From gaming pillows to screen protectors, a week with gadgets
A few times a year, I get random electronic accessories and gadgets sent to me all at once for review. I am now sitting on the cusp of such a situation. This time, we have three products to show you guys: the Glomtom gaming pillow, the Powerskin PoP’n3 external charger, and the Amzer Kristal tempered glass HD screen protector.
If someone said to me that there was such a thing as a “gaming pillow,” I probably would have laughed in their face. Of course when I was actually presented with an opportunity to review said gaming pillow, curiosity got the better of me and I found myself being quite interested in the Glomtom.
You know those husband pillows? The ones that you lean back on with the two arms that extend out to the sides? Think of the Glomtom as a reverse husband pillow. Instead of a pillow that wraps around behind you, the Glomtom wraps around your abdomen, providing a nice base for you to rest your arms and hands on. Honestly, I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference. I already have a back neck/back and usually use a number of pillows under my arms when I’m gaming on the couch. Imagine how surprised I was with just how comfortable the Glomtom was.
I’m a pretty big dude, but the Glomtom still sat snugly on my upper thighs and fit quite nicely around my gut. The pillow itself is firm enough so that your arms and hands don’t sink into the cushion, but still soft and relatively squishy. It helps that a microfiber cover encases the whole thing (except for a zippered storage area around the front).
According to Glomtom’s website, here is what the pillow offers (Tension and stress in your neck, shoulders and back are relieved. The blood flow in your hands and arms returns to your core. Your parasympathetic nervous system is triggered and your body embraces deeper relaxation and healing. You feel more relaxed and your mind is quiet. You can focus on your game instead of your posture.)
In layman’s terms? The thing is friggin comfy. If I’m laying in the chase of my couch, then no, the Glomtom isn’t ideal. But if I’m sitting up or gaming on my office chair, then popping the Glomtom around me does indeed relieve a lot of strain on my neck and shoulders. It’s especially noticeable when you have someone remove the pillow while you’re gaming. It’s like your hands suddenly weigh five pounds heavier. As far as improving my posture, i can’t really say if it really helps or not, but I imagine with the Glomtom sitting on your legs and your hands propped up in a comfortable position, you’re probably less likely to slump. Oh, and that pouch up front? The website suggests storing your controller or phone in there. Nope. That pouch is for snacks, dude.
PowerSkin PoP’n 3 $49.99
As a general rule (at least from my experience), external battery chargers are an eyesore, even if from a functional standpoint they’re pretty awesome. Sure some small capacity chargers resemble a large chap stick tube and aren’t so horrible to look at, but anything with a bit more heft (like my Anker 12,000 mAh monster) ends up looking like a brick and weighing like one too. Plus, it doesn’t matter how big or small the charger is, you’re still stuck with a second device dangling from the USB cable.
Powerskin developed the PoP’n3 charger, which basically performs a mind meld with the back of your phone to combine the external charger and your phone into one(ish) unit. The PoP’n3 is roughly the size of an old Blackberry Storm (remember those??) and has a bunch of tiny suction cups along the backside. Smack dab in the middle of the wall of suction cups is a large adhesive patch. Basically if you have a flat backed phone, the suction cups should stick with no issues, but if you happen to sport a phone that has a curved back like my Moto X 2014, then you’re stuck attaching the PoP’n3 with the adhesive patch only, which is less than ideal. Using the suction cups makes for a much sturdier hold, while using just the adhesive patch allows quite a bit of wobbling. That and also the fact that the adhesive has a relatively short lifespan and will soon lose its stickiness.
The bottom of the PoP’n3 has a built in charging cable (micro-USB for mine) and tucks away nicely inside the bottom edge of the charger. In fact, had I not read the instructions, I wouldn’t have even known that there was a cable hidden in there. Kudos for streamlining the border of the charger.
With a 4,000 mAh capacity, the PoP’n3 isn’t going to last you more than a single full charge, or if you’re lucky and have a phone with a small battery, maybe a charge and a half. As far as using it with a tablet, let’s just say it’s best not to let your tablet battery die all the way if you’re relying solely on the PoP’n3. It’s good in a pinch and creating a semi-single unit between the charger and your phone is nice, but don’t expect too much juice out of it.
I will start this off by admitting that Amzer did not make the Kristal tempered glass screen protector for my phone model (Moto X 2nd Gen) but they did have one for the Moto G 2nd Gen. A slight size difference aside, I decided to check it out on my Moto X anyway, understanding that the size difference meant no edge to edge protection. Translation: on my Moto X, the Kristal offered no more protection than a plastic protector and was not much more than a glorified fingerprint.scratch guard.
Please understand that this is in no way a knock on the quality of Amzer’s products, as the Kristal is a wonderful screen protector. It offers 9H hardness with Army grade protection, has a premium oleophobic coating to prevent fingerprints and smudges, is crystal clear with minimal bubbling, and is fairly easy to install. Now granted, I had a bit more of an issue since the protector wasn’t made to fit my phone, so lining the cutouts up around the speakers and sensors was a pain, but I would imagine if you were using on an actual Moto G, it would be much smoother.
Installing the protector involved nothing more than wiping your screen down with the included alcohol pad, popping the dust remover sticker on, and laying the glass protector down, using the included card to squeegee any remaining bubbles out. Done. It took me about 2 minutes to install, even with my issues. Once the protector was installed, you wouldn’t even know it was there. It’s wonderful to use, and since it’s made from tempered glass, it feels exactly like sliding your fingers across the glass on your phone’s screen. The oleophobic coating does help cut down on the amount of fingerprints and smudging, but as you may have suspected, it does not eliminate them entirely. One day science might actually develop a coating that allows no fingerprints/smudging, but in the meantime, the Kristal performs admirably.
I’m going to go so far as to admit that even though the Kristal is smaller than my phone’s screen and does not offer edge to edge protection, I’m keeping it on anyway. It’s not like I juggle my phone on a regular basis, and I barely even know the protector is there. And cutting down on smudges? I’m sold.