With the rise in popularity in mobile gaming and the launching of game streaming services like Xcloud and Google Stadia the market for mobile phone compatible controllers has become a lot more diverse and competitive. Ranging from £10 to +£100 you can purchase a wide range of different quality products, today we are looking at the new X2 Bluetooth controller from GameSir.
The X2 Bluetooth is an extendable controller in the fashion of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con configuration except, the A,B,X,Y face buttons are in the standard Xbox layout. The controller connects to your phone via bluetooth and takes around three hours to charge its 500mah internal battery giving you around seven hours of playtime.
The X2 Bluetooth utilizes micro-mechanical switches for its shoulder buttons which are good for around three million presses. It is equipped with soft rubber rear grips and on its ergonomic rear moulded bump on each end with its extendable frame reaching 173mm in length at full stretch.
What’s In The Box?
So, the X2 Bluetooth comes with a standard USB-C charging cable, two pairs of thumbstick covers the usual paperwork, a GameSir vinyl sticker and a decent quality hard shell carry case. The controller is well packaged within the hard shell case with the box for the accessories cosily slotted between the controller grips.
There is very little packaging except the two cardboard boxes but the hard shell offers great protection for the controller
Aesthetics & Practicality
The X2 Bluetooth takes clear inspiration from the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons with its thumbstick and button layout, even the colour of the thumbsticks bases are a direct reference to the Switch’s “Neon” edition.
The matt grey and black design is surprisingly quite well textured and the rubberised grips on the rear bumps fit nicely into your palms.
The controller is a tad on the small side but lines up flush with my Samsung Note 10+ and ends up actually longer than a standard Nintendo Switch but at around 70% of its height. Each controller grip is a tad wider than a Joy-Con but for a mobile phone controller, it’s well proportioned and easy to use.
In addition to your usual face buttons, the X2 Bluetooth also has a screenshot button on the lower portion of the left grip and a home button on the right.
To link the X2 Bluetooth to your phone you need to download the GameSir app from your preferred app store. From the app you can download firmware updates to your controller and test your controller buttons and sticks are working correctly by using the “Gamepad Test” feature.
Input lag is unnoticeable which doesn’t mean it’s not there but it is no different in my testing to using an official Xbox controller via Bluetooth on your mobile phone.
The controller feels great in your hands with the moulded bumps on the grips filling your palms resulting in less cramping of the hands in extended sessions. However, the grips are very short and compact which if you have bigger hands can become a bit uncomfortable after a while and as a side effect of the short form factor, all of the face buttons are very close to the stick. Until you are used to the controller you will get a few inevitable accidental button presses. The extending brace for your phone is designed for cooling with its channel between the phone and right side of the brace, which is also used to accommodate protruding camera lenses as long as you have your phone seated the correct way round.
The face buttons feel no different to the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons and the triggers and shoulder buttons feel responsive and sharp even though they lack the travel distance of regular controller triggers and shoulder buttons.
The included thumbstick covers not only help protect the gamepads thumbsticks from wear and tear but also change the current sticks convex grip to concave which makes finger slipping a lot less frequent and in my opinion more comfortable to use.
- Minimal input lag
- Stylish design and premium quality finish
- Comes with thumbstick covers and hard case
- Reasonably priced
- Good battery life
- Room for protruding camera lenses and a cooling channel between brace and phone
- Grips are slightly too short uncomfortable for bigger hands after extended sessions
- Having to download a third-party app to use the device
- No way to charge the phone while playing
The GameSir X2 Bluetooth controller is a fairly priced gamepad with a great premium feel to it. Due to it being a mobile phone controller there are some size limitations which do lead to a few issues with button placement but for the most part, it is a great bit of kit.
If you like the feel of the Nintendo Switch’s form and layout you will be more than comfortable with the X2 Bluetooth as your main cloud gaming on the go controller.
The inclusion of a good quality hard case and thumbstick covers adds to the products wallet friendly appeal and a good means to protect it from wear and tear or inevitable drops in transit.
The X2 Bluetooth is definitely worth a buy if you prefer the Switch form factor of your mobile phone controllers as opposed to a vertically stacked gamepad and clamp format.
Fancy being social? We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Or if videos and/or podcasts are more your thing, why not subscribe to our YouTube and Twitch channels and track us down on Spotify. And if you wanna show your allegiance to ABG, you’ll be happy to know we have our own merch! All proceeds go to helping fund the site.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Gamer, dad and supporter of @SpecialEffect Charity. Dark Souls fan and gooner!