A great way to store your controllers and put an end to constantly recharging AA batteries
- Manufacturer: Snakebyte
- Model: TWIN:CHARGE SX
- Price: £29.99
- Supported Controllers: Xbox Series X|S
- Supplied by: Snakebyte
The TWIN:CHARGE SX is the follow up to the hugely popular TWIN:CHARGE X for Xbox One. There are lots of charging solutions available but, put bluntly, many of them are crap. Snakebyte’s previous charging docks have always been a cut above the rest, so we have been eagerly anticipating the TWIN:CHARGE SX.
In the box, Snakebyte has included the instruction and safety guide booklet, the TWIN:CHARGE SX dock, two 800 mAh rechargeable batteries and a 2m USB-A to USB-C cable. It’s not a lot, but it doesn’t need to be.
At the front of the dock, Snakebyte has echoed the design of the Series X, with the charging indicator LEDs arranged where the disc tray is on the console, and the top of the dock has rows of circular holes that looks just like the top of the console. I love this design, and it looks great alongside the Series X. Top marks for Snakebyte here.
If you have the Series S, the TWIN:CHARGE SX is also available in white, with matching white batteries (Snakebyte also make one for the PS5, that mirrors the flared design of the console). Rubberised feet stop the dock sliding around on your desk or media centre, and it’s lightweight without feeling flimsy. In a testament to how confident Snakebyte is in their products, they give you a 5-year warranty.
There is no external power supply needed, as the USB-A connector can be plugged into a phone charger, the console itself, or any spare USB-A port you have available, while the USB-C end goes into the TWIN:CHARGE SX dock. This is handy if your battery runs low mid-game, as rather than having to re-dock and wait or use another cable, you can just unplug the one from the back of the dock and connect straight into the battery. This is thanks to the clever design of the battery: It can be charged directly via USB-C, or via the metal contacts on the rear that let you charge it when set in the dock.
N.b: due to a battery cover design change on the new controllers, this is not compatible with Xbox One controllers
Fitting the rechargeable battery into the controller is straightforward, but it is a very tight fit. Once in place, it sits flush with the controller, and the only indication it didn’t come factory fitted is the pair of contacts for connecting to the dock and the extra USB-C port.
I did find it very difficult to remove the battery pack from the controller. I had to use a lot of force to make the initial upwards slide like you would with the original battery cover. Once I made that small initial slide, it wouldn’t budge, and I had to hook my fingers at the top and pull it away from the controller, rather than upwards as you’d expect. It didn’t damage the controller or battery, but it certainly doesn’t feel good.
Seating the controller into the dock is very straightforward. It doesn’t lock into place, you just sit it on top and the ergonomic design guides it naturally into place and it starts charging. Previous Snakebyte docks often needed a bit of jiggling to get the controllers to start charging, and although it has been improved, it still takes a few nudges and juggles to get it in place. Once you are used to it you can drop it in properly most of the time, but it could be easier.
The twin charging indicators glow red when charging, and turn green when fully charged, with integrated overload protection to protect you from damaging the battery. I used my controller for four hours without running the battery flat, and placing the controller in the dock saw it fully charged in about an hour.
800mAh is a very low capacity for a battery and we’d have liked to see a larger capacity option. Projected battery life is only 4 to 6 hours, so it’s not ideal for marathon gaming or streaming sessions, and the difficult to remove battery pack makes hot-swapping your battery less convenient than it should be. However, for most people, this is probably more than enough for your regular gaming session. Being able to charge the battery quickly via USB-C while you are using it somewhat negates any problem this could cause.
My kids have the Series S and only play for short periods, so it’s ideal for them. Rather than leave their controllers lying around like they used to, they go straight to the dock when they’ve finished playing. Tidy house, controllers always ready to go. It’s a win for me!
The complementary design of the TWIN:CHARGE SX fits in well alongside the Series X, and it’s a great looking and convenient way to store your controllers. Battery life is only just enough to last for a typical gaming session, though, so we would have liked to see a larger capacity. For £29.99, it’s at the higher end of what you’d expect to pay, but they do have good build quality and reliability.