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GameSir’s X3 comes with an in-built fan that cools your phone but it comes with a hitch. 

You need to be plugged into a power source to use its cooling capabilities!

The $100 USD accessory which hasn’t got an Australian price tag yet,  is being pitched to gamers as the “ideal solution for Cloud Gaming on Android smartphones” (sorry Apple users, there’s always the Backbone One).
The fan lights up in all sorts of pretty colours. (Nine)

Essentially, it turns your phone into a gaming tablet similar to the Nintendo Switch 

It opens up like a piano accordion to fit most phones. Both Google’s Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra were perfect fits but my favourite option – the Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 3 – is a little hard done by. 

This Belkin power bank ran the fan for hours on a single charge. (Nine)

The GameSir X3 shifts the USB-C connector from the left hand side to right, which means the extra real estate on the Fold’s screen hangs below the controller rather than above.

I got used to it after a while but it does feel a little unnatural. 

Like the Nintendo Switch, the GameSir X3 doesn’t have handles for you to grip, which makes it a little less comfortable to hold than the Backbone One.
There’s a USB-C connection to power the fan, and another to charge your phone. (Nine)

It doesn’t have an internal battery either meaning it can quickly sap older phones dry.

Over WiFi, I easily got two hours out of Google’s Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3. 

Playing over 5G does take more out of a phone’s battery but those hoping for longer sessions can connect a USB-C cable to the underside of the right handle to charge your phone while you play.

It’s a habit you’ll need to get used to if you want to use the X3’s cooling system at all. 

In the centre of the X3 is a 4000 mm² hexagonal pad that gets cold enough to provide up to a “24°C drop in (a phone’s) surface temperature.”

The cooling pad gets surprisingly cold to the touch. (Nine)

According to GameSir, it can also drop the temperature of a phone’s CPU by up to 12°C.

That’ll be music to the ears of anyone who knows how hot a phone can get while gaming but the cooling system only works when plugged into an external power source. 

The fan and its RGB lighting won’t boot up at all when plugged into a phone by itself.

That may be a win for your phone’s battery life but it’s far from a portable solution. 

The cooling works wonderfully; particularly on my Pixel 6 which has a habit of getting hot. 

Better still, it’s quiet and looks excellent when the lights are fired up even if it is a bit of a novelty (how often will the player look at the back of their phone?). 

It’ll fit almost every Android phone that charges with USB-C (assuming they’re between 110 and 179mm tall) but will only work with those running Android 9 or later. 

It weighs just 270 grams and comes with a solid carrying case if you plan on throwing it in a backpack and don’t want it to be damaged.

You also have the ability to mod the GameSir X3 with different thumbsticks and button combinations to swap in and out. 

The thumbsticks, buttons and D-pad are all customisable. (Nine)

And finally – while my tests exclusively focused on Microsoft’s xCloud – the X3 also supports Google Stadia, Vortex, Amazon Luna, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Steam Link, and more; meaning it’s compatible with most cloud games.

It’s not the only option for Android gamers, the $169.95 Razer Kishi V2 is a popular and cheaper alternative, despite being a little barebones on modifications and features. 

By comparison, the GameSir X3 is notably bulkier (and heavier) thanks to its cooling fan.

But for those looking for a higher-end experience, there’s nothing quite like it. 

We’ll update this article with a price and exact release date once the team at GameSir locks those details in. 

GameSir provided 9News with early access to an X3 Type-C controller for the purposes of this review.   

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