Gelaskins: Not As Cool As I Hoped

October 4, 2007

Gelaskin iPhone Cover

The Product

I just received my much-anticipated Gelaskins iPhone cover today, and I feel a bit like the kid who orders The Musculator from the back of a comic book. You know, this kid?

I’ve really come to appreciate the pop surrealist look as a sort of 2-D counterpart to the aesthetic of the vinyl toy scene, so the chance to wrap my precious new Apple toy in an equally precious cover was hard to pass up. And as I hoped, the art itself and the quality of the print is great. (You can see it at the top of this post: Blow Fish, by Nanami Cowdry.)

The Problem

It’s not really a skin. It’s definitely not a cover. It is a sticker. Granted, it’s a very pretty and very well made sticker, but it is still very much a sticker, and there are two problems with this.

The first problem is that, despite the offer of a freely available matching wallpaper, it is very obvious that the back of my iPhone has had a sticker slapped on it and nothing else. The pictures at Gelaskins only show a direct shot of the front and the back, giving an accurate picture of what your phone will look like but not a very accurate picture of what your phone will look like. The pictures I’m referring to are here.

The second problem is that this, being a sticker, provides zero protection. Its very possible that other Gelaskins for other products cover the entire device and provide a protective layer, but the iPhone skin only protects a fairly unimportant rear.

The Caveat

I should have known all of this.

My unhappiness with the Gelaskin is more a function of my not reading closely enough than anything else. It’s not like they don’t mention the size of the skin; they do. And it’s not like they don’t provide multiple pictures of it; they do. The problem is mainly that I had somehow convinced myself it would be more along the lines of a substantive case, like such.

So it was only $15. Why not just toss it and get the InCase cover linked above? Because the InCase cover is hideous. Do I really want my phone to look like the underside of a pair of Tevas?

I really liked the idea of a fully protective but still aesthetically pleasing phone cover. And since both InCase and Gelaskins are still in business, I think there is at least a market for both of these things separately. I’m hoping that in the near future one of them will move in the direction of combining the two. So I understand that it might be hard for Gelaskins , which I assume is a fairly small company, to take their archive of licensed art from stickers to rubber/gel covers. But if they did I would absolutely be first in (virtual) line to get one.