Sandberg Wallet Phone Case – HTC One – Review

I use my phone on a daily basis for a number of activities that range from checking Facebook & Twitter, to reading and sending emails.  I would be lost without it so am always on the lookout for ways to keep it protected.  Having something that is useful for more than just a case for my phone is even better, and that is where the Wallet Case from Sandberg comes into play.

The case itself is packaged in the usual Sandberg white box with a transparent plastic window on the front which gives you a decent view of the case itself.  The back of the box gives a few short lines of information regarding the case, which as usual, is available in several different languages.

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The case itself has a nice feel to it.  It is held closed by a magnetic strap, and it actually feels like quite a secure magnet.  The back of the case has holes for the camera and flash, as well as a small hole for one of the built-in mics.  On the inside of the flap that opens you have two spaces for cards of your choice, whether they be credit cards or reward cards, etc, and behind these slots, located by the spine of the case is a pocket that could be used for either more cards and/or cash.  The other side of the case has a cradle that is made from a textured plastic material that holds your phone in place.  There are slots available to all of the buttons and controls needed for phone use – each one allowing for decent access and none of the controls or buttons are in any way covered or not accessible.

After using the case for awhile, I am actually pretty fond of it.  I don’t like to use a bag too often, and having loose cards in pockets can result in them becoming bent, damaged, or even lost.  Knowing how protective I am of my phone, I always know where it is, whether I am at home or out and about.  This case means that I also know where my cash and cards are also – an added bonus if you ask me.  The case does a good job of protecting the phone also, which is something that you would probably want it to do primarily.  Even after use, the material that the case is made from is still fully intact and there is no sign of any damage at all.

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Although the price is a little steep (around £25) it does do the job, and it does it well.  I am sure, however, that you could find something that does the same job for a fraction of the price.  That is all that lets it down, in my opinion.  A great product at a not overly great price.

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7″ Digital Photo Frame – Review (@KitvisionUK)

****Please check out the end of this review where there is a link to a giveaway, giving you the chance to win one of these!

Having access to your photos on mobile devices and laptops, etc, can often be the preferred method of viewing nowadays.  But what if you actually wanted to have select images available on display in and around your home?  Or what if you have a relative that isn’t over tech savvy?  The Kitvision 7″ Digital Photo Frame could be the solution for you!

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The photo frame itself comes packaged in an eye catching box packaging that contains a wealth of specifications, ranging from the slide show display mode, to the 7″ TFT Panel.  Inside the box you get the photo frame (the one I have for review is pink), the stand for the frame, UK 3-pin wall adapter and a user manual.

The frame feels very well made, as well as very sturdy.  Included is 8mb of internal storage – not enough to store all of your images, but plenty to store a few treasured images that you would like to keep to hand all of the time.  The frame boasts a bracket that you can rotate if you would like to, meaning that you can view your images in both landscape and portrait mode – you aren’t limited to having it set just one way or the other.  The spaces to attach the bracket can be found on the back of the frame.  The top of the frame houses the buttons used to control the functions of the frame.  These buttons are Play/Pause, Left, Right, Exit, and Setup.  The buttons are used to navigate the menus on the photo frame, which are straightforward to use.  Located down the right hand side of the frame is the USB Flash Drive port, the multicard reader, and the port to connect up the AC adapter.  The screen resolution is 480 x 234 pixels.  The supported image file format for the frame is JPEG – which is handy as this is what most images come as.

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Getting to grips with the frame is very straightforward.  To get the frame to display the images you want, simply insert a memory card that has your images on (either direct from a digital camera or smartphone or transfer the pictures to the card from a PC/laptop), or hook up a USB drive into the port on the side.  The built-in card reader enables you to simply plug in your card or USB stick and using the buttons on the top of the frame, navigate through the menus.  It is recommended that you store images in folders that contain up to 100 photos each.

