The GameSir T4 Kaleid comes from peripheral maker GameSir, which is no stranger to great gaming accessories, especially when it comes to offering fantastic alternatives to the traditional console controller. In this review, we're looking at their latest launch – the T4 Kaleid. This controller is a beautiful product, but will it be replacing the current pads I use day to day?
To clarify, for testing purposes I decided to use this pad on my Nintendo Switch so I could easily test the 6-axis gyro within the device for motion controls. However, this controller is also fully compatible with PC and Android devices too, with fully customisable formatting for each platform.
GameSir T4 Kaleid review: Design
The design of the GameSir T4 Kaleid is one that I can't really fault when it comes to comfort and compatibility. The plastic body is lightweight, but the internal hardware still gives it a nice weight to hold so it doesn't feel cheap. The buttons feel great to use, with the tactile face buttons and D-pad having a remarkably satisfying click to them.
However, I feel it important to mention this isn't the quietest controller, so if you like your pad to be near silent when pressing the buttons, this isn't the pick for you. Each button and trigger feels well cushioned, and while I haven't tested it long enough to determine if wear and tear is an issue, the sheer feel of them make me confident that this is built incredibly well. The analogue sticks also have a great texture on the rubber to ensure maximum grip.
The clear plastic is smooth on top so it's comfy to rest your palms on, but the underside of the handles has a great textured effect that makes them easy to grip. I do worry about how easily the clear plastic would mark and scratch, given that the pad already had a few minor marks straight out of the box. The clear plastic is a vital part of the build as it exposes the internal lights.
Speaking of lights, this is where the T4 Kaleid really shines (hah!). The lights are an excellent modern addition that makes this controller very pretty to look at when in use. When in default, the pad cycles through various colours that illuminate the light tubes and main power button.
The lights are incredibly vibrant and rich in colour, and if you're playing on PC you can use the custom GameSir T4k app to actually customise how the lights work. You can change the speed, adjust the brightness and shades and you can even programme them to be audio reactive – meaning the lights will react to whatever sound is happening in your games or the beat of the music. Pretty cool.
The controller comes paired with a long 2-metre cable that has custom detailing on the connections and a handy velcro cable tie. My favourite part, however, is the woven casing on the cable itself – this ensures it will not tangle and protects the wire beneath it from fraying or damage easily. It also makes it easy to wrap and store as it holds its shape better in the long run.
The main selling point of the GameSir T4 Kaleid is the internal lighting. This beautiful feature illuminates the clear controller, making it glow in your hand. As already mentioned above, PC players have full control over this lighting with the custom GameSir app, so you can adjust the speed, type and vibrancy of the lights – you can even set it up to react to music or game audio. Playing on Switch, my customisation options were limited, but you can still use the dedicated M button and analogue sticks to scroll through a limited set of different lighting modes.
I did have an issue with this, however, as playing around with this setting doesn't disable your gameplay or your input on the screen. This means, whilst you're cycling through the different modes, you're also still running around in the game or scrolling through menus on the Switch. I do wish holding the M button somehow momentarily paused your connection to the console so unlucky gamers don't make their character run off a cliff (not that I'm speaking from experience, there...)
Another great feature of the GameSir T4 Kaleid is the multi-device compatibility, meaning this controller is fully functional with the Nintendo Switch, Android devices and PC. The pad is a pretty generic shape too, meaning it will be familiar for any kind of gamer and easy to get used to no matter what platform you're playing on.
I obviously have to mention that this pad is sadly not wireless, like most of GameSir's controllers. But the 2-metre cable means you won't really have an issue if you sit further away from the screen.
The main feature that made me decide to test this console is the inbuilt gyroscope. For those not in the know, a gyro is how a controller detects motion for games that require movement. The GameSir T4 Kaleid proudly boasts this feature – but it isn't all perfect news. Upon first connecting my controller to my Switch and playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I actually experienced some drifting issues with the inbuilt gyro. While holding my controller still and aiming the bow and arrow, the motion controls were actually drifting over to the right and not staying static despite me not moving.
Although this was a bit alarming (considering the wide array of Nintendo Switch games requiring motion controls), I am glad to report that the issue seemed to resolve itself. After about 10 minutes, the gyro seemed to sort itself out and I had no further issues. I'm therefore hoping it was just a small issue out of the box that needed time to calibrate – either way, I'm glad the issue didn't last.
In terms of anything else performance-wise, I found this controller to be super responsive and easy to use. Each button has a great feel and at no point were there any issues with the pad missing any of my input. There really isn't a lot to say about it, as there weren't any issues.
The GameSir T4 Kaleid retails for $49.99/£35.99, which can seem pretty expensive for a third-party offering when comparing it to other brands like PowerA. However, when you consider that the official Nintendo Switch Pro controller starts at $69.99/£49.99, you're actually getting a pretty decently priced pad. After my extensive tests, I would happily pay the asking price for the GameSir T4 Kaleid as it feels like a really premium product that is certainly more visually striking than the Pro controller.
Should I buy the GameSir T4 Kaleid?
My answer is a solid yes. If you're tired of the Joy-Cons and are looking for a more traditional controller without the Pro price, the GameSir T4 Kaleid is a perfect fit for you. The buttons have a wonderfully satisfying click that feel great to use and the analogue sticks are incredibly smooth and responsive. It's also a very handsome controller thanks to the vibrant lighting effects that are fully customisable if you're playing on a PC. The small performance issues of the faulty gyro quickly resolved themselves and I haven't experienced it since first using the pad. Overall, I highly recommend the T4 Kaleid if you're looking for a fantastic multi-functional controller that can be used across a multitude of devices.