Nacon MG-X Pro for iPhone review
After building a solid reputation in the world of controllers for consoles and PCs, Nacon attacked the controller market for Android smartphones last year with two MG-X models. Today we are testing a new version of the MG-X Pro, this time dedicated to the iPhone.
Our full test
If you play a lot on your iPhone and/or iPad, you probably already know that MFi (Made For iPhone) controllers are on offer. However, the announcement of the iOS version of the MGX-Pro controller did not cause some interest among enthusiasts. It should be said that its manufacturer, Nacon, is a fairly famous brand for its controllers for consoles and computers. In addition, as we told you in our MG-X Pro test, the Android version of this same accessory has already proven itself.
Nacon also introduced the first “ultra-short” MG-Xi, also available for the iPhone. However, we haven’t had this controller yet. Therefore, in the following lines, we will focus only on the MG-X Pro for iPhone provided by the manufacturer.
Design and construction
At Nacon, we (almost) never change a winning team. The accessory we are testing here takes almost all the features and design of the Android version. The most obvious difference is the color change from black to white. The manufacturer has also added a remaining charge indicator, which takes the form of four LEDs. It also replaced the Xbox button with a Home button. Note that even with that Xbox logo gone, Nacon officially confirms on its website and visuals that the MG-X Pro for iOS is (also) intended for Game Pass. To conclude this overview of the differences, note that the connection has moved from Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5.0.
But for the rest, this controller is the same as the previous version. This is far from being a flaw as the latter would have us believe. While the MG-X model is content with rounded edges in the spirit of the Nintendo Switch, the Pro version has grips that offer increased comfort in use. The overall ergonomics are really great, you can play for long hours without feeling tired. And you will feel like a console controller in your hand. However, these handles are expensive in terms of space, as the accessory we are interested in here measures 23.5x10x6 cm.
The iPhone is located in the body of the accessory and is held firmly by a spring system. Inserting the device is very easy. The build quality of the controller is also impeccable. The plastic used is of very good quality and should last over time. Not to mention the quality of the different keys.
There is one more criticism – a little unfair – that we will make of this controller. We wish it could also accommodate an iPad Mini. By the way, the small Apple tablet needs only two to three centimeters to fit in the accessory in landscape format. It’s a shame because this configuration would bring great gaming comfort.
Thanks to the aforementioned grips, it’s a pleasure to hold the controller + iPhone pair. If you’re used to handling the Switch, this grip may seem surprising at first, as the mount is both taller and narrower than Nintendo’s console. Nevertheless, it is not embarrassing and you get used to it very quickly. Especially since handles offer better ergonomics for the hands than straight edges.
In turn, the analog sticks of the Nacon controller are very flexible, which may not be suitable for all users. Some actually prefer rods with a little more resistance. It is a matter of habit and taste. Note that another detail may bother some: the directional cross is really accurate and convenient, but it produces a slightly too pronounced rattling sound, which will not be to everyone’s liking.
Finally, the other buttons are well placed. They fit perfectly under the fingers and have a perfect kick. We never blamed their sensitivity.
It is in use
This MG-X Pro is “MFi” (Made for iPhone) certified, so it’s very easy to configure. To make everything work without any other form of testing, it is enough to connect it with an Apple smartphone. After this quick operation is performed, games compatible with the controller will automatically recognize the accessory. Starting with the ones on the Apple Arcade service, of course.
But they are far from the only ones, as we were able to successfully test the MG-X Pro, e.g Chrono Trigger, Genshin effect, Duck Tales, The secret of mana Where Wayward Spirits. This ease of use was the minimum alliance for an MFi controller. Unfortunately, Apple does not allow emulators in its App Store. This controller on Android is really nice for retrogaming. iPhones still have many games from the 1980s and 1990s, e.g. Streets of Rage, sonic, Castlevaniaand so on. The MG-X Pro MFi works perfectly with these titles.
The controller also benefits from the huge number of “console-quality” games available in the App Store’s catalog of games. Apple’s platform actually has more console and PC titles than Google Play. Among its exclusives to date, we can mention pell-mell: FTL: Faster Than Light, An unfinished swan, Hyper Light Drifter, Travel, Invisible, Inc., Steam World Quest, Bastion, Transistor, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Legends of Grimrockand so on.
We were also interested to see how the accessory would behave in a less common (nowadays) usage, i.e. cloud gaming. So we put the Nacon controller to the test with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. Note that this iOS version is also an official Game Pass product. Even if the model we’re testing here doesn’t have this certification, its functionality remains the same, including Microsoft’s cloud gaming service. The controller is instantly recognizable and there is nothing else to make it work perfectly. Simple and efficient. Same observation with Shadow Tech cloud computing service. The accessory is automatically recognized by the iOS application, and therefore it is enough to launch the game compatible with the controllers for it to work directly.
Let’s end with autonomy. There are no unpleasant surprises here. The manufacturer promises “Until 8 PM” game with one charge. A value we were able to confirm using during our many sessions.