“The SnakeByte mini Wii-Mote combines a comfortable redesign with compact size without sacrificing performance. At $19.99 the SnakeByte Mini-Mote is a well priced alternative or upgrade to the Nintendo Certified remote.”
SnakeByte’s Mini-Mote is called mini for a reason; it’s 25% smaller than a regular mote. SnakeByte also claims the remote to be “ergonomically designed to provide a more comfortable grip.” I must agree that the controller is more comfortable to hold than the Nintendo Wiimote. The controller also comes in two colors, red and blue. I found it odd that SnakeByte chose to not add a regular white controller for all the people out there that like to have their electronics matching. However, the blue and red do look pretty good. The overall design also looks great and the build quality is on the same level.
The button layout is one of my favorite features with the controller. The repositioning of the 1 and 2 buttons to right bellow the – and + buttons adds comfort and performance. At first I had a little bit of trouble with the repositioning and found myself accidently hitting 1 instead of + and vice versa. However, after a small amount of practice I was able to adjust and ended up finding the controls to be more practical and comfortable. The back trigger button, or the Z button, is also a slightly different shape. I’m not a big fan of the new Z button due to the fact that it is smaller and less of a trigger. The only other difference is the positioning of the sync button, something I’ve always hated about the original Wii Mote. Instead of having the sync button inside the controller next to the batteries, SnakeByte intelligently placed the button in the upper right corner of the controller making synchronizing from Wii to Wii a breeze.
SnakeByte chose to go with two AAA batteries for this Wii-Mote and I can only assume this was due to the small size of the controller. However, I do feel they could have squeezed two AA batteries into the controller. I found when testing with Wii Motion Plus attached, I did have less play time then with a regular Wii Mote. Though, with the controller by itself, battery life seemed to have just as much juice as the Nintendo controller. SnakeByte added a feature called “eco mode” that is supposed to help improve battery life. However, I couldn’t find any information on how to turn this eco mode on or how it worked.
The SnakeByte Wiimote has an intelligent design, comfortable feel, and sleek look. However, all of this means nothing if it can’t perform like a regular Nintendo certified Wiimote. I put SnakeByte’s Mini Wiimote through a very long and elaborate test, and I’m happy to say that it performed almost perfectly. Yes, I said almost. The one thing that kept this controller from getting a perfect performance score was that I noticed the A button would not register on rare occasions. Although, I didn’t find this to effect my playing experience because it would never miss twice in a row and this was not a consistent problem. Yet, during the 24 hours of testing time put into this controller, the problem occurred enough times to make note of. Other than that, all other buttons and accelerometers worked flawlessly; even motion plus worked without a hitch when attached.
Overall the SnakeByte’s Mini Wiimote is a great alternative to the standard Wii-Mote and is now my Wiimote of choice. The only set backs are the occasional miss register of the A button and the battery life when playing games with heavy use of Motion Plus technology (i.e. Zelda Skyward Sword). However, I find the improved button layout and comfort of the device overshadow the controller’s minor setbacks. If you’re tired of the gigantic size of a regular Wii-Mote with Motion Plus attached, having to take off the back panel to sync your controller, and stretching your figure all the way down to the 1 and 2 buttons like I am, then SnakeBytes MiniMote is definitely for you.