capsule review

PowerSkin for Droid X2 Review: More Battery Life, More Bulk

At a Glance
  • PowerSkin Droid X and Droid X2 Battery Case

    PCWorld Rating

    The PowerSkin for Droid X and Droid X2 can nearly double how long you go between charges, but it adds a lot of weight and bulk to your phone.

PowerSkin phone case for Droid X and Droid X2
Battery life is the bane of every smartphone owner. If you charge the phone every night and use it sparingly, you can get through the day. But if you frequently check email, surf the Web, listen to music, and use the GPS function, your handset could run out of juice long before it's time to hit the hay. PowerSkin offers one solution to the problem: a case that charges your phone wirelessly.

By incorporating an extra battery, the PowerSkin case significantly extends your phone's power capabilities--but it also considerably adds to the size and weight of your phone. As a Droid X owner, I tried out the model for the Droid X and Droid X2. As of June 29, 2011, you could buy this particular case for about $60.

The PowerSkin works as promised: My fully charged Droid X in a fully charged PowerSkin lasted considerably longer than it did by itself. I also used the PowerSkin case as a portable charger, turning it on only when the phone was running low. Either way, the case didn't quite double my phone's battery life, but it did come close.

However, it doubled my phone's size--and noticeably added to its weight--as well. Not including the bump near the top of the phone, a Droid X in a conventional silicone case is about half an inch thick. In a PowerSkin, it's nearly 1.25 inches; it's also wider by almost half an inch. In a conventional case, a Droid X weighs 6 ounces. With the PowerSkin, it weighs more than 9 ounces--an increase of more than 50 percent.

As a result, adding the PowerSkin makes the Droid X--already an oversize phone--something of a chore to carry around. Put it in a breast pocket, and you can feel your shirt sag. On the other hand, all that extra padding probably provides more protection than a conventional case does.

Like the Droid X itself, the PowerSkin can charge through any Micro-USB charger. But if you want to leave the phone in the case and charge them both together, you'll have to use the Micro-USB cable that came with the case--and even then, you may have problems. Plug the cable into a computer's USB port, and it should charge both devices fine. Plug it into a USB/AC adapter not made by PowerSkin, though, and it will probably charge only the case. PowerSkin's own USB/AC adapter, which can charge the two together, will set you back an additional $20. Your other option is to remove the phone from the case and charge them separately.

If you value longer battery life more than having a slim, light phone, a PowerSkin is probably worth the price.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    The PowerSkin for Droid X and Droid X2 can nearly double how long you go between charges, but it adds a lot of weight and bulk to your phone.

    Pros

    • Better phone protection than most cases offer
    • Significantly extends battery life

    Cons

    • Picky about how you charge it
    • Bulky and heavy
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