Fructel's wireless controller for Android smartphones and tablets caught our eye at CES Unveiled this week. Not for its looks – we've seen prettier peripherals – but for its potential as a handheld console killer. Priced at a stocking-friendly $99, the Gametel controller can clasp an Android handset in its claw or connect via Bluetooth to handsets and tablets running Eclair (2.1.1) or above.
Not only do you get a D-pad and four buttons, the Gametel also packs two triggers for console-style FPS gaming and a none-too-shabby nine hour battery life. Which makes us wonder whether the PS Vita will be greeted with a chorus of boos when it eventually decides to grace us with its presence.
Consoles like the Xbox 720 aren't safe either, since up to four Gametel controllers can be used for multiplayer gaming when one Android device is hooked up to a HDTV via HDMI. Add a quad-core smartphone like the leaked HTC Edge into the mix and suddenly we might not be too far from having enough power in our phones to handle console quality graphics without forking out for more hardware.
Current compatible games on the Android Market include Reckless Getaway, Cordy, Asphalt 5 HD and Guns'n'Glory and you'll need to download the free Gametel driver when the controller lands in early December.