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The perfect Android controller for gaming?

The Razer Kishi v2 certainly knew how to impress, but still struggles with minor weaknesses in comparison. Can the PowerA Moga XP7-X Plus keep up? And whether it can do that, because it starts exactly where many other expensive products fail: the feeling of the keys and analog sticks for gaming. We were able to try out the Moga controller properly in the test.

Strong workmanship and an Xbox controller-like design make something

It is of course no coincidence that the Moga XP7-X Plus appears in the test as a supposed Xbox controller copy and that the color scheme is also kept as such on the packaging. It is a Microsoft licensed product and therefore an Xbox button can also be seen on the good piece. The workmanship itself is of high quality, even if a lot of plastic is used. Thanks to the integrated battery and the mechanically extendable housing, the controller also appears heavy, which also earns it points in the sense of value. Unlike the Razer Kishi v2, the Moga XP7 Plus (let’s omit the extra X…) doesn’t feel as empty and hollow inside, which counts for quite a bit.

The controller also makes a decent impression in terms of size. Because these are often quite small due to the rather narrow smartphones. Although the buttons are still a little closer together, as is the case with many of these controllers, they are still easy to reach, clearly separated and, of course, operated.

Images: PocketPC.ch / Laser

By the way, there is a nice gimmick hidden in the middle of the pull-out area that can be used as a stand for smartphones. If you pull the controller apart, you can remove and open the center piece. For example, the mobile phone functions as a small display that can be set up. Which is especially useful for devices that cannot be inserted into the Moga XP7-X Plus. It will be difficult to find something here, because the model supports smartphones with up to 7.1 inches! That’s really too much wiggle room.

Bluetooth and Wired Connections – Built-in wireless charger

The implemented connection options are particularly great. We were able to connect Android phones via cable or via a Bluetooth connection. Apple models, such as an iPhone 13 Pro Max, cannot be connected, not even via Bluetooth. However, what we cannot quite understand is the wounding of a cable for the connection. Although the USB Type-C connection of many controllers may also be a component that can quickly break, the cable solution is not a good solution. Because the smartphone has to be outside of the controller so that you can connect the microUSB port of the cable to the gamepad and then the USB-C connector to the smartphone. This is very cumbersome. Smartphones such as the Asus RoG Phone may have an advantage here, as they also offer a connection on the side of the frame and can therefore be connected via cable to the controller even when inserted.

The integration of a wireless charger is also strong. Yes, you heard right: The Moga XP7-X Plus can charge your mobile phone wirelessly. This is made possible by a power bank built into the device with around 2000 mAh. Of course, that’s not enough to fully charge modern smartphones, but you can still get some playing time if things get tight. Especially useful for online games and a great plus.

Video: PowerA

Awesome button feel, the best analog sticks, and customizable macro buttons

I’ll say it right away: The buttons on the Moga XP7-X Plus are a dream! The pressure point is really very good, the triggers feel okay (the quality drops a bit) and the analog sticks are the best sticks I have ever touched in a mobile gaming controller for smartphones. They are extremely precise, can be operated very well with the thumb, have a rich click and thus contribute to a strong gaming experience. Only the analog triggers on the back have a slightly strange resistance, which always means that I might pull them back a tad too tight.

There is also a switch to activate the power bank, a menu and view button and the well-known Xbox button. You can already tell that this is a controller that primarily supports game streaming from Microsoft and is therefore ideally suited for the game pass. The switch at the bottom lets you choose between Bluetooth and wired mode and the green button on the other side is for programming the buttons.

Overall, the model is more than excellent to play with, even if the weight is initially very high. Due to the wide position, since a large display is in the middle, it can seem a bit tiring at first. Similar to the Nintendo Switch. But you get used to it quite quickly and so you can definitely enjoy a few laps on the couch, in the hotel room or in your own bed. Thanks to the excellent pressure feel of the buttons and the really excellent analog sticks, Diablo Immortal, Genshin Impact or even PUBG Mobile are a lot more fun.

Moga XP7-X Plus Test

Really good analog sticks and buttons. That’s the way it has to be and unfortunately they are still hard to find on the cell phone controller market. Image: PocketPC / Laser

No screenshot or streaming button – microUSB is an absolute no-go!

However, in addition to the very high weight, there are other, much more important criticisms. I’m missing a separate button for video or screenshot recording. The Razer Kishi v2 has something integrated, you can also start streams directly there, for example. Something like that would look good on the Moga XP7-X Plus, but that’s really complaining on a very high level. On-board resources are usually sufficient here or you simply reprogram unnecessary keys with third-party software.

An absolute no-go, however, is the microUSB port. Why is this still installed?! Almost all smartphones come with a USB-C to USB-C cable for their chargers and that would have been just perfect. Instead, a connector that hasn’t been considered standard for years is installed, making the overall experience shockingly fiddly. Because you always have to take another microUSB cable with you when you’re on the go. Either for charging or for connecting to the smartphone. After all, a microUSB to USB-C cable is included in the scope of delivery. But the Moga XP7-X Plus cannot be loaded really quickly either.

When I tested the BlackShark v2 Pro in 2020, I already said that a microUSB connection is an absolute killer criterion for me and that this is factored into my purchase decision. This connection should simply no longer be used. USB-C would have been by far the better choice here.

Moga XP7-X Plus Test

That doesn’t work at all… The Moga controller is charged via microUSB or alternatively connected to the smartphone. Image: PocketPC.ch / Laser

Conclusion: Moga XP7-X Plus is one of the currently best Android controllers

For me, the Moga XP7-X Plus is currently the best controller you can buy for Android phones. It not only offers many features, such as an integrated power bank, which we have not yet seen in a controller, but also a practical (but somewhat shaky) stand for smartphones. Why not? In addition, the buttons are among the best I’ve ever used in a controller for Android smartphones. That’s supposed to mean something, because I already praised the buttons (albeit to a limited extent) in the test of the Razer Kishi v2. The analog sticks of the Moga XP7-X Plus are clearly ahead of the sticks of the Kishi! And that makes itself felt when gambling more than positively.

However, there is a big minus for the microUSB connection and for me personally – and I really speak for myself – that’s a reason not to buy the device. I don’t want to lug around a new cable with me again, almost everything in the household with microUSB has been thrown out by now and I don’t really see it as having to fall back on such an outdated standard in 2022. Maybe one or the other could also be annoyed by the somewhat high weight due to the integrated power bank. But after a short period of getting used to it, it wasn’t a problem for me.

As mentioned, I think the Moga XP7-X Plus is one of the best controllers you can buy for an Android phone. It doesn’t get any better than that. With an RRP of around 100 euros or Swiss francs, this is in the price range of the Razer Kishi v2, but the Moga is better equipped and offers a better gaming experience including more interesting features. However, I still get stuck on the microUSB port. This really has to stop in the future. I can still recommend the controller.

See also  Incorrectly installed capacitors: certain Asus mainboards affected by hardware errors - Notebookcheck.com

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