Here’s the news for you – Nintendo Switch sold more copies than the classic NES, 63 million versus 62. Moreover, more Switches were sold in August than all other consoles COMBINED. It’s no surprise that gamepads like the GameSir X2 for Android smartphones are hitting the market.
Well, really, the format is perfect. The Switch is essentially an Android smartphone with detachable gamepads on the sides. The dominant majority of people already have a smartphone, especially Android.
Buy GameSir X2 for $70 on AliExpress is a near-perfect replacement. Especially considering that the Switch costs $300 more…
What’s in the box
However, is it really good? Let’s take a look at the package. It consists, in fact, of the device itself, as well as some papers – a warranty, manuals, a sticker and also a blister with a QR code for feedback.
GameSir X2 looks classy and premium. The plastic is a matte; it’s rough and looks like a soft-touch, but it’s not, really.
Most of the body is snow-white, the exceptions are areas that are either rubberized or pressable. The base of the sticks is red and blue, a la Switch.
On the front there is a set of buttons. On the left are the G buttons, a red analogue stick, as well as up/down/left/right and a screenshot button (!).
On the right is the S button, a set of X/Y/A/B, a blue stick, as well as a home button and two indicators – connection and charging.
At the top, on the left and on the right, there are L1/R1 shifts and L2/R2 triggers.
At the bottom end there is a USB Type-C (f) connector.
Inside the case there is a USB Type-C (m). There are two rubberized areas on the back of the case for a better grip.
And in the extended state, a sticker-nameplate becomes visible, which informs that the maximum transmission capacity of Type-C is 5V/3A, or 15 W.
Preparation for work
The gamepad expands to accommodate smartphones up to 167mm in length. If anything, the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, which I used for testing, is one of the largest smartphones on the market. And it fit into GameSir X2 without any problems.
The gamepad does not have its own battery, it is powered by the smartphone. And yes, only Type-C models are supported – microUSB and Lightning phones are out. As well as smartphones with a non-standard arrangement of the Type-C connector (not in the center).
Regarding power consumption – don’t worry, the gamepad consumes only 2 mAh during use! In addition, the location of the USB Type-C connector will allow you to charge your smartphone even while playing.
I want to praise the ingenious decision to make the Type-C swivel up and down. When you connect your smartphone, you don’t have to worry that you will rip out the controller connector with an awkward movement – Type-C rises 51 degrees upward, which allows you to install the smartphone easily.
GameSir also perfected the software. No, the gamepad does not require any extra apps and does not install automatically, but if you want to make things a little … easier, you can install GameSir World.
Also, the latest version of the utility can be downloaded from the official site, which Android OS might dislike. Interestingly, when a gamepad is connected via USB, the system automatically asks for the ability to launch the software, if it is installed on the smartphone.
GameSir World is essentially a collection of games with gamepad support, physical or via overlay profiles. I will not consider the latter; there are a lot of apps with the remapping function – and most of them do not even require leaving Google Play!
Also, not all games with gamepad support are in GameSir World. And the Chinese could not resist a little deception – if you scroll the list of games for a long time, you will start to come across repeats. And the list itself will scroll endlessly! Tricky devils.
In addition to the list of games that, if installed, can be launched through the software, there is a firmware update in other tabs – if, say, you have a GameSir G4 Pro, which we will discuss later. Nearby is the help center and a list of what GameSir has in the store.
UPDATE: GameSir X2 has an update too! The application did not see the gamepad because the smartphone was charging through the latter.
The important thing is whether it’s fun to play on such a device. And, well, it depends. Firstly, although the gamepad weighs a little, only 357 grams, together with a smartphone you can get a unit that weighs MORE than a Switch with JoyCons on the sides (400 grams). For example, Note20 Ultra + GameSir X2 = over 560 grams. Now that’s heavy lifting!
Also, your feeling may change depending on the size of the screen. Let’s say paired with a Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the total length of the gamepad is 245 mm. The Nintendo Switch has 173 mm. And the difference is massive!
Also, don’t expect the standard layout to completely replace touch controls. For example, I could not on a open the notification curtain or even a list of all apps!
In addition, finding a game on Android that is both fun and free, and optimized for a gamepad is… a challenge. Moreover, even the most popular games do not always support it. PUBG and its clones, for example, do not support gamepads. Even some of the games that promise gamepad support break the promise.
In addition to this, some of the games with controller support only see Bluetooth gamepads! Call of Duty Mobile does not work with wired gamepads. As with some wireless ones as well.
But let’s say you find a game where GameSir X2 works. How is the gamepad itself? Well, great, what else can I say! The sticks are nice, the buttons are tight, none of them are loose – it’s not for nothing that the company boasted that the switches are made in Japan, and designed for 3 million clicks.
Each of the buttons gives a clear tactile response when pressed, the clicks of the keys are especially pleasant! In addition, a wide smartphone allows you to play, say, on your lap, much more conveniently – your arms are spread wider.
With regard to folded dimensions. Yes, this is certainly not a GameSir F4 Falcon, which will fit into a shirt pocket, but GameSir X2 does not claim to be a compact accessory.
Moreover, you can always stream a game from a PC via Steam/NVIDIA ShadowPlay/AMD ReLive and enjoy your PC masterpieces over your home Wi-Fi! And here the quality of the buttons is especially important.
Frankly, I’m a little confused. Yes, the gamepad is made with high quality and premium materials, it is reliable, the clicks are top-end, the button layout is convenient, it doesn’t need charging, and the Type-C mechanism is completely ingenious! On the other hand, game compatibility is lacking, the price is relatively high, and the versatility is average.
Yes, almost all new smartphones with Type-C are supported, but devices with microUSB, iPhones and PCs with consoles in general are out. I would recommend GameSir X2 only if you know exactly what you will play, and the Switch format is irreplaceable for you.
Where to buy
Subscribe to our accounts: