PowerSkin Review

PowerSkin Review

Jul 26, 2011

These days, I’m getting more usage out of my Droid X than ever before, and it’s all thanks to a gadget called PowerSkin — a rugged, soft-silicone casing with a built-in battery pack that keeps your phone charged while keeping it safe from abrasions and sudden impacts.

Prior to using the PowerSkin, I was getting about 10 – 12 hours of battery life before needing to scramble for a power-outlet. Depending on usage, some days I’d get much less than that. In the best usage case scenario, I was on vacation a few weeks ago, shooting pictures, texting, tweeting, making a few short phone calls, using the GPS and looking up information online. Even while using maximum power saver mode, the battery only lasted about 8 hours. That’s pretty good for how heavily I was using it, but it was still stone cold dead long before we were done having fun. With the PowerSkin, I’m certain it would have lasted much longer.

Despite its awesome power, one downside to the PowerSkin is that it’s very bulky, almost doubling the thickness of the phone while adding a little more weight. The overall width is also increased. In a way, this is a good thing, because it means the case will absorb plenty of shock energy during an impact. However, this is also an annoyance; I had a tough enough time slipping the phone in and out of my jeans’ pocket before PowerSkin; with PowerSkin, forget it. My other concern is that the lip at the top of the case doesn’t extend over the front of the phone enough to hold it in place during an impact. This is the one area where the case seems to have the least amount of grip on the phone, and while I don’t think it’ll pop out, it bothers me that it could.

Finally, it’s great that you don’t have to remove the phone to charge the PowerSkin, but I’ve discovered an odd behavior. While charging the PowerSkin with the phone inside, if the phone’s battery is low enough to draw external power, it constantly behaves as though you are inserting and removing the power cable every second. I don’t like this, at all. It seems to take much longer to charge both devices and I’m concerned that it might damage something to continually go through that cycle. As such, I’ve gotten into the habit of charging the devices separately if they are each significantly drained. Otherwise, I charge the PowerSkin with the phone inside without any problems.

Regardless of these minor issues, I find that I’m very pleased with the performance of the PowerSkin. Compared to other external power devices I’ve purchased, the PowerSkin outperforms them all. I get the security of a rugged, good looking case without the need to carry any additional peripherals. Because of that, I highly recommend the PowerSkin to anyone looking to get more use out of their phone.

For more information on the PowerSkin, and to see if one is available for your phone, simply visit Power-Skin.com.

PowerSkin Review Rundown

Build Quality - The high-quality silicone cover is scratch resistant and rugged. However, the entire front of the phone is vulnerable, meaning that this case will protect your phone from everything but a direct impact to the phone's face. As mentioned in the review, the top of the case seems to slip off a bit under stress, but the rest of the case hangs on for dear life.
Functionality - Does exactly what it's supposed to do. All covered buttons are fully functional while the hole for the headphone port is easy to access. You will have to completely remove the phone if you want access to the USB port, however. Also, a word of caution: as I don't have an HDMI cable, I can't say whether the hole for the HDMI port is large enough for the cable to fit through. Use your discretion, if that's important to you.
Usefulness - It's a great case that can nearly double your available battery life. However, the extra bulk makes it a little extra annoying to carry around. Personally, I can deal with that, but with a phone that's already this large, making it bigger is a nuisance.
Value - At a retail price of US$59.99, I can honestly say that I would have rather paid that much for one of these than what I did pay for some of the cheaper alternatives I've used. You're getting a nice case, plus a long-lasting battery that doesn't use some cheap gimmick like suction cups or elastic bands to hang on.
Overall - The PowerSkin is a great product; I'm really happy with it. The extra weight and bulk can be disconcerting, but this offers a much more attractive way to carry around some extra power while protecting your phone.
Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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