Bottom line: If you're looking for a gamepad that has an internal battery, lasts for long gaming sessions, and feels great in your hands, then the EasySMX Switch Controller should be on your radar.
Long battery life
USB-C port charging
No amiibo functionality
Low battery life indicator comes on prematurely
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Finding the best Switch controller for your needs can really make the difference when it comes to playing the best Switch games. I love the Pro Controller, but since this official gamepad is relatively expensive, I know it's not feasible to recommend it to everyone. So, I'm always on the lookout for a good alternative Switch controller.
For the past few weeks, I've been testing the EasySMX Switch Controller. It offers most of the conveniences you'd get with the Pro Controller, but without costing as much. Plus, it comes in several interesting designs, each with glowing buttons so that you can choose your preferred look.
EasySMX Switch Controller review What I like
Lights & Impressive Battery life
When you turn the EasySMX Switch Controller on, a ring at the base of the right joystick along with the A, B, X, and Y buttons light up. It's fun to look at the bright colors, and I was thrilled to discover that they don't put a strong glare in my face while I play. If you don't want the lights to be on, all you have to do is press in the L and R buttons for about five seconds and then continue playing.
However, I did note that at night, it was pretty hard to see which buttons were which if the lights were off. Of course, if you're already familiar with button locations, this won't really be a problem for you. But if you're getting used to a Switch controller, having the lights off might prove challenging.
I'm usually pretty skeptical when it comes to controllers with snazzy lights. I figure keeping the buttons lit up will drain the battery faster than I would want it to. However, the EasySMX Switch Controller honestly surprised me. I was able to play for over 15 hours before the battery ran out, which was more than enough time for a long gaming session. As long as you charge it between uses, it will work just fine.
It charges using the included USB to USB-C cable, so you don't have to worry about keeping AA batteries on hand like you do with some other third-party controllers on the market. I played for well over 20 hours while testing the EasySMX Switch Controller. During that time, the connection to the Switch dropped a couple of times (which isn't unusual), but I was easily able to reconnect to the Switch by holding down the L and R buttons and putting the controller in pairing mode. After a few minutes without use, the controller turns off, so you don't have to worry about it wasting precious battery life when you're not using it.
Design & features
I started a new game of Breath of the Wild just so I could test this controller and its functions. The motion controls worked remarkably well and responded quickly whenever I needed to aim my bow, control a mechanism in a shrine, or raise a metal box over my head. As with most off-brand controllers, this one does not allow you to scan amiibo.
The overall shape of this Switch controller is very similar to the Pro Controller. The standard buttons that you'd find on the best Switch controllers are all there, including the Home button and screenshot button. When it comes to the EasySMX design, I especially like the texture on both the joystick tips as well as the backside where my fingers wrap around. It gave me a better grip while playing and made it feel like I had more control over my characters' movements.
There's also a turbo button, which I found super easy to set up. Having a controller that can spam a designated button can really give you an edge during certain games. I really like the design on the front of the controller, but if it's not to your liking, then EasySMX has several other designs to choose from.
As with many third-party Switch controllers, EasySMX gamepads feel relatively light in your hand compared to the Pro Controller. But it still felt good in my hands regardless of not being quite as hefty.
EasySMX Switch Controller review What I don't like
Upon using this controller, I quickly noticed that the ZR and ZL buttons give way without any resistance. Unfortunately, that means that I accidentally ended up shooting arrows or doing commands I didn't want to make rather frequently. I had to learn to rest my fingers very lightly on the triggers, and then this was no longer an issue. However, I do wish there was a little more resistance to prevent accidental taps from happening.
Another thing to note is that the low battery indicator that flashes on screen seemed to come on prematurely while I was using this controller. It first came on when there was still about three hours left on the controller's battery life. This made it so that a reminder flashed on-screen every five minutes or so telling me that the battery was getting low, which I found rather distracting, especially since the controller wasn't in any danger of dying on me for a few hours yet.
EasySMX Switch Controller review The competition
When it comes to knock-off Switch controllers, I really like the YCCTEAM Game Controller. Some of the buttons are moved around a bit, so you have to get used to that. However, I love having a huge Home button. It has an ergonomic design, features rumble, has an internal battery, and is one of the only third-party controllers that I know of that works with amiibo.
PowerA offers over two dozen Switch controllers with various Nintendo character designs on them. Unlike the Pro Controller or the EasySMX Switch Controller, wireless PowerA controllers depend on two AA batteries to function properly.
The HORI Wireless HORIPAD is another great option for anyone looking for a cool Nintendo-themed Switch controller. It's about double the cost of the EasySMX, but it works wirelessly with the help of an internal battery and a USB to USB-C cable.
EasySMX Switch Controller review Should you buy it?
The best Switch controllers are reliable, offer decent battery life, feature rumble, and support motion controls. The EasySMX Switch Controller meets these needs wonderfully and even gives you several fun designs to choose from.
I was impressed with this controller's battery life and the textured grip of both the backplate and the joystick tips. It's isn't perfect. For instance, it doesn't offer amiibo functionality, and the low battery life indicator comes on a little too soon. But it works great otherwise.
The glow up
This snazzy controller features buttons that light up, rumble, motion controls, and a great grip. It also has a long battery life, which is sure to get you through your long gaming sessions. If that wasn't enough, there are also multiple designs to choose from.
Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.