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The Backbone One is the perfect Christmas gift for any gamers on the go



OPINION: Anyone still looking for the perfect Christmas present, the Backbone One controller will turn any iPhone into your favourite gaming device.

We’ve all been there at Christmas. That horrible moment when there’s a long train or bus ride home, your earbuds have died and now you’re stuck wondering how you’re going to entertain yourself for the next few hours. You can play a few games on your phone, but the controls don’t feel quite right and it’s just not the same as holding a proper controller.

If that sounds like you, or someone you know, I have the perfect Christmas gift recommendation that will transform those long commutes home into little gaming marathons: the Backbone One gaming controller.

Just so we’re clear, the One only works with iPhones at the moment, though the company is bringing the controller to Android, so any Pixel owners won’t be out of luck for too long. It works with every iPhone that came out since the iPhone 6S, and any owners of the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max can request an adaptor to improve their experience, for free.

Now, back to what makes the One so impressive. Unlike so much tech these days, the setup for the One is ridiculously easy, simply snap your phone into the controller using the Lighting port and you’re off; there’s no charging or waiting for updates, so you can start gaming in seconds.

And you’re not just getting the controller, you’re also getting the companion app, which you don’t need in order to play games, but the software helps turn your iPhone into a games console all on its own. Pressing the orange button on the One while it’s connected to your device will show you all your installed games, as well as all the new games you can buy.

If you want to show off your progress, you can even record your gameplay up to 1080p at 30fps. And if you’re worried that you’ll have a shortage of things to play, the One comes with three whole months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is a saving on its own of around £30 over here in the UK. This pass also opens the door to hundreds of games, including classics like The Sims 4, Batman: Arkham Knight and Hades, just to mention a few.

Even though this handy portable controller is a great buy as it is, I think it’s especially great for any gamers that are usually on the move, as it can be especially frustrating trying to make progress in a new game when you don’t feel like you have the time. The One solves this problem, as every train, bus or coach journey I’ve taken since getting it has become its own gaming session, with the option to simply slip the One back into my bag whenever I’m finished.

All in all, the One makes mobile gaming fun again. And considering you’re pretty much never without your phone, that means you’ll never be without a few amazing hours of entertainment, just click the button to get started.

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