Setting it up was the easiest part: slip the phone into it, download the popSLATE program and a few quick prompts after the phone is paired to the situation via Bluetooth. Its main selling point is that it does not require your iPhone’s battery. It includes its own internal battery which lasts for at least a week on a single charge. The E Ink display uses power only once you refresh a picture, which in my case was not as frequently as I thought it would be so I did not have to control it once. But paradoxically, with my Bluetooth on for days, it emptied my phone earlier than normal on many days.
The program tries hard to become a social network. It allows you to join your Instagram account for fast access to your favourite square-format pictures or shoot new images so that you can”pop” them into the back of your mobile phone. It automatically shares those pictures on its network, but you may choose to opt out. There is a follow feature so that you can establish a community but it’s missing a vital feature — you can not enjoy or comment on anything so there is no validation or interaction. You may only”re-pop” the black and white images but it is not half as satisfying as a red-heart in your Instagram.
PopSLATE is basically a protective case which wishes to use the real estate that is wasted on the back of your mobile phone. However, it’s not just like a Yotaphone 2 with a fully functional second E Ink display on the back. This one does not replicate the experience of your main screen. It needs you to recall what you may need to access once your phone runs out of juice and then”pop” it. The information that I sent to the trunk was handy, but it was not always obvious. I did play around with the pictures, though. The majority of them looked great with a classic vibe when converted into E ink. So at the very least, I figured those artsy shots are a terrific conversation starter. But popSLATE did not grab any attention from those around me. It was likely the dull gray tones that didn’t pique anyone’s curiosity. But then, perhaps, people are too jaded from taking a look at smartphone cases that aspire to do more than simply protect your mobile phone.