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Unlike most hard protective cases that typically consist of separate front and back parts, the Power Support Air Jacket for iPhone 3G is a single plastic case for only the back of an iPhone 3G.
Available in either black or clear, the black version is notable for its rubberized finish. Two screen protection films — “Crystal” (glossy) and “Anti Glare” (matte) — are provided with the Air Jacket.
With a thickness of only 0.7 mm, the Air Jacket appeals to iPhone 3G owners who seek some protection for their phones without the bulk. To that end, the Air Jacket is a sexy piece of accessory designed to show off the iPhone. Once attached, the Air Jacket is almost indiscernible unless one looks hard enough, and its rubberized finish adds a lot more grip to the otherwise slippery plastic back of the iPhone.
But, in the one week I had the Air Jacket on my iPhone, I quickly discovered a couple of major design flaws about the product.
Five days in, I detached it from my iPhone and saw, to my displeasure, that the Air Jacket had left numerous scratches along the sides of the chrome bezel. The scratches were located at the left and right sides of the chrome bezel where one’s fingers would be while holding the phone. It would seem that handling the phone has shifted the Air Jacket enough for its inner edges to scratch the bezel. And they were not light nicks; the scratches were deep and numerous enough that only a thorough buffing with Brasso could remove.
Also, the rubberized finish proved to be quite susceptible to be scratched off, and is simply a coating over what is really a clear Air Jacket. After only five days, the rubberized finish had chipped off at all four corners of the Air Jacket.
For a $34.95 product, the build quality of the Air Jacket is simply disappointing, which is unusual considering how Power Support can, and do, produce innovative and excellent products; its Anti Glare Film, with its silky smooth texture, is the best screen protector I have ever used on any device. Having used PDAs for a decade, and having tried just about every brand of screen protectors, this is high praise from me.
I really wanted to like the Air Jacket. But it is absurd that an accessory designed to protect your device ends up marring it cosmetically after merely a week of use. Power Support should have lined the inner surface of the Air Jacket with some kind of soft material. The shortcomings of this product reflects poor product design and, more glaringly, inadequate product testing. Surely this would have been caught during the testing cycle (if one was even done). Power Support should consider going back to the drawing board; the idea behind this product is great, but is marred in execution.
Each set contains two pieces, so you can share a set with a loved one or friend. If you constantly find yourself wiping fingerprints off the screen of your iPhone, I strongly recommend the Anti Glare Film; its matte finish masks smears and fingerprints better than its glossy counterpart.