Go through writing conventions to hell with it – I’ll start with the conclusion. If you want the best game controller for Android phone right now, get the GameSir X3.

iPhone game space has been locked by the Backbone Onewhich leaves the Android Trophy ready for GameSir to collect, thanks to a few key improvements over the GameSir X2 which make it essential for any mobile gamer on Android.

So why is it so good? making it an ideal companion for mobile gaming and hours of Xbox cloud gaming? Let’s go.

GameSir X3 Price

The GameSir X3 comes in one configuration: a $99 USB-C Android-only model (opens in a new tab).

This is the same territory as the Backbone One, which, with the company’s announcement of a Android version of its controller (opens in a new tab) (launching in November), means the GameSir X3 has a five-month head start before the Android game controller space becomes much more competitive.

GameSir X3 design

GameSir X3

(Image credit: future)

From the first impressions of the front, you’ll see that the GameSir X3 hasn’t changed much since the X2: same satisfying tactile buttons, same smooth analog sticks and same durable casing with all user-friendly added integrations such as 50. flexible -degree angle of the connector.

Once you get it in your hands and look at the back, you’ll start to see the main differences. Namely, the whole device is a bit thicker – warmly welcomed to have a good understanding of the controller for long gaming sessions.

GameSir X3

(Image credit: future)

While ergonomically convenient, that extra thickness serves to house the new cooling fan. The seven-bladed fan with RGB lighting swirls and maintains a super cool-to-the-touch copper plate, which relieves the temperature of your Android phone even in the most CPU-intensive games.

Considering how hot some Android phones can get while gaming, this is a significant upgrade for the type of dedicated mobile gamers who would be looking for a controller.

GameSir X3

(Image credit: future)

There’s another secret weapon of the X3, which is modular analog sticks and buttons. For the sticks, you have longer options for more finished control, and the face buttons are magnetic, meaning you can swap them out depending on the default layout. It’s so much more convenient than just re-mapping entire games.

That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The trigger buttons still have no travel and the fan has no battery connected, meaning it can only be used while plugged into some sort of power supply. There are two USB-C ports here: one that offers a power passthrough to your phone and the other that runs the fan.

But again, GameSir has come up with a thoughtfully crafted kit for gamers that feels great to use for long periods of time and helps you improve your gaming performance on the go while being much more portable than sticking a clip on. your favorite game controller. .

GameSir X3

(Image credit: future)

GameSir X3 Connectivity and Support

The X3 sports USB-C connectivity only, meaning around 100 per cent of Android phones are supported (unless you like the chaos of a 10-year-old phone with micro USB). And again, the extent of the GameSir exceeds the claim of 6.5 inches, because I was able to use the OnePlus 10 Pro (6.7 inches) and RedMagic 7 (6.8 inches) without any problems.

While this ensures controller inputs are latency-free, audio is a slightly different story as there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack for audio pass-through. I understand that we live in a world of true wireless headphones – some of which have low latency game modes – but it will never be truly lag-free.

Please GameSir. Just give me a headphone jack.

GameSir X3 Software

GameSir X3

(Image credit: future)

The GameSir app experience is improving a bit, but it’s still far from the full experience you get from Backbone One. If it was also an iOS controller that would be a problem, but Android is another story.

Backbone offers a host of app options that turn your phone into a controller-friendly gaming UI (some of which require a paid subscription), while the 100% free GameSir companion app acts more as a way to modify the controller mapping – flipping which is the selector button between “Xbox” layout (A bottom) or “Switch” layout (B bottom).

At the end of the line

The GameSir X3 steps up its game to be the best Switch-esque Android phone game controller you can buy right now.

A durable and comfortable build houses nice-to-the-touch, swappable buttons and analog sticks, the cooling system works like a charm, and the extra case keeps your purchase safe when tossing it in your luggage for long-haul flights.

But the same small but punchy omissions are present: shoulder buttons that don’t have travel, the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack pass-through for latency-free audio, and the companion app doesn’t join. really do things with a centralized gaming user interface.

In the Android-specific GameSir X3, however, these issues are easily forgiven. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better controller for handheld gaming than this one.