Gadget Reviews

Tronsmart Mars G01 Wireless Controller Review

The Tronsmart Mars G01 wireless controller is the company’s sole gaming product but one that complements their TV box products well. Borrowing pretty liberally from the Xbox 360 controller’s design whilst packing in both Android and Windows compatibility (including D-Input!), is Tronsmart’s controller any good? Read our Tronsmart Mars G01 review to find out!

I want to say thanks to GeekBuying for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at GeekBuying

What’s In The Box?


Tronsmart have packed in an impressive collection of goodies inside the box:

  • 1x Tronsmart Mars G01 wireless controller
  • 1x USB Wireless Reciever
  • 1x Micro USB OTG cable
  • 1x Micro USB Charging Cable
  • 1x Carry Bag
  • 1x Instruction Manual

Tronsmart Mars G01 Review: Design

As I mentioned at the start of the review, the Tronsmart Mars G01 looks like the Xbox 360 and PS4 controller had a baby. It borrows heavily from the Xbox 360 controllers’ well-liked design whilst adding some tweaks for usability.


The controller’s wings sit comfortably in the hands and the addition of rubber fins along the sides is a nice touch. They both assist with grip and help keep your hands cool if you get sweaty hands.


There’s the full suite of buttons here. There’s two analog sticks, a d-pad, four face buttons and four shoulder buttons, two of which are analog triggers. Start and select buttons are also present.

The face buttons follow the Xbox’s ABXY layout and are made of clear plastic, with colored embossed letters. It looks fantastic.


There’s also a Tronsmart button that doubles up as the power/mode button, as well as a set of four LEDs that show which mode the controller is in.

There’s also a micro USB port located at the top which is for charging the internal 600mAh battery.


The Tronsmart Mars feels like its relatively well made, with a solid frame and comfortable form factor. I did find the triggers squeak a when pressed slowly but this doesn’t affect gameplay.

Tronsmart Mars G01 Review: Using It

As a 2.4Ghz wireless controller, setup is as simple as plugging in the tiny USB wireless receiver and turning on the controller by holding down the “T” button on the centre of the controller.


The controller will automatically boot into the last mode it was on. Holding down the “T” button will toggle through the various supported modes including X-input, D-input and an Android-specific mode.

Most Android devices should automatically recognise the Tronsmart Mars G01 as a controller and be ready to use in supported games or emulators. I didn’t have any issues playing Beach Buggy Racing and Riptide GP2 on my UGOOS UT3S.


Using it in Windows is just as easy, with Windows 10 recognising the controller as an Xbox 360 controller. I tested it out in Sleeping Dogs and had no issues. The triggers are correctly detected as being analog.

There’s also D-Input support for older games which is great. I fired up the original Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (before X-Input support was patched in) and everything worked as expected, though I did need to remap some of the controls.


Speaking of controls, they feel nice and responsive, with satisfying actuation. The analog sticks feel good too. However, I found the d-pad was a little stiff. It didn’t affect my ability to pull off combos in fighting games, but it wasn’t as pleasant as other controllers.


Range was good thanks to the use of 2.4Ghz. I didn’t have any lag or dropouts when gaming on the other side of my living room.

Tronsmart claims the battery should be able to get around 20 hours of gameplay from a single charge (reduced to 5 hours if using vibration is active). I wasn’t able to clock up enough hours to drain the battery but 3-4 hours of gaming and the controller was still going strong. There’s also an auto-off mode to save battery.

Should You Buy It?


The Tronsmart Mars G01 is a good wireless controller that offers plenty of flexibility. If need D-input support, the Tronsmart Mars G01 is a good option, with the pricier Logitech F710 being the only other comparable choice.

The controller itself is comfortable and the controls generally feel great, though the need to plug in a USB dongle will be a pain for some Android phone/tablet users who may prefer the freedom of a Bluetooth controller.

Getting One

The Tronsmart Mars G01 is available from GeekBuying for under $30. Use coupon EYIUBVVW to get another $5 off!

