QRD Spark N5 review: gaming controller is affordable and stylish, but compromised

Hall Effect joysticks with little to no drift are highlights, but plastic feel and weak shoulder buttons affect the experience.

A black QRD Spark N5 PS4/5/PC controller sitting on a light wooden desk
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The QRD Spark N5 is an affordable controller that's compatible with both PS4, PS5 and PC (as well as Android phones), and the highlights here are good hall effects and a welcome lack of drift, along with good macro triggers on the backside. However, the overall plastic feel of the construction does cheapen the experience somewhat, and the shoulder buttons have a concerning looseness and lack of feel. It can be had for under £/$50, which makes it quite affordable, but there are more solid options in that price bracket.

For

  • Little to no drift
  • Affordable
  • Good battery life

Against

  • Plastic feel
  • Weak shoulder buttons

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The QRD Spark N5 is one of many alternatives to the official PlayStation controllers, and one immediate upside here is that it's compatible with both PS4 and PS5, so if you need a single controller for both models (as well as your PC), the Spark N5 is going to catch your attention.

What will also catch attention here are claims of 'no stick drift' thanks to the Hall Effect joysticks (which use magnets and electrical conductors to measure their position, distance, and movement when in use, instead of relying on any physical contact with the sensors) on the kit. As a big fan of recent GameSir controllers (including the T4 Kaleid and the G7), both of which have Hall Effect joysticks, I was intrigued to see how QRD would fare with this sub-£/$50 controller. I got a sample in for testing over several weeks on my PlayStation and my PC to see how it stacked up.

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Dimensions:162 x 103 x 65mm
Weight:221g
Battery:1200mAh
Battery life:Ca 8 hours
Wireless range:8m
LED colours:9 single colours
The Verdict
3.5

out of 10

QRD Spark N5

The QRD Spark N5 is an affordable controller that's compatible with both PS4, PS5 and PC (as well as Android phones), and the highlights here are good hall effects and a welcome lack of drift, along with good macro triggers on the backside. However, the overall plastic feel of the construction does cheapen the experience somewhat, and the shoulder buttons have a concerning looseness and lack of feel. It can be had for under £/$50, which makes it quite affordable, but there are more solid options in that price bracket.

Erlingur Einarsson
Tech Reviews Editor

Erlingur is the Tech Reviews Editor on Creative Bloq. Having worked on magazines devoted to Photoshop, films, history, and science for over 15 years, as well as working on Digital Camera World and Top Ten Reviews in more recent times, Erlingur has developed a passion for finding tech that helps people do their job, whatever it may be. He loves putting things to the test and seeing if they're all hyped up to be, to make sure people are getting what they're promised. Still can't get his wifi-only printer to connect to his computer.