Sep 5, 2014
Okay… we love TYLT. Duh.
But would we like its Energi S5 Sliding Power Case compelling? Let’s see.
The review unit TYLT sent us is a two-piece combo affair; it’s made up of a hard plastic protective case, and the battery sleeve too (the box also contains a USB cable). The sleeve is mostly black, hard plastic, with cutouts for the S5 rear camera and speaker grille. There’s also an “on” button on the back under the company logo. There’s also a charging port at the bottom, and a male input micro-USB port on the inside of the sleeve.
The protective case is a bit more intricate in design, with grey accents on the edges (it also comes in blue). The edges are designed to raise off he screen, which is useful for when the device is ace down. All the necessary cut-outs are available: charge/sync, infra-red, audio aux cable, camera, and speaker grille. The wake button and volume rocker on the sides are protected by designated overlay that allows them to work naturally.
The former allows the device to fit perfectly into the latter. After getting the device enveloped in the case — and it is a tight fit — it’s time to side the cased phone into the charging sleeve. In theory, it looks easy, and involves opening the charging flap on the S5 and moving the case along the inside of the sleeve till the aforementioned charging piece fits snugly into the S5’s charging port. In practice, however, the designed snugged fit is a double-edged sword, and it takes some careful finagling to get the two pieces matched up.
Together, there is noticeable heft and girth added; it’s not transformed into a rick, but if one’s hobb is to gaze at the one’s device (hey, don’t judge), one might be somewhat discomfited. The device is well protected though, and in that regard, one might forgive the partial loss of slightness.
As the consummate portable charger, the power case mostly delivers. he review unit arrived with a full charge, and when the on button is engaged, the device is actively charged in a safe matter, even when being used. I was able to use all other functions of the device, and the standby power is admirable, as is the ability to charge the S5 fully from the initial charge.
My biggest gripe is the smoothness of assembly (and taking the units back apart). in my perfect world, the Energi Case would be a portable, on call accessory. In other words, the sleeve would reside in my gear box until it was needed, and then, taken off when the phone is reasonably topped off. In my testing, taking the cased device off the phone isn’t easy; maybe my nervousness with regards to busted charging ports is to blame, but because of the design, I didn’t have an easy go of pulling the case off the device. This means, with regards to what i wanted to do, the case feels semi-permanent.
All in all, it’s a great product mostly restricted by its specific target. I’d like to see the concept on more devices, but for the S5 owner who wants power on the go, there are not a lot of better options.