Nintendo makes some superb, innovative products, and while portability and ease-of-use are core to the design of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons, the official controllers and Charging Grip don’t suit everyone.
With the Switch trying to lean more and more towards big triple-A games, some gamers find the Joy-Cons – even when on a Grip or with the device in handheld mode – to be a bit on the small side or lacking much grip.
This is where the BinBok RGB Joycons – an unofficial product – come into play. Offering larger buttons and an ergonomic grip design, BinBok aims to offer a comfier Switch gaming experience, but do they achieve this feat?
In this review, BinBok was kind enough to supply us with the OLED-Transparent Discovery model of the controllers.
For many, the most important key feature of these is that they’re far heftier than a regular Joy-Con. While slimmer and more streamlined than a DualSense for the PlayStation 5, they offer significantly more grip and hold than the relatively flat official Joy-Cons.
The controls slide tightly into the Nintendo Switch and their own supplied divider, but are surprisingly lightweight, perhaps slightly lighter than their smaller official counterparts. On the BinBok RGB Joycons, you’ll also notice LED lights around the analogues, which have three different breathe settings.
You’ll notice with the BinBok RGB Joycons that the buttons are significantly different to the Switch’s Joy-Cons. The D-Pad is akin to that of Xbox One controllers, with clicking buttons, while the A, B, X, Y buttons are larger and require more push to activate. The analogues also have a greater push range.
Size and grip are the main selling points for the BinBok RGB Joycons, with the LEDs offering more colour to the experience than the black, white, or transparent options available on the site. That said, they have several other features to bring them in line with, or even exceed, the Nintendo Joy-Cons:
- Dual Vibration: You can adjust the intensity of the vibrations in each Joycon, from rumbles to shocks;
- Turbo Feature: By pressing the T button to activate Turbo Mode, you can fire faster through controller input;
- Gyro Motion Controls: When hooked up to the divider or individually, you can make use of the Joycons’ six-axis gyro motion controls;
- Wake Up Button: By pressing the house button on the right Joycon, you can wake up your Switch without needing to stand up and turn it on by hand (if it’s docked, that is).
The BinBok RGB Joycons are easy to charge and sync to your Nintendo Switch. To sync them, you can just slip them onto the sides, which is how you can charge them, too. If you’d rather charge via a cable, you can use the USB-C port on the back of the dock to connect the supplied cable to the Joycon.
Shipping and Delivery
For this review, the BinBok RGB Joycons were sent to the UK from China. The shipment information was received on 11 January, with YunTrack provided as the tracking service. From there, it went from Shenzhen to Slough in four days. The Joycons were then delivered on 19 January.
YunTrack proved to be quite a useful tool for tracking this delivery, being clear cut and easy to use on the Chrome computer browser. There weren’t any issues with the delivery or tracking, and it was packed appropriately. The Joycons come in a cardboard box and sit in a fixed plastic casing, which stops them from moving around during transit.
Usually, when you think of a premium controller, you’d consider additional grips on the analogues, textured grips, and soft-touch or silent buttons. In those regards, the BinBok RGB Joycons likely wouldn’t be considered premium, and yet, for their ergonomic design, enhanced analogues, and larger buttons, they would be considered upgrades on the Switch’s Joy-Cons to many.
As a person with larger hands, it’s safe to say that the BinBok RGB Joycons are more comfortable than official Joy-Cons, but it does take a bit of time to get used to the new buttons. Particularly for the transparent design of the review Joycons, the three breathe lighting settings all offered a distinct aesthetic. While the colour rotation can be a bit much, the standard breathe setting shows off the feature while not being too much.
On the BinBok website, the images show the black design with what looks to be a non-slip texture on the back of the Joycons. On the transparent controllers, likely to uphold the clear design across the Joycons, there isn’t any kind of non-slip texture, but it would be wrong to say that they are particularly slippery controllers.
The buttons on the BinBok RGB Joycons are the more challenging aspect to get accustomed to using. Switch Joy-Cons are somewhat of a soft touch, but it is easy to input more than one at once. With the BinBok RGB Joycons, you need to put a bit more into the button push. This can make it feel like the input is slightly delayed initially. The triggers and bumpers also require a bit more force to click.
Joy-Con analogues don’t offer much wiggle room and can feel very compact. The BinBok RGB Joycons, on the other hand, offer a great deal more room for input. Thanks to the expanded opening for the joysticks, the unofficial controllers allow you to be more precise with your movement. Perhaps due to a history with home consoles, the D-Pad feels easier to use than the four direction buttons.
These controllers don’t offer any flex and feel just as sturdy as the Switch Joy-Cons. That said, when set in on the divider, the controller as a whole piece does feel a little less stable than with the official set-up. For someone with big hands, this could be a problem if a particularly frustrating game is in play, but other than that, they fit well and offer more comfort.
Long Play (4 hours)
After four hours of play on the moderately button-heavy game of Pokémon Legends Arceus, the BinBok RGB Joycons were still comfortable to hold and rarely offered a moment of delayed responsiveness. On the much more button-intensive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the need to adapt to the new buttons was much more apparent.
