Hands-on with Logitech's PowerShell Controller, an iOS 7 gamepad that charges your phone

Remember that fuzzy-looking iOS 7 gamepad that leaked back in June? Turns out it's called the Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery (a mouthful, right?), and it's one of the first iOS 7 certified gamepads on the market. Compatible with Lightning-equipped iPhones and iPods, the controller juts off of your device's top and bottom edges, adding four face buttons, a d-pad, two shoulder buttons and a 1,500 mAh battery that charges your phone while you game. It's also one of the least obstructive gamepad accessories we've ever used.

Testing out the device at Logitech's Newark offices, we were surprised how out of the way its buttons were. While the cradle does make the iPhone about a third taller, it doesn't obstruct access to the screen when held vertically. Better still, it doesn't feel particularly awkward to hold the docked device up to your ear. It still won't fit in your trouser pockets, but at least you won't have to fumble with undocking your phone if you get a call mid-game.

Logitech PowerShell Controller charges your iPhone, adds muchneeded buttons handson

Of course, this usability comes at a price: the gamepad conforms to Apple's simplest gamepad standard. Aping the classic layout of the SNES controller, the PowerShell lacks the dual-thumbsticks required to make the most out of games like Dead Trigger 2. That said, what it does have is very responsive, and pops with the satisfying tactility of the gamepad it emulates. The base unit is designed specifically for an iPhone 5 or 5s, but it comes with an adapter for the 5th generation iPod touch.

All said, it's a solid little gamepad, but it does have one other oddity: plugging headphones into the device requires a strange angled adapter, which snakes through the gamepad's case to the iPhone's native headphone jack. Weird. The PowerShell Controller + Battery hits BestBuy and the Apple Store today, and will roll out globally in December. The price to get in the game? $100 (£90 in the UK), minus a penny.