Moga has been known for their Android controllers for a couple years now. They were also first to the iOS party last year with the Ace Power. This year, they’ve followed that up with the Moga Rebel, a Bluetooth controller that brings real console-style control to iOS. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.
The Moga Rebel is designed from the ground up as an iOS controller. It shares some design elements with the Pro Power on the Android side, but it’s essentially a new design. The controller features the Xbox-control style with the left analog stick on top and the D-pad on the bottom. It also has 4 front-facing action buttons, R1/L1 shoulder buttons, and R2/L2 triggers. It has tiny start, status, and Bluetooth buttons. There’s a 4-light LED status indicator that pulls double duty between showing battery life and Bluetooth status. While it is Xbox style in the button arrangement, the ergonomics are their own. The rebel is one of the most comfortable controllers I have used on any platform, not just iOS. The buttons are in exactly the right place for your fingers. You can game for hours without a hint of fatigue.
The one thing that will hit you about the Rebel is how light it is. It’s definitely made from a different grade plastic than the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i. Usually devices this light will have a junky feel to them, but the Rebel doesn’t. It’s light yet sturdy. You don’t feel like the controller will fall apart during heavy button mashing. While it may look like a standard Bluetooth controller, the Rebel has a smartphone clip in the middle of the front face. It’ll easily and securely hold anything from a naked iPhone 5 to a 6 Plus with the bulkiest case you can think of. The integrated design seems to balance the phone’s weight better than the screw-on/ clip-on phone holders of the competition. The controller has an integrated rechargeable battery which might account for its light weight. The battery does its job and then some. After well over a week, and hours of gaming, the battery is still at well over half a charge. That’s pretty phenomenal. You can count on the Rebel being there when you want to game.
Like the MadCatz controllers, Moga has their own utility app for diagnostics and firmware. It works pretty well and uploading the update was very straight forward. What wasn’t straight forward, however, was getting this thing connected. The C.T.R.L.i.-series is very good about automatically connecting when powered up, but this controller isn’t so lucky. The Rebel doesn’t like to connect on its own. Rather than waiting, you’re going to want to choose the Rebel from the Bluetooth menu every time you pair. Hopefully they can fix this in a future update. Other than that issue, this is a very solid controller.
Pricing and Availability
If the Rebel has a major weakness, it’s in the pricing structure. If you would have told me a year ago this was $79.99, I would have called it a fair price. However, Mad Catz really threw down the pricing gauntlet with the C.T.R.L.i. The Rebel is a full $30 more expensive than its nearest rival. It’s even $10 more expensive than the steel Series Stratus XL. However, you can get your hands on it right now if you want to buy one.
The Moga Rebel is a great product that in many ways runs neck and neck with the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i as the best game controller on iOS. It gives you great battery life and will reliably give you hours of gaming fun that will make you forget you’re playing on your iPhone. However, its price is pretty hard to swallow considering you can get a controller that is as good for 60% of price. Moga needs to find a way to drop the price by at least $20 before I can fully recommend it.
- Lightweight yet solid design
- Extremely comfortable
- No issues with build quality or compatibility
- Extremely long battery-life with built-in battery
- Phone clamp can easily hold any iPhone from 4″ to 5.5″ in any case
- $30 more expensive than closest rival
- Doesn’t automatically pair to iDevice