- £32.99, $35.99, 32.99 €
- Compatibility: iOS and Android
Now here’s an original concept for a mobile phone gaming controller. Eschewing the usual Bluetooth connectivity, GameSir’s F4 Falcon works by physically pressing the buttons on your screen. Well, maybe not entirely physically. Pressing the left- or right-hand buttons atop the F4 Falcon unit sends an electrical pulse to two on-screen ‘touchpoints’, replicating your body’s own electricity that’s detected by the capacitive screen. Thus it works with any phone with the required display, and any game that lets you drag the controls around the screen.
As well as the regular left and right controls, there are two buttons that let you add a turbo feature. Toggle between No Turbo, Three Bursts, Six Bursts and Nine Bursts. F4 Falcon clips to your phone, and will fit most modern smartphones, but you may need to take its case off first. When not in use it folds down to a convenient pocket-sized shape. Because of the way it works, it places little strain on its internal battery, lasting for around 40 hours on a single charge, and up to 200 hours of standby time.
Being a mechanical rather than Bluetooth-connected device certainly has its advantages. There’s no lag, no problems with disconnections and no complicated configuring before you start. You just drag the on-screen controls under the device’s touchpoints. This makes it great for a wealth of shoot-‘em-ups and platformers that allow this sort of configuration such as Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG Mobile, but it’s of no use for games such as Angry Birds, where you have to drag a finger over the screen to operate. There’s nothing onboard for direction controls either, so you still have to use an on-screen virtual joystick.
F4 Falcon Mobile Gaming Controller is great when playing the games for which it’s suited. It’s comfortable in the hands, responsive and has a great battery life (though taking off your iPhone’s case before fitting it can be a pain). However, it’s not a versatile controller, and definitely isn’t a replacement for a decent joypad.
F4 Falcon Mobile Gaming Controller
Great for shooting and jumping, but not so good as an all-round controller.
+ Easy to install
+ Great battery life
– Not very versatile
– No onboard joypad