How bad do you REALLY need Pokemon GO Plus?

How bad do you REALLY need Pokemon GO Plus?

Author Topaz ?
Collection Pokemon Go

Got room on your wrist for another wristband? 

We know PokemonGO has had you out racking up steps on your favorite fitness tracker since it dropped a couple months ago.

But if your love for the game has waned since its release, Niantic and the Pokemon Company are hoping that PokemonGOPlus will plug you back in.

WHAT IS IT?

It's a Bluetooth device that comes with another wristband (we know, like you don't have enough of those already). Some people have reported being able to attach the device itself to their watches, which might help with radial/ulnar real estate if you can secure it.

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WHY WOULD I WANT IT?

It does a lot to solve the two big things players have complained to Niantic about since the game's release: Battery drain, and constantly having to have their phones out and in front of their faces. You wanted to catch 'mons or farm stops, that's the price you had to pay.

Until now.

BUT WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY DO?

It uses Bluetooth to communicate with the Pokemon GO app on your phone, whether you have the game open or not. 

Unlike simply playing the game on your phone, you don't even have to have the screen on. You can even be doing other things in other apps while you're playing. Hooray for 21st century multitasking!

THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH #POKEMONGOPLUS

* Catch Pokemon. Originally, Niantic said you'd only be able to catch 'mons that you'd previously caught before, which seemed counterintuitive. When the little light flashes green, it's a Pokemon you've caught before. Hit the button to capture it with a standard Pokeball.

If the light flashes yellow, good news: It's a 'mon you haven't seen before! You can catch that too, but only using standard Pokeballs (no Great- or Ultraball capabilities, unfortunately).

* Hit Pokestops. The Plus will both light up and vibrate when you're near a stop, and you can collect the items there and get your XP all without slowing your stride. Or walking into traffic. Or tripping over a fire hydrant.

* Track distance for eggs and Buddy Pokemon. NOT AN ADVERTISED FEATURE (and dude, why wouldn't you advertise this?!), but Niantic confirmed it in a tweet:

SO WHAT'S THE DOWNSIDE?

Besides the $35 cost for another thing to stick on your wrist, you mean? 

One: Does it really even feel like you're playing the game anymore? That's a question only you can answer. Some people will love this; others won't. Hopefully you figure out which you are before you shell out the $$.

Two: It doesn't work with all devices, or on all carriers. It should, and perhaps it will do in the future. But Polygon writer Russ Frushtick noted that it worked perfectly with his iPhone 6 using AT&T, but that his wife's iPhone 6 on Sprint couldn't pair with the device at all. Another Polygon reporter, Allegra Frank, couldn't get her Samsung Galaxy S7 to pair with it either.

Read Frushtick's experiences here after living with it for a week:

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