Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery first look

Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery

Logitech's newest iPhone accessory makes use of the 'game controller' features in iOS 7 to deliver console-like control in compatible games on the iPhone 5 or 5s. It's also compatible with the latest (5th generation) iPod Touch via an included adapter. See all iPhone accessory reviews.

The 20cm wide snap-on controller plugs into your iPhone via its Lightning connector. It adds an analogue D-pad on the left, and the traditional four A/B/X/Y buttons on the right (from PC gaming controllers of old). It has what appears to be a dedicated 'pause' button, inset below the right-hand button cluster. Shoulder triggers give a total of what we believe to be six buttons, excluding the probably-pause button. Take a look at Phonesuit Elite 5 Battery Case review too.

To work with the PowerShell, a game must support the new external-controller features added in iOS 7, Apple's latest mobile operating system as shipping with the iPhone 5s and 5c. (The iPhone 5 is freely upgradable to iOS 7.)

In a blog post from Logitech yesterday, the company listed 42 games that are currently compatible with the PowerShell. Titles include Bastion, LEGO The Lord Of The Rings, Scribblenauts Remix and racing game Nitro.

Cut-outs in the controller allow access to phone's volume controls, mute switch and camera. An included adapter allows headphones to be plugged in without getting in the way of the user's grip on the controller.

The PowerShell has an integrated 1500mAh battery, to increase gaming time of the connected phone. This is approximately the same capacity as the batteries used in the iPhone 5 and 5s (1440mAh and ~1560mAh respectively).

Due to inefficiencies in charging one battery from another, this won't actually double the run-time of your device. Logitech simply says it "increases the available power capacity", and we'll need to run a few tests to get a good idea of the actual improvement. Whatever it is, it's certainly a good idea. Little drains smartphone batteries quicker than the latest, most graphically-intense gaming titles

Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery: Specs

  • Battery: 1500 mAh
  • Size: 21 x 63 x 200mm
  • Weight: 120g
  • Battery: 1500 mAh
  • Size: 21 x 63 x 200mm
  • Weight: 120g

OUR VERDICT

We're also interested to see how well (or not) the button placement works out. It's a logical decision to place the controls on either side of the screen, as Sony did with the PSP. However, many mobile consoles have taken the opposite approach and placed the buttons below, such as Nintendo's DS and its various reinventions. Which will work best when strapped to an iPhone is a tough question, which really demands some hands-on experience.

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