Tested: PowerA’s new MOGA XP5-i Plus Apple Arcade and cloud gaming controller

PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus iPhone Controller Review

It’s time to take a closer hands-on look at the latest from PowerA in our MOGA XP5-i Plus Bluetooth iPhone Controller review. PowerA unleashed its new mobile iPhone controller recently and we have now had enough time to give it a good run for its money to see what it’s all about. Delivering passthrough charging for Apple Arcade and iPhone cloud gamers, the new MOGA XP5-i Plus Bluetooth Controller combines a traditional gamepad with the brand’s gaming clip for an all-in-one mobile gaming setup, but is it worth the $80 price of entry? Head below for more. 

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Hands-on with PowerA’s MOGA XP5-i Plus iPhone Controller

Joining the rest of its MOGA gaming gear, PowerA’s new MOGA XP5-i Plus delivers a Bluetooth gaming controller alongside a clip to mount your Apple smartphone (it also doubles as a sort of tabletop stand), not unlike the previous-generation Android devices with the same setup. The brand also recently unveiled its MOGA XP7-X for cloud gaming via Android gear, but that one takes on the Razer Kishi devices with a sort of Switch-like wrap-around design that expands to flank your smartphone with a split controller setup. The new MOGA XP5-i Plus on display here is for gamers that prefer the more traditional PlayStation or, even more so, Xbox controller experience for their mobile gaming action. 

The MFi iPhone controller features all of the usual face buttons, triggers, a D-pad, and joysticks alongside some dedicated menu and screenshot pushers as well as PowerA’s programmable back buttons that can be re-mapped on the fly without needing to access companion software. Rubber-injected grips and the detachable dual-articulating MOGA Gaming Clip that can carry just about any iPhone round out the hardware feature set here. 

Boasting both a Lightning charging port and USB-C for juicing up the iPhone controller as well as passthrough action for your handset, the new MOGA XP5-i Plus houses an internal 3,000 mAh power bank you can also use to get an extra boost for just about any USB-ready gear in your kit as well. 

Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:

  • Versatile iOS gaming: Play on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
  • Made for Apple: MFI-certified for Apple products
  • Compatible with all current iPhone models
  • Two mappable Advanced Gaming Buttons that can be programmed on-the-fly Built-in 3000 mAh power bank
  • Quickly share screen grabs or video with the XP5-i Plus.

9to5Toys’ Take

The controller itself has a plastic feel to it, somewhere between the PlayStation or Xbox game pads and the budget-friendly options out there, but it does lean more toward the higher-end of that spectrum if you ask me. The actual face buttons, D-pad, and triggers give off a higher quality feel than it would immediately seem with a comfortable and satisfying throw on the larger shoulder triggers. While some folks can be incredibly picky about their D-pads, this one feels just fine to me, much like the thumbsticks, which are slightly smaller than I would prefer. The rubberized grips that rest against your palms do mitigate some of the plastic feel found elsewhere on the controller as well, leaving me all in all quite satisfied with the hands-on gaming experience here. 

Outside of the controller itself, the main part of the system is really the PowerA Gaming Clip. It is essentially an adjustable and removable clamp that grips the controller on one side and your iPhone on the other. Compatibility here isn’t really much of an issue as the actual phone grip adjusts to accommodate everything from my smaller iPhone X – I still love the iPhone X, and I don’t want to hear about it – to the larger iPhone 13 standard issue I have been testing it with. There’s two-point angle adjustment action by way of a pair of plastic lugs that allow both the main clip arm and the phone mount to be positioned individually. It’s not the most robust system, but the satisfying click when adjusting the angle certainly allows you to get your display at the right angle for various use cases and then quickly lock it in place.  

There’s a soft rubber backing alongside a set of stoppers to grip your device on the top and bottom with a spring-loaded telescopic arm adjustment to ensure whichever device you’re using is held snugly in place – it delivers a firm hold and feels quite secure in any normal gaming situation, but you might want to avoid any violent gamer rage shaking if possible. 

In the end, PowerA’s latest MFi iPhone controller should be on the radar for folks looking to upgrade their cloud or Apple Arcade setup. There are more affordable ways to make this all happen – you could, for the most part, always just use the Xbox gamepad you already have and grab a more affordable game clip to pair it with – but there is something to be said for the all-in-one approach here. The built-in 3,000mAh power bank, MFi certification, on-the-fly button mapping, one-touch screen grabs, and passthrough charging are certainly highlights you’re not going get with some of the makeshift solutions out there. At $79.99 it does seem slightly over priced, and I would have preferred to see it come in at something closer to the MSRP on an Xbox gamepad, but it is nonetheless worth it for avid Apple Arcade gamers. And, chances are it will see some solid price drops as we get into the holiday season later this year. 

Buy the PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus Bluetooth Controller

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