Review: Logitech Powershell
Admit it! We all know that you can’t resist playing mobile games on your mobile devices no matter how hard you say no. Mobile game titles are rapidly increasing for iOS and Logitech has designed the Powershell (Controller + Battery) to aid your gaming needs for the iPhone 5, 5s and the 5th Generation iPod Touch running on the iOS7. Its quite puzzling that its not designed for the iPhone 5c though.
The packaging for the Powershell is pretty much straightforward. It comes with an open-door flap cover that reveals the device when you open up the flap. Take out the Powershell and you will see a small tray separated by a transparent plastic. Open up the box from the side panel and you will find a short cable to charge the device, a headphone extender, iPod Touch adapter and user manuals. The Powershell contains a 1500mAh battery pack, measures 200 x 63 x 21mm and weighs 120 grams.
First things first – juice up the controller. Once plugged in, you will find the “G” at the back of the controller glowing in blue to indicate that the device is in the charging state. Once done, the “G” glows a solid blue. If it runs low on power, the “G” will flash red.
Once fully charged, you can connect your iPhone or iPod to the controller. This shouldn’t be a hard task, just click it and you’re good to go. For the iPod Touch, there is a iPod Touch adapter, which is a piece of blue padding to slightly elevate and hug your iPod in place since its not as squarish as the iPhone.
The Powershell has a iPhone wake/sleep jack located just at the top right corner. Gently pushing it will cause a small plastic to push down on your iPhone’s power button to switch it on or off. Next to the power switch is the 8-way analog D-Pad. On the right of the Powershell (considering you should be holding the device in landscape mode) is the analog buttons you would find on any game controller and a pause button just under the analog controllers. You will find two slits next to the analog buttons which is the opening for your audio waves. On the top of the Powershell are two analog shoulder buttons for further game control.
Looking the edge of the Powershell, you will find a tiny round button on the left hand side of the device. Its the extended battery on/off switch, so you can choose when to and when not to charge your phone. A wrist mount strap is located next to the button for your convenience and next to it is the micro-USB charging port. On the right hand side, you will find a small hole opening to access your audio jack. However, things can get pretty messy with you trying to plug your headphone into the “narrow alleyway”. This is when the headset extender cable that comes along with the device comes into the picture. Its designed in a way where it fits snuggly at the corner angle of the Powershell when you plug it into your phone’s audio jack. Simply connect your headphones to the connector and voila, you are good to go. The Powershell is also equipped with an opening so that you can still access your volume controls with ease. Besides that, Logitech has also taken into consideration the importance of your camera with the present of a camera opening so that you can still snap away even though your device is attached to the Powershell.
Logitech has listed a number of games that are available for play with the Powershell. The list can be found here. Among the list, I selected three games to play using the Powershell – Asphalt 8: Airborne, Pacman and Sonic The Hedgehog. Logitech has did a great job in terms of Ergonomics for the Powershell. The curves and lines on the Powershell together with the printed patterns on the surface of the Powershell gives you adequate friction and grip for those frantic gaming sessions while holding it in landscape position. The moment you place it in your hands, your thumbs are directly positioned right above the D-Pad and analog buttons, and your index fingers right above the shoulder buttons.
One thing I find not quite up to par is the 8-way analog D-Pad. The radius for the D-Pad is quite small to begin with and you get butter fingers while controlling it. Logitech should increase the size of the D-Pad to give gamers a better game control while playing. The analog buttons are small but they still perform its function on a game controller and of course the pause button comes in handy once in awhile when your game play is interrupted. Pressing down on the shoulder buttons give an exhilarating feel during game play with its adequate feedback response. Its pretty much a good device, except for the only complaint I have is that the device do not have an analog stick. But perhaps Logitech was aiming for something compact for you to carry around. The device also acts as an extended casing for the iPhone, so I pretty much enjoyed holding it up when answering a phone call, bigger in size does make a difference.
Its Logitech’s first attempt at making a game controller for the iOS device and they have done quite a decent job with the buttons and design. You can get the Powershell at RM399 which I find is quite expensive considering the fact that it can only be used with Lightning connectors. But hey, if you do not mind spending that amount for a better game play on your mobile, there is no reason to say no to the Powershell.
The Powershell arrives with a 3-year limited warranty.