Windows Central Verdict
The GameSir X2 Pro is a huge step up from its previous efforts, removing the needless fan from the GameSir X3 while improving the quality at every level. GameSir's patented USB-C pivot connector remains the best in the business, and the clamp accommodates a huge range of Android devices for native or cloud-based mobile gaming. The price is right, the quality is excellent, and the versatility is awesome, making this one of the best Xbox Cloud Gaming options out there right now.
+ High-quality buttons, triggers, and bumpers.
+ Improved ergonomics.
+ Great construction with a unique USB-C pivot input.
Pass-through power and a large range of phone fits.
+ Included carry case and great price point.
Still a little on the small and cramped size for adult hands.
Clamp doesn't quite stretch to 8.7-inches, making small tablets frustratingly just out of reach.
USB-C pivot isn't long enough to accommodate some thicker phone cases.
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GameSir was among the first to bring high-quality Android gamepads that were fully compatible and designed for Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming on Android, and has maintained a leadership position in the space ever since.
While I was a bit disappointed with the over-complications of the GameSir X3, luckily, the firm has brought some of those improvements to an upgraded version of its previous X2 controller, now dubbed the X2 Pro.
Improved ergonomics, superior inputs, Xbox-licensed, and refined materials make the GameSir X2 Pro a true slam dunk to the point where I'm recommending that it's worth buying without even reading this review. Providing your hands aren't too large, that is.
GameSir X2 Pro: Price and availability
The GameSir X2 Pro is available now from practically anywhere you can buy tech, with stocks on sites like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, as well as GameSir's own website. It comes in white and black variants and also includes a carrying case.
The GameSir X2 Pro retails for $79.99, but on Amazon, there's currently a coupon that will give you $8 off the regular asking price, if you act fast.
GameSir X2 Pro: The Pros
The GameSir X2 Pro comes hot on the heels of the GameSir X3, which I wasn't a particularly huge fan of, quite literally due to its huge fan. The GameSir X2 takes things back to basics, giving us something that takes the X3's refinements without the additional frills.
The GameSir X2 Pro is essentially an Xbox controller in all but name, with a clamp-style design to wrap around most modern Android smartphones. You'll need a phone with a USB-C port to use it, and the vast majority of handsets out there should be compatible, save for unique form factors like the Samsung Galaxy Fold with its off-center port.
The GameSir X2 Pro brings with it a mountain of refinements from its X3 cousin, upgrading the buttons, sticks, D-pad, bumpers, and triggers for good measure. It also comes with two mappable paddles on the reverse, which has also enjoyed some improved ergonomics, giving it a superior grip shape for your palms.
The clamp itself has rubberized edges to help stabilize your phone in the clamp. It generally rests easily on the friction provided and doesn't clamp too hard either, which makes removing your phone easy and safe.
Prodeus on Xbox cloud + @Gamesir X2 Pro. Hardware quality bump is definitely noticeable here, bumpers and triggers feel great. pic.twitter.com/VSpJVzeLJHOctober 9, 2022
The GameSir X2 Pro excels with its inputs. This is a fully licensed Xbox gamepad, which means it works with Xbox Cloud Gaming right out of the box without having to deal with additional apps or settings and comes with standard ABXY controls and offset sticks. The buttons are tactile with good action. The off-set joysticks feel almost of the quality I'd sooner expect from Microsoft, complete with replacement rubber covers. GameSir has also refined and improved its bumpers, which are satisfyingly clicky, alongside well-designed triggers that have a generous lip for improved grip. There are also two paddle buttons that can be mapped on the reverse for some additional customization.
As an Xbox licensed gamepad, it also comes with an Xbox home button that functions similarly to the home key on Android while outside of Xbox Game Pass, but a regular Xbox button while inside Xbox games. It also has a screenshot button that works with modern versions of Android, alongside the Xbox menu and view keys. The D-pad is also well-positioned and quite satisfyingly clicky as well.
A USB-C power pass-through port lets you charge up your docked device without removing it from the setup, which is a handy bonus. To sweeten the deal even further, GameSir includes a hard-shell carry case so you can keep your device protected well traveling, with space to also bundle a USB-C charge cable.
