MOGA Pro Power & Hero Power Review
I reviewed PowerA’s lineup of past MOGA Android controllers when they released earlier this year, coming away very impressed with the quality of their console-style controls and ergonomic design. Playing FPS and racing games finally felt natural rather than gimmicky when using the MOGA controllers, providing an experience miles ahead of the default touch-based or accelerometer controls. Now the company is ushering in its new MOGA Power lineup – featuring the MOGA Pro Power ($80) and MOGA Hero Power ($60) – which combine minor design updates with the ability to recharge your device.
The MOGA Pro Power is very similar to the original MOGA Pro, which is roughly the size of a standard Xbox 360 controller and has the same button layout. The Pro Power replaces the rubberized hand grips of its predecessor with a smooth finish. The MOGA Hero Power is akin to the original MOGA Pocket, but now thankfully features a rechargeable battery like the Pro, rather than requiring AAA batteries. It also finally includes a directional pad, which makes this new model feel much less like a toy than the Pocket did.
Both devices utilize what PowerA calls MOGA Boost technology, which essentially just means that your phone or tablet can be hooked up to the device to charge while you play. While this is definitely an enticing feature, unfortunately it doesn’t work all that great in practice, as both the controllers and the attached phone/ tablet draw power from the same battery. If you’re not paying attention, soon you’ll wind up with a dead controller that can take hours to recharge. That said, if you have the discipline to keep the MOGA controllers on a full charge and only game for a few hours at a time, the MOGA Boost functionality is a welcome addition.
Both controllers work with the free downloadable MOGA Pivot app, which is great – it shows all the games currently installed on your device that it can work with, and a list of others that can be purchased. It definitely helps to keep things as organized and confusion-free as possible. The app walks you through pairing your device via Bluetooth, and even remembers which games you recently played. Around 150 games are currently supported with the MOGA controllers, which is a solid number that’s way above what was on offer when the original controller lineup launched. The original MOGA Pro and these new controllers also offer a Bluetooth HID functionality, which allows the controllers to work with games not officially supported by PowerA. It works very well with console emulators, which is a huge plus.
Overall, the MOGA Pro Power and MOGA Hero Power are very solid additions to the PowerA lineup, and indispensable tools for Android gamers. The updates to the controllers are welcome, and the MOGA Boost technology is appreciated, although not optimized as well as it could be. In a perfect world, the devices would have two separate batteries to charge devices without leaving your MOGA controller completely lifeless. That said, both controllers greatly enhance Android gameplay and deliver a console-like experience, especially if you have a tablet that connects to an HDTV via HDMI like mine.