If you would have told me 2 years ago I would have and use an iPhone as my daily driver device I would have told you that you were crazy. I was a Windows Mobile guy and finally ended up with a device I loved, the HTC HD2. Maybe the most versatile device ever built. At the very end of me using the HD2 I was averaging 1-2GBs of data a month. I used Skyfire a lot, but it would never compare to the data I consume with the iPhone 4. I would not just double it, but triple my data usage since getting the iPhone 4. The apps are awesome, require a lot of data, and a lot of something else. Yep, you guessed it, power. Now I will admit, the iPhone 4 has a pretty good battery life, but when you are using 5-7GBs of data a month, it is going to drain any battery pretty quick. I need some options. I can’t always be accessible to an AC outlet. I need to take some extra battery storage with me. So I found a solution that looks really good, and will add 2000 mAh of power to your iPhone 4. It called the PowerSkin , so I think we need to check it out in a Mobility Digest Review!
Let’s kick this off with what you get in the box. Of course you get the PowerSkin for the iPhone 4, but also included in a very nice flip front retail package is a USB charging cable and a small little owners manual.
The PowerSkin is a one piece case that features a really nice soft silicone rubber material that will keep your iPhone well gripped to where you have put it such as in a car, and also is a very finger print hating material, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. The PowerSkin is also made from 100% recycled material so not only will you be power minded, but also environmentally friendly as well. The case measures 5.1 inches long by 2.5 inches wide and .77 inches thick. It’s not the length and width that you will notice, it is the thickness. The PowerSkin, like other cases in this category is going to add significant girth your super sexy thin iPhone 4. Super sexy thin out of power is is petty useless, so it might be well to make some accommodations. By comparison, the OtterBox Defender, which I normally carry is actually thinner than the PowerSkin by .11 inches thick.
Here are the PowerSkin Specifications:
Power Capacity: 2000mAh
Input Spec: 5V, 0.5A
Output Spec: 5V, 0.5A
Talk Time: 480 Mins*
Standby: 350 Hours*
Product Dimensions: 5.1L X 2.5W X 0.77H inches 12.95L X 6.35 X 1.96 cm
Weight: 0.18lbs / 81.6g
The PowerSkin case does a real nice job in button quality as well as making a case specifically for the iPhone 4. Too many times we see case manufactures forget key attributes about the actual device and use generic specifications for openings/cutouts which do not work as well from one device to another. But that is no case (cough) with PowerSkin as they clearly were intending to make a very functional case especially for the iPhone 4.
In the top side of the PowerSkin there really is the only problem I found with it. The 3.5mm Audio jack opening is well centered and will only utilize a very thin diameter audio plug. The thicker diameter plugs will not work. Also, I found the power button to be a bit too flush with the case which required you to press it past flush with the case which made it tough to turn off and on. The button still felt fine, but it required you to use the tip of your finger and drive it straight down. I would have liked to have seen the power button protrude past flush like the volume up and down buttons on the PowerSkin do. The volume up and down buttons are slightly elevated above flush and worked well.
The camera cutout while very deeply cut because of the thickness required to fit the battery, did not shroud the lens or the LED light. I was slightly concerned but did not notice any problem. The mute toggle is a cut out as well and PowerSkin leaves even the biggest of fingered folk ample room to reach in and mute the iPhone 4. The USB charging cable fit properly and and had no issue fitting into the slot at the bottom of the right hand side of the iPhone 4.
On the bottom of the PowerSkin Case you will find 4 Blue LED lights which are used to display the charging level in the PowerSkin. Each light represents 25% power so 2 LED lights illuminated would mean 50% charge and 4 LED illuminated would mean fully charged. The lights add a certain geeky quality to the case that I like and even when very light outside, the LED lights are easy to see .
The PowerSkin uses Patented XPAL Power® battery technology which they do not go into great detail about but I can assure you, it works. The PowerSkin has a 2000 mAh battery included in the case which doubles the life of your i Phone 4 at least on paper. Real life performance I think is even better, The PowerSkin charges just as fast as a wall outlet AC plug would charge your iPhone. It also does in fact double your power. Draining your iPhone almost down to zero and then inserting it into the PowerSkin will easily and quickly take you back to 100% with 1 LED light 25% left on. In the several times I tried this I never failed to get at least 100% charge back to the iPhone 4.
The PowerSkin sells for $79.99 but is now on sale on the PowerSkin website for $69.99. You can also find the PowerSkin from a wide variety of quality retailers that you can check out here. A couple of quick Google searches and you should have no trouble like I did finding a PowerSkin case for $50.00 which make this case a real bargain.
Quality Construction and materials
Bargain at $50.00 price points
Battery recharging is excellent
Power button is difficult to press.
PowerSkin is very think and blocky looking at .77 inches thick.