Ever since the smartphone hit its strides and games became popular apps for download there have been attempts at making the control experience better. Drop everything, mission complete – the Backbone One is the ultimate gaming controller for iPhone gamers.

Backbone One controller on iPhone playing Minecraft

The concept here is really simple, and in many ways the Backbone One goes above and beyond what might have been the “we need a console-like controller for iPhone” brief.

Connected by lightning port, and clamped in by the adjustable width of the and he Backbone One, it will work on any sized iPhone.

Once connected you have button controls within compatible games. And that’s really the most important thing to know – your game needs to support controllers in the first place. In most cases this is done with Bluetooth pairing, and sure, if you have a console and want to pair a controller to your phone there are little mounts you can get to put your phone on the controller.

Lighting charger if you're low on phone power

But you know the problem here right? Then when you go back to console – you’ve got to pair it again.

Games like Minecraft, Call of Duty Mobile, Ashphalt, and 1,000 more support controller, so don’t worry you’re not going to go without here.

Backbone One has all standard controller buttons. Four in a diamond for right thumb, two thumbsticks, a left D-Pad, Bumpers and Triggers too.

Call of Duty Mobile on iPhone with Backbone One

I will say the layout of the triggers isn’t quite as comfortable as a real console controller, but I think thats a limitation of the flat style design which does make for a more compact carry when not in use.

Outside of that, it’s a breeze.

I’m a dope when it comes to Call of Duty – but I was winning well with the Backbone One. My reasoning – most others were on touchscreen and that’s just not as effective. Simple as that.

Minecraft on iPhone is good, but with Backbone One attached it’s great. A “normal” console experience.

All that is the “how do we meet the brief” stuff. But it’s the interface and capture stuff that’s really next level.

The Backbone One gaming interface for all your game search and store.

Pressing the Orange Backbone button gives you instant access to the Backbone Gaming interface. This is very much like an Xbox interface, showing your games, other games available and tips tricks and tutorials. This is where you’re best placed to find new games which do support controllers.

A really great interface with a whole range of additional features I didn’t even get close to.

Then there’s the capture button. You know gamers, wanna get a screen cap or a screen record of the action. Common on Xbox and Playstation right?

This is quite stunning. Press and hold to get a screen shot. Simple!

Press once to start a screen RECORDING. Yep, record your gameplay right from the Controller interface.

Honestly very impressive.

A headphone port for your gaming headset, and a Lightning port for charging when you’re hitting it hard and for a long gaming session.

Backbone One features a headphone port for wired gaming sound

Given there’s no power or major electronics, the price at $179.95 is a push. Cheaper to buy an actual controller and phone clamp. But, For portability, and for those extra bits like sharing and the game store – a bonus worth the price.

You’ll find it for $179.95 at The Gamesmen and Microsoft Store.