I had originally planned on testing all of this out while we were still in Vegas, but as you can see, the time was never available. Once I got back home I was excited to give SlimPort a try, especially considering the SteelSeries Free Wireless Controller I had waiting for me at the office when I got back. While I had both the SP1002 HDMI Adapter cable and the upcoming SP1101 SlimPort to HDTV Cable (a full HDMI cable), before I could get into performance testing I did have to get everything setup. Rather than fuss with my HDTV, I put one of the many monitors sitting around the office to use, specifically an ASUS monitor with an HDMI plug. With an HDMI cable already hooked up to the back of the monitor, all I had to do was plug the cable into the SlimPort adapter and then plug the adapter into my Nexus 4. They also give you an option with the adapter to also plug your power cable in to charge while you use it, but it’s not a requirement, the adapter works without external power.
With everything up and running, I went on to play a couple games of ShadowGun Deadzone, a third person online shooter available on Android. The game itself looks amazing, especially when pushed up onto my 23 inch monitor. Paired with the SteelSeries Free Wireless I was blown away by what was basically a console in my pocket. The only disappointing part really was the lack of games that go well with a controller/tv setup like this but I suspect with the Ouya coming out soon we might see more compatible games.
Once I finished gaming I flipped through my other apps looking for others that would work well with this same large screen format. The most obvious was the ability to download and play movies and TV shows on the Google play store itself. My Nexus 4 came with a copy of the newest Transformers movie in HD. While hooked to a screen via the SlimPort adapter, I was able to watch this HD film while controlling it on my phone, I can only imagine the possibilities for someone who doesn’t want to charge a movie to their hotel room or maybe who was only able to see the first half of a movie on their flight. You can kick back in your hotel and finish up your movie before playing a game or two.
Facebook and some other apps like the Google Play Magazines were much easier to see with the larger monitor but were obviously not designed for this situation, requiring lots of input on the screen as you read.
My experience wasn’t perfect of course, this is still a new technology and it did show at times. At first I had trouble with the Adapter and my HDMI cable cutting out when moving my phone around. I had better luck with the all in one cord they also provided, but it didn’t allow me to charge my phone while doing this. My HDMI cable itself was most likely the cause but it was a reminder that a lot of moving around with this plugged into your phone and you might damage the connection or your cable. Most HDMI cables aren’t really made to be moved around all of the time.
I mentioned the ability to charge on the Adapter a few times before. The adapter did a good job of charging while in use but I did find that overall the charges were slower, even with the signal turned off. I’m guessing there is a little loss of power when going through the adapter. I also wasn’t a fan of trying to charge my phone while doing this when I was trying to do things that required me to touch and interact with the phone.