The original popSLATE case was released last year and to be honest it didn’t live up to its potential as an e-ink case for the iPhone. It did give you a built-in e-reader but it was bulky, it didn’t provide any other features, and you had to charge it with USB while your phone charged with Lightning. Good try, better luck next time.
The popSLATE 2 has just hit Indiegogo looking for $75,000 and has made 3x more than the target. We love it when a company takes on criticism and genuinely listens in order to improve their product. The new popSLATE 2 is still an e-ink case for your iPhone but it does a lot more and fixes the problems we had with the original.
The popSLATE 2 advertises itself by saying it gives you an e-reader without having to carry around an extra device, a battery boost for your phone, and it’s like having a smartwatch but with a 5″ screen. It really is a genuine e-ink screen that can be used as an e-reader among other things and the case now has a built-in battery pack to give your phone some extra juice. However, I wouldn’t say it’s like a smartwatch. I think what they mean is that the e-ink screen can provide notifications and important information without unlocking your phone. You still have to take your phone out of your pocket though, which I think is where smartwatches have an advantage.
The e-ink screen is always-on like on a Kindle. You can use it to read your books, which is easier on the eyes and your phone’s battery. It can also provide sports updates, news, or your notifications. Their slightly cheesy promo video makes a big deal about showing barcodes for flight tickets and loyalty cards but a much more useful example is the List feature for to-do or shopping lists. Keeping your list on the back of your phone and updating it without diving into apps would be very convenient. That being said, a bit of paper would do the job too.
Obviously we don’t want to have our notifications flashing around on the back of the phone for all to see while we sit on the tube so it uses a customisable dashboard of apps or widgets. You can get a glimpse of all the important things in your life from the main screen but can go further into reading books and news if you want to. The ability to view images is really quite cool because it means you can use any image as case art.
The battery supposedly adds an extra 9 hours of talk time or 4 hours of browsing, which is pretty good for a battery case that only adds 0.16″ to the phone. I imagine most people will get a lot more than that out of their phones simply because they’ll use the main screen a lot less. One of the most notable improvements over the original is that the case and phone are charged with one Lightning cable instead of two separate cables.
The popSLATE 2 case is compatible with the iPhone 6, 6S, 6+, and 6S+. It will cost around $150 when it’s in the shops but the early special backing is $69 (£49.31) on the Indiegogo campaign and that will get you your own case for more than half price. Shipping to the UK is $20 (£14.29).
All images © popSLATE