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Review: GameSir X4 Aileron, converting your phone into a handheld gaming console

GameSir call the X4 Aileron a "cloud gaming controller", the cloud part referring to the Xbox Game Pass integration meaning there's no setup needed to use the X4A out of the box with the library of games on the Game Pass platform, whether through remote play or natively on Android.

I also had a go with Steam Link, which allows you to play your PC Steam games remotely, too, and this also worked out of the box.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

Full disclosure, I am not a die-hard mobile gamer, but do dabble here and there, though mostly for the Steam remote play side of things. This is the first time using a controller that converts a phone into a handheld in this way.

Previously I have been using a wireless standard controller paired via Bluetooth and propping the phone onto a stand. The X4A in this regard adds an extra level of convenience without the extra bulk of a standalone controller to carry around.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

As always, the findings in this review are entirely my own, and whilst GameSir did send this unit for review, no words were provided, nor was a preview of this review given in advance of publishing.


Joysticks Hall effect with anti-friction glide rings + metal ring on each cap

Hair/analog trigger mode soft-toggle

Buttons Tactile micro switch action buttons, D-pad and bumpers
Battery 400mAh per side
Connection Bluetooth to smartphone, 2.4GHz between each grip, USB-C for charging
Platforms Android
Customisation Onboard button combos, granular customisation via the GameSir app
Vibration N/A
Construction Plastic
In the box 0.5m USB-C cable, Small joystick caps, Concave joystick caps, Faceted D-pad, 2mm thick rubber cushions, 1mm thick rubber cushions, carry case, 1-month free Game Pass subscription.
Supported phone dimensions Width range: 68-95mm // Maximum thickness: 12.5mm

188.5 g

Tested on Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Price $99.99 / £99.99


The X4A comes with quite a lot of useful extras, two different styles of joystick caps, an alternative D-pad and sticky cushions to support your phone better.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

I found the pre-installed joystick to be a bit too slippery for my fingers, so switched to the more standard style caps. Removing the caps from each stick is easy, just pull them off. Putting the caps back on is quite a bit trickier I found, a bit of force is needed and at times I worried about breaking the two tabs that click into place.

The D-pad is much easier to swap around, though, it just pops off and on. Although I didn't use the alternative styled D-pad due to disliking the way circular pads shaped like this feel.

GameSir X4 Aileron

It is nice to see options so gamers of most tastes should be covered with a combination of these caps.

First impressions

The grips lock together via magnets when not in use, and for the most part the X4A is very comfortable in the hand. The plastic housing is textured enough to feel grippy and the thickness of the plastic is also solid enough to give some confidence, even with a strong grip.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

I found the placement of all the buttons to be within easy reach, although the right joystick is positioned in such a way for my hand size that I found the corner of my palm to brush against it often when using the ABXY buttons.

If the right stick was a little more inset, then this would not be an issue. I was able to sort-of work around this my adopted a claw-style grip with my right hands, though for longer gaming sessions this end up having comfort issues.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

To power on the X4A, the clamps must be engaged, so a phone needs to be inserted between each grip. Likewise, when a phone is removed, the X4A's grips turn off automatically. There is a way to force power-on and off, too, and that is by holding the Xbox button for 5-seconds.

Both joysticks are surrounded by ring LED effects which serve as battery level indication, as well as other modes. They can be customised when in normal usage, too, and Gamesir states in their FAQs that:

There are 6 light effects in total that enable gamers to immerse themselves in different gaming atmospheres. By using M + Left Stick’s Left/Right, gamers can cycle through the 6 light effects of stick RGB circles. Using M + Left Stick’s Up/Down allows users to increase/decrease brightness of sticks’ RGB circles. Users can also customize the settings using the GameSir App.


I found no problems with the performance. Whether I played games installed on the phone, or via remote play, the X4A a had fast enough response that my gaming was never affected. As you can see in the GIF below, my monitor shows near-instant updates aligned with the game being played via the phone:

GameSir X4 Aileron

Battery life appears to be excellent, too. I didn't have the chance to run the battery down after a few days of on and off gaming before just naturally topping up the charge anyway out of habit. For my kind of casual usage. I suspect a whole week can go by on one charge, though the case includes the cable anyway which means I can charge from any USB source if needed.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

Joystick accuracy was also respectable, not quite as good as other controllers I have reviewed recently, but still low enough to not be noticeable in games.

As is the norm for GameSir controllers, the core features can all be adjusted onboard using button combos that the manual goes over.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

Alternatively, the GameSir mobile app allows you to visually change them too, as well as apply firmware updates.

GameSir X4 Aileron

I didn't have a need to change anything though, and there are no firmware updates at the time of writing, so just left everything at default which was just fine out of the box.


Aside from the slight issue with my hand size resulting in rubbing the right stick when reaching for the ABXY buttons depending on hand placement, the X4 Aileron is rather good at what it's designed to do.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

How each end grips onto a phone could be a little better designed, though, as at times I felt it wasn't quite as secure as I'd have liked. Whilst the rubber cushions and pads were good, they don't afford as much friction as should be suitable to avoid issues with movement during gameplay. Maybe this is an issue in relation to the type of finish on the back of my phone, a Galaxy S24 Ultra, so maybe glossy back covers offer better friction/grip when the X4A is installed.

GameSir X4 Aileron review

I think it is a little on the expensive side, though. You can buy dedicated controllers that have phone stands that attach to the top of the controller such as the GameSir Cyclone Pro, or the EasySMX X10, and they cost half as much as the X4A, but they are a bit bulkier as mentioned earlier.

The other issue I discovered was that since the USB/headphones port on the phone is now blocked, you can only game with privacy using wireless headphones paired to your phone. I think this is a missed chance to add a headphone jack to the X4A, or allow the use of USB-C headphones via the Type-C port on the controller.

Having said that, it is a unique product, there isn't much saturation in the market with good quality controllers like this with hall effect sticks and mechanical buttons, so that naturally means prices are higher. Points have to be deducted due to the missed opportunities for features that many gamers will value, such as no way to use wired headphones, or the ergonomics which means even people like myself with medium sized hands find the right side of the controller a bit cumbersome to avoid accidental stick activation when pressing the ABXY buttons.

It's a good controller, but with plenty room for improvement given the amount it costs.

GameSir X4 Aileron
Licensed Xbox integration Steam Remote Play support Excellent battery life Portability Performance Choice of joystick and D-pad caps
The clamps do not lock, can feel a little loose On the pricey side Right joystick interferes with palm when using ABXY Cannot use USB/headphone jack when gaming Officially for Android phones only Only phone cases under 1mm thick supported
£99.99 / $99.99
May 2024


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