IPEGA is a brand that produces a cool range of affordable Bluetooth game controllers. The PG-9055 Red Spider is one of the few adjustable controllers the brand produces and costs roughly $30. It is also one of the latest controllers from IPEGA and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
- Bluetooth standard: V3.0 (working distance of up to 8 meters).
- Battery: 300mAh lithium.
- Phone holder range: 2.2 – 6.3 inches.
- Support vertical / horizontal modes on smartphones and tablets.
- Grips can be adjusted to fit different hand sizes.
- Rubber finishing on grips.
- Compatible with Android 3.2 or later and iOS 7 or later.
- Only supports iCade mode for iOS devices.
The first thing you’ll notice when you set eyes on the Red Spider is the big gap in between the hand grips. This is where the telescopic sliding mechanism is located. The mechanism allows the controller to expand horizontally and cradle a wide range of smartphone sizes in its center. You can fit anything that is 2.2 to 6.3 inches in between the grips. The Red Spider can hold pretty much any smartphone in the market today in landscape mode. Tablets can fit in too but you need to place them in portrait mode.
The grips themselves are also adjustable and can expand vertically by turning the two red adjuster barrels at the bottom. This is great for people with large hands and need the grips to be longer for a better hold. This may seem convenient but I find the edges on the lower part of the grip a bit too sharp to be comfortable although this is not really a big issue. The grips are generally quite comfortable and they also feature some rubber coating.
The sliding mechanism works quite well although it does get a bit flimsy when fully stretched out. There is significant play between the grips although not enough to cause your smartphone to fall off. The are four rubber pads on the mechanism that provide an excellent grip on any smartphone. The sliding mechanism is spring-loaded so when you’re not using it, it slides back to allow for easy storage. Battery life is quite decent and IPEGA claims the Red Spider can operate for about 20 hours.
Controls on the Red Spider include dual analog thumb sticks (which also serve as the L3 and R3 buttons when clicked), a D-Pad, 4 shoulder buttons and 4 face buttons. There are also the usual “Start”, “Home” and “Select” buttons, a button to display the battery status on the 4 small status LED lights and a slider that lets you select between Android or iOS modes.
Using the Red Spider on Android was quite a pleasant experience. I’ve tested it with games such as War Robots (not fully optimized for gamepads but still playable somewhat) and Asphalt 8 and the Red Spider didn’t disappoint despite the flimsiness when extended. Other games that play well with the Red Spider include Dead Trigger 2, GTA San Andreas and Modern Combat.
I did, however, experience some issues with deadzones in War Robots, when my robot would occasionally walk away in one direction even when the right controller stick is centered. Sometimes, my robot doesn’t respond to stick movements as well. I’m not quite sure what causes this lack of response but my guess is the phone sometimes experiences intermittent loss of signal from the Red Spider.
Despite this small issue, the IPEGA PG-2055 packs a lot of value into a controller that costs just $30. It does feel and perform like a premium gamepad despite the affordable price tag. If you’re looking for something portable, light and can accommodate various phone sizes in landscape mode, the Red Spider is definitely a great buy.
It can be purchased at GearBest for just $32.34 with free shipping.