2 new iPhone game controllers offer radically different designs

2 new iPhone game controllers offer radically different designs


2 new iPhone game controllers offer radically different designs
The Gamevice Flex (left) and PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus (right) are iPhone game controllers with very different designs.
Image: Gamevice/PowerA

The Gamevice Flex and PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus are both game controllers for iPhone, but that’s almost the only thing they have in common. The Gamevice product wraps around the handset to put buttons and d-pads on either side of the screen, while PowerA’s mimics an Xbox controller but with a phone mount.

No matter the design, these let players escape using onscreen touch controls when accessing cloud-gaming services, Apple Arcade and other games.

iPhone controllers with real buttons

Apple built support for a variety of external game controllers into iOS. That frees players from depending on virtual controls on the iPhone display. The onscreen buttons are fine for casual games but can be difficult when playing more advanced ones.

And there are many advanced games playable on iOS handsets thanks to cloud-gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, Google Stadia and Amazon Luna. These service let handsets and tablets play console games.

PowerA MOGA XP5-i Plus

The MOGA XP5-i Plus has the same basic design as an Xbox controller, but with a focus on iPhone and other Apple devices.

It connects to the handset via Bluetooth, but has a built-in 3000mAh power bank to charge the phone while playing. Because it uses a wireless connection, the controller isn’t limited to iPhone. It can also be used with iPad and Apple TV, as the handset mount is removable.

“The days of mashing thumbs on a crowded iPhone screen are gone,” said PowerA. “The MOGA XP5-i Plus lets gamers take full advantage of gaming apps and cloud gaming by connecting to any iOS device via Bluetooth, providing a competitive and comfortable controller.”

The gaming accessory is available now on the PowerA website. The cost is $79.99.

Gamevice Flex

The Gamevice Flex wraps around the back of the iPhone, creating a Nintendo Switch-like experience. Unlike rival cases that also use this basic design, the Flex comes with an adapter kit that allows the controller be used without removing the phone case.

“With current form fitting mobile controllers, there are two major issues: the need to consistently remove your phone case and, once finally in-game, controls that are not a seamless transition from the console. Utilizing feedback from our community combined with our team’s years of design and manufacturing experience, Gamevice Flex will deliver the best mobile cloud gaming experience as more AAA titles come to the cloud.”

Rather than Bluetooth, the controller connects directly to the iPhone via Lightning connector. There’s also a Lightning pass-through port for charging the handset. And, of course, there’s the standard set of buttons, d-pads and thumb sticks.

Gamevice Flex for iPhone is now available to pre-order at Gamevice.com with a launch planned for all 2022. The cost is $109.95. There’s also an Android version on the controller.

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