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popSLATE gives your iPhone a second (not so useful) screen

Like many smartphone users, we transparent my shade ceaselessly so we customarily run out of battery when we many need it. But popSLATE promises to be a rehab for my swipe-screen addiction. It’s a smartphone box with an in-built E Ink shade that can personalize a behind of an iPhone 6. we could use it to flourish my favorite cinema or if we run out of battery, during say, an airport, I’d be means to flip my phone over to indicate my boarding pass. It seemed like a ideal resolution for my extreme phone usage. So we incited a behind of my phone into a second, always-on shade for about a week.

popSLATE iPhone box hands-on

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s since popSLATE is a product of a two-year aged Indiegogo debate that lifted a small over $219,000. At a time, it betrothed to be a singular smartphone box with a 4-inch second shade for an iPhone 5. But a association unsuccessful to deliver. Now, they’re shipping a tentative product to their backers, usually this time it’s matched for an iPhone 6.

At initial sight, it’s massive for a box that’s not a extract container so it adds weight to an differently slim device. But a forgive is that it has a mind of a possess — it syncs with your iPhone yet also works independently. It doesn’t uncover we notifications or new emails, yet it can store adult to 8 images (or screenshots) that we can barter with an rare symbol depending on your news or mood. The possibilities for personalization seemed immense, yet during $130, it indispensable to do a lot some-more than offer black and white images to transparent it’s high cost point.

Setting it adult was a easiest part: slip a phone into it, download a popSLATE app and a integrate of discerning prompts after a phone is interconnected to a box around Bluetooth. Its biggest offered indicate is that it doesn’t need your iPhone’s battery. It comes with a possess inner battery that lasts for during slightest a week on a singular charge. The E Ink shade uses energy usually when we modernise an image, that in my box wasn’t as mostly as we suspicion it would be so we didn’t need to assign it once. But ironically, with my Bluetooth on for days, it emptied my phone progressing than common on many days.

The app tries tough to be a amicable network. It lets we couple your Instagram criticism for discerning entrance to your favorite square-format cinema or take new images so we can “pop” them to a behind of your phone. It automatically shares those images on a network, yet we can select to opt out. There’s a follow underline so we can set adult a village yet it’s blank a essential underline — we can’t like or criticism on anything so there’s no validation or interaction. You can usually “re-pop” a black and white images yet it’s not half as gratifying as a red-heart on your Instagram.

popSLATE is radically a protecting box that wants to make use of a genuine estate that’s squandered on a behind of your phone. But it’s not like a Yotaphone 2 that has a entirely organic second E Ink shade on a back. This one doesn’t replicate a knowledge of your categorical screen. It needs we to remember what we competence need to entrance when your phone runs out of extract and afterwards “pop” it. The information we sent to a behind was handy, yet it wasn’t always clear. Some travel names in a Google Maps screenshot were unreadable and my calendar was blotchy too. we did play around with a images, though. Most of them looked good with a selected vibe when converted to E ink. So during a really least, we figured those artsy shots would be a good review starter. But popSLATE didn’t squeeze any courtesy from people around me. It was substantially a lifeless grey tones that didn’t bother anyone’s curiosity. But then, maybe, people are already too cloyed from looking during smartphone cases that aspire to do some-more than only strengthen your phone.

A week into it, we frequency remembered to flip my phone over. And even when we did, we found no genuine use for a display. Every time we saw a low-res monochromatic images on a back, we found myself blank my colourful (eyesight weakening) shade that was watchful to be unlocked.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.


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