NACON MG-X Pro for iPhone review – How does it compare to Backbone One?

Compared to the Backbone One, the MG-X Pro feels more like an actual PlayStation or Xbox controller, from the meatier face buttons to the higher quality thumbsticks

NACON MG-X Pro controller for iPhone

£97.99 View Deal

NACON’s iOS-compatible controller allows you to enjoy the familiar comfort of your Xbox pad while gaming on your iPhone.

What we love

  • Looks and feels like an actual PlayStation/Xbox controller
  • Phone feels secure when inserted into device
  • Wireless connection means it can be used independently from phone

What we don’t

  • Not as straightforward as plug in and play Backbone One
  • Needs to be recharged regularly
  • App is pretty basic

The MG-X Pro controller doesn’t just attempt to bring the console experience to smartphones, but it aims to make those triple-A blockbuster game releases feel as authentic as possible when played on a smaller screen. Built for Xbox Game Pass and compatible with iOS devices, the MG-X Pro is a Bluetooth video game controller for your iPhone, replacing inferior touch controls in favour of a more traditional gaming experience. It essentially transforms your iPhone into a portable Xbox, something which is becoming increasingly more appealing thanks to Microsoft’s major inroads into cloud gaming and its massive subscription-based game library. If you’re thinking of picking up a new mobile controller for your iPhone, and are wondering which device is best for you, check out our MG-X Pro iPhone controller review below.

The MG-X Pro certainly looks the part, featuring a stylish white and black colour scheme that looks a bit like Microsoft’s official Xbox Series X/S controller.

It’s not quite as stylish as the previously reviewed Backbone One iPhone Controller, although it’s bigger and much more comfortable to hold.

Indeed, it feels more like an actual PlayStation or Xbox controller, from the meatier face buttons to the higher quality thumbsticks.

The Backbone One, on the other hand, feels more like a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con, which isn’t as well suited for Xbox Game Pass or other PC-based cloud gaming releases. 

On the flipside, the Backbone One is a plug in and play device, which makes life much more straightforward. You don’t need to charge it every time you want to play, and there’s no risk of connectivity issues.

The MG-X Pro is a battery-powered controller that connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth. While the battery lasts for around 20-hours, chances are you’ll need to recharge the device regularly, especially if you haven’t used it for a while.

The Bluetooth connectivity is generally pretty reliable, but the need to connect every time you play isn’t as straightforward as plugging in and knowing it’s going to work flawlessly out of the box.

Indeed, while the MG-X Pro connected to Bluetooth without any issues, there were a few occasions when Game Pass didn’t recognise the controller, even though it was connected.

It’s a shame, because I much prefer the feel of the controller compared to the Backbone One.

The adjustable opening of the MG-X Pro also feels more secure, holding your smartphone firmly in place and eliminating any worries about slipping or accidental drops.

This ensures that your gaming experience remains uninterrupted and relatively hassle-free.

Any other issues can be investigated using the MG-X NACON app, which can be downloaded for free from the iOS App Store.

The app is useful for seeing how the MG-X Pro works and what it’s compatible with, but beyond the ability to perform updates and re-calibrate your joysticks, there’s not much else to it.

Ultimately, if you’re seeking a mobile controller that can transform your iPhone into a portable Xbox and enhance your gaming experience with Game Pass, the MG-X Pro controller is a worthy option to consider.

The controller itself looks great, feels like the real thing and keeps your phone secure during extended gaming sessions. Just remember to keep it fully charged.

VERDICT: 3.5/5

Get Xbox Game Pass for £1

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Xbox Game Pass has been dubbed by many as ‘the best deal in gaming’. For a monthly fee you get access to Xbox exclusives – such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 – on Day One. Plus, the ever evolving library adds tonnes of great third-party games each month like the upcoming Persona 5 Royal.

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