Small but mighty
Pokémon GO auto-catch companion devices are a top-tier way to ensure that you never miss a 'mon while out and about. Since 2016, these devices â which automatically spin PokÃ©Stops and catch the critters you pass â have come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with designs to wear on your wrist, clip to your bag, or (in the case of the PokÃ© Ball Plus) carry in a tight grip as if you were Ash Ketchum himself.
With so many devices available at this point, the number of bonus features seems to have reached its peak. As full-colour screens and auto-reconnection technology become more readily available, where do the designs go from here? The answer, to us at least, is back to simplicity.
Enter Brook Gaming's Pocket Auto Catch Light. This coin-sized companion pushes all the bells and whistles to one side to instead focus on what should be any auto-catcher's MO: catching Pokémon. Where it really stands apart from the crowd, however, is that you could take this out and about without anybody so much as catching a glance at it.
The Pocket Auto Catch Light is small. Really small. Measuring 32x32mm and weighing in at only seven grams, this is the smallest Pokémon GO accessory on the market by some margin and a prime contender for the subtlest way to keep the hands-free catches coming. If Niantic's Pokémon Go Plus + is a little too flashy for your liking, this is the opposite end of the spectrum.
Initially unboxing the device, we might have been inclined to say that it was too small; one careless glance away from being lost to the barren wasteland of under the sofa for all eternity. Fortunately, the Auto Catch Light comes with a leather clip case, allowing it to be attached to your keys or clipped to a bag for easier access (and visibility).
The device's simplicity extends to its controls. There's one button to turn it on and connect it to the app, and this button then lights up in a range of colours to tell you what it's up to (green if there's a Pokémon nearby, yellow if it's a new discovery, alternating colours when a catch is made, red if the wild 'mon gets away). It charges via a USB-C cable, which is included, and promises 15 hours of continuous use on a one-hour charge. We charged the device when first opening it and haven't needed to plug it back in since despite regular use across multiple days.
If we're being picky, the button light is a little too dim and can be difficult to see whether it's catching or not while out in broad daylight. Then again, the whole point of an auto-catcher is that you don't need to be looking at it while it does its work, so this is really only something to bear in mind if have been distrusting of companion devices before.
What's particularly impressive about the Auto Catch Light is just how well it functions given its diminished size. Of course, there is no interactive display or hidden app controls to be seen here, but it carries out its two main functions (catching Pokémon and spinning PokÃ©Stops) without a hitch. Admittedly, the tiny accessory is at the pricier end of the companion device spectrum, retailing for $79.00, so for it to do anything less than what it promises would be disappointing.
We popped the device in our pocket and took it for a stroll over tseveral days and it really is remarkable how much it doesn't feel like you are taking a companion device out with you. Clipped to keys or a bag, it offers all the reward of a standard auto-catcher without any of the fuss.
As is so often the case with third-party accessories, this one will only throw standard PokÃ© Balls when auto-catching and will automatically disconnect after an hour of use â the latter limitation is remedied by tapping the accessory icon in the app or using a reconnect device like the iRecatcher if you really want to splash out.
Importantly, the companion is able to do all of this for not one, but two separate Pokémon GO accounts. The Auto Catch Light has an LED button on the top and the bottom, which can be used to connect to two devices for those who are all about Pokémon hunting with pals.
Pocket Auto Catch Light Review - The Verdict
Brook Gaming's Pocket Auto Catch Light is not the most technologically advanced Pokémon GO companion device out there, with paired-back features despite a beefy price tag. That said, it might just be the subtlest auto-catch option on the market and carries out its two intended functions perfectly. The simple controls, impressive battery life, and no-fuss design amount to an easy recommendation for those who want a hands-free experience without all of the bells and whistles. If, however, you are after a little more from your companion device, you'll want to investigate other more feature-rich (and cheaper) options out there.