Smartphones have become fantastic handheld consoles, and most of the best games can be found on the iPhone. So if someone said they can give you an experience like the PlayStation Portable using just your iPhone, why wouldn’t you be interested? Meet the Logitech Powershell. But while it promises to make you forget your handheld console, there are still a lot of problems with it.
Turning Your Sleek iPhone Into a Bulky Monstrosity
The Powershell gets zero design points. Absolute zero. It’s almost as if it’s made to be as cumbersome as possible.
Look at your iPhone right now. Now imagine it’s twice as thick and twice as long, with a rubberised finish, and weird contours everywhere. That’s what the Powershell does to your beautiful Apple device. You probably take pride in showing off your iPhone; you’ll pretend to ignore calls if you’ve got the Powershell case on it, because you don’t want to be caught dead seen with this thing.
The latch mechanism to switch your screen on and off is tough and unpleasant to use; you’re going to rely solely on your Home button, and we all know how often those break on iPhones. The 3.5mm headphone jack is recessed so far inside in a slot that Logitech had to pack a special cord for it.
To use the Logitech Powershell when you’re not gaming is, frankly, a joke. Holding that huge unit to your ear is not only uncomfortable and looks ridiculous, but it’s also heavy and strains your hand after a while. Seriously, it’s bigger than old landline phone receivers.
Get Your Game On
While we’ve established that the Powershell is a disaster when you aren’t gaming, what about when you are? Well, it has some good points and some bad.
You get four main buttons—X, Y, A, B—for your right thumb and two trigger buttons for both your index fingers. The left thumb operates the D-pad for movement. The build quality of these is fantastic and what’re more, they’re pressure-sensitive. Theoretically, while driving a car, you can tap lightly for a slight change in direction, and press hard to swerve violently. But the D-pad is a little too tough to do that. More on that later.
For some reason, Logitech does not have analog sticks—a big miss for several games, especially racing and RPGs. Playing GTA: San Andreas without an analog stick isn’t a good experience.
Now, if you thought that you can use the Powershell with just any game out there, think again. The game itself has to be optimised to be used with controllers—something you can check on the Logitech’s official game list or in the App Store before you download it.
If you get a title that’s made for the controller, the Powershell is a pleasant experience for side-scrolling platform games like Shadow Blade, racing games like Asphalt 8, and one-on-one fighters like Real Boxing. In fact, platformers were the best with the controller, and in case you haven’t explored that genre enough, here are five awesome platformers you should be playing. But with shooters like Dead Trigger and puzzle games, you are far better off sticking to your regular iPhone’s touchscreen controls. That’s because the D-Pad is tough and you really need to press it hard. It also has unbalanced sensitivity—when you’re going right, it moves quickly enough, but move left and it moves at a slow pace. Just like that, you’re an easy target.
Playing games usually drains your battery quickly, so the one good thing Logitech has done is to put in a 1500mAh battery, the same as the iPhone 5, essentially doubling your battery life. Weirdly though, the Powershell does not come with a Lightning cord and uses a regular microUSB instead; so that means you will need to carry both cords instead of just one if you’re going on a trip. It seems quite silly.
Should You Buy It?
The Logitech Powershell fails on two critical points:
1) The D-pad is too tough to use properly and it doesn’t have analog sticks for easy movements;
2) It is ugly, bulky and takes away the classy look and feel of the iPhone.
So it’s not a case you would want to carry your iPhone around it. It’s also not a case you would want to use extensively for gaming. It makes little sense to spend the in-store price of Rs 5,000 approximately, let alone the MRP of Rs 8,995.