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A review of the Tronsmart Mars G01 Game Pad

A different sort of review today, the Mars G01 Game Pad from Tronsmart.

Geekbuying provided me with this G01 to review, so first of all a thanks to them for that. I’ll mention where you can purchase the G01 at the end of the review.

I’ve reviewed a couple of Android-based games consoles previously, all of which had game controls built in to the devices themselves, but what are you to do if you want that same awesome controller experience on your regular Android smartphone or tablet?

What’s in the box?

The box contains the Mars G01, a receiver, USB OTG cable and USB to Micro-USB cable, and the usual broken-English manual that you can throw in the bin, or read for a small amount of entertainment (I’ll go in to this later).

Hands on with the Tronsmart Mars G01

The game pad is about the size of an Xbox 360 controller, and has the same button layout and shape too – however, it is a bit lighter in weight.

It features the following inputs:

  • 6 front-face buttons
  • 1 dpad
  • 2 joysticks
  • 2 shoulder “bumper” buttons
  • 2 triggers

Overall the Mars G01 feels quite sturdy, and the buttons are nice and springy. The A/B/X/Y buttons feel quite slippery and occasionally the A button sticks, but other than that it feels great.

On the back side of the Mars G01, there is just a single Micro-USB port, for charging the 600mAh battery contained within.

Plug and play

The Mars G01 uses “2.4GHz RF” to connect, which is annoying because it means you need to carry the receiver around with the controller, but it works well enough. It would have been nice to have a Bluetooth option.

Plugging the USB receiver in to a PC, it’s picked up straight away and recognised as a “Gamepad For Windows”, with all of the buttons and axis’ recognised.

Using the USB OTG cable with the USB receiver, on any Android 4.0+ device, it’s picked up straight away, but the button layout isn’t ideal. I’m sure a tool such as Tincore Keymapper can fix this however.

The manual suggests that the Mars G01 will work on a PS3 too, but I haven’t got a PS3 around to test that.

Naturally, the Tronsmart Mars G01 should work with any other Android devices you have, such as set top boxes/media players.

The 600mAh battery will last for those long Android gaming sessions.

Verdict

If you’ve just got an Android phone or tablet without built in game controls and you want a game controller for your Android device, this is a good choice. It’s not bluetooth, but it works nicely enough that we can overlook that.

Combined with either HDMI-out or a Google Chromecast, you can turn any Android device in to a games console.

You can buy the Tronsmart Mars G01 from Geekbuying here: Tronsmart Mars G01 Wireless Gamepad on Geekbuying

You can talk about the Tronsmart Mars G01 on Dingoonity here: Tronsmart Mars G01 discussion on Dingoonity

About the author

A photo of Max Glenister

Max Glenister

Max Glenister is a Front-end Developer based in Oxfordshire. For work he spends his time designing, validating and implementing user interfaces. For fun he tinkers with Virtual Reality, 3D printing, embedded systems, game development and many other things.

You can keep up with Max on Github, Twitter and Reddit