PowerA’s newest offering, the MOGA Pro, is a mixed bag. On the plus side, it’s a radical improvement on the original MOGA, in that it incorporates a full-size design, a long-lasting rechargeable battery and a suite of upgrades, from dual shoulder buttons, L3/R3 clickable thumbsticks, and a nice rubberized design.
Oddly, the one thing I liked the most about the original MOGA (aside from its extreme portability) was the hooked lip on the expandable jaw, that expands and retracts to secure various sizes of phone. The MOGA Pro has a flat, albeit rubberized, lip and I’m really, really leery about moving around with my larger-sized Galaxy SIII, since it feels like it could slip out the sides with a good shake.
The other feature I liked better with the original was its size: the first MOGA had an incredibly compact design that managed to keep gamepad functionality without sacrificing its size. It was easy to stick into its MOGA pouch, and toss into a backpack or laptop case, without worrying about whether it’d get beat up. The MOGA Pro is literally a full-sized controller (slightly larger than the Xbox 360 wireless), so fitting it into a snug travel bag isn’t really an option. That’s a shame, because I’m really smitten with its design, but I don’t want dust, grit or anything else travel-hazard-related to befall it.
The MOGA Pro also comes bundled with a nifty tablet easel, which can be used to prop up a variety of tablets, ranging from the 7-inch Nook tablet an off-brand 10.1 inch tablet. The easel was great for all of them, though I wouldn’t really recommend using the 10+ inch tablets in portrait mode, as an overzealous tap could send it careening backwards.
All (and I do mean all) of the MOGA Pro’s buttons are incredibly responsive…even if all of the games don’t call for ‘em. Playing any of the “sanctioned” FPS titles was a breeze with the Pro, and I was surprised to find that it supported Zen Pinball as well. Finally, I was able to play my favorite tables without running the risk of obscuring the screen.
Even though the MOGA Pro doesn’t come with a protective case, it’s built extremely ruggedly. The rubberized grips provide a decent amount of insulation against minor drops, and the textured surface minimizes slipping. Thumbsticks are stiff and responsive, the buttons have an extremely clean activation, and the triggers are springy. Plus, on the underside, there’s a backlight toggle which can help immensely in low-light situations.
If you’re a competitive phone gamer, you’re either going to love or haaaaate the MOGA Pro. I tested out three competitive online games (Shadow Gate: DeadZone, Modern Combat 4 and Dead Trigger) using only the touchscreen, and scored in the bottom five. Consistently. And I’m no slouch when it comes to FPS’.
Then, I configured the MOGA Pro, retried, and I was literally at the opposite end of the spectrum. And with Shadow Gate: Deadzone, I was in first place nine times in a row! And when I was playing Modern Combat 4? Pshhhhhh. Forget about it! The MOGA Pro is pre-programmed for MC4, and it was exactly like dropping into a game of Modern Warfare. No joke. It was almost tooooo comfortable.
Now, I’m not a mobile gamer. Hell, the only thing I ever played compulsively on the Android network is Angry Birds: Star Wars and Cogs. But after playing with the MOGA Pro for a week? I bought a bigger MicroSD card, just to accommodate all the games I could play. And the best part? Most of the MOGA Pro optimized titles are FREE…and the ones that aren’t are between $5 and $10 (both GTA III and Vice City are $4.99 each)!
Of course, I can keep my MOGA Pro on my office desk for when I have a hankering to game…but for people who don’t have that luxury, trucking around a controller to play games on your phone will likely get old fast. That’s the advantage that the MOGA Pivot has over the Pro: it’s extreme portability.
That being said, even with it’s $50 price tag, I’m a mobile gaming convert. Now, if I could only get Power A to start making bigger batteries…
The MOGA Pro by Power A has an MSRP of $49.99 and is available at major retailers, as well as direct from PowerA themselves! It’s designed for Android 2.3+ devices, with Bluetooth compatibility only. Sorry iPhone!