Moga Pro Power and Hero Power review: Bluetooth controllers with a twist

November 27, 2013
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When we reviewed the Moga Pro Bluetooth controller from PowerA we loved the way it enhances Android gaming, and we recommended it to all serious mobile gamers as a must-have accessory.

Recently, PowerA launched a pair of Bluetooth controllers that further refine the design of the Moga Pro and come with a great new feature – the ability to charge your smartphone. For a device designed for gaming on the go, every minute of battery life matters. But is this ability of the Pro Power and Hero Power worth their relatively high price tag? What’s the difference between these two controllers?

We answer these and other questions in our Moga Pro Power and Moga Hero Power review.

Moga Hero Power

Before PowerA launched the Power Pro, it had the Moga Pocket, a smaller controller that had fewer controls and was powered by removable AA batteries instead of a rechargeable Li-ion battery. The new Hero Power takes the Pocket’s place in PowerA’s lineup, and it’s hugely improved.

Moga Hero Power aa 4

The Hero Power is slim and portable, so throwing it in a bag or a pocket for gaming on the go should be no problem. Compact as it is, the Hero has all the controls you may need: two clickable analog sticks, a D-pad, four action buttons, two triggers, and two shoulder buttons. Power A managed to fit the buttons of a full-sized console controller in a smaller form factor, while still making it comfortable to hold and use.

The molded plastic sides of the Hero Power provide a good grip, even for folks with larger hands. The sticks are covered in a rubberized material, but even so, they can become slippery and hard to grip at times. The A, B, X, and Y buttons are marble-like and don’t have an especially good press depth, but they are generally usable. Some more nitpicking concerns the shoulder buttons, which are a little stiff and shallow, though you’ll still get some decent feedback.

Moga Hero Power aa 5

In the middle of the Hero Power you have the holding arm that extends to 3.7-inch, enough to accommodate even large devices like the Note 3, even when they are in a case. That’s pretty impressive for a controller this size, especially when you consider that the full-sized Moga Pro we reviewed before had issues holding Samsung’s phablet.

Buy Moga Hero Power from Amazon.com

Moga Pro Power

The Pro Power is generally a bigger and better version of the Hero Power. The device has the same control-scheme, but everything’s packed into a larger and more comfortable frame. In fact, the Pro Power looks a lot like the Xbox 360 controller, so, if you used that, you’ll feel right at home.

On the down side, the Pro Power is not nearly as compact and portable as the Hero, and is also heavier than the Moga Pro, weighing 251 grams, compared to the 190 grams of the older model. Add the weight of the smartphone, and the ensemble can go over 400 grams, a respectable heft for a mobile console, but still less than the Nvidia Shield. Holding the Pro Power can probably become tiresome after a few hours, but that’s the price of having a console-grade controller with a large battery. Speaking of which, the battery inside the Pro Power is an impressive 2,300 mAh unit.

Moga Pro Power aa 2

The Moga Pro Power is probably the best Bluetooth controller we ever tested – the design is thoughtful and precise, the materials make for a comfortable grip, the buttons have good depth and feedback. The slightly concave shape and the rubbery material of the analog sticks ensure you will be firmly in control no matter how intense action gets. The flat triggers are wide enough and they reminded us of the triggers on the new PS4 controller.

Like the Hero, the Pro Power comes with a 3.7-inch extendable holding arm, as well as LED indicators for connection and battery level.

On both controllers, the A-B switch lets you toggle between the games available in the Moga Pivot app store and games that support the Bluetooth HID interface. In both modes, the controllers work without any lag.

Buy Moga Pro Power from Amazon.com

Moga Power Boost

One of the best things about the Moga Pro Power and Moga Hero Power is the fact that you can use them as an external battery pack, thanks to a function that Power A calls Power Boost. The controllers come with a short USB cable than you can use to charge up the smartphone, as long as the battery is at least 25 percent full. In other words, the Power Pro can output as much as 1650 mAh and the smaller Hero up to 1350 mAh. When the battery level goes below 25 percent, the controllers stop juicing up the smartphone, but you can continue to use them.

Power Boost can make a huge difference, depending on your usage. The extra power they deliver can get you through a particularly long commute or other situations when you can’t charge up your device. And that goes not just for gaming, as you can use them as a portable power bank to keep you up and running in a pinch.

Final thoughts

To wrap up, the Moga Hero Power and Moga Pro Power are two of the best controllers for Android gaming you can get right now. If you prefer comfort over portability, or if you want the larger battery, the Power Pro is the way to go. For more casual gaming, the Hero will do just fine.

Add the ability to act as an external battery, and you have another reason to throw a controller inside your backpack or luggage. Bottom line, the Hero Power and Pro Power are great gifts for any Android gamer.

 

 

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