Check Price at GeekBuying

Alternatively, it’s available from Amazon.

Gamesir G3 Review: The Ultimate Gamers Controller?

The Gamesir G3 Enhanced Edition is a game controller that claims to do it all. Offering Bluetooth 4.0, 2.4GHz wireless and wired connection options, it boasts support for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.

Couple that with the included phone holder (if you opt for the slightly pricier model) and you’ve got a go-anywhere controller that will be compatible with almost anything you throw at it.

However, is it any good? Read our Gamesir G3 Review to find out!

I want to say thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at GearBest

Please note that there’s actually several models of the Gamesir G3. I’ve reviewed the Enhanced Edition which offers both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wirelss support. The standard G3 only has Bluetooth connectivity.

What’s Inside The Box?


Gamesir have provided an impressively comprehensive set of inclusions with the Gamesir G3:

  • 1x Gamesir G3 Controller
  • 1x USB Wireless Reciever
  • 1x Micro USB Charging Cable
  • 1x Dual Micro USB Cable
  • 1x Carry Bag
  • 1x English Instruction Manual
  • 1x Smartphone Holder

Gamesir G3 Review: Design

The Gamesir G3’s design is reminiscent of the PS4’s gamepad. It mimics the controller’s famous boomerang shape, with large side grips that fit comfortably in the hand. The unit’s lighter than the PS4 and Xbox One controllers but still feels well-made. I’m not worried about it breaking on me.


The whole unit is almost entirely black, save for some red details underneath the analog sticks. It looks elegant and fits well with the gamer aesthetic.

The top of the unit houses the micro USB charging port for charging the internal 600mAh battery. The bottom of the unit has 4 LEDs which light up based on the mode the controller is in.


The Gamesir G3 offers up a full set of controls, including a d-pad, dual analog sticks, four face buttons, four shoulder buttons (two of which are analog triggers), start and select buttons. There’s also turbo/clear buttons to allow automatic repeated keypresses – perfect for games requiring rapid, repeated keypresses.


The four face buttons (using the XBox’s ABXY layout) are glossy and transparent, lighting up with various colors when turned on. The effect is really cool. It can be turned off if you find it too distracting.


If you opt for the slightly pricier package, you’ll get the phone clip included. This lets you mount 4-6 inch smartphones onto the controller for an on-the-go gaming setup. The clip simply clamps over the controller and the phone holder can be tilted into the most comfortable position.


My issues with the Gamesir G3’s design are minor. The smartphone clip can be a little tight on the controller. Whilst this means it doesn’t budget when clipped on, it can be a little tricky to lock in initially but that’s a pretty minor complaint.

Gamesir G3 Review: Using It


The Gamesir G3 supports a heap of connectivity modes including X-input, Android, iOS and PS3 both wirelessly and wired. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a controller that’s so flexible.

Each of these are activated by holding the appropriate face button and powering the controller on using the Gamesir button in the center of the controller. For example, holding down the X button will activate the controllers X-input mode.


Using it on an Android device is easy. After booting the controller into Android mode and selecting the Gamesir G3 in my UGOOS UT3S Bluetooth menu, the controller was ready to use. Games with Built-in game pad support such as Riptide GP2 worked perfectly out of the box. Emulators required a little bit of setup as usual, mapping buttons and analog sticks, but this is pretty much par for the course for nearly every controller.

There’s even a mouse mode (activated by holding select and pressing X) that allows you to control the mouse cursor using the left analog stick. Handy for apps that require mouse support. I even used it to play Jetpack Joyride as controllers aren’t natively supported.


Using it on Windows is just as easy. After plugging in the included wireless USB reciever or via the micro USB cable, just boot your controller into X-input mode. The Gamesir G3 is automatically detected as an Xbox 360 controller and you’ll be able to play any supported games. I tested out both Sleeping Dogs and Spec Ops: The Line and both worked perfectly.

iOS support is limited to iCade so you’ll need to look for compatible games. Those hoping for MFI controller support should look elsewhere unless you’re willing to jailbreak.

