gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

iPhone 3G Protective DomeSkin

Do you remember the days when interchangeable face-plates and casing on phones was all the rage? These days, everything from dinky feature phones to behemoth smart-phones flatly refuses to be defaced with cheap market-stall *bling*, but not all is lost.

The world of device skinning has exploded into a wealth of online sites. They all offer glorified custom stickers or decals which you can adhere to the front of your device to afford a little personal touch.

DomeSkin isn’t just another device skin, however, it combines the increasingly popular trend of skinning with a clever, thickened, dome-like layer that affords your iPhone, iTouch, iPod or BlackBerry enough protection to warrant *gasp* you placing it in your pocket otherwise naked (the device, not you).

A DomeSkin will, in fact, protect your device from all but the most severe laceration causing implements. As long as you’re not one to carry crude flint tools or kitchen knives in your pockets you can get away with covering your device in only a DomeSkin and a screen protector, leaving you with as sleek and as pocketable a device as possible. Furthermore, DomeSkins do not cover anything you might need to access to use your device, meaning there’s no more frantic fumbling about with a case when you realize your phone is ringing. Just whip it out of your pocket and answer.

DomeSkins are available for the iPhone (all versions), iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod Nano and the BlackBerry Curve, Storm, Pearl and Bold. As you can tell from the pictures, I took a look at a couple of (poorly picked by myself, admittedly) iPhone 3G skins.

Unlike screen protectors and thinner skins, DomeSkins are very easy to apply. They don’t have any trouble with bubbles and getting them in the right place is all just an exercise in careful alignment. Getting them off again is just as easy, so you can grab multiple DomeSkins and swap them out as you see fit.

Once applied to my iPhone the DomeSkin held pretty well, only several weeks into using it did my somewhat badly applied screen protector, which the DomeSkin was partially stuck on top of, start to come away from the screen around the edges. The adhesive used in the DomeSkin didn’t seem to be particularly prone to picking up lint from my pocket or the cases I was testing whilst it was applied, it also didn’t leave any residue once it was removed.

Design wise, there’s a huge selection of DomeSkins already which you can pick from. A design-it-yourself scheme is in the works, but there are currently no templates offered that allow you to get a feel for how your design will appear on the skin. New designs seem to be added slowly, but surely and there are some very striking, eye catching and entirely more tasteful designs to be had- although the gothic, black centric ones I chose still drew attention to my iPhone and prompted a few close inspections.

The print on DomeSkins doesn’t stand up well to extremely close inspection, but looks good from a normal usage distance and anything beyond. Colours, or the few that were present on my samples, are strong, and the black edges of the skin blended well with the back of my iPhone whilst the front component of the skin covered over the silver bezel and, apart from the slightly ugly holes necessary for the iPhone’s light/proximity sensors, looks almost as if it were part of the phone itself when aligned correctly.

Overall, DomeSkins are a great choice if you want a sleek, instantly accessible, but still pocketable iPhone. They absolutely must be used with a suitable screen protector, though, as in one that covers only the display area of the iPhone and not the whole front.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009, iPhone, Personal Audio.