Don’t be put off by the slow-spinning fan on the back of the Gamesir F8 Pro; that’s to keep itself cool, not your phone.
Instead, the technology in this mobile cooling grip that keeps your device cool is actually semiconductor refrigeration, which sounds cool and, indeed, gets very cool. Within seconds of turning on the Gamesir F8 Pro Snowgon, the pad that makes contact with your phone gets ice cold and stays that way until you turn the F8 off. Honestly, I could do with a body-sized one of these for those unbearable summer days.
This is a very nicely designed product; it’s shaped like a controller, putting hand grips either side of your phone. That makes for decent ergonomics. It’s comfortable to hold, and despite the bulk of the fan at the back, it’s not too big and unsightly. And thankfully, it’s quiet, too. There’s only a very faint whirr from the fan, which will be easily covered over by your phone’s speakers. It is quite heavy – it adds another 145g to the weight of your phone – though it’s to be expected considering it has a flippin’ refrigerator built into it.
If you’re playing something that doesn’t require you to hold your phone (or if you’ve synced a controller – which is the smart way to game on your mobile, FYI), the Gamesir F8 Pro comes with a built-in wire stand. Simply pop it out and your device will stand up on any flat surface. When it’s not in use, it neatly folds back and you’ll never know it’s there. It’s much more sturdy than the flimsy flip-stand you’ll find on a Nintendo Switch.
And for a little bit of extra jazziness, the fan lights up with cycling RBG lighting. You won’t get the benefit, since it’ll be facing away from you while ever you’re playing your phone. But other people will see them, and think you’re super cool. Probably.
There’s one rather major drawback to the Gamesir F8 Pro, however. It doesn’t have a built-in battery, meaning you need to have it plugged in to use. It’s powered by a standard USB-C charger, so you can have it plugged into a battery pack, a USB socket or the mains, but for a mobile device, having to be restricted to a cable is less than ideal. It also means you can’t use the cooling grip while you’re out and about, unless you have a USB-C powerpack.
If you typically game at home, though, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. And when it’s plugged in and powered on, the Gamesir F8 Pro gets cool within less than 10 seconds. Seriously, it gets so cold so quickly that it’s like sticking your hand on a shelf in the fridge.
As you’d expect from something that gets so cold, it’s rather effective at what it does. While my phone – a Vivo V2006 5G tends to get warm to the touch within 15 minutes of playing a game, the F8 Pro actually kept it cool to the touch. The problem here is that the grip itself starts to get warm on the back after only around 10 minutes of use. It won’t affect your phone, but you will feel it on your hands.
There’s also the problem that, thanks to the stretch design of the F8 Pro, it’s not going to fit every single phone on the market. It will fit most, though, but if you have a particularly oversized handset, you may find it doesn’t quite fit. Similarly, if you have an extra chunky phone, it won’t be properly gripped by the F8. This is true of most universal phone accessories, though; nothing is truly universal, particularly if you happen to have an unusual handset. Just make sure you check your phone’s measurements before deciding to buy it.
If you’re concerned about your phone getting too hot, you should consider the Gamesir F8 Pro. For $40, it’s a solid bit of kit – and its technology is niftier (and way more effective) than other fan-based coolers. But the fact it needs to be plugged in to use is undoubtedly an issue. If you tend to game in one place, near a power outlet, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem – but it’s something to bear in mind.
A review unit of this item was provided to GameSpew for the purposes of this review.