Switching to handheld mode while laying down for a few hours, what was noticeable was the lack of pins and needles in the hands while using the unofficial controllers – while 30 minutes with Joy-Cons always results in aches. So, overall, this experience would say that the BinBok RGB Joycons are better than the official controllers.
Customer service and support
BinBok has been receiving reviews on their products on their Amazon listings since at least 2020, so they’ve been around for a short while, but long enough to assume that they’ll stick around.
Having tested the BinBok returns email, [email protected], it’s fair to say that they’re fairly quick to respond, taking a couple of days (with one being a weekend day). For an exchange or refund, you only need to inform them of the issue, but if it’s defective or incorrect, an image is required alongside the email.
If you need a faster response, you can utilise the Facebook Messenger option on the website to contact customer support as a guest or with your Facebook profile. At the time that this was attempted, it was far slower than you’d expect from what looks like a live chat option. That said, Facebook lists them as a regular responder to messages.
If you want to connect in another way, you can try the following:
While the Joycons that were received for the review were good to go out of the box, if the software does ever need an update, you’ll need to connect them to a computer via the USB cable provided. To get the firmware required for the update, you’ll need to email their customer support.
BinBok’s refunds page details all of the steps that you need to get a refund, with you being offered 14 days upon receiving the product to be able to claim an exchange or refund. After the returns process, the refund period takes from seven to ten days to complete.
How much does the BinBok cost, and where can I purchase it from?
You can purchase the BinBok Wireless RGB Joycon Controller from BinBok.com. The black, transparent, and white versions cost:
- EUR, AUD, MYR, TWD, SGD, CAD, and JPY prices are also available.
Is the BinBok Switch Controller good, and is it worth it?
Outsider Gaming was sent multiple BinBok RGB Joycons to review, and so this conclusion draws from all of the input from those who tested the products.
For those with big hands, or even just adults, the BinBok RGB Joycons offer a greater amount of comfort and grip than your standard Nintendo Joy-Cons. It can take a bit of time to adjust to the altered input from the buttons, but overall, they offer a superior experience.
4.4 out of 5
- Much more comfortable grips than official Joy-Cons
- Suit those with larger hands
- Comes with its own divider, charging cable, and manual
- Light settings can be changed
- Comes with adjustable vibration
- Has built-in six-axis gyro
- Lights can randomly come on when the Switch is on sleep
- Doesn’t support Amiibos
- Can take time to adjust to the buttons
Is there a case that fits the BinBok controller?
BinBok has released a case for the switch, however, we have not tested the case and cannot comment on its quality.
How do I connect my BinBok controller?
Slide the BinBok controller onto your Switch, and they will connect. You can also connect via Bluetooth by pressing the home button or capture button when the Switch is docked.
How do I change vibration level?
There are 5 levels of vibration available. You can select your preferred vibration level by pressing the T button and then flicking (R) or (L) stick up or down on the Joy-Cons. You can change the vibration level of each Joy-Con.
How do I change the LED colour?
To change the LED colour press the T button and joystick (R3/L3). There are 8 effects available: red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, purple and rainbow.
How do I change the brightness of the LED?
To change the brightness press and hold the T button and the joystick (R3/L3). You will feel a vibration as the colour brightness changes. Release the buttons when you arrive at your desired brightness.
How do I turn off BinBok Joycons?
On the Joycon, hold down the two lower buttons (T and Screenshot or T and House) until the controller’s lights switch off.
How do you use turbo?
To setup turbo mode press and hold the T button and then press the buttons that you want to assign. Press the T button to use turbo.
Turbo mode is also available in single Joy-Con mode and can be assigned using the T button and pressing the buttons you want to assign to turbo.
Is the BinBok controller Nintendo Switch dock safe?
In the time taken to test it for this review, the BinBok controller didn’t pose the Nintendo Switch dock any issues and fit on the device while it’s sat in the dock.
Is there any Joycon drift issues?
Joycon drift wasn’t experienced while using the BinBok Joycons for this review.
Is there any Joycon stick dead zones?
This review didn’t reveal any Joycon stick dead zones for the BinBok Joycons.
Do I need to keep my controllers up to date with software updates?
If you’re having problems with your BinBok controllers, they may need an update. For this, you can check the upgrade program page for more details.
Can the BinBok be used separately?
BinBok Joycons can be used together with the divider to forge a complete Switch controller, and they can also be used individually as single Joycons. The official Controller Strap accessories for Joy-Cons work with the BinBok Joycons.
How long does the battery last?
The BinBok Joycons’ battery lasted for at least six hours as a standalone controller, with a fair bit of battery left. As you usually would, charging on the docked Switch between sessions is the best way to get the most out of these controllers.
Can the battery be charged when connected to the Switch?
When connected to the Switch, via USB or when slid onto the sides, the BinBok controller batteries will be charged. Each Joy-Con also has a USB-C port and can be charged using the cable supplied.