GameSir X3 Type-C Mobile Game Controller Review: Cool Combo for Android Phones

GameSir’s X3 combines a customizable Android phone game console with a remarkably efficient cooling system. From the front, it is very similar to other mobile game consoles such as razer kishi or single spine Except for a large silicone-coated cushion between the two grips. This pad adds more than just a grip to help hold your phone: it’s a Peltier cooling unit backed by a heat sink and a seven-bladed fan to draw heat away.

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Originally an Indiegogo project, the X3 Type-C console is available from Amazon and Straight from Gamesir for $100 dollars or £100. (It’s not currently available in Australia, but the UK price turns out to be A$178.) The price is average for a console like this, although some don’t have integrated cooling systems. GameSir also includes a carrying case, two concave, two convex thumb stick caps, two taller thumb sticks, a faceted D-pad, and a 1.5m USB-C cable.

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I tested the X3 with Google Pixel 6 Pro Basically playing Xbox Game Pass games. Pixel slots are a little easier thanks to the flexible, tiltable USB-C connector. The controller cannot be used with a case on your phone…not because it doesn’t fit (although it hasn’t been with any of the slim cases I’ve tried) but because the phone has to touch the cooling pad to be impressive. The console caught the Pixel 6 Pro’s big camera bump, and the controls were active and ready for gaming once the USB-C connector was in the phone port.

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Connect the Google Pixel 6 Phone Pro to the USB-C connector of the GameSir X3 controller.

The USB-C connector can be tilted to easily insert into your phone port.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Out of the box, the ABXY buttons are set up like an Xbox controller. However, you may have to update the console’s firmware before it’s actually compatible with those buttons when used with Game Pass. To do this, download the GameSir mobile app, open the app and connect your phone to the console. The app should then ask you to update if necessary. For those who want a Nintendo Switch console layout, the buttons attach magnetically and can be raised and moved to your desired layout.

Again, the controls work as soon as you connect the phone so you can start playing right away and only take 2mAh of power from your phone to use. There is no built-in battery. The cooling system requires an external power source such as a power bank or wall adapter (neither included) to be connected to the USB-C port on the bottom of the cooler.

A view of the bottom of the GameSir X3 Type-C handheld game console.

The X3’s central USB-C port powers console cooling when connected to an external power source. The USB-C port on the right can be used to charge your device.

Josh Goldman/CNET

There is a second USB-C port on the bottom right of the console. This port is used to charge your device while gaming if you connect a power bank or wall adapter to it and your phone supports transient charging (the Pixel does). This means that if you want to cool down your phone and keep it charged at the same time, two USB-C cables will need to be connected to the console.

Cooling starts almost immediately when connected to a power source. There is no power switch or anything, so when the controller is plugged in, the rear fan spins up and the RGB lights come on. Then, the silicone pad becomes ice cold and begins to draw heat away from your phone. It only seemed to take seconds before my phone completely cooled down.

The seven-blade rear fan on the GameSir X3 Type-C controller.

The seven-blade rear fan on the GameSir X3 Type-C controller.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The console is convenient to use, assuming you don’t mind being hooked up to a power source for the cooling system. GameSir used Kailh keys on the buttons and D-pad. The ABXY buttons make a little jerk and don’t feel as shaky as other buttons. (Maybe it’s a symptom of being able to take it out and move it.) All the buttons have an audible click, so if you need to play softly, it’s going to be difficult with this controller. The bumper studs are almost flush with the body, and while it’s not a big deal, they could be a little longer.

All in all, GameSir X3 Type-C is as promised: a portable game console that can also protect your phone from overheating. Fortunately, it’s not as cramped as it may seem and the cooling system works surprisingly well. Add the included accessories, and you’ve got a powerful all-in-one gaming solution for your Android phone.


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