Review: A Geocacher’s New iFriend

 

Categories: DS Styles' iFriend case Geotools iPhone JardislikeTardis Reviews

 

PRODUCT REVIEW

iFriend: Rechargeable iPhone Speaker Amplifier Case
US$45.38 at DS Styles
By Sarah Jardine (GC handle: jardisliketardis)

When kjwx asked if I’d like to review the iFriend portable speaker case for iPhone, I jumped at the chance. Having never owned an old-school GPSr, I use my iPhone as my primary geocaching tool. 

Billed as “one hell of a multi-tasker”, this four-in-one unit by Hong Kong label DS Styles features a 1500mAh rechargeable battery and 10dB subwoofer speaker inside its protective housing, as well as a kickstand.  

The first thing I noticed is that the iFriend is much wider and slightly heavier than my usual case, so it took some getting used to. Being wider, it was a little trickier to slip it into my pocket when on a caching mission but, on the flip side, it made it less likely to fall out at GZ (which has been known to happen). The case itself didn’t feel as protective as my usual cover but it did survive the odd accidental fall. 

My favourite thing about the iFriend is the emergency phone recharge function. It will give you a backup power supply of 2-5 per cent from its built-in battery.  This is a lifesaver when you want to squeeze in just one more cache before your iPhone’s own battery dies.

The box claimed the iFriend’s battery would double the endurance of my phone. I’m not sure whether it doubled the battery life, but my phone did last longer in the iFriend case. It was also very easy to charge both iPhone and iFriend battery at the same time, by simply plugging the recharge cord into the side of the case.

Some of the iFriend’s other features aren’t directly advantageous for use in geocaching but are handy nonetheless. The speaker didn’t seem to be significantly louder than the iPhone’s own speaker function, so that was a little disappointing. The back prop stand was incredibly difficult to extract at first but got easier.

Overall, I’d rate the iFriend portable speaker case a 3/5. I’ll probably go back to my previous slimline case for daily use but I will definitely use the iFriend next time I go out caching, to ensure I get the most battery life when on the hunt.

SATELLITE RATING:

*To buy your own iFriend Rechargeable iPhone Speaker Amplifier Case, visit DS Styles’ webstore. It’s available in black or white for US$45.38, and can be shipped to New Zealand for a mere US$2.50.
 
 
 



 

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