The MOGA XP7-X Plus: A cloud controller that almost nails it

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 markets 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

PowerA Nano Controller unboxed (Image credit: Jennifer Young – Windows Central)

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.

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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

PowerA MOGA XP7-X Plus using Xbox Cloud Gaming (Image credit: Jennifer Young – Windows Central)

When first unboxing the MOGA XP7-X Plus I was taken back 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 enjoyed most 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.

This was hands down the most comfortable experience I’ve had with cloud gaming on a mobile phone

The controller can be used via Bluetooth or USB at the flick of a switch, although 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.

Customizable rear MOGA XP7-X Plus (Image credit: Jennifer Young – Windows Central)

Like other PowerA offerings, the XP7-X Plus also comes with buttons on the back 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

Browsing Xbox Cloud Gaming with the MOGA XP7-X Plus (Image credit: Jennifer Young – Windows Central)

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 a 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.

I can’t fathom why PowerA has chosen micro-USB which has been phased out of most smartphones for the past five years

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 didn’t include 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).

MOGA XP7-X Plus and device stand (Image credit: Jennifer Young – Windows Central)

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 while 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

GameSir X3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

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 of 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 deal breaker
  • 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.

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