I was lucky enough to snag Power A’s MOGA Bluetooth controller for Android devices during their Christmas promotion where they gave away the device for free. I just recently received it, and after playing around with it for a while, I’m almost glad I didn’t waste my money on it. The controller itself is great, in fact, I would say it is just as good as an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller. The huge problem with its $49 price tag has to deal with the MOGA Pivot app, which I will go over in part two of our first impressions of this device. In the meantime, I feel pretty positive about the overall controller. Take a look:
The controller’s design is interesting. The controller is essentially a square, which I found to be rather odd, but it is understandable as to why Power A went ahead with this design. In the middle of the controller there is a clip that the user is able to pull out and lock their smartphone in. When the user isn’t using the clip, they can close it and hide it away so it looks like a normal controller. Due to weight management, I’m glad they took up this design, but it is definitely unique.
The only odd thing I found with the MOGA controller was the trigger buttons. They feel hidden away, as they are located behind a strip of plastic. I would of almost expected them to be more to the top where it would be more comfortable to access, but after using it a while and getting used too the design it’s the perfect place. Again, it does feel odd at first because it simply isn’t your standard controller design.
My huge complaint with the controller is that it feels top heavy with the larger devices out there like the Galaxy Note II — the device I have been testing the MOGA controller on. Setting down your MOGA controller with the smartphone in the clip will cause the MOGA to fall over backwards. Albeit I’d prefer it to stay upright, it actually does not land on your smartphone as the clip protects the fall.
As a last complaint, the analog sticks feel very restrictive, which can be a bit annoying. They are not as free flowing as you would find on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller. In fact, sometimes they feel a bit difficult to move around, but that may just be another thing that takes getting used too.
As I mentioned at the beginning, even though I received this controller for free, the $49 price tag is a bit steep. A standard Xbox 360 controller or PlayStation 3 controller you can find for $39.99 and sometimes even $29.99. The big thing with the MOGA is that it comes with the MOGA Pivot app, which allows you to use the controller in MOGA-optimized games. If you aren’t using that app for the controller, you simply can not use it. That’s not a huge problem, but the problem lays with the limited amount of content that the MOGA Pivot app provides. As an estimation, there are about 12 MOGA optimized games, some of which are not even good games.