Moga Pro review: level up your Android gaming

October 12, 2013
33 5 18

Modern Android devices pack powerful internals and great displays that make them ideal gaming devices. But one thing prevents the gaming experience on smartphones and tablets from being truly compelling – the touchscreen controls.

Bluetooth controllers like the Moga Pro are designed to solve precisely this issue. But does the Moga Pro solve more problems than it adds or is it just a big hassle? We look at all the things that matter in our Moga Pro review.

The basics

The Moga Pro is the successor to the Moga Pocket, a largely forgettable gadget that lacked good controls and had a limited number of compatible games. Retailing for $49, the Moga Pro offers a completely overhauled experience, adding more buttons, more games, and more battery life.

The controller features an extendable arm where you can fit phones in landscape mode, up to a dimension of 3.2-inch (82 millimeters). However, we tried the Note 3 (3.12-inch), and while it does barely fit, we didn’t find it stable enough for gaming, which is why we can’t really recommend it.

Even if your device doesn’t fit the extendable arm, you can still pair to the Moga Pro, and the nifty little tripod stand that ships with the controller lets you set it up on any flat surface.

Unlike the Moga Pocket, which requires two AAA batteries, the Moga Pro has an internal rechargeable battery that you can charge via USB. The unit should, in theory, be good for 12 to 15 hours of gaming, which means that, unless you’re a hardcore mobile gamer, you should only have to recharge every few days. To spare battery life, the Moga Pro shuts down itself after a period of inactivity.

The Moga Pro can pair with any device running Android 2.3 or higher.

The controller

Console gamers will see in the Moga Pro traces of both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 controller. The biggest difference from any standard controller is the flexible arm that tucks away in the center of the device, and can be flipped open and extended to accommodate a smartphone. In the closed position, the holding arm conceals the power button/A-B switch.

On the left side, you have an analog stick, a D-pad, the Select button, and the Bluetooth pairing button. On the right, there’s another analog, the four action buttons and the Start button. One qualm we have with this setup is that the Start and Select buttons are somehow hard to reach. The Moga Pro also features shoulder buttons and triggers, as well as a backlight toggle for the action buttons. The USB charging port is located on the back in an easily accessible spot.

Overall, we like the controller quite a lot – the grips are comfortable and they fit the hand well, the entire device is firm, while the buttons are precise and have the perfect amount of give.

The tablet stand is a nice touch, though it’s not essential to the user experience. It lets you mount all kinds of devices securely. and we found ourselves using it quite often.

The gaming experience

The Moga Pocket had only a few dozen compatible games, but the Moga Pro is leaps and bounds better because it supports the Bluetooth HID profile, which is supported by an increasing number of games and emulators.

You can use the Moga Pro in two modes, that you can switch between with the A-B toggle. In A mode, you can play games available in the Moga Pivot app, which is the companion app for the controller that also lets you pair it to an Android phone or tablet. These are games that the Moga team guarantees are compatible with the controller. In B mode, the controller uses the Bluetooth HID profile, that lets you pair it with many emulators and games that support button mapping.

Pairing by Bluetooth takes a few seconds, and setting up games to work with the Moga Pro only takes about two minutes. In arcade games like Riptide GP2 or even shooters like Dead Trigger, the Moga Pro is a pleasure to use, offering precise and fast controls while exposing the display in its full glory. To wrap up, the Moga Pro is guaranteed to enrich your Android gaming experience, which is why we recommend it to any serious mobile gamer.

Comments

  • Chibuzor Ifediorah

    Sweet…………..

  • Rui Ribeiro

    Need a review for the Moga Pro Power now. They have it on pre order atm but maybe you guys can get a heads up if you talk to them.

  • Charles Chambers

    I have the Moga Pocket and love it. A lot of good games support it. I email the developers if their game isn’t yet compatible. I don’t buy games that don’t support it. I can’t really play mobile games without a controller now.

  • Jason Johnson

    Note 3 does fit. I have the moga pro and it fits just fine.

    • Leonard Bryan

      have you got any pictures? I’m considering buying one for my note 3.. thanks..

      • Jason Johnson

        I don’t know how to upload a pic to this. I have a pic of my note 2 in it which is slightly wider than note 3 actually.

        • Ivan Myring

          I would also be interested. Just upload it to another website and link it here.

          • Jason Johnson
          • Jason Johnson

            Fyi, there is a universal moga driver in the play store that allows for most emulators to incorporate the moga controller. I use it to play super team bowl and 1943 for NES all the time

          • rcmp09

            I have the Note 3 and it fits into the built in stand on the controller without any issue. With my SGP Neo Hybrid case it still fits and there is about 3/4 of a cm left before it closes down on it. No need to use the other stand at all for this device.

  • Balraj

    Will it work with pc

  • Joonas Mattias Laur

    Can it be shipped to Europe?

  • leo98918

    I ordered mine a couple of days ago on Amazon for $36.00. The price has dropped because they are coming out with another one. Forgot the name it was given, but they had the price at $74.99… Kinda steep if you ask me. Thanks for the review

  • Braga

    Does games downloaded by torrents ( pirated ) work with the pivot app and the controller?

  • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2926289 Jasonwsc

    I will just bring along my xbox/playstation controller along with my phone. Cheaper and much better designed.

  • Guest
  • Guest

    I can pair my xperia with my current dual shock 3 controller without any problem no need to buy a moga control

  • mitsueturner

    Recently I was extremely low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this! – z3l6