It goes without saying that wireless charging is the start of the future now and it seems like Qi technology is going to take us there. Today we get to take a look at the Backbone iPhone Case and battery pack.OVERVIEW
The Backbone is a wireless charging case from Dog & Bone an Australian based company that emerged in 2012. The Backbone is wireless charging case that boasts the Good Design award as well as shock proof MIL STD. You can purchase the Backbone in four colours, red, blue, pink and orange.
The Backbone is listed for $69.95 on amazon at the time of this review which is quite the steal considering the Dog and Bone website is listed at over $100. For an additional $54.95 you can purchase an additional battery pack as well.
PACKAGING & CONTENTS
The Backbone is definitely geared for retail sale as the package has an allure to it. The box is red with the company and product name embossed. Through the plastic window you’ll get a quick glance at the back side of the case, we received the pink trimmed version. The front of the box opens like a book and you’ll get to see a little more of the top of the case as well as a picture explaining the characteristics of this case. Shock proof and exposed charging ports to name a few. Along the side you’ll see the side profile of the case pictured showing the real size and thickness of the case. This is helpful if you want to see what the size was before purchasing. The backside has a picture of of the case on the charging pad at the top as well gives their three “Its”; charge it, style it and protect it. It then gives a brief explanation of each. The box contains the case itself, a screen protector, back protector, charge pad, audio cable, micro-USB connector and the standard quick start guide. The Backbone battery pack simply comes with the 1,500 mAh battery pack, a micro-USB connector and a quick start guide.
There is no doubt that the backbone is one of the thinnest cases we have seen for iPhone yet. However the length of the phone does increase 10mm, which in reality isn’t too much. Simply apply the screen and back protector, click your phone in and then slide the coloured back into position. Plastic screen protectors have never been a huge favourite of ours as they are often quite difficult to install quickly and easily. We found the same with this one as it was tough to get the majority of air pockets out and ended up just tossing the protector. The back protector on the other hand really doesn’t matter as it’s not a visible or working part of your phone. This is simply to help keep damage from your phone when you are sliding the wireless charging back into place or the battery pack. If you are adding the battery pack for charging you’ll have to add an additional 5mm to the phones thickness. The Backbone is compliant with MIL STD 810F for shock proof, however the screen seems to be flush with the edges of the case. This in our opinion doesn’t instill too much confidence in a drop and even the slightest pebble will hit your screen if it so happens to land flat face-down. A unique characteristic of this case is the fact that even though it’s meant for wireless charging, the option to cable charge is available via a pass-through at the bottom. Only thing is it is a micro-USB. Now at first this seems weird because with iPhone you’re used your lighting plug. Now you have the ability to either wireless charge with the coloured pack, battery charge with the battery pack, charge using micro-USB through either of those backs or take both off and just connect your lightning plug. This to us was amazing as it really diversifies the ability to charge your device, useful in situations where you don’t have your charger but your friend with a Samsung or some other device does. An issue we did run into was with the base. It works perfectly with the backbone case and fits like a glove with the contoured edges. However it does limit the base from being used for any other devices. We tried to put a Samsung Note 5 on and with it’s Otterbox case it didn’t have the close contact needed to receive the charge. So, as long as you’re using a backbone case, or a phone without a thick case the base will work great. We would just like to see the base flattened to support other devices since that is what wireless charging is all about. The diversity of not having to conform to a certain specification, whether it be plug, cord or case and still being able to get the charge you expect. The battery pack will give your iPhone approx. a 50% charge as well. We were hoping for at least one full charge but we will be left a little disappointed there.
Dog & Bone has really come through on this one. providing a solution for the latest technology to be able to not only charge wireless, but also diversifying the ability to charge with different cables. A few things we would like to see improve are a little more front side protection, whether it be more standoff or a better screen protector. Also, improvement on the battery pack would greatly help, as the retail MSRP is a little high in our opinion for $54.95 and the base being flat or redesigned would help with using other cases and phones to charge off of. Don’t let the little hiccups fool you though, this case is amazingly innovative with the ability to slide the back-side off and have either the battery pack or the wireless charging back easily inter-changeable, the sleek and slender look that barely makes your phone feel bigger then without a case is a key to keeping the consumer interested as well. The Backbone easily walks away with our Silver Seal.