Review: PowerSkin battery for iPhone 4 - Macenstein

Review: PowerSkin battery for iPhone 4

As anyone who’s ever read my Wikipedia page knows, I’m an iPhone battery whore. I suppose ultimately it is a compliment to Apple that I use my iPhone so much during the day that the built-in battery alone is usually not sufficient to make through on one charge (although I suppose the case could be made that Apple could have made the thing slightly thicker and thrown in a bigger battery… but I digress). Of course, I don’t use my iPhone for anything productive – I’m usually playing games. And as the caliber of iPhone games keeps increasing, I find myself spending more and more time playing battery-draining games like Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing, and the inexplicably battery-draining Hanging With Friends. Yes, I need more power, and my latest battery pack dujour is the $69.99 PowerSkin battery for iPhone 4.

PowerSkin iPhone 4 battery


Despite what the thin line across the top back of the case might have you think, the PowerSkin battery is actually one piece, not a slider case. The sides of the case are made of a flexible rubber that allows you to stretch it out and slide your iPhone inside (dock first) onto the male dock connector, as well as to provide some cushioning in the event of a fall. The bulk of the rear of the case is covered by a hard plastic, and there’s the requisite cutout holes for camera/flash, headphone jack, and mute switch.

The bottom right side of the case has a mini USB port for charging the battery via either your computer, or a wall outlet, if you have an AC to USB adapter like the one that used to ship with the iPhone. I’ve heard a bunch of people complaining about the dock connector on the iPhone, and touting the “universal” mini USB connector (despite it not being able to do what the dock connector can do). Well, all I know is I have seen THREE thicknesses of mini USB, and this one is the MIDDLE thickness, for what it’s worth. PowerSkin includes a cable, but if you’re a gadget collector like me, odds are you’ll eventually pick up the wrong mini USB cable at some point. Plugging the mini USB into a power source will first charge your iPhone, then the case. If you are charging via your computer, you can also sync your iPhone without removing it from the PowerSkin.

As with most iPhone battery packs, the PowerSkin has a series of blue LEDs that indicate the current charge of the battery pack (along the bottom edge of the case) as well as the power button. A press and hold of the button will turn the battery on or off.


A bunch of iPhone battery packs claim to double the battery life of your iPhone, but the PowerSkin is the first one I’ve seen that actually does. I drained the iPhone 4 down to the point of shutting off, and the PowerSkin was able to charge it to a full 100%, plus an extra 8% or so after the following drain. As impressive as this is, it still seems a little odd as the iPhone 4 has a 1420 mAh battery, and the PowerSkin is a 2000 mAh battery, so the part of my brain that crunches numbers might have thought it could maybe give you 135% or so, but I’m not complaining. The manufacturer says you’ll get a 100% charge, and you certainly do.

PowerSkin iPhone 4 battery


I have only two minor issues with the PowerSkin. The first is that initially pretty much every time I put the iPhone in the PowerSkin, it causes the mute switch to flip down. I have eventually mastered the proper technique to avoid this, but it took me awhile. The only other minor annoyance is that when you put your iPhone in, it automatically begins charging, and you need to hold the power button for a couple seconds to turn it off. I would have preferred it to be a manual affair so I could choose when I want to switch to back up power, but again, this is a minor issue.

Other potential issues you might encounter are the same as with most battery packs and cases – your car’s audio jack not fitting through the headphone jack, the need to remove your iPhone to use any 3rd party dock connector speakers, etc.


If you are a power-hungry iPhone user, there is much to love about the PowerSkin, and not all that much to bitch about. The case is well made, Is reasonably thin, provides a decent amount of drop protection, provides a full charge of the iPhone, and is priced extremely reasonably for its class at $69.99.

Price: $69.99
Pros: Reasonably thin and lightweight, great battery capacity, decent drop protection
Cons: None significant

One Response to “Review: PowerSkin battery for iPhone 4”
  1. The Captain says:

    Thanks for the review!

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