Does size really mean everything? Hmmmm this question guides a lot of life decisions we make; whether it be mobile phones, meals, houses, cars even partn… never mind, size does seem to influence more than we think. Coming in a range of cute pastel colours the Zero 2 by 8BitDo pushes the boundaries on conventional and portable gaming.
The Zero 2 is truly pocket-sized. Coming straight out of the box, you will quickly realise how tiny it really is. Only the size of a palm and as wide as two fingers, this gamepad is certain to get lost if you don’t keep an eye on it. Thankfully, they have thought of this, and included a nifty rubber strap to hang it around your wrist or somewhere memorable I hope. Gosh, it is incredibly light too, at only 20 grams, even a light breeze might blow this out of your hand, though surprisingly it feels incredibly sturdy. After a bit of a flex test, nothing seemed to creak or shift and the buttons didn’t budge or change positions; it is very well made, meaning you can just chuck it in your bag and off you go.
Speaking of the buttons, there is a pretty average-sized D-pad on the left, 4 smaller than average buttons on the right in a Nintendo layout, and two middle buttons that act as Start and Select. Curving around the top are the L and R bumpers, which for the size are pretty impressive in length, however, this does not compensate for the fact if you have long-ish fingers they do have to arch uncomfortably to reach these. The lack of triggers or sticks means I don’t recommend it for shooting games or anything too serious and even finger slippage due to its size, can cost you. Anyone with massive hands may find this gamepad a bit of a struggle to get a grip around. I find where this controller shines is the simplest of games, in particular, arcade-style retro gems. Platformers were definitely my go-to with the Zero 2, they are just made for the D-pad and ran like a dream on my phone.
The wireless Bluetooth connectivity was simple and streamlined. When trying to connect to my Android phone and Nintendo Switch I found the process quick and efficient, with instructions included that anyone could understand. Just don’t forget with the Switch you may have to dick around with the settings for third-party devices. The Zero 2 connects to a range of devices too including MacOS, Windows, Steam, Androids, Switches, and Raspberry Pi, so the possibilities are endless.
The battery life is decent for the size with it lasting one solid gaming session before needing to go back on charge and the charging time is quick only needing about an hour to top it back up. It times out and goes into sleep mode too which extends the usage time, if it was active constantly I doubt it would last more than half its usual time, so that is a bonus.
Overall, as the old saying goes “it’s not the size of the device but how you use it” and while you have to really pick and choose what you play with the function of the buttons in mind when you do decide the Zero 2 by8BitDo gets the job done. Although the size can be a bit of an issue for people with big hands, it is definitely a nifty little device for anyone that wants to game on the go.
- Pocket sized
- Light but sturdy
- Connects to a range of devices
- Range of cute colours
- Rubber strap
- Great for retro or arcade like games
- Seamless bluetooth connectivity
- Decent battery life for the size with sleep mode
- So small, easily misplaced
- Small buttons are hard for big fumbly fingers
- Lacks triggers and sticks so not great for shooters
- Have to be selective with what you are using it for.