I’m no stranger to ergonomic grips and charging cases when it comes to handheld gaming. Ever since the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS, I’ve relied on grips for improved control and comfort during longer gaming sessions.
I’ll admit that I didn’t really see a need for an improved grip on the Nintendo Switch — the feel and weight seemed perfectly balanced to me, and I tend to prefer using the Joy-Cons to the Pro Controller due to my smaller hands. Because of this, I was a little skeptical of the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch when I first tried it out. Why fix something that isn’t broken?
As is the case with HyperX’s other gaming accessories, they went above and beyond to deliver a quality product that I didn’t even know I needed. Read on to see my full review!
Zoom In: Specs
- Dimensions: 273.9mm x 40.2mm x 114.1mm
- Weight: 400g
- Material: Plastic
- Battery Capacity: 6000mAh
- Input: 5V ⎓ 1.5AMax
- Output: 5V ⎓ 2.0AMax
- Cable Type: USB Type-C charging cable
- Cable Length: 1.8m
- Warranty: 2-Year Free Technical Support
The HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is simple in its design and even simpler in its functionality. The box contains a three-piece case (made to work with the Switch’s handheld and tabletop modes) and a short set of assembly instructions. LED indicators show how much battery power remains in the case once it’s charged.
In handheld mode, the controller grips attach to the charging case with strong magnets and interlocking parts, and you can slot the Switch into place with little issue. As for tabletop use? It’s as simple as detaching the controller grips from the charger, connecting them together, and propping your Switch up by its kickstand. Easy as can be.
After I’d disassembled and reassembled the case a few times to ensure I’d gotten the hang of it, I started up Breath of the Wild and set to work testing the power behind this charging case.
To begin, I was hugely impressed with the case’s battery power. The HyperX website promises up to 5 extended hours of gameplay (depending on usage and settings), and the ChargePlay Clutch absolutely delivers. I played Zelda non-stop for at least 2.5 hours on a higher brightness setting, and my Switch still read as having a full battery by the time the case itself needed recharging.
As I expected, I did struggle with the added weight of the charging case in handheld mode. Why? The strain on my wrists became too much after a while, indicating that a handheld setup might not be ideal for a smaller gamer. That said, I swapped over to tabletop mode and had no issue once I let the case’s kickstand take on the majority of the weight.
The feel of the controller grips themselves was lovely — I’d even go so far as to say that I prefer it to the default controller grip that Nintendo provides alongside the Switch. My only complaint here is that the Joy-Cons don’t click into place the way they do with the Nintendo grip. Instead, they’re held in place by plastic tabs on each of the grips. It’s definitely a secure fit — snugly holding even custom-painted Joy-Cons like mine — but I worry about what the wear and tear of time might do to these tabs and the effectiveness of the grips in tabletop mode.
With all the extra pieces, it’s to be expected that swapping between handheld and tabletop mode will be a bit more involved than before. It’s also worth noting that the ChargePlay Clutch’s size (and how it fits with the Switch) is incompatible with the console’s docked mode. If you’re done playing in one of the aforementioned modes and want to take your gaming to a bigger screen, you’ll need to remove the Switch entirely from the charging case before docking it. This isn’t a significant drawback, though, as it does give you time to recharge the case for next time.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Comfort - 7.5/10
Functionality - 8/10
Ease of Use - 8/10
The HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is an excellent accessory for the Nintendo Switch. Although the added bulk can be a bit of a drag in handheld mode, the controller grip is comfortable, and the extended battery life of the charging case is definitely worth its $60 price tag.
- Impressive battery life
- Comfortable controller grips
- Easy assembly / disassembly
- Joy-Cons can feel unsecure
- A bit heavy in handheld mode
- Incompatible with docked consoles