SteelSeries SmartGrip Accessory for Stratus XL, Duo, and Nimbus [Review]

A few days ago, I reviewed the very excellent SteelSeries Stratus Duo controller for Android and PC. This is a near perfect controller for these two platforms. I say near perfect because there was one thing missing that is now solved by the SteelSeries SmartGrip accessory, available now. The SmartGRip is an accessory that allows you to attach your mobile phone to it, making it much easier to play smartphone games on the go.

The SteelSeries SmartGrip is pretty well designed. What I find amazing is the fact that it works on multiple controllers, not just one specific one. It was designed to fit the Stratus XL, Stratus Duo, and Nimbus. These controllers have similar shapes, but aren’t exactly the same. Somehow it’s able to just lock itself into place on all three of these controllers like a glove. What else is really nice is that the SmartGrip seems to be very sturdy and solid. It uses some really thick plastic all around and a very ingenious locking mechanism to keep it on tight around the controllers. There’s also a very good amount of padding in all the right areas to keep the SmartGrip from scratching up your controllers.

As for the actual smartphone grip, it allows for usage on small phones and large phones alike. I’m not entirely sure what the largest phone it’ll accommodate is, but it does work on my Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra and LG V20, and both those phones are huge. It will not work on a tablet. Those are just too big.

Lastly, the SmartGrip includes a little metal stand that you can flip out from the bottom. This isn’t very useful while you’re playing something, but it is useful when you want to put the controller down on a table so your whole setup doesn’t tip over. It’s a neat little addition that isn’t really needed, but it is appreciated.

While the SmartGrip is a much needed addition to any of the SteelSeries controllers, it does have one drawback. With the SmartGrip on, you can not access the switches and buttons on the back of the Stratus Duo nor the charging port. To access these, you’ll have to remove the SmartGrip. On the Stratus XL, it covers the on/off switch. That means that before you use the controller with your mobile phone, you’ll need to turn them on first before putting the SmartGrip on. It’s one little annoyance with an otherwise perfect accessory.

Despite this, the SteelSeries SmartGrip is a must have accessory for anyone who owns a SteelSeries controller and wants to use it with their smartphones. It really does make all the difference and well worth the extra $10.00.