In terms of feel, the Gamesir G3 holds up well. The buttons all have nice actuation, with satisfying tactile feedback when they’ve been pressed.


The analog sticks feel responsive. Each has a rubberised coating and textured rim to help with grip. It’s once again similar to the PS4 controller’s design, though the PS4 has a tiny bit more grip as the centers are also textured. That said, I never had my thumbs slip during some pretty intense gaming sessions so I think you’ll be find.


The d-pad also feels great. It’s not stiff or mushy and responds nicely to commands. I didn’t have any issues pulling off moves in classics such as Street Fighter.

Wireless range was great, whether I was using Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless. I didn’t have any issues playing games from around 6 meters away. That said, the 2.4GHz wireless range was superior due the technology itself versus Bluetooth.

Battery life has been good, with a single charge lasting quite a few hours without any signs of going flat. The company claims that you should be able to get around 18 hours of gameplay from a single charge and it seems like a reasonable estimate. There’s also a battery saving mode that turns the unit off after 5 minutes of inactivity or 1 minute after disconnection which is handy.

Should You Get One?


I have to admit, I was blown away by the Gamesir G3. The company clearly knows its audience and has designed a controller that’s comfortable, immensely flexible and doesn’t break the bank.

Whilst it doesn’t feel quite as solid as Sony’s controller, it more than makes up for it with its sheer flexibility. Being able to hook it up via wireless or via USB to a wide range of devices is excellent, plus mounting your smartphone using the clip is great for gaming on the go.

If you’re a multi-device gamer, the Gamesir G3 is the best controller I’ve found so far. I’ve even invested in a second one for gaming with friends. Highly recommended.

Getting One

The Gamesir G3 is available from GearBest from around $27 for the Gamesir G3 Enhanced Edition up to $39 for the Enhanced Edition bundled with the smartphone clip.

If you haven’t got a controller for your smartphone already, I’d fork out the extra for the clip as it’s an incredibly handy accessory.

Check Price at GearBest

Alternatively, it’s also available from Banggood, Amazon and Newegg.

Blitzwolf VR Headset Review: Good VR On A Budget?

Blitzwolf have entered the world of VR with the Blitzwolf VR headset. Building on Google Cardboard’s foundation, the Blitzwolf VR headset adds in premium materials, padding and straps. Is this the ultimate Google Cardboard VR headset? Read our Blitzwolf VR headset review to find out!

I want to say thanks to Banggood for sending a sample to review.

Check Price

What’s In The Box?


Blitzwolf have provided a respectable set of inclusions inside the box:

  • 1x Blitzwolf VR Headset
  • 1x Replacement Rubber Bumpers
  • 1x English Instruction Manual
  • 1x Cleaning Cloth

Blitzwolf VR Headset Review: Design


Taking the Blitzwolf VR headset out of the box, it’s clear that this is a fairly large headset – probably on par with other VR headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR and Oculus Rift in size.

The unit is leagues above Google Cardboard in terms of build quality (as you’d expect!). The whole unit is made of plastic, with elastic straps to hold the unit on your head and thick leather-like padding around the eyes for added comfort.

The three elastic straps are fully adjustable and held in place with velcro. I’ve got a large head but didn’t have any issues adjusting them to fit.

The front of the unit shows of some Blitzwolf branding. Prying off this faceplate (it’s held in place with magnets) reveals additional ventilation for your smartphone.


The entire front of the unit also opens up (again, using 3 strong magnets to hold it shut) to allow you to fit in your smartphone in the unit’s telescopic grip. Blitzwolf have stated that 4-6inch phones are supported, though you may need to remove your case to get it to fit. That said, my iPhone 6, Galaxy S4 and LeTV 1S fit in just fine.

The part of the headset that comes in contact with your phone’s screen has foam to protect it from scratches which is a nice touch. Cutouts are also available for routing cables, such as chargers and headphones if you need it.


With the smartphone holder being held closed with magnets, I was worried it wouldn’t hold the phone in place when closed. Thankfully, I was wrong. Even with some more vigorous head movements, the front panel remained securely shut.

