The price is also silly considering what you get. It is currently at $39.99 (down from $49.99) on the official HyperX website and for that price, you simply can't find a comparable device.
HyperX knocked it out of the park with the Clutch Wireless, setting a new standard for controllers - an easy purchase.
Thanks to HyperX for sending us the Clutch Wireless!