Despite the Nano’s diminutive size, the D-pad, thumb sticks and buttons are all the same size as a standard controller, just pushed closer together. This is actually a huge advantage for those like myself with small hands, since a recurring issue I have with both Nintendo’s Pro Controller and PowerA’s Enhanced models is that the plus and minus buttons are just a little too far away from the sides of the gamepad, meaning I always have to stretch my thumbs to hit them. With the Nano, everything fits under the sweep of my thumb. It feels a lot better for me, certainly, and I’m sure kids will appreciate it as well.
Less likely to appreciate it are esports pros — I’m thinking Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players here — and anyone playing competitive games like Splatoon 2 or Tetris 99. Because unfortunately, the Nano can’t maintain a rock-solid connection. It syncs easily enough, but I found it often cut out while I was playing, with the D-pad or A button becoming unresponsive. It wasn’t a total disconnect, as neither the system nor controller registered an interruption. Signals simply weren’t getting through.
I contacted PowerA and the company sent me another Nano to test and, while the problems became less frequent, they still occurred occasionally. It turns out the Nano is highly susceptible to electrical interference, perhaps even more so than its other controllers. I noticed that it tended to cut out when I did things like open my laptop next to me. PowerA even warns that it can happen if your Switch sits behind your television, which mine does since my TV stand isn’t much wider than my 4K set. I’ve pulled it out a bit to alleviate the problem but, unless I sit perfectly on my couch the way normal people do, it still acts up. I can’t sit still; I often relax by lying on my side, or with my legs crossed above me, or even with my feet resting on the back of my couch. It’s my living room, my rules.
But look, that’s just me. You might be just fine sitting on your own sofa, and your kid will probably love having something that fits perfectly in their small hands.
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