There’s a couple of dials that allow you to tweak the headset to make it more comfortable. The top dial allows you to adjust pupillary distance (aka PD – the distance between your pupils). There’s two dials on the side for myopia adjustment, bringing the image closer or further away if you’ve got issues with distance vision. There’s a little play in these dials which doesn’t affect use but does attract from the build quality somewhat.


Google Cardboard comes with a magnetic switch which is used to interact with some apps but this functionality is missing on Blitzwolf’s unit. Instead, you’ll either need to open up the front panel to physically touch the screen or opt for a Bluetooth controller. However, most VR apps are designed to be controlled only with head movements or a controller so this wasn’t as much of an issue as I first thought it would be.

The unit’s build quality feels good and durable, so I’m not concerned that it’ll fall apart on me.

Blitzwolf VR Headset Review: Using It

Using the Blitzwolf VR headset is simple. Open up the front on the unit,  slide your smartphone into the holder (making sure to keep everything centered) and fire up your favorite Google Cardboard-compatible app.


Use the aforementioned dials to tweak the unit’s settings to make the image sharp and you’re ready to go.

Lens quality was fantastic and leagues better than those that came with the Google Cardboard headset. The lenses are clear without any unusual distortion, leading to nice, sharp images.

That said, image quality is also dependent on your smartphone’s resolution, as using Google Cardboard tech halves the horizontal resolution. At times, my Samsung Galaxy S4’s 1080p resolution looked a little grainy but that’s not the fault of the headset. If you’re wanting a better image, use a phone with a higher resolution (such as the Xperia Z5’s glorious 4K screen). A larger screen also leads to a more immersive experience.

I tried a heap of VR apps (check out my favorites here) and having a proper VR headset is far more immersive than Google Cardboard. Without light leaking in and no need to hold the headset in place, the experience is leagues better.


The leather-like padding around the eyeframes is nice and comfortable, even after lengthy gaming sessions. However, I got a little sweaty around the eyes.

My smartphone also got a little warm too, so I’d recommend opening up the front vent if you’re planning on playing with VR for long periods of time.

Should You Get One?


Do you want to flirt with VR without draining your bank account? Finding Google Cardboard isn’t durable enough for you or just sick of holding it on your face? If so, I thoroughly recommend the Blitzwolf VR headset.

It’s well made, comfortable, leagues better than Google Cardboard and an affordable upgrade to experience the wonders of virtual reality. Thoroughly recommended.

Getting One

You can get the Blitzwolf VR headset from Banggood for around $26 or with a Bluetooth controller for an extra $1.

Check Price

Alternatively, it’s also available from Amazon.

Andoer CST-09 VR Headset Review

The Andoer CST-09 is a premium VR Headset based on Google Cardboard’s technology. By utilising your smartphone’s screen and high-quality lenses, the Andoer CST-09 allows you to experience virtual reality without breaking the bank. But are they worth your hard-earned money? Read our Andoer CST-09 review to find out!

Thanks to TomTop for sending me a sample to review. Use coupon “TOMTOPVR” to get it the VR headset and Bluetooth controller bundle for only $17.39.

Check Price

What’s In The Box?

Andoer CST-09-VR-Headset-Review-Inside-The-Box

Inside the box, Andoer have included:

  • 1x Andoer CST-09 VR Headset
  • 1x Replacement Rubber Bumpers
  • 1x English Instruction Manual
  • 1x Cleaning Cloth

Additionally, TomTop are offering a bundle with a compact Bluetooth controller which is suited for VR:

Andoer CST-09-VR-Headset-Review-Controller-Box

Andoer CST-09 VR Headset Review: Design

Andoer CST-09-VR-Headset-Review-Front

The Andoer CST-09 VR headset is a large bit of kit, with a design similar to pretty much every VR headset in the market such as the Gear VR or Oculus Rift.

Essentially a much fancier Google Cardboard, the Andoer CST-09 takes Google’s cardboards VR solution and turns it up to 11. Andoer have upgraded the materials, added straps to hold it on your head for hands-free fun and building in plenty of customisation controls to make it as comfortable as possible.

