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Thread: smart controller- first impressions

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    dillont's Avatar
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    #1

    smart controller- first impressions

    Just got my smart controller in the mail today. Got it for $75 with my corporate discount. Couldn't resist trying this out and was really excited to get it. Once I started using it though, I was pretty disappointed. It seemed like are really good concept, but it just didn't perform up to my expectation. My biggest complaint is the responsiveness of the tracking. I used it while connected to my HDTV using the HD dock with my phone in webtop mode. It does give you a little arrow on the screen like a mouse, which is nice, but using the track pad itself is difficult. The top third of the controller serves as a track pad and a mouse button all in one. I found it pretty difficult to move the arrow to the correct spot and click where I wanted to. I tried to use swype (my proffered mode of texting/typing) on the onscreen keyboard and it was practically impossible! Because the touchpad is too slow and is kinda jerky I couldn't move the arrow accurately enough to use the swype feature. Also it is hard to move from on side of the virtual keyboard to the other without lifting your finger up and moving it back to the other side of the track pad. I like the idea of being able to control my phone on the TV when the phone is docked, but I think that a wireless/Bluetooth mouse would work a lot better. Without being able to use swype accurately, I think a bluetooth/wireless keyboard would work a lot better too. I had the impression that the smart controller also worked as a speakerphone, but is actually has a seperate speaker at the top and mic on the bottom, so you hold it up to you face like a phone. Call quality was fine on both ends. This feature is nice, but I can connect my jaybird SB2 bluetooth headphones to my phone and make calls with it just as easily. The only feature that set this device apart a mouse/ headset combo was the volume rocker and the hard buttons on the smart controller (back, home, search, menu). This feature is nice, but it doesn't make up for the functionality problems with the device. For the price of this accessory, I wanted it to be a lot easier to use. I am most likely going to return the smart controller to the Verizon store tomorrow and look into a bluetooth mouse and keyboard combo instead. I wish that the standard HD dock also came with usb ports, as people have mentioned that connecting multiple bluetooth devices to the phone can cause issues and usb mouse/keyboards might work better. I already had an HDMI cable from my droid X though, so I couldn't justify paying $40 extra for an extra HDMI cord and USB ports on the dock. I really wanted to like this accessory, but it just didn't live up to my expectations. Maybe the tracking get easier to use once you use it for a while, but for me it just didn't function as well as it should for the price, so I will return it.
    Last edited by dillont; 12-01-2011 at 06:34 PM.
  2. Droid
    dillont's Avatar
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    After using it a little longer, I am getting a little bit more used to it and the tracking is getting a little bit easier. I think the main problem is that your fingers don't slide very well across the plastic as they would on your screen, which makes it hard to control. Using swype is still impossible, but it is getting a little bit easier to use as a mouse. I am still not completely sold on this accessory, but i may mess around with it for another day or two before i decide if i am going to return it.
  3. Droid
    dillont's Avatar
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    I decided I am probably going to keep it after all. The tracking gets a little better once you get used to it more. I still wish it was better, but overall it is still a pretty cool accessory. As a remote for controlling media- music, netflix etc while connected to tv it works pretty well. It is nice to have in the car too so i can change the song, etc while keeping my hand close to the steering wheel instead of reaching out to my phone when it is docked. I like the hard buttons and the ability pick it up like a normal phone and talk while my phone is still docked. Typing on it is not really possible, but the virtual keyboard on such a big screen prob has something to do with it too. to Might eventually try to get a cheaper Bluetooth keyboard and attempt to pair it with that.
  4. Droid
    dillont's Avatar
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    Changed my mind again. Returned smart controller today. They are having a cyber Monday sale on Motorola's website that ends today (Dec. 4th). Their Bluetooth keyboard is on sale for $40 (normally $60) and you get a Motorola wireless mouse (normally $30) for free with purchase of keyboard. I have read of some people having compatibility issues with their phones and Bluetooth keyboards and mouse so I am hoping that using the Motorola products that were designed to be used with android will avoid these problems. I liked the smart controller, but if i can get a mouse/keyboard combo that will allow me to type and control my phone on the big screen for a fraction of the price i decided that was a better deal.
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    How is the keyboard/mouse combo? I was thinking about getting this combo from motorola.
  6. Droid
    dillont's Avatar
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    They have been working well for me so far. Both paired to my phone really easily and have worked well while both were connected. I was able to connect My Bluetooth headphones to my phone with both the mouse and headphones connected and make calls on my Bluetooth. mouse is very responsive. Much easier than trying to control the phone with smart controller
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    #7
    do you think there is any way to map a mouses buttons to use as volume control, like the logitech mouse that has the side page buttons and the side scrolling wheel?

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