“My phone is about die. I’ll call/text you later.”

We’ve all said this before. And given, for some of us, the iPhone battery is less than stellar, we could all use a backup now and then. Some of us depend on backups more often then not because, you know, we like to run our poor iPhones into the ground.

I’m that type of person.

I recently had the chance to check out the PowerSkin for the iPhone 4 (also fits the iPhone 4S). The PowerSkin is the only soft, silicone battery case I have ever seen. I was impressed with the unique feel and look.

And I made sure not to leave this one behind, so I could see how well it functioned.

The Good

As I already mentioned, the texture and material of this case is not only unique, but it feels great. The soft, recycled silicone offers not only a soft to the touch feel, but a great grip and overall protection for your iPhone. The case is portable and lightweight and leaves all ports open for easy access, as well as button covers that work very well with the power and volume controls.

So, yes: The case looks sleek. But how does it perform? On average, I got nearly five extra hours of battery life with the PowerSkin. The 2000 mAh battery the case has nearly doubled the battery life of my phone.

To see the status of the charge and battery life remaining on PowerSkin, press the button on the bottom of the case. If you wish to toggle charging on and off, press and hold the button instead. This allows you to keep your phone in the PowerSkin case, with control over when in actually charges your device.

Display lights to show status of charge.

The other thing that is a huge plus about the PowerSkin is that you don’t have to worry about the sides of your phone being scratched up like you do with cases like some Mophie juice packs or the XtremeMac case (shown below). It gives way, allowing you to just slide your phone into the case, and is very soft and protective.

The Bad

As with most battery cases, the PowerSkin does add bulk, nearly doubling the size of the iPhone. As a comparison, though, here are three battery cases side by side.

Case size comparison (left to right): XtremeMac, Mophie, PowerSkin

As you can see, the PowerSkin does add to the width of the phone substantially, as well as the height. It is definitely bigger than most battery cases. Though it didn’t bother me, if the size of the case is off-putting, maybe you’ll want to spend more for the Mophie keychain charger instead.

Another thing I’m not too fond of is the charging cord; it’s really short (about three inches in length). So, you’ll have to have it charge directly next to your USB drive (or jack).

The silicone case will also collect lint more than the other cases. And, though it hasn’t posed a problem yet, I am worried about the way you must remove the phone from the case. You have to tilt it up and pull it out (the silicone gives way so that you can do this), as opposed to the case being in two parts like other battery packs. This concerns me because I don’t want the dock connecter inside my phone to get bent or broken. If you’re careful with it, like I am, it shouldn’t pose a problem, but I can definitely see it becoming one if someone is rough with it (or if your kids get a hold of it).

The PowerSkin also takes about four hours to charge fully. Which, compared to some Mophie packs isn’t that bad, but it’s still worth noting.

Verdict

I love the feel of this unique silicone case, and it functions just as it should. Though there are multiple “bad” aspects of the case, none are so major that they outweigh the great feel, protection, battery life, and price. However, if the bulk of the case is an issue, you’ll probably want to look for something a bit slimmer.

Given other options of similar cases that do the same thing cost more, I think the PowerSkin is a pretty good buy. With these type of battery cases, my advice is to just buy whichever is most affordable to you. Me? I will continue to use the PowerSkin as my main battery case (the XtremeMac is now my backup’s backup).

You can check the PowerSkin out on the PowerSkin website, but I would suggest checking it out on Amazon if you’re considering purchasing it as they have it for about $50.