Remember the “free” Power A MOGA game controller deal from a couple of weeks ago? After lots of trouble with the Power A website, and nearly an hour of frustration, I was actually able to get the order to complete, although I never received a confirmation email. As such, I wasn’t too optimistic about actually receiving the device at the discounted price, but sure enough, a package from Power A showed up just this morning.

At first, I wasn’t going to do an unboxing of the accessory, but then I opened the box and realized that I actually got the retail packaging of the controller, and that the box and accessories were more interesting than many of the phone unboxings that I have done in the past. In addition, there were a couple of free inclusions that were also a surprise, and which I wanted to mention. Finally, I also wanted to somehow make note of the fact that I did in fact get a MOGA controller from the promotion without getting a confirmation email, in order to perhaps reassure some other purchasers. As such, what follows is a short unboxing and initial hardware impressions of the Power A MOGA Bluetooth controller for Android.

The promised download code for Modern Combat 4 was loose in the same box as the controller and might have been misplaced easily, but the most important piece was packaged quite well. As you can see above, the retail box for the MOGA has a clear window which shows the device, and advertises two included games. The box has a soft touch finish and is quite solid, and was honestly of a much higher quality than I expected for this product.

The back of the box is a bit busy, but includes some basic information about Android version compatibility, Bluetooth, and game options. It also shows a diagram of the controller’s built-in smartphone stand, which while fairly simple in design, might not be evident simply from looking at the packaging.

When opened from the bottom, two separate containers pull out of the box. The first, the orange container, is on the bottom of the box and contains a very nice leather pouch for the controller engraved with the MOGA logo, as well as the device’s getting started guide. The upper box is the clear plastic casing for the actual controller, and fortunately opened quite easily with simple tabs, instead of the very annoying clamshell packaging.

Here is a simple shot of everything of significance that was included in the box, including the manuals. The orange piece of paper includes a QR code that links to MOGA Pivot app on the Google Play store, which is required to connect the controller and use it with games. The quick start manual contains the usual information, which while necessary wasn’t at all enlightening.

Here is the controller itself, with the smartphone stand extended. The QR code links to the same app mentioned above, but it is still a nice inclusion for those who may have missed the other piece of paper. In addition to the buttons seen in this image, the MOGA also includes left and right rear shoulder buttons, which should prove quite useful for FPS games in particular.

As you can see from this image, my Nexus 4 fits the MOGA quite well, and actually looks fairly good along with the controller. The controller is actually surprisingly small, not much larger than my Nexus 4. It is also fairly thin, and as a result quite portable. However, it does feel a little bit awkward in hand, and the analog sticks are a bit flat to work with the design. The entire controller is also a bit plasticy, and feels like hollow plastic in many places. Still, it feels reasonably solid, and not like the knockoff PlayStation controllers that are often purchased for around $20.

So far, I think that the MOGA will end up working quite well, and will certainly be worth my purchase price of $5. However, whether or not the retail price of around $50 plus shipping is reasonable still remains to be seen. If the MOGA works as well as I think it will and supports enough popular games (I’m looking for Minecraft in particular), it may just be worth the money. Of course, for that much you could also get a PlayStaion 3 controller that will work even better, but only with rooted devices. As such, I’ll have to give both a try and see if the MOGA is really worth the money.