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Once you have your memory card or USB drive inserted, ensure that you have plugged in the supplied plug adapter (5v), power on the frame, and you photos will start displaying to you as a slideshow.  The buttons on the back of the frame give you the options to pause the slideshow in order to make changes to the display, or even to keep that one particular image on display.  Also, the built-in menu is easy and straightforward to use, making the operation of the frame possible for anyone, no matter your technical knowledge.  From within the menu, you can also choose if you would like your images displayed as the original image, cropped, or stretched.

Another feature that I really like is the fact that you have a few transition effects to choose from, meaning that you can make changing from one image to the next, less plain and boring.  If you would rather not set it to one particular effect, you can set it to random so that it changes from image to image.  Another feature that I like is that you can change the speed of the slideshow – you can have the images change at a slow, medium or fast pace.  Again, something for everyone.

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Overall, I love this digital photo frame.  Kitvision have made it possible to have something to suit everyone, no matter of their age or preference.  If the 7″ frame is not for you, there is a large range of digital frames available in a variety of sizes and designs, so there should be something for everyone.  The price of the 7″ pink frame that I have here is £29.99 on Amazon UK (at time of posting) and would make an ideal gift, especially with Mother’s Day coming up *hint hint*.

Twitter: @KitvisionUK
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KitvisionUK
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kitvisionuk
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kitvision
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/KitvisionUK

The guys over at Kitvision also launched this giveaway on their Twitter yesterday! https://twitter.com/KitvisionUK/status/442962839662125056

KitSound Manhattan Wireless Headphones – Review (@KitSoundUK)

I think it’s only fair that I start off this review by saying how much I love these Manhattan headphones from KitSound.  Out of all of the ones that I have reviewed, these are my absolute favourite!

First up, the packaging.  As with all of their products, KitSound know how to make their packaging stand out, but not in a bad way.  The front of the box has an image of the headphones, as well as a few tidbits of information regarding play time and call-handling.  The sides of the box gives some information in regards to where the name of the headphones came from, and the back of the box lists the features and specifications for the products, as well as the contents of the box.

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Speaking of the box contents… The headset is well packaged between two cardboard inserts that offer a high level of protection during storage and transit.  Pulling these pieces apart, the headset is there for you to see in all its glory, and it is a very glorious sight!  Also provided is a USB to Micro USB cable, a Micro USB to 3.5mm jack cable, and a user manual.

The headset itself feels great in the hand.  The fully adjustable headband is padded, but not too much, whereas the rotatable earcups have a nice amount of padding.  The earcups are fitted to the headband using a silver metal fastener, which is also used to adjust the size of the headband.  The cables that feed through the headband are a braided material rather than the rubber material that you find on other headphones – a really nice change as there is no chance of stretching and damaging the cable.  The earcups both sport the KitSound brand logo on the outside and the bottom of the left earcup has the Bluetooth On/Off switch, the Micro USB port, Forward/Back button which also couple as the Volume + & – buttons, the Microphone and the LED indicator.

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Setting up these headphones to use with my phone was rather straightforward.  Because they are wireless and include Bluetooth 2.1, they are compatible with most devices out there right now.  I set them up firstly with my HTC One and I had them working within 30 seconds.  It was just as quick setting them up with the iPhone as well.  If I did run into any issues, the user manual provides steps to get things paired. Getting used to the controls on the earcup took a little longer, but once I had got used to which way I had to press the button to change song/volume level, everything as fine.

Comfort wise, I cannot fault these headphones.  They are light enough to sit on my head and over my ears for hours of use with no discomfort from both the headband or the earcups.  The sound quality is pretty amazing, too.  I have used a few high priced pairs of earphones and the Manhattan’s are way up there with those.  There is a decent amount of bass, the music doesn’t sound tinny, and no matter what genre of music I tried them with, the music sounded as it should have.  Call quality is top notch too, both incoming and outgoing sound.

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The battery life on these headphones is impressive – 18 hours of play time, 30 hours of talk time, and up to 300 hours standby time!  Charging the headphones’ Lithium Polymer battery is as easy as hooking up the Micro USB cable to the port on the left earcup and the USB to a power source and you’re away.  The other thing that I love about the Manhattan’s is that if you are caught out with a low battery, you can simply hook up the Micro USB to 3.5mm jack cable and use them as wired headphones!

