Review: GameSir G4s Wireless Controller (Hardware)

GameSir G4s Wireless Controller: Official GBAtemp Review

Reviewed by Prans Dunn, posted Apr 14, 2017, last updated Apr 16, 2017
Find one that does both they say; because, of course, your needs and wants must be satisfied at your will be it seated, on the bed or outside. Yes, I am indeed talking about video game controllers, and the GameSir G4s boasts PS3, PC and Android compatibility to suit your needs and wants. Will it satisfy you?
Prans Dunn

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How would you like to game, sir?

GameSir is an up-and-coming Hong Kong-based company that has been manufacturing video game controllers since being founded in 2013 and has as mission to "strive to make mobile games easier, to create more fun and to achieve the top of mobile device`s gaming potential." It has, over the years, released several controllers for smartphones and others boasting both PC and smartphone compatibility. The latest  iteration of the latter is the G4s which I'll be reviewing in this article.

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With the G4s, GameSir tried to bring a premium product and experience bundle to its customers. You can see and feel the effort from the aesthetics and presentation of the product itself: a sturdy, clear top case; a comfortable feel while handling the gamepad; the familiar Xbox controller layout; a User Manual detailing the product specs, overview and FAQs all in an impressive 4 language set including English, German, French and Japanese. The English and French instructions (i.e. the ones that I can read and understand) nevertheless have some typos but are definitely understandable. They even provide customer support which you can contact via email at cs@gamesir.hk  or via their official Facebook Page and they'll try their best to solve the problem within 24 hours. Pretty neat! Following suit, the price is listed at a premium of $69 on the website (although you can find it for less elsewhere)

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Okay, so similar look and feel to an Xbox controller but at a higher price? Why should I get the G4s, Prans? Glad you asked! Well, the major selling point of the G4s is its compatibility with PC, PS3 and Android. Granted, there are other, cheaper controllers out there that can do that, including the half-priced GameSir G3 series, but the G4s performs its task remarkably well.

I've taken it for a spin on my PC, Android phone and Android Tablet (no PS3, no test). See for yourself:

Gee, force!

One of my fave fighting games

Retro time with Super Mario Bros.


Best time to play Resident Evil 7 is when it's still bright outside


do_stuff.exe

From the videos above you can see that the G4s performs impressively well, being accurate, responsive and delivering zero-delay gaming experience; and it is all thanks to its 32-bit MCU chip, with computing capability up to 48 million times per second, coupled with its Bluetooth 4.0/wired/2.4Ghz Wireless connection. What's more is that it is a plug-and-play device; no need for driver installation in Windows, button mapping or root on your phone. However it requires Android 4.0 or later and Windows 7.0 or later as requirement.

 More spec details below:

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My experience with the controller has been a pleasant one. It does provide a seamless feel; the buttons have a nice press, the analog sticks are clickable and the "g" button works as a menu button and even brings up the Game Bar during PC gaming; all functions that a traditional Xbox controller would feature. It worked flawlessly with all PC and Android games that I tried, and GameSir even has a personalized smartphone gaming hub accessible via its Happy Chick app (yes, I know) where you can download games for free and they are directly compatible with the G4s, no button mappings required. The full tested and compatible smartphone games list according to the official website can be found below:

1.Minecraft PE
2.Modern Combat 5: Blackout
3.Asphalt 8: Airbourne
4.The Conduit HD
5.Shadowgun: Dead Zone
6.Tiki Kart 3D
7.Tiny Little Racing 2
8.Beach Buggy Blitz
9.Cordy
10.Cordy 2
11.Critter Rollers
12.Dead Trigger
13.Dead Trigger 2
14.Dungeon Hunter 3
15.Sonic CD
16.SoulCraft-Action RPG
17.Steampunk Racing 3D
18.Tap'n' Crash
19.Tiny Little Racing
20.Zen Pinball HD
21.Dark Incursion
22.R-type
23.Time to Rock Racing
24.Another World
25.The Bar'd Tale
26.Final Freeway 2R
27.Grand Theft Auto III
28.Shine Runner
29.Sleepy Jack
30.Virtua Tennis Challenge
31.Chrono&Cash
32.Meganoid
33.Meganoid 2
34.Sonic The Hedgehog 2
35.Asphalt 7: Heat HD
36.Riptide GP
37.Crazy Taxi
38.Aces of the Luftwaffe
39.Angry Birds Go!
40.Bounty Arms
41.Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
42.Anomaly 2
43.Grand Theft Auto Vice City
44.Assassin's Creed Identity
45.FIFA 16 Ultimate Team
46.Critical Strike Portable
47.Zombie HQ
48.Tainted Keep
49.Sine Mora
50.1941 Frozen Front
51.Alien vs Predator Evolution
52.Unkilled
53.Ace Ferrara&The Dino Menace
54.Stupid Zombies
55.Red Ball 4
56.Badland
57.Leo's Fortune
58.Dead Effect 2
59.Into the dead
60.Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
61.Prince of Persia Shadow&Flame
62.Nebulous
63.Geometry Wars 3:Dimensions
64.Never Alone: Ki Edition
65.Goat Simulator: Waste of Space
66.Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
67.Valiant Hearts: The Great War
68.Limbo
69.Goat Simulator
70.Hero Siege: Pocket Edition
71.Rayman adventures
72.DX PAC-MAN CE DX
73.Quell Zen
74.Skate Party 3
75.BombSquad
76.Swapperoo
77.Dungeon Hunter 5
78.Driving School 2016
79.Wind up Knight
80.Real Racing 3
81.Reaper
82.Riptide GP 2
83.Dungeon Quest
84.Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath
85.Adventures of Mana
86.Sonic Hedgehog 4 Episode II
87.Fenix Box
88.Sonic The Hedgehog
89.Rayman Fiesta Run
90.Rayman Jungle Run
91.Heroes of Loot
92.DuckTales:Remastered
93.Max Payne Mobile
94.Mount & Blade: Warband
95.Snowboard Party
96.Aircraft Combat 1942
97.Deer Hunter 2016
98.Back to Bed
99.Clarc
100.Beyond Ynth HD
101.Razor Salvation THD
102.Mimpi
103.Infinite Flight
104.Ys Chronicles 2
105.Jetpack Joyride
106.Final Fantasy III
107.Final Fantasy VI
108.Alpha Wave
109.Angel in Danger
110.Ducktales Remastered
111.Archery
112.Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
114.Tomb Raider
115.GTA 5
116.NBA 2K16
117.Grand Theft Auto Chinatown wars
119.GT Racing 2
120.Minecraft Story mode
121.Sniper Fury
122.Coach bus simlator
123.Infinite Flight Simulator
124.Beach Buggy Racing
125.Repulze
126.Super Phantom Cat
127.Dream League soccer 2016
128.Racing Fever
129.The Walking Dead: Season Two
130.Crazy Snowboard
131.Blitz Brigade
132.Spider Man Unlimited
133.Six-Guns
134.Chicken Invaders 2
135.Chicken Invaders 3
136.Chicken Invaders 4
137.Dodo Master
138.Drag Racing
139.Gunslugs2
140.Sword Of Xolan
141.Brothers in Arms 3
142.Dead effect
143.The Witching Hour
144.EVAC HD
145.Plasma Sky
146.Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders
147.The Respawnables
148.Manugnu 2
149.Slaughter
150.Cyclone 2000 VR
151.Gunslugs
152.Turbo Dismount
153.Zombie Gunship
154.Baseball Superstars 2012
155.Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary
156.Boulder Dash
157.The King of Fighters 98
158.Blazing Star
159.GoatZ
160.Metal Slug
161.R-type II
162.Xenowerk
163.Tiny Miner
164.Classic Bomber
165.Acceler8
166.Alpha Squadron 2
167.Animal Battle Free
168.Blood ’n Guns
169.Tomb Raider 2
170.MushRoom Bounce!
171.Multirotor Sim
172.Basket and Ball
173.Call of Battlefield:Online FPS
174.Air Attack HD
175.Alex the Alien
176.Arma Tactics THD
177.Asteroids Marauder
178.B.M. Snowboard Free
179.Invaders from far Space
180.Diversion
181.Dragon, Fly! Free
182.Arcane Soul
183.Beekyr FREE: Eco shoot’em up
184.Bermuda Dash
185.Deer Hunter 2014
186.Farming Simulator 2014
187.Farming Simulator 2016
188.Neon Shadow
189.Rush Rally 2
190.KSI Unleashed
191.Swimming Race 2016
192.Battlebow: Shoot the Demons
193.BeatX: Rhythm Game
194.Bladelords - The Fighting Game
195.Arma Tactics Demo
196.Arma Tactics
197.Radiant HD
198.Radiant Free
199.No Gravity
200.2048
201.Fifa 15 Soccer Ultimate Team
202.Magic Rampage
203.Brotherhood of Violence II
204.Ninja Hero Cats
205.Super Dynamite Fishing
206.Farm Invasion USA
207.Super Jabber Jump
208.Euro Truck Driver (Simulator)
209.iBomber Attack
210.Trine 2
211.Gloomy Dungeons 2: Blood Honor
212.Void of Heroes
213.Toon Wars - Battle Tanks Online
214.SBK16 Official Mobile Game
215.Zombie Gunship Free
216.Twin Shooter - Invaders
217.Marble Duel
218.VR Crossy For Cardboard
219.Tunnel Ground
220.SkidStorm
221.Snowboard Party 2 Lite
222.Snowboard Party 2
223. Re-Volt 2: Multiplayer
224. Cosmic Challenge
225. Battle of Helicopters
226. Farm Tractor Driver 3D Parking
227. WOR - World Of Riders
228. Future Tanks - Online Battle
229. Traffic Rider
230. Tower Madness 2: 3D Defense
231. AirAttack 2
232. Air Defense Command
233. War Tortoise
234. Epic Heroes War
235. Street Robot Fighting HD 3D
236. Re-Volt 2: Best RC 3D Racing
237. Asphalt Extreme
238. Pocket Rally
239. Assoluto Racing
240. Ace of Arenas
241. Heroes of Soul Craft
242. Moba Legends
243. Planet Of Heroes
244. Heroes of Order & Chaos
245. Taichi Panda
246. Bug Heroes 2
247. Taichi Panda Heroes
248. Heroes Evolved
249. Pocket Fleet Multiplayer
250. Ire: Blood Memory
251. Valiant Hearts The Great War
252. Monster Truck 3D 2015
253. Monster Truck: Extreme
254. Snowboard Party Lite
255. Mike V: Skateboard Party Lite
256. Mars Rover: Space Exploration
257. 32sec game
258. Run for Gold - Montezuma