All being said, the GameSir X2 Pro is an excellent device. It's accommodating of even the largest smartphones while giving you every feature you'd expect to find on any standard Xbox controller. There are a few tweaks that could take it to a 5-star product, though.
GameSir X2 Pro: The Cons
One of the irritations of the GameSir X2 returns — it's just annoyingly small. Each side of the controller is more cramped than a Nintendo Switch, which is saying something. I don't exactly have large hands, but even I find it quite constricting over long periods of time. It offsets the work GameSir did to improve the palm feel with a rounded grip on the reverse, sadly. I think the company could've found a way to make this all a little larger.
Speaking of larger, it's also a little disappointing that the clamp only goes up to around 6.7 inches. One of the downsides of Xbox Cloud Gaming, in general, is that most games simply aren't designed for small screens, with fonts that are too small to read and UI elements that require a magnifying glass. They're all designed for television screens, which is why I yearn for a device like this that can accommodate some of the bigger phones out there, like the Galaxy Fold 3, or even a mini tablet like the Galaxy Tab A at 7 to 8 inches. Adding that bit of extra versatility could've made this the "perfect" cloud gaming accessory.
Finally, the only other gripe is with the USB-C connector. The fact it pivots is useful to accommodate varying phone thicknesses, but it doesn't protrude long enough to fit anything more than the most modest phone cases. If you're someone who prefers to use a phone case, you may find yourself irritated having to swap them out and swap them back in to use the GameSir X2 Pro, which defeats some of the convenience being offered. I am someone who has a second phone that I use purely for testing out Xbox Cloud Gaming devices, but that won't be the reality for many.
However, if you're able to navigate its downsides, there are few Xbox accessories out there that can boast to meet Microsoft's own products on sheer quality.
GameSir X2 Pro: Competition
Essentially, the GameSir X2 Pro only has two credible competitors as of writing: the Razer Kishi V2, and the Gamevice Flex.
The Razer Kishi V2 is arguably the best Xbox cloud gaming gamepad of the lot since it will accommodate larger phones and even mobile cases to some degree, owing to swappable inserts. The Kishi V2 doesn't have a pivoting USB-C connector, though, which can make it a little awkward to get things set up, but it's not a big deal. The larger size on the Kishi V2 also makes it a little bit more comfortable, although I think the GameSir has it beat on input quality ever so slightly. Notably, the GameSir X2 Pro is also $20 cheaper than the Kishi V2 and is at least comparable in overall quality (besides size).
Another very good contender is the Gamevice Flex. This is essentially a Razer Kishi V1 with a big bonus feature: practically universal support for phone cases. While the triggers and sticks perhaps aren't the same level of quality as the more modernized Kishi V2 or GameSir X2 Pro, the fact that it comes with a mountain of swappable inserts means that it can accommodate even the thickest phone cases, like the military-grade UAG. If you're someone who prefers the idea of having an Xbox cloud gaming accessory without having to constantly remove your phone case, the Gamevice Flex might be your best option.
GameSir X2 Pro: Should you buy it?
Buying the GameSir X2 Pro hinges ultimately on the size of your hands and your willingness to save $20. It's essentially equal in quality overall to the Razer Kishi V2, but its cramped size makes it a little tougher to recommend for anyone with average adult-sized hands. For a youngster, it would be absolutely ideal, without a doubt, particularly when you factor in the fact it's also $20 cheaper than its closest rival.
You should buy this if:
- You have smaller hands.
- You don't mind a slightly smaller gamepad.
- You want to save $20 over buying a Razer Kishi V2.
You shouldn't buy this if:
- You have above average sized hands.
- Your phone is bigger than 7 inches in length.
I do hope GameSir revises the size in future versions, but even at this size, eventually I just forgot I was doing a review and just happily found myself gaming away on HADES and Street Fighter IV. I do not have particularly large hands, though.
The GameSir X2 Pro is an excellent gamepad that eliminates the latency from Bluetooth controllers, while elevating every aspect of the design over previous versions. The price is great, the quality is impressive, and as long as your hands aren't too large, it will not disappoint.
Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!