If you haven’t been able to tell already, I am in love with these headphones.  They have impressed me no-end since I started using them and I look forward to using them on a regular basis.  If you ask me, these are well worth the £34.99 price-tag, and more.  I HIGHLY recommend these to anybody looking for a decent pair of headphones at a decent price and with them being available in a range of colours, there is sure to be something to suit everyone!

 

Mini Buddy Heart Portable Speaker – Review (@KitSoundUK)

Today for review, I have quite a cute item.  It’s a Mini Buddy Portable Speaker from the guys over at KitSound.  There are several different characters and designs available, and I have the Heart speaker to review.  Perfect timing with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

The packaging for the Mini Buddy Heart Speaker is simple and shows you what you want to know.  It is just big enough to fit the speaker in, as well as the included USB charger cable.  The packaging is a clear plastic style that gives you a decent view of the speaker so that you can see the design fully.

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The speaker itself is actually really cute to look at.  It is a nice pink colour with a love heart pattern on the front which is made up of several small heart shapes.  On the side of the speaker there is a female 3.5mm port so that you can connect more than one together if you would like, while on the back is where the sound comes out, so naturally, there are several small holes for the speaker itself.  On the bottom of the buddy there is the power switch and a Micro USB port for the charger cable.  On the top, there is a short keychain that enables you to connect it up to your keys, which when coupled with the build quality of the speaker, you can feel assured that you can just throw it into your bag and not worry about causing any damage, etc.  Lastly, you have the 6 inch 3.5mm jack cable.

To get the speaker up and running, it couldn’t be easier – really.  Simply plug in the 3.5mm jack to the audio device that you want to use it with and you are good to go.  I plugged it into my phone and started up my music streaming app to test things out.  The sound quality was actually pretty good, especially considering the size of it.  The music I was playing came through nice and clear, and I didn’t notice any distortion.  I was able to enjoy my music listening session without feeling disappointed about my choice of speaker and the fact that you can actually hook up more of these little things together can only add to your listening pleasure.  Saying this, I was listening to music that didn’t contain a ridiculous amount of bass.

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Since first hooking up this buddy to charge when I took it out of the packaging, I haven’t had to charge it again, despite using it for a fair few hours.  This is something that has impressed me as I would hate to have to charge it over and over again after short uses.  One thing that is worth a mention – when charging, the LED indicator on the bottom of te buddy stays blue.  I think it may have been handy to have the LED colour change between charging and charged.

Overall, I think this Mini Buddy Hear Portable Speaker is cute, very well made, and very well priced.  You can pick up this speaker for £9.99 GBP from the KitSound website, as well as on Amazon UK.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this would make an ideal gift for your love interest/significant other.

TeckNet Redragon T21 Gaming Keyboard – Review

Today I have the next product in the latest gaming range from TeckNet, the T21 Gaming Keyboard, to review.  I have been impressed with TeckNet’s gaming range so far, but can the T21 keyboard live up to expectations?

The packaging for the T21 keyboard is what you would expect for a keyboard.  It is very informative, providing information about the macro keys, as well as the anti-ghosting keys.  The box features a nice front view of the keyboard itself, so you pretty much know what you are getting before you even take it out of the box.  The back of the box contains even more information in regards to the keyboard and some of its features.

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When I removed the keyboard from the box I was instantly impressed with the build quality of the keyboard itself.  It is very weighty (1.5kg), very sturdy, and the actual style is something that will not look out of place on your desk.  The keyboard boasts a 1.8m braided cable with two gold-plated USB adapters on the end (one to power the keyboard and one to power the USB port on the rear of the keyboard), 20 anti-ghosting keys, a volume control dial, and a USB port on the rear of the keyboard.  The black and red colour scheme goes very well with the rest of the TeckNet gaming range also, so everything fits together nicely, as it should.  Also included in the box is the driver/software CD and a macro expansion module.