 

Not Perfect, Sir

On the flip side, I've noticed that the shoulder buttons need a bit of a reach on my part and also have a plastic-y feel. Additionally, the buttons' LED backlights are really strong, blinding even, and unfortunately can't be adjusted.

[Edit: The backlight can actually be adjusted by pressing "L2+R2+R3”, and then press “D-Pad Up/Down" buttons while the controller is connected to adjust but I found that the lowest setting is also too bright but it can be turned all the way down by using the same button combo.]

There's also no way to exactly determine how much battery life the controller has left but the LED battery indicator give a fair estimate.

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Further on the subject of the battery life, the G4s has a built-in 800mAh polymer lithium battery that can last for 18 hours in normal conditions. It also features an automatic power-saving sleep mode and has a whooping stand-by time of 12 months. Charging is done via the included microUSB to USB cable, doubling the controller as a wired one while charging (it takes 2-3 hours for a full charge).

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However there are some features that are not properly explained in the professional-looking User Manual. Like the box contained an additional piece of sorts which I have no idea where to apply (maybe a replacement part for the phone dock?) and I actually had to forage quite a bit to discover one of its most important features...

...the bluetooth dongle (no GBAtemp review was there to help me at the time). It's very well concealed under the menu button and won't interfere with your mobile gaming as you flip up the phone dock (which can house 3.5-6 inch smartphones) from its ingenious resting position.

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If you're looking for a PC controller, you can get a new one for cheaper or a secondhand Xbox controller for even cheaper than the G4s and the same goes for smartphone and PS3 controllers. But why spend on two different controllers if there's one that 'just works' across your devices?

Verdict
Pros
+ High performance
+ Excellent compatibility
+ Clever product design
+ Long battery life
+ Plug & Play
Cons
- Pricey
- No iOS support
- Plastic-y shoulder buttons
- Buttons' backlight is too bright
- Lack of complete info in User Manual
7.7
out of 10
Overall
With its functionality and compatibility, the GameSir G4s is one of the best contenders for the title of most versatile controller in the market.
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