The rise of mobile gaming over the past several years simply can't be ignored. While there's a lot of shovelware on the Google Play Store, there are also some really great games. And when you consider what Microsoft is doing with Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming, the number of great games only rises. But most of these games weren't designed with touch controls in mind. They were made for controllers. That's why if you play them, you'll want to pick up a mobile controller to get the best experience possible.
I recently tested out Gamesir's newest offering, the X2 Bluetooth mobile controller, and was immediately impressed — though not surprised — at how much better it made mobile gaming. Taking cues from the Nintendo Switch, the X2 wraps around your phone and holds it in the center so that you don't need a separate controller clip. It is the controller clip. As convenient as this design can be, it does have its flaws that might keep you away from it.
Gamesir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller
Bottom line: Gamesir's X2 Bluetooth mobile controller is incredibly versatile and is an excellent companion whether you're on Android or iOS. Depending on if you use the Nintendo Switch a lot, its face button layout could prove to be a struggle.
- Fits most phones w/ cases
- Bluetooth connection
- Easy pairing
- Face button layout
- No vibration motors
- Not ideal for shooters
Gamesir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller: Price and availability
Gamesir launched the Bluetooth model of its X2 mobile controller in May 2021 for $60, slightly less than its USB-C model. As with most gaming accessories like this, you can find it on Amazon, but it doesn't look like other retailers like Best Buy or Walmart have it listed yet. The Bluetooth model only comes in dark grey.
Gamesir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller: What's good
The X2 Bluetooth can fit most phones — no matter the model or brand.
Unlike other mobile controllers that may be limited in the number of phones they support, the X2 Bluetooth can fit most of the best gaming phones — no matter the model or brand — up to 173mm in length. And because it connects via Bluetooth, you don't have to worry about taking your phone out of its case each time you want to use it. I'm someone who has a fairly chunky phone case for my Galaxy S10, and it can be a hassle trying to take it off. With the X2 Bluetooth controller, I didn't have to. Something as small and seemingly insignificant as that goes a long way in the user-friendliness department.
Even though it doesn't have a USB port physically connecting the phone to the controller, the clamp is tight enough that my phone always felt secure, whether it was in its case or out of it. The rubber grips kept my phone from sliding at all. Still, I'm a paranoid person, and I don't think I'd use the X2 without a phone case. The back of the X2 also features rubber pads so that your hands don't slip off either.
Bluetooth connections can be finicky, at least in my experience, so I was happy when it paired up easily. All I had to do was hold the home button and "A" so that it could start pairing with my phone. Once it's paired the first time, it almost instantaneously pairs every time you turn it on thereafter. I never had to go into my Bluetooth settings and troubleshoot, which can't be said for some other accessories I've tested in the past. And I didn't deal with any noticeable lag in-game, though sometimes button presses on the Xbox Game Pass app menu could take a second to register.
The design itself is appealing, featuring a dark grey case and red/blue thumbsticks reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. The lower left of the controller next to the D-pad has a screenshot button that works well, too. While I think its thumbsticks are a bit too small, it also comes with thumbstick grips that fix this issue, which I'd highly recommend using. And because it's so lightweight, you can comfortably use it for long periods of time.
Gamesir advertises that you'll get around 20-hours of playtime before it needs to be charged, and that's about what you can realistically expect. It comes with a small USB-C cable and can fully charge in a couple of hours. It features LED indicators so you'll when its battery is low.
Though I don't need this feature too much, it does support what it calls turbo combo function, which can be used to achieve faster attacks in-game. Players can customize it to increase or decrease the combo frequency of the face buttons, triggers, and bumpers.
Gamesir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller: What needs improvement
I didn't realize this would be an issue until I actually held the X2 controller, but the face button layout being the same as an Xbox controller and not the Nintendo Switch can cause some trouble, mainly with the A and B buttons. I'm so used to holding my Switch and pressing A on the right that I constantly backed out of menus because I was accidentally pressing B on the X2. When the A button is on the bottom, so close to the right thumbstick, it makes it awkward to use. I would have preferred a Nintendo Switch layout.
Its lack of vibration motors was also something I wouldn't have thought of until I used it in-game. I tested out the X2 mainly using Xbox Game Pass for Android, and in titles like Skyrim or Fallout 4, where you rely on vibrations to help you pick locks, it ends up making small tasks like these much more difficult. This won't make or break your gameplay experience in most titles, but it did catch me off guard, and I felt it worth noting.
Maybe this is a "me problem," but I really don't think this type of controller is good for shooting games. I think the same of the Nintendo Switch. It just doesn't feel right, especially when trying to aim in first-person. If I were playing something like Call of Duty Mobile, I'd rather pick up a phone clip for my Xbox or DualSense controllers.
Gamesir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller: Competition
Gamesir's most notable competition is probably the Razer Kishi. Many consider the Kishi to be the cream of the crop when it comes to mobile controllers, with nearly unparalleled build quality. Like the X2, the Kishi is designed almost like a Nintendo Switch. One of its biggest downsides is that it can cost anywhere between $80 to $100 depending on the model you purchase, and you can't keep your phone in its case when you're using it.
If you're interested in what Gamesir offers but don't think its Bluetooth controller is right for you, it also sells a USB-C model that's nearly identical. The Gamesir X2 USB-C eliminates input lag and, in my opinion, features a better face button layout like the Nintendo Switch.
Gamesir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You play a lot of mobile games and don't want to use a regular controller
- You want a mobile controller that's compatible with a ton of phone models
- You want to keep your phone in its case
- You don't want to spend over $80
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You prefer the Nintendo Switch face button layout
- You'd rather use a regular controller with vibration motors
- You want one with a USB-C connection
Most people who are into mobile gaming will probably find Gamesir's X2 Bluetooth controller really convenient, and honestly, it's probably one of the best mobile controllers available right now. It's cheaper than the Kishi and provides a similar experience. But its face button layout may take some getting used to, and a Bluetooth connection isn't for everyone.
I really love the X2's design. It's lightweight, it's comfortable, and it securely holds your phone with or without a case. Minor complaints aside, it's easy to recommend at its price point. I've never played a lot of mobile games in the past, but with things like Xbox Game Pass for Android and Stadia, I can't imagine playing them without the X2.
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