Setting the keyboard up was as straightforward as it could be.  Plug in the keyboard to your PC, install the bundled software, and away you go.  Using the PC software, you can then program any key you like to do whatever you want it to – perfect for assigning keys to make your gaming session that little bit easier.  The included macro expansion module clips quite nicely on to the top of the keyboard over the top of the function keys.  You connect this up via the USB 2.0 port on the rear of the keyboard itself and can then program these keys as you wish.

The T21 keyboard features silica gel material under the keys which provides premium elasticity, making the keyboard a dream to use when both gaming and typing.  The volume control lights up a very nice blue colour, so it is easy to find during gaming sessions.  The right hand side of the keyboard has a foldaway arm that you can expand to attach another expansion, if required.  Also included on the keyboard are 20 anti-ghosting keys which gives you the ability to use more than one key at a time – something that is very popular with PC gamers.  The palm rest provides added support and comfort during PC sessions, again, whether it be for gaming or regular use.

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After using the keyboard for a prolonged amount of time, it is very comfortable to use.  I have not suffered any hand fatigue whilst playing games, and using the keyboard to type is also a nice experience.  The features seem to cover everything that a gamer would want it to, and everything works as it should.  The quality of the keyboard does not disappoint, and with the price-tag being a lot lower than other gaming keyboards (around £40 GBP), I can see it fast becoming a favourite in the PC gaming community.

TeckNet Redragon Perdition 16400 DPI Gaming Mouse – Review

The TeckNet Redragon Perdition 16400 DPI Gaming Mouse is the next product from the latest TeckNet gaming range that I have for review.

The packaging of the mouse not only catches your eye with its red and black colour scheme, but also because the clear plastic window on the front of the box gives you a pretty much full on view of the mouse itself.  The left side of the front of the packaging shows some information relating to the mouse, as does the right hand side.  The rear of the box shows some more information, including the 12 programmable side buttons, and the 16 million colour breath light.

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Removing the mouse from the box was pretty straightforward.  The mouse comes out of the base of the box, and once removed, it is presented to you sat in a nice plastic sleeve.  Included in the box along with the mouse is a user manual, driver and software CD, and a round box for the 8 x 2.4g included weights.  The small round box has a nice red and black design so that it stays in with the colour scheme of the mouse itself.  The mouse has a very nice textured feel to it which adds grip to the mouse for more comfort when in use.  It also has a 6ft braided cable with a gold plated USB connector on the end.  The mouse has 12 buttons on the left side of the mouse, a red power button, two DPI buttons, a mode switching button, the two usual mouse buttons and the scroll wheel.  All buttons on this mouse are also programmable, using the bundled software.  Lastly, the base of the mouse has a space to put in the small weights that are included in the box to help you get the mouse weight to something that suits you, as well as teflon mouse pads.

Getting started was as simple as it gets.  Plug in the mouse, install the bundled software, and away you go.  Using the software was straightforward and allows you to customise the mouse to suit your needs.  You can set up to 5 different user profiles, which is handy depending on the game you are playing.  The DPI can be also be customised within the software – having to choice to be able to use up to 16400 DPI, there should most definitely be a setting that suits everyone.  Being able to customise the breathing LED lighting on the mouse is something that I really like because no matter what colour scheme you have for your gaming setup, it is easy enough to match the mouse up with it.  Alternatively, you can disable the LED altogether if you would rather leave it off.

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The mouse itself is definitely well designed.  It has grooves in all the right places, including down the right side of the mouse so that depending on how you are holding the mouse, your fingers actually sit comfortably, resulting in no discomfort during prolonged gaming sessions.  The 12 side buttons are well placed for use, even during fast paced situations.  Having the buttons light up helps also, especially while getting used to each buttons placing, initially.  The mouse itself is made from a nice plastic material which offers grip while in use.  The mouse itself is not smooth to touch, but alternatively has a slightly rough finish to it which eliminates the risk of your hand/fingers slipping off during use.  The buttons are as responsive as they should be, which again, helps during those play sessions where even the slightest delay could make all the difference.  Finally, the logo on the palm rest of the mouse looks really nice with the breathing LED effect.

