DBrand Inc. provides official 3M vinyl skins cut perfectly for your mobile device.
To some people choosing the right case for their mobile device is based simply on the level of protection that it can offer whereas others decide based on aesthetics and rely more on form than function. If you are one of these people then the DBrand Inc. 3M Vinyl Skin is a product that you'll want to check out. The company is newly formed and offer precision cut high-quality vinyl skins for many devices including:
- iPhone 4/4s
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5s
- iPad 2
- iPad 3
- iPad Mini
- Blackberry Z10
- Moto X
- HTC One
- Nexus 7 (2012)
- Nexus 7 (2013)
- Nexus 4
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Playstation Vita
- Xbox 360
- Playstation 3
The skins vary in price based on the device that you own, but range anywhere from $12-$25. This pricing is reasonable considering they use official 3M vinyl material. For this review, DBrand Inc. provided a slew of skins for both the iPhone 5 and 5s so we will be documenting our experience with them throughout the rest of this review.
Design & Build Quality
DBrand Inc. created this business with quality in mind which is why they chose to use genuine 3M vinyl materials and not some cheap, low-quality brand. If you aren't familiar with 3M vinyl, it is the same material that is often used to wrap luxury cars including Flo-Rida's $1.7M Bugatti Veyron:
While your phone may cost a great deal less than a Bugatti, it doesn't stop DBrand from choosing the very best in order to provide maximum quality and longevity of their products. Each skin is offered in a variety of different colors that all have a distinct finish such as carbon fiber, titanium, leather, true color and wood.
Here is the full list of the color palette & finishes which DBrand current offers:
Each finish has their own unique look and feel which showcase the superior quality that the material harnesses. For example, with the titanium finish that is currently on my iPhone 5, you can feel the physical lines that appear up on the vinyl which makes it wildly realistic and can be easily mistaken with real titanium at first glance. Each piece of vinyl is cut specifically to fit your device of choice and from our experience the cuts were spot-on. The accuracy of these cuts is often a difficult task for companies that offer complex skins such as these. If cuts are off by just a hair, you can run into serious issues which could force the need to modify the skin or simply throw it away. DBrand has mastered this process and each of our demo skins were consistently cut with near-perfect precision.
Since the DBrand Inc. skins are just a thin adhesive material instead of a feature-packed product like the recently reviewed OtterBox Preserver Series, you can't expect it to compete on the same level. There isn't any distinguishing features per se, but frankly it doesn't need any as this product was designed to give your device a unique, appealing look instead of providing any distinguishing features that improve the performance or protection of the device. For the iPhone 5, you get two vinyl pieces for the side frame of the phone and one large piece for the back which comes at a price of $16. In comparison, if you get a skin for the iPhone 5s, you'll receive two strips for the frame, one for the back, and an additional skin for the front although the cost is slightly higher at $24 per set. I was a bit bummed when I found out they don't offer front skins for the iPhone 5 since it should only differ slightly from the iPhone 5s front skin, but they make up for it with the lower price so I can't complain. Given that the circumstances, I decided to slap on a clear adhesive screen protector (sold separately) which coupled with the titanium DBrand skin, provided my iPhone 5 with 360-degree protection from the everyday wear and tear it endures.
From our experience, we had no complaints when using DBrand Inc. skins for our iPhone 5 and 5s models. Though it is true you don't get any real benefits in terms of performance or protection, they are a real hit in public and we found ourselves getting lots of stares from onlookers whom were trying to figure out how we got such unique looking iPhones. Most people who questioned us didn't believe that we achieved this look with just an adhesive vinyl material. Something that worried me greatly with these DBrand skins was the application process. I've never been skilled at lining up screen protectors or adhesive accessories so I thought these skins were going to be a nightmare to put on. Luckily, it was a lot easier than I anticipated and it went smoothly without any headaches. Since the skins are cut perfectly, they are able to be lined up quite easily, Better yet, the vinyl material can be peeled back and reapplied if you happen to make any mistakes during the application process. If you follow the diagram on their website, it will help speed up the process and give you a better result the first time around.
After a week or so of consistent daily use, the skins show absolutely no wear on them and are doing a solid job protecting our iPhones from the everyday scratches and blemishes that all devices are prone to from regular use.
In the end, I found the DBrand Inc. 3M Vinyl Skin to be a superior product that far exceeded my expectations. While it provides no real performance advantages besides minimal protection from everyday wear and tear, the skins are of an ultra high-quality that give off a unique, attractive look when applied to their intended device. I would highly recommend any prospective buyers buy a DBrand skin as long as you realize the limited protection they offer and are simply seeking the visual appeal factor.