Many gamers are probably familiar with Nacon. The manufacturer, which belongs to Bigben Interactive, offers various peripherals for the PC, such as headsets, mice and keyboards, as well as controllers and other accessories for consoles. Furthermore, the MG-X and MG-X Pro are two controllers for mobile gaming. Both controllers are “Designed For Xbox” and thus have the familiar layout of the Xbox controllers. This is to offer you the best possible gaming experience on the go. Besides Xbox games, other cloud gaming services and of course Android games are also supported.
We have tested the Nacon MG-X Pro for you. Whether the controller is convincing and brings the home Xbox feeling well to the smartphone on the go, we clarify in the following test.
Technical data of the Nacon MG-X Pro
|Size||min. 240 x 108 x 60 mm (L x W x H)
max. 325 x 108 x 60 mm (L x W x H)
|connection||Wireless via Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy|
|Compatibility||Devices with Android 6 or later and a display size of up to 6.7″|
|Buttons||Total of 13, including 3 function keys, 4 action keys, 2 triggers, 2 shoulder buttons, 2 analog sticks|
|Battery life||Up to 20 hours|
|Scope of delivery||Controller, USB-C cable (80 cm)|
|Price||€ 92.99 *|
Scope of delivery
The controller comes in an oblong white cardboard box, which is strongly reminiscent of Microsoft accessories for the Xbox consoles, including a green stripe. The front also features a picture of the controller, including a smartphone in operation. Furthermore, various logos indicate the compatibility with Android and Xbox games in addition to the Bluetooth connection and the maximum smartphone size. The most important technical details and smartphone requirements are summarized in six languages on the back of the box.
Besides the controller itself, an 80 cm long USB-C to USB-A cable and a manual are included in the box. A case or the well-known key for a 14-day Game Pass Ultimate membership are not included. The assumption that potential buyers already have a subscription and only see the controller as a supplement for on the go is justified. The scope of delivery is thus minimalistic overall, but offers the most necessary.
Design and workmanship
In principle, the Nacon MG-X Pro is a Micosoft Xbox controller split in the middle, into which the smartphone is clamped in the middle. The design of the left and right handle corresponds to that of the Micosoft Xbox controller, apart from the normally centrally placed Xbox button, which has been slightly reduced in size and moved to the right here. On the left, you’ll also find a small LED in the same position, which roughly signals the battery state. The size is also very similar to the Micosoft Xbox controller. In our opinion, the grips of the Nacon MG-X Pro are a bit smaller, but the difference is small. There are no changes on the back of the controller, but on the front, the USB-C port for charging has moved to the left, and on the right, you’ll find a small button for Bluetooth pairing in the same place.
Nacon’s MG-X Pro is made entirely of black plastic and feels good in the hand. The weight is 271 g, which is similar to other controllers. However, the smartphone is added here, which increases the weight significantly once again. Nevertheless, we find it comfortable, even during a longer gaming session on the train or on the road.
The upper side of the controller is slightly textured, just like Microsoft’s original. On the underside, the texture is much coarser, which makes the MG-X Pro feel good and secure in the hand. We found the control pad of our copy to be a bit stiff, but the buttons and especially the triggers can convince all around and are strongly reminiscent of the Microsoft controller. It is also a bit annoying that the thumbsticks are textured on the top, with a simple pattern on the left and the Nacon logo on the right, but the edges are not textured. The smartphone holder looks well thought-out and is rubberized on all three sides. A small plastic holder also prevents the smartphone from slipping out downwards. Overall, the material quality and workmanship of the controller are good, there are no unclean edges, nothing rattles or wobbles even minimally.
Connection and compatibility
The MG-X Pro supports Android devices running Android 6.0, which was released back in October 2015, or newer. The device is also allowed to have a display with a size of up to 6.7″. Of course, this also depends on the aspect ratio of the display; completely extended, the controller accepts smartphones with a length of up to 17.7 cm. The connection to the smartphone is done via Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy. As with other devices, the pairing button is pressed, the device is searched for in the smartphone’s settings and then added. Once you have added the Nacon MG-X Pro, you only need to turn it on via the Xbox button in the future.
Pairing worked quickly, and the connection was also stable at all times. During the test, we used the controller together with the Xbox Game Pass app and a Game Pass Ultimate membership, but also with various games programmed for the smartphone that are available in the Google Play Store. However, not all games offer controller support.
Due to the same shape and very similar size, Xbox gamers or those who know the controller do not need to get used to it. The sticks, the directional pad and the buttons enable very precise control and also make it possible to play games that are difficult to imagine with touch controls. Due to the pleasant shape and structure, the controller fits well in the hand at all times. The holder also leaves a good and, above all, secure impression. Even during fast movements, we never had to worry that our smartphone could slip out.
Nacon claims a battery life of 20 hours for the MG-X Pro, which is probably more than enough for mobile gaming. Unfortunately, the exact battery status is not visible in the smartphone settings.
Overall, the controller leaves a very good impression in the practical test, but still has room for improvement. For example, Nacon could directly use the current Bluetooth version 5.0, which offers a lower latency, display the battery status accurately and further optimize the controls and their pressure points in a new edition.
Summary of the Nacon MG-X Pro review
The Nacon MG-X Pro is convincing in the test. The controller relies on the familiar Xbox controller design, which is popular with many, and has its strengths. The changes compared to this are only minimal. Buttons, triggers and thumbsticks are pleasing and also enable a good and precise gaming experience on the smartphone. Only the directional pad was not quite convincing. The battery is sufficiently sized with a runtime of 20 hours, and the current USB-C port is used for charging.
Besides the few points already mentioned in the review, the price will probably be the biggest point of criticism for many. The controller is relatively expensive at around €90 and is once again significantly higher than the price of a Microsoft Xbox controller, on which the MG-X Pro is based. This will probably deter those who only occasionally play mobile games and therefore rarely use the controller.
However, for those who are fans of mobile gaming, perhaps travel a lot, want to spend those occasions using it, and don’t want to sacrifice the comfort and precision of a controller while on the go, the Nacon MG-X Pro is definitely worth a look.