GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Controller review - "Smart design and built for access"

As more and more time passes, the differences between various gaming platforms decreases. One major thing that does still separate them though is the input; the way we control the devices. The GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Controller is the latest attempt at giving mobile phones the same responsiveness and interactivity as consoles, and it's a strong entry into the far-from-fledgling category.

Definitely the right time for GameSir X2 Bluetooth

It couldn't really have happened at a better time either, with services like Xbox Game Pass (via xCloud), Google Stadia and Apple Arcade bringing more and more controller-compatible games to mobile devices, we're finally reaching a point where mobile controllers might well become widely accepted, rather than remaining an outlier. This move to accessible controllers has also been expedited by Nintendo's persistence in the handheld realm, as well as the rise of cross-platform gaming.

In fact, the Nintendo Switch's influence can be seen in a lot of the recent mobile controller innovations. The Razor Kishi - seen by most as the premier mobile controller - Backbone One, Flydigi Wee and the GameSir X2 all closely resemble Nintendo's current sweetheart. And, why not? It's familiar, the stick layout is ergonomic, and everybody is used to the four shoulder button layout.

GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile

So, with that said, the GamerSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Controller is almost certainly one of the most accessible controllers out there for mobile. It's got a familiar design, it fits most phones (up to 173mm in length), it runs on Bluetooth rather than a fixed connector, and it doesn't require a companion app to run. That also means that it works on both iPhones and Android phones.

Easy to set up and play

That's a major strength. Its biggest rival, the Kishi, requires a separate app and has a connector on the inside of the peripheral that plugs into the phone; meaning that you need a phone-compatible device. There's none of that here, if your phone has Bluetooth then this links up.

That means that it's playing alongside the Dualshock and Xbox Wireless Controllers when it comes to accessibility, however, the GameSir X2 has something over both of those thanks to how it holds onto the device: you pull on it to extend it open, and release for it to pinch onto the phone.

That might not sound like much, but consider that half of the mobile controller industry thinks that the mobile phone screen should simply become a screen, rigidly held above the controller in a plastic maw and that the Dualshock and Xbox Wireless controllers don't mount onto the phone in any way... you might be starting to see the advantage here.

The pivot to Bluetooth for this iteration of the GameSir X2 does come at some cost. The other versions of it, which do plug into the phone, do pass-through power and that fitting does give an extra (surplus, frankly) layer of security to how the phone is held. But, the flexibility of the Bluetooth design definitely outweighs the lost features.

The GameSir X2 Bluetooth's minor flaws

There are some negatives, however. The shoulder buttons are simple, shallow click buttons. They're responsive, which is great, but there are no sensitivity options on them which means they don't replace the 'triggers' from most modern controllers in that regard.

The layout of the right side of the peripheral is also trickier than alternatives because the analogue stick's default fitting is raised rather than dimpled. Thankfully there are extra stick caps included which alleviate this.

That said, the smaller stick makes it feel much more responsive, as though it has a wider movement arc, which feels fantastic. That's one of a few clever design choices - which also include the design leaving space to air cool the phone - that makes it stand out. The keymapping is also pretty easy to use, perfect if you decide to remap for running an emulator.

GameSir X2 Bluetooth Mobile Controller review - "Smart design and built for access"

As an accessible alternative to premium products like the Kishi, the GameSir X2 Bluetooth controller really delivers. A lot of care and attention has gone into the design, and it shows.
Dann Sullivan
Dann Sullivan
A job in retail resulted in a sidestep into games writing back in 2011. Since then Dann has run or operated several indie game focused websites. They're currently the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Gamer Brands, and are determined to help the site celebrate the latest and greatest games coming to mobile.