The adoption and popularity of cloud gaming on mobile devices is on the rise. With the growing demand for pristine control over beloved games, the need for functional and intuitive controllers is also emerging. Turtle Beach is among the latest to offer a solution with its Atom and Recon Cloud controllers.
Turtle Beach Atom and Recon controllers offer unique solutions for cloud gaming on a mobile device. Currently, the two offer support for Android devices. However, the main difference between the two is their construction and functionality. The Atom controller is very similar to the Nintendo Switch and mirrors the Razer Kishi V2 or Backbone One. However, its design suits travelers with a compact build. The Recon Cloud, on the other hand, builds on the existing Recon controller but adds Bluetooth connectivity and a nifty clip for attaching a mobile device.
Both controllers are quite pragmatic in their execution. They also offer their own unique pros and cons when using them regularly. With similar pricing in Canada, let’s take a look at what each Turtle Beach Mobile Controller offers gamers.
Turtle Beach Atom
As cloud gaming in Canada has become a more viable way to play, I’ve naturally gravitated to trying out various services and controllers. The Turtle Beach Atom is built in a way that speaks to me. I’ve gotten used to the Switch-like design that competitors like Razer and Backbone have started offering. I’ve often felt that these controllers excelled in terms of ergonomics and longevity.
The Atom controller consists of two separate parts. Each half of the controller clips to the sides of an Android phone, like a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con. The clamps are wide enough to compensate for many fixtures. However, depending on your case, you may need to remove your phone before using the Atom. The configuration represents an additional step for the user compared to the previously indicated devices. Its design requires a little more investment from the user. Thankfully, it’s compatible with devices running Android 8.0+. Rather than connect natively via the device’s USB-C port, the Atom controller pairs with the device via Bluetooth.
During my use of the Atom, pairing and use has been quite streamlined. Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity works as expected. There was a slight hiccup during the initial pairing of the two halves to my Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Since each half operates independently, both must be turned on and synchronized using Turtle Beach’s proprietary 2.4GHz wireless link.
What’s especially unique to the Atom controller is its battery. Just like competing devices, the Atom charges via a USB-C port on the left half. However, both halves have an independent battery cell. Therefore, when the device is not in use, the controllers should be placed in “Travellers Mode”. When combined, the Atom magnetically fuses both halves together. This is where the left primary controller module shares its charge with the right controller. Turtle Beach claims the Atom offers 20 hours of total battery life. So far, this is very accurate. Furthermore, the Atom can be recharged in about 2.5 hours.
Looking at its layout and functionality, the Atom maintains the general layout of an Xbox wireless controller. Players will find asymmetric thumbsticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, triggers, and shoulder bumpers. Being primarily designed for Xbox Cloud Gaming, Atom supports the Xbox button to quickly open the Help menu. Turtle Beach promises low-latency controls over Bluetooth. While latency never really inhibits use, competitive play still isn’t ideal. Play games like Repentance or Vampire survivors on Xbox Cloud Gaming, Atom is a fantastic option. However, if you’re looking to jump in Fortnitelatency is still not perfect.
The Atom controller is available in Canada for $129.99 in Black/Yellow, Black/Teal, and Red/Black color options.
Turtle Beach reconnaissance cloud
Moving over to Turtle Beach’s Recon Cloud, this controller is aimed at those who prefer the classic feel of a console controller. Turtle Beach has entered its well of devices and is iterating on the third-party Xbox controller, dubbed the Recon. However, this time around, the company is integrating Bluetooth connectivity and a detachable clip for Android devices.
The Recon Cloud is set up using a screw-on movable clip. The clip can be adjusted to compensate for viewing angles. There are also two clips to secure your device. Just like the Atom, the cases may not be compatible with your controller. Again, this may not be an issue for many users, but with more robust cases like the Otterbox, Recon Cloud is unable to support this. Depending on which smartphone you use, the longevity of the Recon can fluctuate. Due to the frame, the weight distribution can be taxing on the wrists over time.
Recon Cloud comes with a 10-foot braided USB-C cable for charging. Turtle Beach claims the controller supports 30 hours on a charge. Again, the Recon Cloud can be fully recharged in 2.5 hours. What’s new about the controller and its USB-C connectivity is that it can function as a wired controller for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. Bluetooth connections can also be made on Samsung PCs and TVs that support cloud gaming platforms such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now.
With its design inspired by the Xbox Wireless Controller, the Recon Cloud should feel very familiar to those accustomed to the Xbox ecosystem. Even down to the Share button in the center of the controller, the Recon Cloud maintains that authentic feel. However, there are notable differences. For example, the triggers and shoulder buttons are more aligned against each other. It takes some getting used to, it’s true. Additionally, the controller offers two mappable buttons with four switchable profiles. This way, you can preset the controls based on the games you’re playing at the moment.
Other Features Turtle Beach offers are only available when playing wired. Recon offers four EQ presets, game and chat volume mixes, microphone monitoring, and more. EQ presets include Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass & Treble Boost and Vocal Boost. While connected to a console or PC, the Recon can support any connected 3.5mm headset.
The Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Controller is available in Canada for $129.99 in Black and Blue Magma color options.
As far as mobile controller options go, Turtle Beach’s latest offerings have some unique feature sets and compatibility that should speak to Android users. While designed for Xbox Cloud Gaming, both controllers can work when playing naive mobile games, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Steam Link, etc.
The differences between the two and how they speak to the user all come down to personal preference. The Atom controller is so much more than your on-the-go companion. Its compact design can fit in a bag without any problems. However, initially it takes a little longer to set up and pair. The Recon Cloud, on the other hand, offers that console experience. However, the clip and weight of the smartphone used can be cumbersome during longer gaming sessions. With that in mind, Turtle Beach’s offerings are an easy recommendation for mobile controllers.