android

Chazz Mair / Review Geek

The GameSir X3 Type-C Mobile Controller is a solid, if unwieldy, controller for the more hardcore crowd of mobile gamers. If you have a high-powered phone and an affinity for console-like controls, you will want to check this out.

Here’s What We Like

  • High quality cooling fan
  • Customizable
  • Great feel

And What We Don’t

  • Bulky
  • Cluttered interface

Mobile gaming is an increasingly popular market, so there are quite a few options out there for enthusiasts in search of controllers. Here, I’ll break down just what makes the GameSir X3 stand out not only against its rivals, but against its older sibling, the X2.

Out of the Box

  • Height: 3.46in
  • Depth: 1.89in
  • Width: 7.09in
  • Weight: 0.60lbs (270g)

Immediately, the GameSir X3 presents a very high-quality, professional look. It arrives in a nice, netted carrying case alongside a smattering of trinkets, including a GameSir Logo sticker, the manual, extra buttons and control sticks, and some assorted leaflets.

The case is lovely, comfortable, and sturdy while maintaining both compact size and adequate utility, making it easy enough to carry around in another bag. If you have a handbag or messenger bag, it should fit perfectly there. When fully retracted, the controller measures around 7.09 inches (or 180 mm) wide.

As mentioned before, the case comes with various extra control sticks for your gamepad. These, found inside the carrying case, come in two types: convex and concave. And with the two sticks the GameSir X3 supports, you’ll have three pairs of control sticks in total.

The sticks themselves are a little on the small side for my thumb, so I opted for the convex sticks because they tracked my movements better. There’s not a lot of space here, so those extra options for comfort are essential to the overall experience.

The Controller: Pretty Professional

  • Platform: Android 9 or above
  • Connection: Wired Type-C to your phone, Type-C to fan
  • Power Input: 5V 2A

The GameSir X3 plugs right into your phone through the USB-C port on the inside of the left controller, minimizing input latency. It supports Android phones between 110 and 179mm in length.

Important to note: If your phone is especially large, you might have some issues with this—I had to remove the phone case around my Samsung Galaxy S9 for it to fit.

android

Chazz Mair / Review Geek

The controller has the sort of quality you would find in a first-party accessory for a gaming console, like a PS4 Dualshock (which you can also use with your Android phone). It’s well-considered—the only notable drawback is how crowded the face is.

Regardless of how you mix and match the sticks, the controller stays cluttered. If your hands are larger than most, this might not be the most comfortable option for you. Still, it works in the space it does have.

The shoulder buttons have a great, clicky feel to them. There’s not a lot of resistance, and they’re big enough for me to rest a finger on each comfortably. However, using the face buttons on the right side of the controller is a little awkward because your thumb needs to either go around or stretch over the stick to hit them—not the best but not the worst, either.

You can also customize the function of these buttons in the Gamesir App (available for iPhone and Android), which also doubles as a library for your games. The app is pretty simple but does a solid job of making customization easy.

The controller does use your phone as a battery, so it will wind up biting into your phone’s overall life—but in my experience, this isn’t a drastic boost over what you would expect from playing a graphically intensive game normally. However, the controller’s design does lock you out of a headphone port. You can still use wireless earbuds just fine, but you’re out of luck if you don’t own any.

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The Fan: A Definitive Highlight

The big addition to the GameSir X3 is its built-in cooling fan, a feature usually sold separately. While this does add considerable bulk to the unit, in practice, it doesn’t do much to the overall feel of the controller aside from making it heavier.

android

Chazz Mair / Review Geek

With that bulk comes some considerable power, the kind you’d want when pushing your phone with a game like Fortnite, and the GameSir X3 certainly carries it. Luckily, unlike the rest of the controller, the fan runs on its own battery. On the other hand, while it saves your phone’s battery, using it for longer than an hour means you’ll be tied to a power outlet or portable charger, which, honestly, might be a deal breaker for some.

You can’t take the fan off of the GameSir X3. This means you won’t have to worry about the fan haphazardly popping off, making it far more durable. It also supports pass-through charging, but I couldn’t get it to work on my Samsung Galaxy S9, so I’d make sure your phone supports it. If not, you’ll be in this situation where whenever you want to charge your phone, you’ll have to also charge the GameSir X3, which removes some of the grace of having an attached fan.

Still, while the fan does add some considerable bulk to the GameSir X3, it’s not without reason. The GameSir X3’s fan uses a Peltier cooling module to fight lag and heat that might throttle your device’s GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). GameSir says that over time, on average, the X3’s cooling fan will prevent a rise of 25 degrees Celsius over a period of 30 minutes.

And while it is a smaller detail, the fan is RGB-enabled. But given that you’ll be holding the fan away from yourself, it’s more of a thing to show other people. I couldn’t appreciate it because I had the lights pointed at the floor most of the time.

It Just Works

The GameSir X3 is very much a controller designed for Android phones, so it works with any Android game that features controller support. It also, importantly, works when streaming games to your phone through platforms like Xbox Game Pass or Stadia. So if you don’t mind the added input delay that streaming adds, you can expand your library of available games to console exclusives and play wherever you’d like—a significant value add.

If you’re interested in streaming games, you should already have a controller, and the GameSir X3 is a great one to have. It being a two-in-one controller and fan with pass-through charging adds a lot of convenience and value—and it only costs $99.99.

Should You Buy the GameSir X3?

At $99.99, the GameSir X3 stands among many high-end mobile phone controllers like the Backbone One or the Razer Kishi. The critical detail that sets the GameSir X3 aside is its built-in fan.

The GameSir X2 is priced at around $60 and also is a wired Type-C mobile controller. So what the X3 provides is another high-end option in the field. If you find your phone lagging a lot when playing games, this could be the controller to ease your woes.

Aside from the pass-through charging issue mentioned earlier when used with my phone, the GameSir X3 provides a convenient way to experience high-end mobile gaming.

Here’s What We Like

  • High quality cooling fan
  • Customizable
  • Great feel

And What We Don’t

  • Bulky
  • Cluttered interface

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