review

PowerA Moga XP5-A Plus Game Controller 3000mAh Powerbank

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

While rarely used these days, CRT monitors were the first to pioneer touchscreen technology as far back as the 1980s. Back then, touchscreen CRT monitors used single-touch resistive technology that required applying pressure in one single spot of the screen at a time.
Today though, resistive touchscreens can handle multiple touches and are widely used alongside capacitive touchscreens, which are mainly used with smartphones.
Phones have, certainly, come along way ever since the IBM Simon touchscreen was introduced in 1992, which effectively started the smartphone trend and mobile gaming as we know it, today. While touchscreen gaming on a phone is very convenient, it doesn't beat the tactile feedback and "game console" experience you get with a physical Bluetooth gaming controller.
There are plenty of bluetooth game controllers to be had and, one of them is the PowerA Moga XP5-A Plus, which stands out from the competition by integrating a powerbank and 2-way connectivity, letting you connect to a phone  via a USB cable or bluetooth connection.
The PowerA Moga XP5-A Plus also comes with a detachable phone mount holder that easily clips and unclips from the Moga XP5-A Plus controller.
The adjusting mechanism is spring-loaded, allowing you to adjust the width to fit phones up to 7.9cm wide and 8mm thick. With some phone holders, the adjusting mechanism can be very stiff, making it difficult to slot the phone in and out.
That's not the case though, with the Moga XP5-A Plus adjusting mechanism, which provides just enough clamping force to secure the phone without requiring you to, literary, pry open the phone holder with both hands.
You can safely game laying down on a bed without the phone falling on your face. The Moga XP5-A Plus phone holder also features foam backing and rubberized clamping teeth that prevent the phone from sliding out of the holder.
The Moga XP5-A Plus phone holder can also be rotated vertically, allowing you to fix the phone in place at various viewing angles. There is also an adjustable kickstand feature on the holder for keeping the controller/phone upright on a surface.The entire frame of the phone holder is made of plastic.
On the bottom slanted lip of the Moga XP5-A Plus controller, you find four battery led indicators and two physical buttons, one of which is designed to activate the battery leds to view the health of the battery.
The other button (lightning symbol) is a switch for turning on and off the 3000mAh internal battery powerbank, which is charged via the USB-A port of the controller. You can use the powerbank while playing games.
The small orange button beneath the powerbank switch, it's the program button to remap the rear buttons, letting you swap any button on the Moga XP5-A Plus controller to the rear buttons, including the joysticks push buttons and the d-pad (up direction only).
Simply hold the orange button for two seconds, press the button you want to swap (i.e. X button) and then press any of the rear buttons and remapping is done. To reset or revert the remapping, you carry out the same procedure but in reverse.
Despite the weight, the Moga XP5-A Plus feels good in the hands. The rubberized analog joysticks have a textured finish and, being analog joysticks, the Moga XP5-A Plus joysticks use potentiometers, unlike digital joysticks which use electrical contacts for up, down, left and right.
The Moga XP5-A Plus joysticks have a nice full range of motion and, just like most analog joysticks, they provide more precise feedback, which is perfect for most games, including driving and flight-simulation games. For PacMan-like games though, a digital joystick performs better.
The large Menu button in the middle of the controller powers on and off the controller. The small switch below the Menu button lets you slide between USB connection and Bluetooth connection. Once paired to a device, the Moga XP5-A Plus automatically reconnects to the previously paired device.
Above the Menu button, there is a small status led and two buttons on either side to start the game and to select from the start menu options in game.
The status led flashes when the controller is in pairing mode and while programming the remappable buttons. The rear handles of the controller integrate rubber covers with a textured, grippy finish..
On the front of the Moga XP5-A Plus, you find two bumper buttons (LB/RB), two trigger buttons (LT/RT), a bluetooth button to manually initiate bluetooth pairing, a USB-A port and a micro USB port.
A 2-meter long USB-A to micro USB cable, as well as shorter 20cm long and 30cm long USB cables are included with the Moga XP5-A Plus.
The shorter cables have a USB-A connector at one end and double plug (USB-C and micro USB) connector at the other end so, you can connect the Moga XP5-A Plus game controller to a USB-C smartphone.
In terms of comfort, having a 3000mAh battery inside does make the Moga XP5-A Plus heavier (453 grams) to hold in the hand but then gain, how many other wireless controllers can provide up to 12 hours of game play on the go?
The extra weight is, definitely, a worthy compromise because the Moga XP5-A Plus powerbank can also be used when the controller is turned off, turning the Moga XP5-A Plus into a handy 3000mAh powerbank.
Depending on the battery capacity of your phone, you could potentially transfer 100% of charge from the Moga XP5-A Plus to your phone, which is neat. When it comes to charging, it takes 4-5 hours to fully charge the Moga XP5-A Plus via 5V/1A input charge.
The PowerA Moga XP5-A Plus works with phones (Android only), Steam games (Windows 10 computers and higher), Android smart TVs, Xbox Game Streaming, Stadia, and it supports Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy so, you get low power consumption when connected to a Bluetooth 4.2 or Bluetooth 5 smartphone.
 two-year limited warranty included
Game controller lag is a fact of life with all bluetooth controllers and the Moga XP5-A Plus is no different. Wired connection does minimize the bluetooth input lag noticeably but, even with USB connection you're going to encounter lag because anything running through a digital display has conceivable lag.
If you want almost zero lag while playing video games, the only way to achieve this is by playing original hardware through a CRT TV.

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