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The Samsung Galaxy S IV is one of the best Android smartphones of 2013 but it does have one downside, it’s battery. While the battery is 2600mAH, that still doesn’t get me through the whole day without the need to charge. This wouldn’t be an issue if I was always by a wall or vehicle outlet, but I’m not. So the next logical solution would be an external portable battery or even better, a battery case. At Pepcom in San Francisco, I found the perfect solution: the Energi Sliding Power Case by Tylt. Tylt got its big break at CES 2013 when they unveiled a line of charging cables that were artsy and modern, including the Band car charger. But the Energi case was definitely something I felt would be a great tool to have for the “on the go” professional and I couldn’t wait to give it a go.
While the rep gave me the black and blue casing options, it is also available in red and yellow. Each packaging comes with 2 colors so it’s almost like you’re getting 2 cases for the price of 1. When you’re not using the power pack, the phone accent case is a very thin layer of matte polycarbonate. What’s nice about it is there’s no noticeable increase in weight or bulk with the accent case but one does have better grip. All the cutouts for the switches, buttons and openings are there so you don’t have to worry about the case getting in the way of you photo, headphone jack or even your charging/syncing port. It even wraps around to the front of the phone ever so slightly; this means if the phone does happen to drop face down, there is a small space between the ground and your phone’s screen.
Now the moment you need the power pack or charging dock and power case, the accent case just slides into the power sleeve. The power sleeve is definitely heavier and adds up to 9 hours of battery for your phone. Once to phone is snapped into place, the power sleeve can start charging your phone via the standard microUSB port at the bottom. The power sleeve also does not get in the way of openings, your cameras or even your speaker and microphone. And in order to charge your phone, you can do so through the power sleeve with a microUSB cable.
I’ve been using the Energi case for over 2 weeks now and I must say, it’s been a professional life saver. Although my day job brings me to big box stores around the country, there’s no place to charge my phone. Now when I see the phone battery in the yellow or red, I just pull out the power sleeve, slide in the phone, turn the battery case on for a while and then the battery’s back in the green in no time. Honestly, it’s as simple as that. The beauty about the case is even with the power sleeve on, you’re able to perform NFC transfers with other NFC enabled devices and when the battery’s fully charged, you can take the power sleeve off without and leave the accent case on; the phone is always protected to a certain degree.
Does the extra battery help? Without a doubt. But there are a couple of downsides. First of all, the weight. I understand that adding a battery pack is going to add weight, but it seems to more than double the weight of the phone. And because of the power sleeve’s dimensions, it doesn’t fit too well in the pockets. The accent cases might be minimalistic, but not the power sleeve. In addition, although NFC transfer is possible, it’s effectiveness seems to be lessened with the power sleeveon. And before you argue that NFC isn’t always reliable, I had no problems whatsoever when I was just using the accent case. But even with these issues, the pros outweigh the cons.
You can remove the power sleeve when you’re done, you can charge and sync your phone through the power sleeve microUSB port and of course, you don’t have to worry about finding a wall or vehicle outlet.
So if you find that you’re on the go (or on the run) and you don’t have many opportunities to “refuel” your Galaxy S IV, the Energi Sliding Power Case by Tylt is a great choice. Not only do you have a number of personalized color options, you’ll most likely never have to worry about your phone dying during the work day. You’re still able to use speakerphone, take photos, plug in headphones and even sync or charge through the power sleeve. And although the weight of the power sleeve can be a little too much for a small slim line phone like the Galaxy S IV, you have the benefit of being about to remove it when you’re done. And for those of you with an iPhone 5, Tylt has got you covered as well. To purchase your own, click on the more info button on the right and you’ll be able to get one for around $99.99.
- Up to 9 hours of battery
- Easy to set up and remove
- Charge and sync with the power sleeve on
- Accent case is slim minimalist design
- Color options
- Power Sleeves adds unwanted weight and bulk
- NFC doesn’t always work
|Type:||Battery, Smartphone Case|
|Features:||•Built-in rechargeable 2,350mAh Lithium Ion battery
• Provides up to 9 hours additional talk time
• LED status indicator lights
• Thin, compact design adding just 1/4 inch (9mm) to thickness and 1/2 inch (10mm) to length
• Charge, sync, transfer data, and listen to music with the case on
• Charge and sync cable included
• Microphone portal
|Near Field Communication:||Yes|