The rear of the unit houses the two lenses, with comfortable leather-like padding around the frame that’s very comfortable when on your face. Large straps (adjustable via velcro) hold the unit on your face. I’ve got a big head but I was able to adjust it to fit comfortably.

Andoer CST-09-VR-Headset-Review-Back

The front of the unit features a removable plate with Andoer branding. It’s held in place via strong magnets and can be removed to provide additional ventilation if required. There’s also cutouts for cables (such as for your headphones or a USB cable) which is handy.

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The entire front panel opens up to reveal the smartphone holder tray. The clips that secure your smartphone are spring-loaded, providing a good grip and keep the phone from moving when you’re looking around. A soft foam surround helps cushion your phone’s screen if it’s larger than the viewing area.

The smartphone holder extends to support phones from 4.0-6.0 inches. I didn’t have any issue using it with my iPhone 6 and Galaxy S4 though the larger phablets may struggle to fit.

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The front panel is actually held in place by a series of strong magnets. I was worried it wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the phone in place but, despite shaking my head enthusiastically during a few VR games, it stayed in place.

There’s also a few dials to help tweak the unit to make it more comfortable. The top of the unit has a dial for adjusting pupillary distance (PD – the distance between your eyes). There’s also a dial on either side for myopia adjustment, allowing you to move the image forwards or backwards if you’re short sighted.

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You’ll notice there’s no magnetic switch like the one found on Google Cardboard so for apps that require it, you’ll need to use a Bluetooth controller or your fingers instead. Thankfully, most apps are designed not to need it.

The actual build quality of the unit feels solid. Everything feels like it’s well made. I’m not concerned about the durability of the unit.

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In terms of the included Bluetooth controller, it’s compact and comes with an analogue stick and 4 face buttons. There’s also a Bluetooth shutter mode that allows you to use it to take photos on both Android and iOS so it’s usefulness extends beyond VR.

Andoer CST-09 VR Headset Review: Using It

There’s really not much to using the Andoer CST-09. Just slip in your smartphone and fire up your favorite Google Cardboard-compatible app.

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After using the various dials to adjust the VR headset for the best image quality and comfort, it’s just a matter of enjoying the experience.

The soft, leather-like material is very comfortable. Even after using the goggles for an hour straight, they never got uncomfortable but I did get a little warm.

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Speaking of heat, I found my smartphone did get a little warm when the goggles were fully sealed as the screen is constantly running. Removing the front panel greatly improved the situation.

The lenses are miles better than the one’s that come with Google Cardboard, leading to a much sharper image.There was no obvious distortion or cloudiness – just pure VR goodness.

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That said, the higher resolution your phone’s screen in, the better the experience. My Galaxy S4’s resolution is 1080p and images looked a little grainy at times given that Google Cardboard halves the horizontal resolution, though that’s to do with the tech itself and nothing to do with the VR headset.

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I tested as many VR apps as I could get my hands on (see my favorites here) and having a proper VR headset makes a massive difference. Without having to hold the Google Cardboard viewer in place and having all light blocked out leads to a far more immersive experience. Watching a 3D movie in a VR cinema or racing around a VR racetrack is an incredibly unique experience. Getting to flirt with VR without having to fork out $600-odd to play with the Oculus Rift is just awesome.

Should You Get One?

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If you’re looking to flirt with virtual reality and want to upgrade from Google Cardboard, I highly recommend the Andoer CST-09 VR Headset. It’s well-built, highly flexible and incredibly comfortable.

Though they’re missing the magnetic button of Google Cardboard, the Bluetooth remote is definitely a workable solution – particularly if you’re wanting to dabble in more interactive VR experiences such as VR games.

Getting One

You can get the Andoer CST-09 VR headset from TomTop for around $20. Use coupon “TOMTOPVR” to get it with the bundled Bluetooth controller for $17.39.

Check Price

Alternatively, it’s available from Amazon.