There’s nothing wrong with having a few games on you smartphone for when you have a couple of minutes of downtime during the day, in fact we encourage mobile gaming of all forms. However, sometimes we feel the need to play a game with a little more substance than randomly flinging avian ammunition at swinery. Meet the Logitech PowerShell, a game controller for all iPhone 5 variety smartphones from Apple as well as any of the iPod Touch models with a Lightning connector.
The front of the Logitech PowerShell controller is dominated by the iPhone 5 shaped recess with its Lightning connector affixed to a swivelling platform at the bottom. A circular D-pad, two shoulder buttons and four Xbox-style face buttons (A,B,X,Y) flank it on three sides. Cut-outs for the volume buttons and silencing switch as well as an opening on the back for your camera ensure that the PowerShell doesn’t stop you from using any of your iPhone’s features or buttons. There are even ports that redirect the sound from the iPhone’s speakers at the bottom of the phone towards your face to improve the sound, as well as a pass-through for the headphone jack if you’re going covert.
Holding the PowerShell immediately gives you a sense of just how well its made – the soft-touch and patterned rear has raised areas that comfortably let you cradle it for hours without having your hands slip off during a particularly vigorous mid-game session. Every button was easily accessible for all of the members of our team regardless of hand size with the only real complaints coming from the D-pad which was rather smaller and less precise in use than we would have liked.
For the most part, the PowerShell makes gaming a pleasure on an iPhone. There is also a long list of compatible mobile titles that seem to cater to every gamer’s needs. The buttons have fantastic weight and feel to them and they inspire more confidence in gameplay, with the exception of the d-pad of course. The imprecise nature of our review unit’s D-pad let down gaming in a big way forcing us to resort to using on-screen controls for movement in two separate games.
The Logitech PowerShell has a 1500mAh battery stowed away inside of it which falls just shy of the 1570mAh power pack inside the new iPhone 5s. A simple flip of the switch starts feeding power back into your iPhone not just maintaining its charge level but making sure that you have more battery when you’re finished playing than when you started. It meant that a quick gaming session everyday at lunch time was no longer held up by concerns of not having enough charge by 5PM.
The biggest complaint we have about the Logitech PowerShell is the cost. With a recommended retail price of R1 699 it’s the same price as two PlayStation 4 controllers, or R800 more expensive than a Mophie Juice Pack which has the same size battery inside of it.
However, if you’re an avid iPhone gamer searching for a high score and prolonged battery life then the Logitech PowerShell is worth a look. For the rest of us? We’ll continue to suffer with the awkward on-screen controls instead.
Battery Life: 4/5
Value for Money: 2/5