Overall, I think that the Perdition mouse is a very nice addition to the TeckNet range.  Not only is it competitively priced (£39.99 GBP) compared to other gaming mice of the same quality, but it is very nice to look at, and use.  It does what you would expect of it, and more.  The included software is easy to use and it would suit users of all ages and abilities.  I would highly recommend this mouse to anyone looking for a mouse that does everything, for a fraction of the price.

TeckNet Redragon 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset – Review

TeckNet provide gamers with affordable, high quality gaming accessories.  Their gaming range covers every angle of peripherals that gamers could want and need to have a decent game session.  From that range, today I have the 7.1 Channel Surround Sound Gaming Headset.

My eye was instantly drawn to the packaging of the headset.  The striking red and black design on the box really does go very well with the headset colour scheme.  Also on the box, along with the image of the headset, is other information.  This includes the Multi-Function In-Line Controller, to the Ergonomic Leather Earpads.  On the side of the box is an image of the in-line control along with a list of features.  The rear of the box shows a list of product specifications.

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The headset itself is secured in a plastic inlay inside the box.  After removing it from the box, you are greeted with a view of the headset and the in-line controller.  The headset feels very sturdy and well made, as does the in-line control box.  The top of the headband is made from a rubber material and the padding on the inside of the headband is very soft and seems as if it will provide extreme comfort during use.  The rubber material that is used for the headband actually makes the headband extremely flexible which in my experience, is never a bad thing.  The earpads have a very soft padding that feels as if it will add to the comfort factor.  The outside of the earpads both sport the headset logo, as well as the SOMIC branding.  Also on each earpad is a total of 6 red lights – 3 on each side.  The rotating, noise cancelling mic is located on the left side of the headset and also feels very well made, as well as very durable.  Coming down from the left earpad is a red rubberised USB cable which houses the in-line controls, which consist of the volume controls, and two mute buttons – one for the headset, and one for the mic.  Lastly, there is the user manual, and software & driver CD.

When it comes to setting the headset up, it’s pretty straightforward.  I connected the headset up to my PC via the USB cable and installed the provided drivers and software, and was ready to go.

Firstly, I wanted to try out the mic using Mumble.  I was told that my voice was coming through loud and very clear.  In return, I could hear everybody else very clearly.  Next up, I entered a game of World of Tanks to see what the game sound quality was like.  I could instantly hear the difference in the game sound compared to my previous headset.  All sounds were coming through crisp and clear, with an ample amount of bass.  The bass was even more impressive when it came to hearing shots fired from other tanks in the game.  The in-line control box has LEDs that light up when the headset is plugged in, which I thought was a nice effect, especially when coupled with the lights on the earpads (6 on each ear).

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The bundled software gives you the ability to set up the virtual 7.1 surround sound effect by allowing you to reposition the virtual speakers so that the sound suits the action you are doing.  The software is very straightforward to use so should be able to be used by any and everyone.

This headset is not only decent for gaming.  I have used this headset for watching TV & movies, as well as listening to music.  The only slight issue I have come across is when I was watching TV using the headset.  I found the bass to be just a little bassy on select TV shows.  Aside from that, listening to music and watching movies, etc, using this headset is as much of a pleasure as it is using the headset for gaming.

Overall, I am VERY impressed with this headset, especially with the £19.99 GBP price tag.  I am not overly experienced when it comes to PC headsets, but when I compare the TeckNet 7.1 headset with the ones I have used and reviewed previously, I honestly think I would prefer to use this headset over others.  Obviously if you want to pay through the nose for a well known, branded headset, then the sound quality is more than likely going to improve, but personally, I have no issues using this £20 headset for an immersive and quality gaming session.

Sandberg PowerBar 2200mAh (Pink) with Flashlight – Review

Back up batteries are becoming a must have item nowadays, especially with so many people having and relying on gadgets that are battery powered.  There are plenty of products to choose from and today, I have the Sandberg PowerBar 2200mAh, complete with its own flashlight, for review.

