dscn0860

Case-Mate Fuel iPhone 3GS Battery Pack Review

I love this case.  With more and more rechargeable battery packs emerging for the iPhone, the Case-Mate Fuel really towers above the rest.  In my bold opinion of course.  This lithium polymer battery pack is the only one that I have seen that features a 180 degree swiveling attachment clip, and it is by far the best feature.  In these hot summer months I have been wearing shorts with no pockets and I loved the fact that the Fuel was so easy to clip to my clothing, my bike bag, or whatever.

The Fuel pack charges itself via micro USB input and takes around 3-4 hours to fully charge through a wall outlet or computer.  What I found to be impressive was the fact that I went a whole 6 days without having to charge my iPhone when I was using the Fuel case.  A fully charged iPhone and a fully charged Fuel lasted me that long!

Three colors of LED lights (green, yellow, and red) indicate the level of charge and it was easy to gauge the battery life whether you were charging the case, or your phone.  The case itself is made from a thick black plastic with a matte finish that was neither startlingly attractive or glaringly ugly.  The swivel clip was also durable and had a decent resistance to it.

I honestly don’t think of the Fuel as being that much of a protective case though.  The whole top portion of the phone is exposed and would not fare all that well if dropped.  The case also has a vented channel to project the sound of the speakers, but I noticed no increase or decrease in volume although it sounded fine by me.

The case has one button that is used to initiate charge if a phone is plugged in or you can check its level without a phone.  That brings me to my only real gripe in regards to the Case-Mate Fuel: the power button is very easy to press.  Often times I would throw the case in my bag to find later on that the button had been activated and was charging my phone when I didn’t want it to.  Not a huge deal, but it would be better if the button was lockable or if the case’s design was such that it alleviated the mishap.

Also of note is that the clip doubles as a landscape viewing stand as it rests gently at a 45 degree angle when on a flat surface.  That’s cool since some cases go out of their way to do that while the Fuel just happens to.  The Fuel case will also fit the original iPhone.  It’s not a super flush fit, but it does work.

While the Case-Mate Fuel is not going to be comfortable in pockets of your emo jeans, it will do just about everything else right.  The clip was really the selling point for me and coupled with excellent battery response, the Case-Mate Fuel is a great choice hands down.  Priced competitively, I can’t say enough good things about this case, but I can say that I have used it more than any other case I have reviewed.

Pros:

  • The clip is straight sweetness
  • Excellent battery response
  • Easy to use and charge

Cons:

  • Charge initiation button activates too easily leading to unwanted charging
  • Bulky, use the clip or go to bed

Buy it now for $70!



Jeff B