The Pokémon GO Plus is a small device that lets you enjoy Pokémon GO while you’re on the move and not looking at your smartphone. The device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth low energy and notifies you about events in the game—such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby—using an LED and vibration. Then, why should you buy a $47ish peripheral for a free-to-play game? here is our report:

The Pokémon Go Plus is out on Sept. 16, and when it launches, it will change up the way you currently play the game in some big ways.

Pokémon Go standard game probably isn’t designed for any human!

The Pokémon Go Plus allows you to catch Pokémon without taking out your phone. If a Pokémon is nearby, the device will light up. At that point, you can throw a Poké Ball, just by using the device. This only works if you’ve already caught that Pokémon before, though; you won’t be catching any new Pokémon for your Pokédex using the Pokémon Go Plus.

If it worked out, the Plus will vibrate to celebrate your achievement. Interested? Anyone playing in those initial few weeks will likely have stories of seeing countless others playing too, perhaps grouping up with them as you hunted down critters using Pokéradar. I remember to see many strangers running across the road to capture a Dragonite together around Hougang Singapore, bump onto a stranger even on roads and recently in Vivocity.

pokemon go

Pokémon Go Plus is a standalone peripheral that lets you play without having to look at your phone’s screen the entire time.

I’m still playing Pokémon Go, even if it is just on my walk to and from work office. I have all the Pokémon you’re likely to see and am just working on hatching or evolving the last 20 using the game’s eggs and buddy mechanic.

Pokémon Go Plus  is for people who don’t want to have their phone out all the time. I’m happy to let its single button press take care of the need to stock up items (the automatic acquiring of PokéStop loot is very useful). And while the gadget requires me to keep Bluetooth turned on, the app appears to drain a little less battery power while in the background, counting steps to hatch eggs and earn candy for my Buddy Pokémon.

Pokemon Go Plus works by notify you of a Pokémon nearby and tap the Plus to begin capturing it. But the device will only use regular Pokéballs (try this when you’re out of stock and it will automatically fail) and not Great or Ultra Balls. It won’t let you use a Razz Berry. It speeds the whole process up considerably, sure, and has a good chance of success, although like any capture it can fail. The only way you know which Pokémon you’ve caught is to then check the app. There’s no way of seeing which Pokémon you may have let flee.

A Plus icon on your phone’s screen points to whatever the device has just notified you of – a PokéStop, a particular critter – so you can take action via the Plus’ button quickly. If it’s a Pidgey or Drowzee, great – let the Plus do the work and capture it with a button press, risking it failing is fine. If it’s something more uncommon, you may want to go through the capture process manually via your phone.

Going back to your phone does feel like you’re defeating the point of the Pokémon Go Plus somewhat – especially after handing over enough cash that you could buy a whole new Pokémon game. But this is just an option – and it is easy to see what your Plus is notifying you of even with your phone in your pocket: PokéStops cause the Plus’ button to flash blue, Pokémon make it flash green.

The LEDs are good but very bright sunlight can defeat them. However, after some extended use you can intuit which notification is which just by their different patterns of vibration. Three long buzzes? That’s a Pokémon. Tap the button and you’ll then get three staccato buzzes as the imaginary Pokéball wobbles, the Pokémon now inside. Success is rewarded with a rainbow of LED colours and a long vibrate. PokéStops? That’s a ONE-two, ONE-two, ONE-two vibration. Simple click of the button – just tap it against your side – and a chirpier vibration as your loot is rewarded.

I immediately opted for the Plus’ wriststrap option, with the gadget worn like a watch, although there’s also a clip for pinning to your lapel, pocket or bag strap. You’ll need a small cross-head screwdriver to switch between the two attachment options, strangely, so it’s best to pick one and stick with it.

The only time the Plus has become a chore is when I’ve spent a good deal of time out of phone signal range, and wait for the syncing process as you can quickly connect and disconnect the gadget to reset it. It’s as easy as heading to the app’s settings menu and tapping to open/close the Bluetooth connection. This is a welcome addition, especially for families with more than one Pokémon Go player – units are not tied to any particular phone or user, meaning the Plus can be passed between people as desired.

If you’re like me – still playing at a more relaxed level – the Plus is a fun extension of the app, but still a pricey addition. The bad thing about buying this device is that your geekiness will clearly shown and you have no other reasoning to explain your Boss, the uncle next door and spouse or your couple that you  are not a cheesy Pokemon trainer.  Nonetheless, its all yours to decide and remember always carry a mosquito repellant lotion too. Remember don’t bump strangers and step onto his feet again ya ciao….


 

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