One Week with Pokemon GO Plus

By Riez on Oct 20, 2016

Pokemon GO phenomenon might've slowed down after all these while, but Pokemon GO Plus is a whole other story. Apparently this little device has been sold out at many Nintendo offices all over the world, it's almost impossible to get it right now without having to go through a scalper.

Fortunately we've managed to get one flown all the way from Australia by the help of a friend. Apparently the people 'down under' are not as hyped as the rest of the world when it comes to Pokemon GO Plus.

The GO Plus box came with basic manual, a strap (not in picture) and the device itself.
The GO Plus box came with basic manual, a strap (not in picture) and the device itself.

GO Plus is a very simple device by design. It's just a device in a Pokeball shape with a pointed end. The middle button is the only button, and every interaction with the device involves the said button.

The button will vibrate and beaming up with one of these colors when it wants your attention:

  • Blue indicates that's there's a PokeStop nearby, and you may push the button to collect the item from it.
  • Green is for when there's a Pokemon within the viccinity that you've caught before. Press the button to attempt an 'auto capture' feature.
  • Yellow is for the Pokemon you havent capture. Officially they said you cant use 'auto capture' for these Pokemons, but my own experience tell me otherwise. *

So how does this gadget help you with Pokemon GO?

Review time:

How the UI looks like with GO Plus connected.
How the UI looks like with GO Plus connected.

The Pokemon Go plus is a great addition to supplement your Pokemon GO activity. No, it would not help you catch better, rarer Pokemon. No, it would not help with your camping or hunting activities. What it does however is helping you play when you're not playing. And that's really good.

What I meant by my statement above is that all the time when you're not playing, for example when you're on the road, or doing some work or perhaps exercising, you can now just strap them on and have your steps tracked. This is super good for those who are hatching eggs or farming for candies.

GO Plus in the gym brings Pokemon Gym to a whole new meaning!
GO Plus in the gym brings Pokemon Gym to a whole new meaning!

You can also collect items from Pokestops with ease. The days of parking your vehicles temporarily by the road to just retrieve items is now over. Now you can breeze through slowly and push that button everytime it flashes blue.

As for the 'auto capture' feature, it will be no use to you if you're actively playing on the phone, as it will only use normal Pokeball and you only get one try per Pokemon. However when you're not playing, you can just 'auto capture' on a button push. I find it is quite amusing reviewing the game journal after a busy day to find that I've acccidentally auto capture some Abra and Gwolithe along the way. 

And when it flashes Yellow, it means a Pokemon you havent catch is around. Drop whatever you're doing and open the app!

 P.s. The device also looks good as wearable bracelet/necklace.
P.s. The device also looks good as wearable bracelet/necklace.

To Summarize:

  1. It good as a supplementary experience, not helping with normal hunting/camping.
  2. Collecting items from PokeStop gets easier.
  3. The device also looks good as accessories and I have both girls and dude come over to me asking about it. 
  4. If it's flashing Yellow light: Open the phone and catch a Pokemon you haven't catch before!

However it's not all sunshine and rainbows. There are some known problems with the device so far such as....

  1. Maintaining a stable connection between your phone and the device has proven to be difficult. A quick Google will show you that the device frequently disconnected with Android devices. I've found some tips and tricks but non are working permanently.
  2. Also on Android: The app needs to be running in the background to maintain a connection. While this is not really a problem, but some phone are 'too efficient' in managing idle, suspended apps and closing it if its when idle for long. This is good at managing phone battery and performance, but bad for GO players who need the app in the background.
  3. The app prioritize Pokemon notifications more than PokeStop notifications. This mean before you get the blue lights, you'll have to go through all the green lights first. Sometimes you just wanna collect items, not catching Pokemons. This is made worst if the PokeStop comes with a lure in tact!**
  4. The official straps are pretty much worthless. You need to unscrew the battery panel to use it. I just use the default clipper and attach it to existing bracelet or necklace strings.

As at 20/10 before this piece went public, a few updates has been pushed to Pokemon GO which includes some changes to GO Plus behaviors such as:

* You can now attempt to 'auto capture' Pokemon you've never catched before.
** You can now configure the GO Plus to only notify you on Pokemon or PokeStop independently.

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