The packaging that the PowerBar arrives in is pretty simplistic.  It shows you the PowerBar itself through the clear packaging at the front and in the bottom corner, there is a short bit of text about the product.  On the reverse of the box, there is a bit more info which is also available in several languages.  The bottom of the box shows you that there is a 5 year guarantee on the product.

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Removing the PowerBar from the box is as simple as open the top of the box and sliding out the plastic sleeve that houses the product.  Also included in the box is a Micro USB cable which is used to charge the device, and a small instruction leaflet.  The PowerBar itself has nicely curved corners and measures in at 9.3 cm in length and 2.10 cm in width, and weighs around 75g – definitely small enough to be carried around with you while out and about.  Along one of the sides, you will find the Sandberg logo, a silver button and 3 LED lights.  The button is for the flashlight – double click to turn it on and double click to turn it off again.  I haven’t had a reason to use this too much yet, but what I have used, it could prove handy.  The LED lights show the battery level and come on when you press the silver button once.

Charging the device prior to its first use was really straightforward,  It was simply a case of connecting the USB cable to the PC and also to the PowerBar.  Once connected up, charging started immediately – no need to install any drivers.  While charging the LED lights flashed, and once fully charged, the flashing stopped.  It was just as simple to use when I wanted to charge my phone also.  I simply hooked up my charger cable to the PowerBar and connected it to my phone and charging began.  It managed to charge my phone around 45% after a 30 minute charge.  It could have charged it more if I wasn’t using my phone at the same time.  I have only had to charge the device once since receiving it last week, so it seems like the battery life will be sufficient for most people.

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Overall, I am very impressed with the PowerBar.  It does what it should, when it should, and is small enough to be portable.  The metallic effect to the pink colouring makes the device stand out even more and doesn’t look out of place.  This can be used with many devices – pretty much any that can be charged via USB cable.  For the price of between £12.00 & £17.00 GBP (varies with colour choice) on Amazon UK, I think that this is a handy accessory to have, even if as a ‘just in case’.

Phantomus Kids Stylus – Review (@iChicGear)

The Phantomus Kids Stylus for Tablets from the iChicGear Kids range is definitely aimed at kids or at a push, someone who is still a kid at heart.

The Phantomus stylus arrived in a nicely designed cardboard sleeve type packaging that gives you a view of the stylus through the clear window on the front.  A list of tablets that you can use the stylus with is included on the front whilst on the back, there are a couple of images of the stylus being used with different sized devices.

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The stylus itself feels very well made and when holding it, it actually sits in the hand very comfortably.  Size wise, the stylus is about the same weight, length and thickness of a felt tip pen so shouldn’t prove an issue for any kids that will be using it.  It is available in two different colours, pink and blue, and it comes with a one-eyed, one-toothed, rubberised ghost head on the top, and a small black rubberised nib on the opposite end.

The ghost head is something that can be removed and put over the nib to provide protection when not in use.  The nib itself is actually very soft, something that I am not too sure on if I am honest, but it does work very well when being used.  The stylus works extremely well for both general use, as well as gaming use.  I have not had an issue with response times, etc, since using it.

Overall, the Phantomus Kids Stylus is something that would prove handy for both adults and kids alike, and considering the price of around £12.50 GBP (€15.00 EUR), it would make a nice tablet companion.

[NEWS] Logitech PowerShell Announced

Logitech has officially announced their iOS 7 gaming controller, the PowerShell.

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The PowerShell peripheral will be compatible with the iPod Touch, iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5. The device comes complete with a 1500mAh battery which enables you to keep your device(s) charged while using it.

The PowerShell sports shoulder trigger buttons, X B Y & A buttons, and a D-Pad. There are no analogue sticks included, unlike the recently announced MOGA Ace Power.

Logitech revealed that due to their research, they have discovered that 87% of iPhone and iPod Touch users play games on their device.  A handful of iOS games have been optimised for use with the PowerShell. These titles include MetalStorm Aces, Galaxy on Fire 2, Nitro, Bastion and Fast & Furious 6.

You can now pre-order the Logitech PowerShell for £89.99. Orders are expected to be shipped out next month.