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PowerSkin Spare for iPhone 6 Review
      #48005 - 05/06/15 02:40 PM

The PowerSkin Spare is a sleek and stylish battery case for those who need occasional extra power but don't want a lot of extra bulk. The PowerSkin Spare is as close as you can get to a minimalist case with a built-in battery. It will approximately double the thickness of your iPhone 6 (which is actually quite sleek compared to the competition), and will add about 0.5" to its length. Keep in mind that this extra length is necessary to accommodate both the lightning connector that plugs into your phone, and the port that is used to charge/sync it. As you'd expect from PowerSkin, it fits perfectly; snapping securely into place and coming out with just the right amount of effort.



Features and Quality

The Spare has a quality feel about it; substantial without feeling bulky, and sleek without seeming fragile. As previously noted, it's quite slim for a battery case. Although clever engineering certainly plays a role here, the biggest reason for it's svelte lines is its modest battery size. At 2200mAh, it's big enough to double your time between charges (theoretically), but power users will most likely need a bit more. For example, I rarely need a battery case for normal use, but on travel days, or times when I have extended periods of downtime away from home, I need a battery case with legs as my data consumption/gaming/video needs during these times tend to be on the high end.




The Spare is most likely made for somebody between those two extremes, which is likely quite a lot of you, I'm guessing. Charging/syncing is accomplished via the included mini USB cable, and the Spare has all the features you'd expect from a battery case like battery level indicator, power button, and speaker cutouts. Additionally, the PowerSkin Spare is guaranteed not to interfere with NFC (Apple Pay), as some cases that contain magnets/metal can. Thanks to Apple's decision to move the headphone port to the bottom of the iPhone, case manufacturers have a brand new headache to manage. Because the components are typically stuffed at the base of the case next to the Lightning Connector and charge port, users must snake their headphone cables through a nearly half-inch tunnel to plug them in. This is a problem because many 3rd party headphone are thicker than Apple's, which is the standard that these manufacturers use when determining how large to make the opening. Because of this, many after market headphones will not work with battery cases without the use of an adaptor. Lastly, even if you have a pair of headphones that will fit, you will likely still not want to use them without an adaptor because most of them do not have a long enough reinforced guard to allow you to remove the cable without pulling directly on the wires (do NOT do this). As I said, this is a problem that all battery case manufacturers wrestle with; Unfortunately, the Spare does not come with the adaptor that some other cases do, so if you use 3rd party headphones or earbuds, check with PowerSkin before making your purchase.




Style

The PowerSkin Spare comes in three color options to match the three finishes available for the iPhone (silver, gold, space grey), and the nearly faceless design doesn't get in the way of your device's intrinsic beauty.

Summary

The PowerSkin Spare is a very good battery case, especially for those who don't want to turn their iPhone into a brick just to get some extra power. The simple installation/removal means you can snap it on in seconds, and remove it when not needed; and the beautiful, slender design may convince you to leave it on permanently. If you use 3rd party earbuds or headphones, be sure they will fit, however, or pick up an adaptor. They're inexpensive, and can save your headphones from unnecessary wear.


Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Super slim for a battery case. Effortless installation/removal. Color options to match all three iPhone finishes. Guaranteed not to interfere with NFC (Apple Pay).
What's Not: 2200mAh battery is somewhat small by current standards. Does not include a headphone jack extender.
Price: $79.99
Web site: Power Skin

Reviewed by: Tom Slayton






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