Review: Speck Products PixelSkin for iPhone 3G

Searching for a unique case that’ll make heads turn? Looking for a case that offers great protection and adds superb grip for your iPhone 3G? Well then, the Speck Products PixelSkin for iPhone 3G ($24.95) just might be for you. With a waffle-like texture wrapping around the entire case it offers both daring style and a sense of security. How does it perform? Are all those squares really put to use?

Read on for the rest of the review!

Design

Make no mistake, the Speck Products PixelSkin isn’t an ordinary iPhone 3G case and it doesn’t pretend to be. Where other case makers choose to offer simple designs that try to remain as invisible as possible, the PixelSkin is loud, fun, and bold.

The PixelSkin is a rubber case that is textured with square blocks that wrap around the entire case. Imagine it as a big graphing grid or a waffle or a turtle shell or even a grenade. The rubber is thicker than most other cases and offers great protection of nearly the entire iPhone 3G—the PixelSkin even offers protection for the home button!

The color options are bright, bold, and plentiful. Black, White, Purple, Blue, Green, Pink, and Yellow are all available—for this review we’re using the Yellow version.

Usability

By choosing a thicker rubber, the textured grid of squares offer a much more superb grip than ordinary iPhone 3G silicone cases. Not only does it offer better protection than thinner cases, it also feels magnificent in hand. The rubber that Speck chooses is certainly best-in-class. However, the downside of using thicker rubber is the added thickness—you would have to debate whether the added protection outweighs the thickness.

Design-wise, the PixelSkin is likely to be a hate-it or love-it type affair. When using it as my main iPhone case for the past couple days I’ve received numerous compliments on it and questions asking where did I get one. I think for those wanting a stylish, attention-grabbing case— the PixelSkin is as good as it gets. It is eye catching and it is fun. The coloring is also wonderful, the yellow was more bright and bold than mold and mustard.

Because of the PixelSkin’s unique bottom port design (it kind of extends a thinner layer of rubber outward) it is able to be docked. This is highly unique with rubber cases because the added thickness typically does not fit. Applaud Speck Products for creating a great design. Frown on Apple for not including the dock with the iPhone 3G. Also, the cut for the headphone jack is very snug with the included Apple headset, so there may be connection issues with bigger headphone ports.

The problem with the case however is that the square grid design creates a lot of grooves for dust to settle in and the material itself seems to attract a lot of lint and dust. Though this isn’t a huge factor, I did find myself brushing off dust inside the grooves more than a few times.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I loved the feel of the PixelSkin—it manages to use a bold styling choice that doubles as a wonderfully grippy texture. The grid design will certainly have onlookers wondering just what the heck you are carrying. Though some might find the added thickness a nuisance, I think the added protection is worth it. Some silicone cases protect from just nicks and scratches, I’m fairly confident that the PixelSkin can survive drops. I think the PixelSkin should be considered by anyone looking for a fun case that adds good protection and incredible grip.

PROS

  • Fun & Bold Design
  • Grippy Material
  • Many Color Choices
  • Great Protection

CONS

  • Design Might Not Appeal To Everyone
  • Adds Thickness
  • Attracts Lint & Dust

RATING:

 

the iPhone Blog reviews : 4 star application

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Reader comments

Review: Speck Products PixelSkin for iPhone 3G

6 Comments

nice. i am really looking for a good cover. dont thing this is the right one for me. can any one recomned a cover that is see through and doesnt trap dirt so easily. i have the agent 18 and i hate it.

I own the mint green case...I find it very usable, durable, and appealing to the hand and eye. I apply the hand appeal for the soul purpose of when I first got my 3G iPhone, it felt slick and toy'esk in the hand. Thanks to the pixel skin I found it added a comforting thickness that did not take away from the overall function and beauty of this device.
The only complaint I have is that over time (yes I understand its a silicon case.) it starts to get a greasy feel to it. But its nothing a simple wipe down with a cleaning agent may not fix.
OOOOOHHHHH and I would really tell someone to re-think getting white, seeing as it does tend to hold the little debris of your pocket(its silicon its only bound to happen.)

Love my Pixelskin, I got it the day I bought the iPhone 3G, as I also had the iTouch version. With the variety of colours available, I never pick up the wrong instrument by accident.
The only specific issue I have with the thickness is accessing the "Q" and "P" keys on the touchscreen because of their close proximity to the cover. I may carve a little material away to aid in access, but otherwise it's a marvellous case. Worried about keeping it sparkly clean? You can certainly wash it by hand, and silicon rubber should survive a cycle in the dishwasher.
Note that the original Pixelskin for the iPod Touch came with a clear screen protector, something this case for the iPhone omits.

I too bought the Pixelskin the day I got my iPhone and it's the only case I've had. I love it. I like the bulk, it feels very secure in my hands. I have the green, it's easy to see in my purse. I wish they made a belt clip for the Pixelskin for those day I don't want to drag around my purse.