The convenience of the rechargeable batteries is negated by the excessively tight fit and low capacity
- Manufacturer: Snakebyte
- Model: BATTERY:PACK SX
- Release date: November 2020
- Price: £19.99
- Supported Platforms: Xbox Series X|S
- Supplied by: Snakebyte
AA batteries. They have been around for decades, and as readily available as they are, they lack the convenience of integrated battery packs. These days, though, there are several options for battery packs that you can just leave connected to your controller and either dock or just plug into a charging cable.
Snakebyte’s BATTERY:PACK SX includes two 800 mAh battery packs and a 2-metre USB-C Y-cable to connect them to your console, wall-plug or another device with a USB-A connection. The batteries are the same ones found on the TWIN:CHARGE SX, which have a USB-C connection which plugs into the Y-cable, and also a pair of contacts so they can be used with the charging dock.
Battery capacity is very low, though. A full charge is estimated to last around 4 hours, especially with a headset connected. While this is probably OK for many people, it’s not unheard of for gaming sessions to last far longer. It also means you’ll have to plug them in to charge after every use just to keep them topped up.
If they run low, you can keep using them while you are charging, but the design of the Y-cable means you will always have the second wire dangling loose, or will have to use a separate USB-A to USB-C cable. As the pack comes with two batteries, you could feasibly swap between them quickly, but we found the batteries to have an excessively tight fit that makes this undesirable. They are very difficult to remove, to the point of raising concerns that frequent swapping will damage the controller and/or the battery pack.
The design of the batteries themselves is fine. Overly tight fit aside, they look the part, fitting flush with the controller and matching the colour of the controllers perfectly. Unlike the dock, there is no charging indicator, so you won’t know when they are fully charged. Based on our experience with the dock, these batteries will reach full capacity in around one or two hours depending on if you are charging just one or both batteries at once.
For certain use-case scenarios, the BATTERY:PACK SX will be a good choice. You don’t need to mess about with rechargeable or disposable AA batteries, and they are a space-saving and simple way to keep your controllers charged up. If you only play for short amounts of time and don’t mind plugging them in after each use, they are a decent solution. At £19.99, though, it’s relatively pricey for what it is, and I’d prefer to step up to £29.99 and get the TWIN:CHARGE SX so you get the convenience of the docking station.
For anyone who enjoys longer gaming sessions, I wouldn’t recommend the BATTERY:PACK SX, as the low battery capacity will not be enough. As the battery capacity diminishes over time, this will only be accentuated more.
The BATTERY:PACK SX looks the part, but the low 800 mAh capacity will not be sufficient for many gamers. Combined with the difficulty in removing the batteries and impracticality of having to charge them after every session, I find them hard to recommend. For the price they cost, I expected more.