When GAMESIR came to market with the X2 Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller, in our eyes they were jumping straight into the lion’s den, going head-to-head with Razer for bragging rights in the Xbox Cloud gaming scene. And aside from a slightly plasticky feel to the product, the X2 Type-C delivered the goods, letting gamers utilise physical buttons whilst playing Xbox games directly through Project xCloud thanks to the power of Xbox Game Pass.
But there was also one other small caveat that held back a few with what GAMESIR had created and that was the fact that this made the most of a USB-C connection to the device in hand. Obviously that direct connection has a ton of positives – pretty much zero input lag for starters – but it did mean that anyone wishing to use the X2 had to have a USB-C equipped mobile. You may be sat there looking at your super swish high-end mobile device and wonder why that is an issue, but there are still a decent amount of phones out there which still rock an older micro-USB, for instance.
So that’s where the GAMESIR X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller comes in, because, as the name suggests, this does away with the need of USB-C and will instead allow for full connection through Bluetooth. And yeah, every single device (both in the Android army and of the Apple iOS camp), that is worth considering has serious Bluetooth capabilities. Yes, it may mean there is a tiny bit of input lag to bring things down, but is that really such a deal?
Straight out of the box the entire GAMESIR experience has been lifted. What was previously just a standard unit placed neatly in a box has now seen the Bluetooth edition of the X2 come fully packaged in a rather lovely Nintendo Switch-styled hard case. Red and black with a nice textured feel, this is immediately a good sign, allowing gamers who wish to use this device on their travels – and let’s be honest, going about the place is where this and mobile cloud gaming comes into its own – to do so in style.
Inside the case is the X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller itself, able to be strapped down to ensure no damage can be inflicted on the unit. Another immediate change here is in the initial visual quality of the X2 with the Bluetooth edition ditching the previous white and black colour scheme for a more modern, higher quality-looking grey and black design. It looks brilliant and whilst it’s still not quite up there in terms of the quality of the more expensive Razer Kishi, the design stylings elevate it onto a new level.
A GAMESIR logo on the back along with grippy hand holds keeps that quality high, whilst the front facing buttons are all completely similar to that of the X2 Type-C – the thumbsticks are nicely highlighted with Nintendo Switch blue and red colourings, and then the face buttons, the d-pad, the menu buttons and both the triggers and bumpers all come in black. There is absolutely no difference between this Bluetooth version and the Type-C in that regard.
Further to that, the device-holding mechanism is also similar – the whole unit slides open easily, gripping your phone thanks to the addition of a rubber backplate and side holders. It also charges via USB-C, thanks to the included USB-A to USB-C cable, with a full charge over a couple of hours stated to cover you for near on 20 hours of use.
What is different is pretty minimal actually. Aside from the newer Bluetooth version feeling a little bit tighter in hand – something which may only be because of the use we’ve thrown in to the Type-C version – the only real changes are in the removal of the USB-C connector, the addition of a Turbo button (Yep, Turbo = more POWER!) and the addition of a new power button. Other than that, the two GAMESIR products are near identical.
But we know what you are thinking. How does the Bluetooth stack up? Well, all our mobile gaming sessions are taken in through Xbox Game Pass and the power of the Cloud so a decent connection is an essential part of the experience, but should you have that, there’s very little to separate the inputs of the Bluetooth X2 as opposed to the direct connection of the Type-C. Granted, we’re not sure going full-on multiplayer is something you should be considering too much, especially not if that game is a fast and frantic affair, but other than that we’ve been mighty impressed with how the X2 Bluetooth handles itself. We’ve tested this with a range of games, from the slow and steady Rain on Your Parade to the madness of DOOM, and can confirm that if you’re into your Cloud gaming and religiously rely on Game Pass to provide your action, this is able to keep up.
In fact, in some ways the X2 Bluetooth is a better proposition than the X2 Type-C, if only for utter ease of use. You see, sliding open the X2 and slotting your phone in without needing to carefully line-up the USB-C connection just makes this easier for pick up and play purposes. And in fact you don’t even need to attach the device to the unit at all – you can just connect via Bluetooth and game away without this being used as a holder.
The triggers and bumpers are lovely to use too; massively tactile and hugely clickable, these are the standout inclusions on the GAMESIR X2. And much like before, all the face buttons and sticks work as they should. With a screenshot button and all the menu buttons you need (albeit labelled up as G and S buttons), there’s not too much to not like about the X2 Bluetooth – especially if you take things uber seriously and make the most of the Turbo button too.
There are also a couple of additional thumbstick covers included in the X2 Bluetooth box and these fit nicely over the sticks. They are in no way of the quality of KontrolFreek products, but if you’re looking for a slightly larger surface area and wish to utilise either a concaved or convexed feel, they do the job.
The big question that you have to ask yourself before purchasing the GAMESIR X2 Bluetooth is whether or not you actually need it. If you’ve already got the Type-C version and have happily been gaming with that, the obvious answer is no. The new aesthetic look, colourway and thumbstick add-ons aren’t worthy of the laying down of more cash.
However, if you haven’t already got a mobile gaming controller and have been struggling around making the most of Xbox Game Pass without being able to get your phone up close and personal, the GAMESIR X2 Bluetooth is one to certainly consider. It’s still not quite as premium as Razer’s Kishi, but in terms of the two GAMESIR X2 products that are on the market, this would be the one we’d choose. It’s better looking and is just an easier-to-use product. Oh, and you get a rather lovely case thrown in for good measure.
Huge thanks go out to GAMESIR for providing us with the X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming controller for review purposes. If you wish to pick one up for yourself you should pop over to GAMESIR direct.
Related: Unboxing and First Look – GAMESIR X2 Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller