If you’re looking for a new set of Nintendo Switch Joy-Con but can’t stomach the high asking price, there are options. In fact, there are a whole lot of options. A cursory search online will net you dozens and dozens of brands offering deeply discounted Joy-Con versions. They all must be mostly the same, right?
Definitely not. In this Kinvoca Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review, we’re going to tell you why this specific model should be a last resort buy only.
Kinvoca Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review: What is it?
Strictly speaking, the Kinvoca Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch is just like the official Joy-Con. The buttons are all in mostly the same places, you can snap them onto the sides of your Switch console while using it in handheld mode, or you can use them on their own in tabletop/console mode. Even the colorways look a lot like those offered by Nintendo.
However, not everything is the same. Considering the Kinvoca model is nearly half the price of the real deal, there are inevitably going to be some trade-offs. It’s up to you to decide if those trade-offs are worth it, but we’re going to help you with that decision.
The best thing we can say about the Kinvoca Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch is that it works. If you slide each Joypad onto the sides of your Switch, they will instantly connect to it and you can start playing. If you disconnect them, you can continue playing with one in each hand or by connecting them to the included controller mount.
The rumble and six-axis motion control features you enjoy with real Joy-Con carry over here, too. Unfortunately, IR support doesn’t, but not too many Switch games rely on that, so it’s not the end of the world.
For buyers who are really into the aesthetic presentation of their Switch, the Kinvoca Joypad comes in lots of fun colorways. There’s even one that attempts to recreate the color scheme of the Super Famicom (the Japanese version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System). However, it’s a pale imitation at best.
Finally, the ergonomics of the joypads are a bit better than the real Joy-Cons. The backs of the pads have a slightly curvy grip, which is in stark contrast to the totally flat backs of real Joy-Cons.
What’s not so good?
Overall, the Kinvoca Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch looks and feels cheap. The plastic is very low-grade and the ABXY button design looks abysmal. Sure, everything works as it should, but you will quickly understand why these controllers cost so much less than real Joy-Cons.
The biggest problem here, though, is what isn’t here. With other Joy-Con knock-offs, companies try to throw in new features that the original Joy-Cons don’t support to make their product more enticing. With these, though, Kinvoca simply tossed Micro-USB charging ports into each Joypad. While this seems convenient, everything related to the Switch is based on USB-C, so it becomes a burden rather than a feature.
There's only one 'extra' feature here, and Kinvoca made it more of a burden than anything else.
There are no extra buttons and no enhancements of any kind. The analog triggers aren’t taller (a really easy way to make Joy-Con alternatives better than the real thing) and the directional buttons on the left Joypad aren’t formatted into a true D-pad. The internal batteries are smaller than the ones in the real deal (320mAh vs 525mAh). The whole product just screams “wasted opportunity.”
Finally, the Kinvoca Joypad Controller does not support the Switch’s wake feature. This means that you can’t turn on the console with the controllers. You’ll need to hit the Switch’s power button instead. Ouch.
Kinvoca Joypad Controller for Nintendo Switch review: Should I buy it?
At a list price of $39.99, you should absolutely not buy these. If you can find them on sale for a deep discount or if you just need something to get the job done, then these might be worth it. But $40? You’d be better off buying the much better Esywen model or just finding some used/refurbished real Joy-Cons.
Granted, a lot of folks are looking for the bare minimum when it comes to Joy-Cons so they can feel comfortable with kids using them. Even then, you could buy a set of these other knock-offs for $10 less. The asking price of the Kinvoca Joypad Controller is just too high.
When big sale days like Black Friday roll around, you might be able to grab these on the cheap. If you can, you should go for it. If not, though, your money is better spent elsewhere.