Gamesir G4s android/PC controller review

on 2016-08-24 14:29:57

This is my review of the GameSir G4s bluetooth/2.4GHz controller for android and PC. I hope you will find it useful.

Image gallery

The manufacturer's page

The first impressions

The controller looks pretty good in my opinion. It is a pleasure to look at and to hold in hand. The big, rubber-coated textured handles provide a comfortable grip. The multicolor lights I don't much care for, but they might help if you're playing in a dark environment. The manual's english is not perfect, but it's easily understandable. Putting the 2.4GHz inside the controller is good thinking and any other solution would've felt stupid in comparison.

The controls

The ABXY buttons offer the right amount of resistance and a clear engagement point, although I'd prefer if they were a bit less noisy. The 8-way D-pad's design is different from what I'm used to, but I had no trouble using it. The analog sticks don't require much force to move and provide a good grip. They are just the right amount of springy and feel very comfortable. Everything is nicely spaced, the controller doesn't feel cramped with buttons. The L1/R1 buttons and L2/R2 triggers could use some improvement since I sometimes had to use too much force to keep them pushed down reliably. This wasn't a huge issue, however, and otherwise the triggers felt good.

Using it with an android smartphone

Now trying to do this I ran into some issues. My LG Optimus 4X HD would connect to the controller through bluetooth, but no button presses were registered. I tried playing Dead Trigger 2 and Conduit HD. I tried using the My Boy! Free, DraStic, FPse and GBC A.D. emulators with it. Pressing the buttons did nothing.

I also tried it with apparently the company's own Happy Chick app, which combines several emulators, download links for games, a forum and some online playing capabilities (like player vs player in The king of fighters '97). While the app was fairly easy to use and the emulators seemed well made and worked well with virtual buttons, it didn't work with the controller.

After some back and forth with the customer support they told me "it is the compatiable problem with the phone model". They told me this would be fixed in a future firmware update. So unfortunately I seemed to be out of luck here and was unable to test it on my smartphone.

I can at least say that the while the cradle's grip seemed weak, in practice it held the smartphone even when violently shaking the controller. The cradle can hold phones between 46mm and 84mm in width, so anything from the original iphone to the Samsung's Galaxy Note and 6-inch devices fits. The cradle has two positions at 110 and 150 degrees. I'm not really sure what the 110 degree angle should be used for, but it proved somewhat useful since the controller didn't fall over on the table when the phone was in the cradle in that position.

Using it with emulators on a Windows PC

This proved to work better. I tried the controller playing pokemon FireRed on VisualBoyAdvance, Spyro 2 on ePSXe and Ratchet and Clank 2 on PCSX2. The 2.4GHz worked great here, the connecting took mere seconds. I was able to configure the controller pretty easily and even got the vibration function working on PCSX2. Any input lag wasn't noticeable to me, although the games tested might not lend themselves well to noticing that. Hindsight is 20/20. Playing the games felt great, basically as good as using a playstation controller.

Other notes

The controller's button lighting is adjustable, but in complete darkness playing on a bed it's uncomfortably bright even on the lowest setting. They can also be turned off, however.

The four battery level lights were supposed to indicate battery life, but the controller instead started flashing the ABXY button lights and turned off while all four indicator lights were still on.

The 2.4GHz dongle can also be used with smart TVs, but since I don't have a television, I wasn't able to test that.

tl;dr This is a versatile, quality controller that tries to do everything at once and mostly succeeds in it. However, I wouldn't recommend it if you have the same phone model as me, or are running the same android version (4.1.2), or possibly even an older one.