GameSir G4 Pro mobile controller

Good

Great ABXY keys

Solid triggers and analog sticks

Platform agnostic

Long battery life

The bad

No (non-cloud) support for PlayStation or Xbox

Soft D-Pad

Mobile games were, to put it mildly, a joke. Hyper-casual titles like candy Crush Saga And angry Birds they have been hugely successful, but have earned only small glimpses of the sky from the diehard gaming elite more accustomed to hyperviolent AAA rates.

Cloud gaming has changed everything. Whether you were perched on the toilet with your pants dangling by your ankles, or waiting for the bus to take you to your soul-destroying job, you could still fragment some cacodemon inside. Eternal destinyor deliver the winning goal in FIFA 2022.

But you need a controller to do all of this. And then, with a slight tip of my fedora, let me introduce you to the GameSir G4 Pro mobile game controller.

GameSir G4 Pro specifications

mobile game controller
Image: Matthew Hughes / KnowTechie

Released during the middle of the pandemic, when the relationship between commuters and toilet players was particularly skewed, the GameSir G4 Pro is a fairly traditional controller, albeit with a platform-independent touch.

It works well with Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, and iOS, and boasts compatibility with a number of cloud gaming services, including Xbox Game Pass and Google Stadia. Unfortunately, this functionality doesn’t extend to Xbox or PlayStation.

The GameSir G4 Pro makes it easy to pair with your chosen device. Creating a new connection is as simple as holding down the home and “B” buttons at the same time and then selecting them from the Bluetooth settings.

The controller packs an 800mAh battery. The battery is more than adequate for occasional gaming sprints, and recharges via a hidden USB-C port in the back.

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The controller also includes a USB dongle for PC gaming. While you can, if you wish, pair the controller to your PC via Bluetooth, the dongle presumably consumes less power, giving you more time between charges.

Regardless of the connectivity standard you choose, you can expect a full day of continuous play.

The controller has a fairly conventional layout. Two activation buttons are located on both sides. There is a D-Pad, ABXY keys, two analog sticks, a screenshot button and so on.

For smartphone gamers, GameSir G4 Pro offers a spring-loaded retractable bracket that can fit even the largest of devices. It snugly grabbed my iPhone 12, even with the case still attached.

How does the GameSir controller feel in the hand?

game controller on the table
Image: Matthew Hughes / KnowTechie

The GameSir G4 Pro is designed for portability, so it should come as no surprise that it’s certainly not the biggest controller on the market. This takes some getting used to.

Despite being priced at the bottom of the mobile game package, it offers a lot of premium touches. I liked the rubberized and textured frame, which made it easier to grip.

Also, I liked the ABXY magnetized keys, which produced a satisfying crackle with each press.

The activation keys proved highly responsive and the analog sticks demonstrated amazing accuracy, without the drift typical of cheaper controllers.

Sadly, that attention to detail proved absent when it came to the D-Pad, which felt spongy and deeply unsatisfactory.

We also note that some buttons, such as the Share button, are difficult to access when using the GameSir G4 Pro with a smartphone. It’s also worth noting that the vibration feature is only available when playing on PC or Nintendo Switch.

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There is a lot to like about this mobile controller

gamesir mobile game controller
Image: Matthew Hughes / KnowTechie

I mainly used GameSir G4 Pro with Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming. This gave me the opportunity to compare it to the Razer Kishi, a smartphone game controller that costs almost twice as much. It also has a slightly different design philosophy, choosing instead to wrap the phone rather than float underneath it.

Of course, I expected GameSir to do poorly in this meeting. Razer is a household name, with mass market penetration and a well-deserved reputation among gamers. I have been gushing their products for years. In fact, I’m writing this very review on a Razer keyboard.

Yet, in many respects, the GameSir G4 Pro has beaten Razer’s Kishi. The decision to use a conventional controller form factor makes it feel very natural.

Sure, its slightly small size takes some getting used to, but you don’t need to rebuild your entire muscle memory. Pulling the trigger is much more satisfying, and the magnetic mechanisms of the ABXY keys make the gaming experience more deliberate and comfortable.

The GameSir G4 Pro doesn’t force you to remove the phone case, like with the Kishi. Its deliberate device agnosticism means I can continue to use it, even if Apple decides to drastically rethink the design of future iPhones.

When Apple ditches the Lightning port for USB-C (as it inevitably will, courtesy of some European Commission regulations), my Razer Kishi will immediately become obsolete. I don’t have to worry about it with the GameSir G4 Pro. It’s just, fundamentally, a better product.

Again, unlike the Kishi, I can use the GameSir G4 Pro with virtually any device (except Xbox and PlayStation). It’s just a fundamentally better product.

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Should you buy the GameSir G4 Pro?

gamesir g4 pro controller
Image: Matthew Hughes / KnowTechie

I have complained about a few things in this review, namely the weak D-Pad, the slightly smaller size, and the cross-platform quirks. But despite that, the GameSir G4 Pro more than redeems itself and, at its price, it’s really hard to fault it.

Its build quality is surprisingly decent. I’ve put it head to head against Razer’s flagship mobile gaming gadget and now I feel almost guilty. It wasn’t a fair fight. The Razer Kishi lost. With a considerable margin.

It boasts incredible battery life. Its inherent platform agnosticism makes it a worthwhile long-term investment for any player. The things that matter – analog sticks, triggers, and ABXY keys – are done beautifully.

We have all dreamed of driving down the freeway Gran Turismo 7 as we ride the Hershey Highway to work. The GameSir G4 Pro makes it possible. And it’s damn cheap, retails for just $ 50 on Amazon. You can also get it directly from GameSir at the same price.

Editor’s recommendations:

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Good

Great ABXY keys

Solid triggers and analog sticks

Platform agnostic

Long battery life

The bad

No (non-cloud) support for PlayStation or Xbox

Soft D-Pad

Matthew Hughes is a reporter from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food and storytelling. Previous work can be found on The Register, Forbes, The Next Web, and Business Insider.

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