Review: Case-Mate Fuel Case for iPhone 3G/3GS
One of the biggest gripes a lot of iPhone 3G/3GS readers have is battery life. Now this is mainly due to not being able to put the iPhone down to give it a rest, but we now have another solution to your iPhone addiction. Enter Case-Mate's Fuel Case for iPhone 3G/3GS, which is available in TiPb's store for $77.95. For a full review, follow us after the break!
Design & Usability
The Case-Mate Fuel Case for iPhone 3G/3GS is integrated with a 2300mA Lithium Polymer battery, Case-Mate says it will add up to nine hours of additional talk-time, up to seven hours of internet browsing, up to eight hours of video, 24 hours of audio, and 250 hours of extra standby time.
The times that Case-Mate claims are pretty much dead on. If you have trouble putting your iPhone down and typically end up with a dead battery sometime during the day, Fuel is the right case for you.
Usually when I get into my car after a full day at work I would have 20%-30% of my battery left. With the Fuel I've been leaving with anything from 80% to being topped off and that's still with some juice left in the case itself. Not too shabby. I think it's also important to note that you do not need to remove the phone from the case to use the iPhone in any way, including phone calls.
On the bottom front of the case you will find 3 built-in LEDs that allow you to see exactly how much "Fuel" you have left and a power button that allows you to turn the charger on or off as you see fit. Both of these are nice little bonus features.
To charge the case you only have one option -- you must use a standard 5-pin USB cord. One is included but it would be nice to have the option to charge the case without using my laptop. On the plus side, Fuel fully supports syncing while iPhone 3G is docked into the case.
One nice features Fuel has that other iPhone charging cases lack is a belt clip that rotates 180-degrees. This sounds great but unfortunately Case-Mate dropped the ball on this one. I found myself worrying about the lack of protection on the upper half of my iPhone and the screen. Since you have to place the iPhone face-out, the screen is left completely unprotected. This means you have to be careful not to bump into anything or you will damage your device.
So, the next possibility would be to place the phone in your pocket. There's only one thing wrong with that -- the belt clip is not removable. Granted it still would be a tight fit without the clip due to the added size it gives the iPhone, but the option would still be better.
As to the belt clip itself, it does it's job well. Rest assured, your iPhone is locked in place and will not fall out on you.
Even with the complaints about the belt clip, I still like this case. The pros outweigh the cons by far. I found myself using the case at work around my desk and at home when I was lounging around. Even though the size adds to the iPhone it still feels good in the hand while using it.
Overall the Case-Mate Fuel Case for iPhone 3G/3GS does it's job and it does it very well. Since Apple chooses not to make the iPhones battery replaceable companies like Case-Mate have stepped up and offered us some solutions. For $77.95 you can't go wrong with this one, Fuel will give your iPhone the boost it needs to easily make it through your entire day and, in some cases, days.
- Battery life as advertises.
- Feels good in the hand
- Reasonable price
- Ability to sync while your iPhone is in the case
- Works with the new iPhone 3GS
- Lack of screen protection
- Belt clip is not removable
- Case only chargeable v only by micro USB