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GameSir X4 Aileron review

We got our hands on the GameSir X4 Aileron, tested it out with a range of games, and here are our thoughts on the compact controller.

gamesir x4 aileron review - Unpacking on a mobile against a white wall

Our Verdict

The GameSir X4 Aileron is an excellent piece of tech for mobile gamers, allowing easy use thanks to the shape, comfortable grip, quick connection, and responsive buttons.

Reasons to buy
  • Compact and light
  • Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
  • Android only
  • Can be unsteady on thinner devices

I love a good mobile gaming device, and so the GameSir X4 Aileron caught my eye. It’s compact, fits together nicely in one little package, and has pretty RGB lighting behind the thumbsticks. This review gives you a look at how it works, what it’s like, and what to expect.

I used a Samsung Galaxy A52 and a Motorola 30 Edge Ultra with the GameSir and it performed beautifully with both. There is a caveat in that the Aileron only works with Android phones, and then only devices that have Android 10 and above if you want all the features like V-Touch to work.

Right off the bat, the Aileron feels nice. It’s not bulky or heavy and feels like it’s made of quality stuff. As you grab it out of the box, you notice that the magnets holding the two sides together are pretty strong, meaning they won’t separate and disappear in your bag.

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To use the Aileron, all you need to do is gently separate the two halves, and then stick them to both sides of your phone. The two controllers have moveable clips that hold your phone in place – these can accommodate phones between 68 and 95mm across. That means no Galaxy Folds, but most Samsung, Motorola, and Google Pixel models will fit.

gamesir x4 aileron review - Chants of Sennaar on a mobile device with the GameSir on the ends

My only gripe with the design is that the controllers don’t seem as sturdy on the side of the phone without the camera. The extra width of the cameras means the Aileron can grip nicely, whereas thinner phones can wobble around a bit. This didn’t affect my ability to play, but did feel a little unsteady.

In the same vein, you can’t use the Aileron with a phone equipped with a case unless it is a very thin one, so bear this in mind if you have a case like mine that’s a two-piece and needs dismantling before you can get it off.

So, how do you get it working? Thankfully, it’s really easy. And I mean really easy. As soon as you extend the clips to hold your phone in place, the controller comes on. If the clips retract, it goes off, meaning you don’t lose charge leaving it turned on by accident. The first time you pop your phone in there, it automatically goes into pairing mode, then you tap it on your phone, and boom – you’re connected via Bluetooth.

By the way, if you’re a fan of touchscreen controls and controllers, you can simply use one side of the controller, and then use the usual on-screen controls with your other hand at the same time, thanks to GameSir’s V-Touch technology. If you find it easier to pop your Honkai Star Rail DPS’ ultimates with your thumb, but that it’s easier to navigate the Space Station with a thumbstick, you can do just that. The controller seamlessly blends the two types with no hang-ups.

gamesir x4 aileron review - the two halves of the controller together facing forward

Let’s look at the compatibility of the GameSir Aileron in terms of games. The X4 Aileron is kind of made with Game Pass in mind, so if that’s not your thing, there might be better options. You need a Game Pass Ultimate subscription to stream games on your phone – but, you get a month’s free subscription to Game Pass Ultimate to try out with the controller.

You can use the Aileron with other mobile games like Fortnite and Call of Duty easily, but some titles – specifically Genshin Impact – require a mapping app on top of the game to allow controller use. So you can use it for most games, it just might take some work.

Playing the controller is delightful. It’s got buttons that make a nice, small, clicky noise – but you can easily cover the noise up by turning up your phone’s volume if you don’t want to hear yourself clicking from A to B. On the back of the controller, you’ve got a textured rubbery grip to keep it in your hands, along with a very well-placed pair of L4 and R4 buttons, right where your fingers naturally lie.

I played a few hours of Yakuza: Like a Dragon and swapped over to Little Kitty, Big City, then the next day hopped into some indie games – so far, I’ve not had to charge the Aileron. You can check the charge level by double-pressing the Bluetooth button, and if it’s red, you know it’s time to charge it.

Here’s a handy extra tip – you can use the controller like the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons if you want. You can power both parts on separately by pressing the Xbox and Share buttons for five seconds, allowing you to use the controller separately from the phone, much like a Switch in tabletop mode. For those of us with a long commute or wanting to play multiplayer games like Overcooked, this is very handy.

gamesir x4 aileron review - the controller closed together in a compact shape

The X4 Aileron has incredibly low latency, giving a very smooth gameplay experience, though streaming games from Game Pass can still hamper your playtime if your connection isn’t amazing – but we’re not here to talk about that.

It comes with the buttons mapped in a certain way, which you can change in the GameSir app. You can also calibrate the controller’s RGB brightness and colors, too. If you want to customize even further, you can use the two extra types of thumbsticks, or swap the D-Pad for a circular button top. It’s really easy to swap things in and out here as the thumbsticks and buttons pop right off with a little effort. They’re still very sturdy when playing, so don’t worry about your D-Pad dropping off.

In terms of who I recommend this controller for, it’s definitely best for anyone with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, however, you can use it with most mobile games, and it is a joy to do so. It’s easily transportable thanks to the compact size and sturdy carrying case – though, if you’re a Game Pass player, you’ll need a good connection to play games through it.

Essentially, if you find yourself less willing or able to sit at a desk to play PC games and don’t have an Xbox, this may be the mobile gaming controller for you. If the idea of kicking back in bed or on the sofa while playing Like a Dragon sounds good to you, and who could blame you, grab a GameSir X4 Aileron.

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