PowerSkin Battery Case for Galaxy S3.

Ah, the combination case and external battery. It's the white whale of Android smartphones. Unlike our iPhone-carrying friends, who have the likes of Mophie to serve their needs, we've been left searching for the perfect way to protect and charge our phones. 

For the Samsung Galaxy S3, we've already taken a look at the Droidax Power Pack. While it has a respectable 2300 mAh battery tucked into that shell, a design flaw made it tough to recommend.

Now we've got the PowerSkin Battery Case for the Galaxy S3. Will this one make the grade? Read on to find out.

The PowerSkin Battery Case serves two functions. It's a rubber skin case that protects your phone (save for the display, though the slight lip of the case will keep it off desks), and it's got a 1500 mAh external battery to help keep things topped off. Changing things up a little bit is that the case plugs into the phone via a more traditional microUSB cable that gets tucked inside during the final fitting and is perfectly hidden away.

PowerSkin Battery Case for Galaxy S3.

As a case, it's not bad. The soft-touch rubber fits smartphone around your Galaxy S3. It's not so tight as it's tough to get on or off, and it's not too loose to where we're afraid it'll fall off. That's not to say you won't have to keep an eye on it -- it's still plenty easy to peel back the sides. (And that also means you might remove the case and find some gunk caught in there.)

There's a pretty noticeable seam along the edge of the case, and you might not even notice it had we not pointed it out. You're welcome.

The posterior balloons up significantly, as extended batteries tend to do, bringing the full thickness of the phone and case to a little more than 19 mm -- more than doubling the thickness of the naked Galaxy S3. Here you'll find the button to turn on the battery, with a hidden trio of blue LEDs to show you the charging status of the case.

PowerSkin Battery Case for Galaxy S3.

The phone's volume and power buttons are covered by the case, but they're still easily found and work as you'd expect. The cameras both are uncovered as well. The only real change is the microUSB plug is moved to the side. As an added bonus, NFC is unimpaired.

The bottom line

So here's the thing. The PowerSkin Battery Case is a perfectly OK case. And it's an OK external battery, albeit only one that trickle charges. But that's OK, because it's meant to stay on the phone. But for as much thickness as the battery case adds, we'd expect more than a mere 1500 mAh of added juice. For about half the price of the PowerSkin ($59 at Amazon, $79 direct), you could get a spare 2100 mAh battery that takes up far less room (though obviously doesn't help protect the phone). 

The PowerSkin Battery Case isn't a bad battery. It isn't a bad case. But combined, it doesn't add up to what we could get separately.

 
There are 33 comments

storino03 says:

i'll wait for a more sleeker S3 battery case

m.genena says:

That's fugly...

csims9158 says:

I had the Skyrocket version of this case. I went through 3 different cases in 6 months. Fortunately the at&t store let me exchange it each time. My son now has the phone and the battery once again no longer accepts a charge. I think I will wait for mophie to come out with their GS3 case.

HAAS599 says:

Phil, we need the water slide test for this case when it is released.

http://www.seidio.com/obex/

rbess1965 says:

Geesh that thing is a tank. Sorry, Maxx owner here:)

metaldood says:

Sorry that you have a Motorola.

tommydaniel says:

2nd

jon_ks says:

Assuming this makes NFC non-functional (range), yes?

That's addressed in the review.

jon_ks says:

Reading is hard...

From the review: "As an added bonus, NFC is unimpaired."

wezra says:

Had this for my Amaze 4G. Found the case itself to be pretty nice... but the battery size made it almost unusable. I only used it when I traveled, never during my regular office or home office days. Like Phil said, the soft-touch rubber fits around the phone well and is well made. The bulk is what really killed the usefulness for me. If I remember, I got it during a 25% off T-Mobile sale and I had a credit on my account so it cost me $45. But $79 is a bit much for this case/battery pack in my opinion.

xKrNMBoYx says:

Ugh..an it's a lint/dust magnet

Magnus#AC says:

is it really that hard to Make a high Capacity battery that actually just fits & doesn't require a batter cover?If Motorola can fit a 3300mAh batter in the thin Razr Maxx then others should be able to Make similar Capacity battery that's thin & fits without the need for some ugly tumor- like batter cover

quatermass says:

Yes you can make a battery hold more power without increasing its size. But it comes at a cost. The battery will not be capable of having the same number of recharges. So instead of 400x, it may drop down to 300x or lower.

This is what those cheap batteries from China on eBay do. They make it sound attractive by offering a higher capacity battery but it'll not last 6 months.

vinny jr says:

FUGLY is not even the right description. That is just butt ass ugly and way over sized.

commonplace says:

"There's a pretty noticeable seam along the edge of the case, and you might not even notice it ..."

So.. it's not noticeable? :D

/Kevin

Escobar412 says:

It says NFC enabled. That's a lie. I went through two of them and neither worked. When I took the case off it worked just fine. I sent it back today to get the ridiculous price of 80 back

I like qalaxys3 so nice, where Can I find more details?

menzoom says:

The beauty of Android phones is that we don't really need one of those obnoxious charging cases that add bulk and extra weight to our sexy sleek phones. Just carry a spare battery and we never need a charger or charging case if we should run out of juice.
And for $20 bucks you can get a couple of Hyperion batteries with a portable wall charger for a fraction of the cost.

Cubfan says:

Ding-ding-ding. We have a winner.

garfnodie says:

There are more and more non-removable battery Android phones coming out though, so that may not be as viable an option as time goes on.

technomom says:

Right, but we are talking about the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is probably pretty usable for at least the next two years.

When the time comes, I'll look at battery cases, but I really don't need one now.

crxssi says:

So you just carry an external battery instead for emergency use. Not a huge whoop.

SDB1 says:

This is the reason! anufacturers are smart they'll see sales tank for devices without removable batteries and memory and take notice. That was a primary reason people are choosing a GS3 over the One X! I know the folks at HTC are feeling the pain.

Zammo76 says:

Im a bit confused, as to the actual construction of this case? Does it have an extra battery inside the case that you can switch to once your main battery is dead or does it just have one big battery? And why do you have a button to turn on the battery and charging lights?Thanks.

quatermass says:

These devices act like an external charger. So the internal battery is kept charged until the external battery is exhausted.
Then the internal battery keeps the phone going until it too is exhausted...

jauhari#AC says:

Interesting Battery Case

dfb8085 says:

thats butt ugly

Brian_d says:

What an incredibly great idea... gone horribly wrong...

quatermass says:

I'll just settle for my 4300mAH extended battery with its hard plastic extended case.
Phone lasts 22+ hours at full blast!

Only cost £15 too on ebay....

this case is ugly. I love the look of my phone too much that i couldnt imagine putting one of those on my phone. I also question in the NFC will still work since it add a good amount bulk. but i do agree that i do find myself with my phone dead in under a day i use a phonesuit flex http://bit.ly/U97fpw. small and full charge it works great and i can still use my llyod case

I think that is no reason for waste so much money and also I believe that an external battery can solve the power consumption problem... Buy a cheap case and a cheap external battery and everything will be fine.
The only thing you have to do is to search at amazon, eBay , accestories and any other consumer electronics site you know.