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Turtle Beach’s new split Atom controller clamps onto your Android phone

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Hot on the heels of releasing its first cloud-focused controller, Turtle Beach is announcing a dedicated game controller for Android phones. The new Turtle Beach Atom is focused on mobile gaming and cloud streaming, as it’s solely an attachment for Android phones. The Atom’s left and right halves attach to a phone via clamps and connect to it via Bluetooth 4.2, which should save the hassle of having to remove your phone’s case each time you want to play.

This $99.99 Android controller is available to preorder now and set to launch on November 14th in three colors: red, black and teal, and black and yellow. The latter is officially licensed by Xbox, complete with a branded guide button and one month of Xbox Game Pass included for new users. Those are not exactly the colors I think of when I think of Xbox, but it certainly fits the Atom’s slightly garish-looking vibes.

The black and yellow Atom is a licensed Xbox product, indicated by its logo guide button, view, and menu buttons.
Image: Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach claims that the Atom uses full-size sticks and buttons for a console-like experience, though one thing to keep in mind is these smartphone controllers are usually designed for portability. The Atom looks a little chonky, though it tries to get around this by inverting its sides to magnetically attach them to one another — making a slightly smaller package than if they just slid into one another like a Backbone or Razer Kishi.

Those competitors seem to be exactly what Turtle Beach is gunning for, as they’re all priced the same, though Turtle Beach is definitely doing things a little bit differently with its split design. For one, the Atom is entirely wireless; not only does it connect to your phone via Bluetooth but also the halves of the controller connect to one another via 2.4GHz wireless. Since it doesn’t actually plug into your phone, there’s no opportunity for passthrough charging. The Atom has its own rechargeable battery (two, actually, with one in each half) that charges via USB-C. Turtle Beach claims it should last up to 20 hours and recharge fully in 2.5 hours, though a phone will likely need to be recharged during an extended play session well before the Atom.

Aside from playing Android games, the Atom is designed for cloud gaming and streaming with services like Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Steam Link. Turtle Beach makes no mention of PlayStation compatibility, so it’s likely not going to work with Remote Play off of a PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4. The Atom also doesn’t work with iPhones at all, which is unfortunate since Apple has been playing nice with Bluetooth controllers from Microsoft and Sony. These are features that it appears the Backbone One will continue to have an advantage on. However, like Backbone, Turtle Beach will have its own companion app to go with the Atom, which allows you to configure features and search out games.

The non-Xbox licensed Atom colors have the same buttons minus the branding.

The non-Xbox licensed Atom colors have the same buttons minus the branding.
Image: Turtle Beach

While the big companies in the world of gaming and tech are still figuring out cloud gaming, Turtle Beach seems to be taking a shotgun approach between the Recon Cloud and the Atom — trying to appease as many styles of play as possible. That is, of course, with the glaring omission of anyone using an iPhone or who wants to stream their PlayStation consoles via Remote Play.

The Atom seems like the logical progression for Turtle Beach after the Recon Cloud, though now that it’s trying to go pound for pound with the Backbone One and Razer Kishi, the stakes seem a little higher.


Hot on the heels of releasing its first cloud-focused controller, Turtle Beach is announcing a dedicated game controller for Android phones. The new Turtle Beach Atom is focused on mobile gaming and cloud streaming, as it’s solely an attachment for Android phones. The Atom’s left and right halves attach to a phone via clamps and connect to it via Bluetooth 4.2, which should save the hassle of having to remove your phone’s case each time you want to play.

This $99.99 Android controller is available to preorder now and set to launch on November 14th in three colors: red, black and teal, and black and yellow. The latter is officially licensed by Xbox, complete with a branded guide button and one month of Xbox Game Pass included for new users. Those are not exactly the colors I think of when I think of Xbox, but it certainly fits the Atom’s slightly garish-looking vibes.

The black and yellow Atom is a licensed Xbox product, indicated by its logo guide button, view, and menu buttons.

The black and yellow Atom is a licensed Xbox product, indicated by its logo guide button, view, and menu buttons.
Image: Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach claims that the Atom uses full-size sticks and buttons for a console-like experience, though one thing to keep in mind is these smartphone controllers are usually designed for portability. The Atom looks a little chonky, though it tries to get around this by inverting its sides to magnetically attach them to one another — making a slightly smaller package than if they just slid into one another like a Backbone or Razer Kishi.

Those competitors seem to be exactly what Turtle Beach is gunning for, as they’re all priced the same, though Turtle Beach is definitely doing things a little bit differently with its split design. For one, the Atom is entirely wireless; not only does it connect to your phone via Bluetooth but also the halves of the controller connect to one another via 2.4GHz wireless. Since it doesn’t actually plug into your phone, there’s no opportunity for passthrough charging. The Atom has its own rechargeable battery (two, actually, with one in each half) that charges via USB-C. Turtle Beach claims it should last up to 20 hours and recharge fully in 2.5 hours, though a phone will likely need to be recharged during an extended play session well before the Atom.

Aside from playing Android games, the Atom is designed for cloud gaming and streaming with services like Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Steam Link. Turtle Beach makes no mention of PlayStation compatibility, so it’s likely not going to work with Remote Play off of a PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4. The Atom also doesn’t work with iPhones at all, which is unfortunate since Apple has been playing nice with Bluetooth controllers from Microsoft and Sony. These are features that it appears the Backbone One will continue to have an advantage on. However, like Backbone, Turtle Beach will have its own companion app to go with the Atom, which allows you to configure features and search out games.

The non-Xbox licensed Atom colors have the same buttons minus the branding.

The non-Xbox licensed Atom colors have the same buttons minus the branding.
Image: Turtle Beach

While the big companies in the world of gaming and tech are still figuring out cloud gaming, Turtle Beach seems to be taking a shotgun approach between the Recon Cloud and the Atom — trying to appease as many styles of play as possible. That is, of course, with the glaring omission of anyone using an iPhone or who wants to stream their PlayStation consoles via Remote Play.

The Atom seems like the logical progression for Turtle Beach after the Recon Cloud, though now that it’s trying to go pound for pound with the Backbone One and Razer Kishi, the stakes seem a little higher.

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