Review: GelaSkins GelaSkins for iPhone
We never would have guessed two years ago that stickers would become critically important accessories for our iPods or iPhones, but the invention of clear, full-body film by companies such as InvisibleShield has radically cut down on our interest in cases. As an alternative, other companies such as GelaSkins have released a different type of sticker that is interesting more because of its art than its protection; now GelaSkins is offering a collection of those stickers specifically tailored to the iPhone.
With colorful, detailed graphics as source materials, GelaSkins for iPhone ($15 each) let you add artwork to the device’s front glass and rear metal surfaces. In a novel twist on prior offerings, GelaSkins isn’t just offering stickers here: instead, you get one 3M adhesive sticker that covers a substantial portion of iPhone’s back, but not its sides, top, or bottom, while the front of the iPhone is customized with matching screen art that you download from the Gelaskins web site.
Eighty different GelaSkins stickers are available as of today, featuring the work of classic artists such as Monet, van Gogh, and MC Escher alongside modern international contributors such as DAIM, Nathan Ota, Aaron Kraten, and Kathie Olivas. Each of the selected pieces of sticker art is either thought-provoking or distinctive, and accompanied by different downloadable images. The Brandt Peters design shown here (“I Can’t Get Them Out Of My Mind”) includes three pieces of downloadable art, any of which you can choose to use as iPhone’s main screen background by synchronizing the photos through iTunes to the device. Each piece of art has been properly formatted to fit the iPhone’s 480x320 display without additional effort on your part.
Aside from the aesthetic issue one of our editors raised—“do you really want to cover up your beautiful $500-$600 cell phone with a piece of art?,” a question you’ll have to answer yourself—our only real issue with these GelaSkins stickers is their protectiveness. We’ve generally preferred iPod stickers that do more than just modestly cover one of many body surfaces, and GelaSkins for iPhone basically do only that; unlike InvisibleShields or BodyGuardz clear film protectors, which go to extremes to cover as much of the iPhone’s body as possible, the GelaSkins don’t even fully mask iPhone’s back, let alone its sides, top, or bottom. Rather, the stickers are cut generically with round edges, leaving substantial parts of the phone’s body exposed. You can stick one of them on top of a clear full body film, but you’ll have to pay separately for the privilege.
Ideally, GelaSkins would offer more body protection along with its artwork, but to the extent that it has picked some extremely interesting artwork, and done something new and cool with its downloadable screen graphics, we think that it’s offering a good new option for those who want to glam up their iPhones. We consider this iteration generally recommendable; a reasonably priced full body version with clear screen protection would have a shot at a higher rating and recommendation.