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REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 review – “Cool gaming swag, and comfortable to boot”

  • The REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 is identical to the GameSir G8 Galileo controller
  • It features a cool-looking black aesthetic with a semi-transparent design
  • The comfortable grip makes it a great addition to a mobile gamer’s kit, but button customisation needs more work

Universally compatible, comfortably chunky, and with a gamer-certified transparent aesthetic, the REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 appears to be, at first glance, the ultimate peripheral every mobile gamer should have in their arsenal. Mobile games have always had a bit of a disadvantage over console games because of clunky on-screen controls – can the Shadow Blade be the almighty solution that will make touchscreen problems a thing of the past?


Table of contents:


LOOK AND FEEL OF THE REDMAGIC SHADOW BLADE GAMEPAD 2

Before I received my review unit in the mail, I didn’t realise that the REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 would be identical to the GameSir G8 Galileo controller. As soon as I held the box in my hands, I knew it would essentially be the same thing – and it’s not a surprise, given that GameSir and REDMAGIC have collaborated before with the first Shadow Blade Gamepad. Now, I absolutely loved using the G8, so I had high expectations for the Shadow Blade 2 from the start  211; and I’m happy to report that the controller didn’t disappoint. REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 back

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To set itself apart from its GameSir equivalent, the REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 sports a black semi-transparent look that gives it a cool and no-nonsense vibe. Its design already makes it perfectly in sync with the look of the REDMAGIC 9 Pro, especially with the indicators that come through the semi-transparent face plates and the RGB lights of the phone when fitted across the back of the gamepad. The back, of course, proudly wears its shiny and embossed REDMAGIC logo, adding a distinct personality to the gamepad itself.

Much like the G8, the face plates are easily swappable with their magnetic attachments, along with the thumbsticks you can customise to your liking (three kinds are included in the package). I have to admit that I swapped the G8 and the Shadow Blade’s face plates for a bit to see which look I liked best – I really hope REDMAGIC creates customised face plates soon to take full advantage of this fun little feature.

REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 front image

GAMING EXPERIENCE AND PERFORMANCE

Thanks to the chunkiness of the gamepad, gaming for hours on end is a comfortable and grippy affair. The controller actually feels more comfortable to use than my DualShock 4, especially with the extremely satisfying clickiness of the buttons and the soft shoulder triggers. It might seem insignificant, but for me, that tactile feeling adds to the enjoyment factor of every game session, and the fact that the phone feels incredibly sturdy when nested into the gamepad makes me wish all mobile games had controller support if only so I could use the Shadow Blade 2 on every title.

Because of the Type-C connector – something you can adjust at an angle to help you slide your phone all nice and snug – you don’t have to worry about any latency issues. Plus, the 3.5mm jack and pass-through charging tell you that REDMAGIC and GameSir actually listen to gamers’ needs and address them.

Unpacking of REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2

I also really appreciate the way the ridges beside the Type-C connector are designed – this allows your phone to blast its sounds out from its speakers without the gamepad muffling those atmospheric beats. The Hall Effect Sticks, of course, offer anti-drift functionality, so you can supposedly rest assured that the gamepad won’t wear down over time too quickly.

WHAT’S THE VERDICT?

I’ve been using the G8 for most of my controller-supported gaming lately, but I’ll happily be switching to the REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2 just because it looks hella cooler. I can’t deny that it’s still not the most portable peripheral to lug around, but given how extremely comfy it is to use the gamepad, I have no qualms about foregoing portability in favour of comfort. The one-size-fits-all adjustable bridge is a nice touch too, as I can easily fit even a foldable phone into it and game with a bigger screen. Playing TMNT: Sgredder's Revenge on REDMAGIC Shadow Blade Gamepad 2

One gripe I have, though, is that I can’t seem to get REDMAGIC’s Goper app to work on the gamepad. With the G8, I could map buttons and essentially “force” controller support onto games with the GameSir app. The Goper app, on the other hand, only has the Shadow Blade 1 on it, and can’t seem to detect the Shadow Blade 2 (I also can’t get the firmware update to work). This effectively chucks all sorts of customisation out the window, and while it’s not a dealbreaker for me as I don’t often feel the need to map or customise buttons, it might be for you if you’re the type who needs more precision control.



Also, since it’s a plug-and-play controller that relies on your phone’s battery to work, you have to make sure your device can handle the extra toll the gamepad takes.

Overall, I still think the Shadow Blade 2 is a great way to help you “win more games” as per REDMAGIC’s slogan thanks to its comfortable grip and zero-latency performance. I’ve been told that Pocket Gamer is getting an almost exclusive review for this controller, so huge thanks to the folks at REDMAGIC for always being so supportive of the site.

The REDMAGIC Shadow Blade 2 is now available for purchase from the official website at €94.90 or your local equivalent.

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