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Subsonic Pro Fluo PS3 Controller Review

The Subsonic Pro Fluo Controller works for both the PS3 and PC’s. Designed to emulate and enhance the standard PS3 controller design, the Pro Fluo smartly adds a bit of heft, making the controller feel more sturdy. It also features better-designed L2 and R2 buttons, which feel more trigger-like and responsive as compared to a standard PS3 controller. It’s relatively easy to use, and sits nicely next to your other controllers. Despite a few setbacks, this may be an affordable controller if you’re in the market for a new one.
The Subsonic Pro Fluo comes packed in a standard bubble pack. It displays the controller prominently, showing off the color scheme and it’s features. The instructions and USB connector are packed underneath the controller, inside the bubble pack. Everything you need is there and good to go, as soon as you open it up. The colors pop, and make for a  very eye-catching presentation. It’s hard not to notice it.
A down side to the Pro Fluo is that it needs a USB dongle, since it’s also PC-compatible. That means it can’t connect on its own to the PS3 like a standard controller. This also means (for the couch potatoes out there) that you can’t turn on the system using the controller you have to manually turn it on, and then sync the controller to the dongle. Set up for both the PS3 and PC was easy enough, with only a minor hiccup before the PS3 recognized the controller. After it’s running, you’ll need to get the controller charging. It doesn’t include a USB cord, but you should have one with your PS3, so that wasn’t much of an issue. Still, packing one in would have been nice, considering some may opt just to use this as a PC controller.
In terms of ease of use, the Pro Fluo shines. It’s easily the best controller I’ve used for the PS3. All the buttons have a good, solid punch to them, the soft casing feels great in your hands, and again, the importance of those responsive L2 and R2 buttons can not be overstated. On the PC, either used on its own or with the DS3 emulator to mimic a 360 controller, the Pro Fluo performs great as well. For $40, you’re just not going to get a better controller.
But things aren’t perfect across the board for the Pro Fluo. While it is a solidly crafted controller with great usability, there’s a huge issue to take into consideration before thinking about picking one up: the battery. Just like regular PS3 controllers, the Pro Fluo charges via a USB connection. The catch is, it takes forever to charge somewhere in the neighborhood of six hours. I know this because I did three two-hour play sessions with it while charging, and it wasn’t done until the end of the third session. On top of this, after taking so long to charge, the controller drains its juice within three to five hours. Put simply, while it’s wireless, you may as well treat it as a wired controller, because you’re going to be charging it. A lot. There may have been a difference just letting the controller sit idle to charge, but I honestly didn’t notice. When first charging it, I let it sit idle for close to an hour, and it was still sitting at just one bar.
The Pro Fluo is a solid PS3 controller marred by a horrible battery life. If this isn’t really an issue for you, and the $40 price sounds appealing to you, there’s really no better option out there. Subsonic have created a great alternative to the Sony model, and in some ways even improved upon it. That’s no small feat, and they get high marks for pulling it off, even despite the battery.

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  • 4st3risk

    Have you tried higher amp chargers, like a phone charger?

    My Note 2 will have to sit there for about 4-6 hours to completely charge with laptop/desktop USB cable. It takes about 30-45 minutes to charge with a wall charger.

    I just ordered one and I pray my FIFA gaming sessions won’t be longer than its battery life…

    Another question:

    Do drivers install automatically when you plug the dongle in or how does that happen? I had troubles with MotioninJoy software and the other unbranded bluetooth controller.

  • 4st3risk

    All right, I got the controller. Can’t connect it to PC. Charged it, but when I unplug it Home button does nothing. Sounds like I’m going to return it….