Controlling your Android phone with one button isn't as great as it sounds


The Pressy one-button Android controller found an eager audience when it debuted on Kickstarter in August 2013, overshooting its original funding goal of $40,000 to the tune of almost $700,000. Inserting the Pressy into an Android phone adds an extra button that can be set for one specific action of the user's choosing -- you can take a photo, start an audio recording, enable WiFi or even turn on the flashlight. Backers were initially given a delivery date of March 2014, but shipments didn't actually go out until June. Though that's a fairly modest delay for a Kickstarter project, was it worth the wait? Critics weren't exactly thrilled with the final product, with AndroidBeat saying it "isn't a dependable button" and "doesn't fulfill its job of quick access to shortcuts." But with over 28,800 backers pledging to the original project, a handful of critics is far from the final word on Pressy. Over the summer, we've watched the reviews trickle in, and the verdict is... well, a bit mixed, to say the least.

A few users were actually quite pleased with the product, with LukeBunkers finding it "great to have a button I can configure," while assafei says, "I love my Pressy button!" Widestorm was a little less effusive, noting that the button "extrudes out a little more than expected" and that "it sometimes takes a while for the action to complete." Regardless, for Widestorm and a few other users it worked fine and they gave it positive reviews.

But for some users, Pressy wasn't just slow -- it didn't work at all. Zenpez says that "several actions didn't work or performed an action that wasn't programmed," and the mobile device's battery life took a hit as well. Bayridge managed to turn the flashlight on, but then "couldn't get it off." On the other hand, some users couldn't get it to work at all, with drdanmac reporting that it "stopped working after an hour," while michelleyvonneg never even got that far, installing the app and inserting the device only to find "it doesn't work."

At $27, the Pressy isn't going to break the bank, but it's still a gamble. When it works, it has the potential to be wonderful, and PocketNow goes so far as to call it "a sound investment." But other critics and consumers alike have found it to be a disappointment and even a scam. Drdanmac calls it a "waste," while Bayridge advises you to "save your hard-earned money" because the Pressy is a "piece of garbage." While it's probably not that bad, it might be best to sit this one out for now and wait for some software updates or a new version entirely.