Windows Central Verdict
The PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus is by far the most comfortable Xbox cloud controller I have ever used, with its full-size controls. However, the use of micro USB to charge seems like an odd choice when all modern smartphones use USB-C, meaning it fits less conveniently into my gadget rotation. In addition, the inclusion of a wireless charging feature for your smartphone just isn't good enough and drains the unit too fast to be worth using. This controller could be perfect, but it's not there yet.
A comfortable layout that mimics the Xbox controller layout perfectly
Full-sized triggers and shoulder buttons
Wide-berth for large phones or phones in cases
Programmable rear buttons for extra inputs
Charges with micro-USB, not USB-C
The wireless charging feature is a short-lived gimmick
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The PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus is chunky in name and chunky in nature, with its full-size Xbox controls making it stand out from other mobile controllers on the market.
PowerA market this MOGA as "feature-packed" with the option to play via Bluetooth with your smartphone held securely between the controls or using the included micro-USB wire and device stand for minimal input lag.
MOGA has been in the mobile gaming space for a long time, with its clip on controllers and phone mounts but the MOGA XP7-X Plus represents its first real competitor for integrated controllers like the Razer Kishi and GameSir Pro.
PowerA Nano Enhanced: Price, availability and specs
The PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus is available directly from the PowerA website for $99.99. It's also available on Amazon in the US, and GAME in the UK.
|Category||PowerA Nano Controller|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth or USB wired|
|Customization||Two rear re-mappable buttons|
|Compatibility||Android devices up to 7.13" (181.1mm)|
|Charging||Integrated 2000mAh power bank for wireless mobile charging|
PowerA Nano Enhanced: What's good
When first unboxing the MOGA XP7-X Plus I was taken aback by its sheer size — in the best way. What stood out to me from the jump was how much it resembled an official Xbox Series X|S controller simply split in half. I could tell this was going to be a comfortable gaming experience when I fired up Xbox Cloud Gaming and I wasn't wrong in that regard.
What I most enjoyed about this mobile and cloud controller, is that I didn't need to remove my phone case to use it. I have a two-part phone case which inevitably turns into a faff whenever I want to mount it onto a cloud controller but I didn't have that issue with the MOGA XP7-X Plus, my phone slid in with ease, case and all. I've photographed this with an old Xiaomi Redmi 9 which measures 6.53 inches but it was mainly used with a Samsung S21+ which comes in at 6.7 inches before I've even put a case on. The MOGA XP7 expands up to an impressive 7.13 inches.
The controller can be used via Bluetooth or USB at the flick of a switch, though you'd obviously need to use it with the phone docked elsewhere to make the most of the USB function, which is why I primarily used Bluetooth. Pairing was relatively painless and I didn't need to dive into the instructions, you simply click the Bluetooth symbol to put into pairing mode and connect with your phone. I only had to do this once and the device was easily remembered any time I connected it.
Bluetooth can be a drawback with some controllers due to input lag, but I didn't notice any issues with the games I played. The response from the buttons was perfect for me while playing Mass Effect. The triggers and thumbsticks are on par with the official Xbox controller being full-size, making aiming and shooting a lot more natural than on smaller controllers like the Razer Kishi. (I also played an extensive amount of Vampire Survivors, which having only two required controls isn't the best game to test a controller, but it certainly put it to the comfort test.) This was hands down the most comfortable experience I've had with cloud gaming on a mobile phone and felt identical to using my Xbox controller.
Like other PowerA offerings, the XP7-X Plus also comes with buttons on the rear of the pad that you can map extra commands to, a nice option which I appreciate they have included with this unit.
PowerA Nano Enhanced: What's not so good
You're probably wondering with all I've said about this controller, why I've only given it 3.5 stars. Well let's get into that.
Firstly, being Bluetooth controller I knew I needed to charge this before first use, and was dismayed to find it used micro-USB to do so. This may sound rather dramatic but I already have a USB-C charger or cable in every room of the house for various devices. I have no wish to add yet another charger so was hoping I could just use an existing one. Considering this is a new product release I can't fathom why PowerA has chosen micro-USB which has been phased out of most smartphones for the past five years. There is a wire included, yes, but this is a wire I now need to remember the location of every time I want to charge the controller and this just doesn't fit into my lifestyle. I reject micro-USB!
I've removed points for this because I use my mobile for cloud gaming pretty much daily, and I found myself reaching for my old faithful Razer Kishi more often than I should have done because 1. I don't have to charge it and 2. The pass-through charging for my mobile uses USB-C which I don't have to scurry around the house for. It's just more convenient.
This leads me to my second point. Battery life in general. The MOGA XP7-X takes what feels like an age to charge fully, and once charged if you dare use the wireless charging feature it so proudly advertises as a perk, the controller will drain FAST. With no pass-through charging like its competitors, the wireless charging feature is pretty useless as you are punished quickly for daring to use it. I'd rather they not included it at all and simply implemented pass-through so I could still use the controller if my mobile battery was running low (like I can with the Kishi).
I also question the addition of USB connectivity and a device stand. The stand itself is light, and portable and sits my phone at a pleasing angle, but if I were to use that I'd just use a standard controller with my phone rather than connecting the MOGA. The controller feels awkward and cheap without the weight of a mobile in the center, and I doubt anyone picking this up for Xbox Cloud Gaming is interested in using it as a stand-alone controller when there are much better options available. Also, while the option to connect this to PC is nice, why would you when you can connect a normal controller?
PowerA would have done better to completely embrace the Bluetooth functionality, get rid of the button that switches between the two modes and also have a less archaic charging method. These tweaks, and taking away the useless wireless charging functionality whilst improving the battery life and charging speed of the unit would take it to a five-star product for me.
PowerA Nano Enhanced: The Competition
There's no shortage of competition for mobile cloud controllers, for ease I'm just covering those that fit a mobile phone into the build rather than Bluetooth controllers as a whole, for which there are a multitude of options.
If you're looking for Bluetooth only, which can have latency issues but does offer more flexibility in size and fit for phones, there's the GameSir X2 which comes in a Bluetooth-only variant, however it's small form factor won't offer much comfort for larger hands. Turtle Beach has recently released the curious-looking Atom which we have yet to test, but may be a viable alternative.
USB-C options can be more limiting with larger-screen smartphones, my Razer Kishi for example can only be used with my Samsung S21+ if I remove the case, but it doesn't need charging and works right out the box. For larger phones, the Razer Kishi V2 offers more size compatibility. The GameSir X Pro is a cheaper option but lacks the finesse of the Razer, and can struggle with thicker cases.
MOGA XP7-X: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a controller for Xbox Cloud Gaming that's close to the standard Xbox controller experience
- You have struggled with compact controllers like the Kishi and GameSir
- You have a phone with a large screen and/or case
- You appreciate extra buttons for in-game abilities
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- Micro-USB charging is a dealbreaker
- You are interested in a controller that charges your phone (this function just doesn't work well enough as a selling point)
- You are put off by Bluetooth connectivity and its potential input lag
With Logitech recently releasing the G Cloud, a handheld device dedicated to Cloud Gaming, and Razer hot on their heels with the upcoming Razer Edge handheld, it's clear the Cloud Gaming space is only going to get hotter in 2023 and time will tell how many people move away to dedicated devices.
The competition will only get tougher, and I'm yet to find my perfect mobile controller. PowerA, you nearly nailed it.
The PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus Bluetooth Controller is compatible with most Android phones, and PC via Bluetooth or USB connectivity at the flick of a switch. With full-size triggers and thumbsticks, this could be the most comfortable cloud controller yet.
Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.
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