Slickwraps vs. dbrand Skins: Which Is Right For You?
Updated March 2017: I bought a new dbrand skin and made a video for it.
Do you love your smartphone but wish it was just a little different? Maybe it could use more grip or maybe it needs a splash of color to stand out. The phone case market has happily taken care of these issues and there are about 8 quadrillion cases out there. But what if you don’t want a case? What if you want something that makes your device a little more personal and grippy without adding any bulk? This is where skins come into play and may be the right choice for you.
My big takeaway from using this skin for the past week is that Slickwraps and dbrand are 99% the exact same thing, but dbrand is slightly better in almost every way.
NOTE: A skin is not a solution to protecting your phone from accidental damage. A skin will give your phone more grip, but it’s not going to do anything to help if you drop your phone. If you need something to provide protection, a skin is probably not for you.
The similarities start with the materials used. Each wrap is made with what appears to be the exact same 3M materials. This makes sense, as these companies surely just make a cutout design and order that pattern from 3M. They’re certainly not designing their own materials here.
The difference in the cases are in those cutout designs, and I have to give the edge to dbrand here. The accuracy of both skins are top notch with each skin fitting perfectly over my phone (as long as I was able to line it up with my butterfingers). The only difference is in how they handle the corners. I prefer dbrand’s decision to go with a seamless design as I found the corners to be cleaner when the installation was done. Slickwrap’s design left tiny ridges at the corners that I couldn’t get to go away entirely no matter how much I adjusted things. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I’m more likely to go with dbrand’s skins next time for this simple difference.
The Slickwraps skins does cover more of the phone than dbrand’s solution, but I’ll take a couple little bits of silver sticking out over the more noticeable seams.
Slickwraps also lose points as a value proposition. No matter what combination of wraps you get for the iPhone, you’re going to spend more money with them. Here’s a table for the pricing of each skin combination you get get from both companies (iPhone 6 Plus prices):
To add onto the price difference, dbrand also ships you 2 back skins with each order. One is the full-coverage version and the other is cut into 3 pieces and leaves the antenna lines visible. A side benefit of this is that if you scuff one skin, you have a backup that you can still use. I preferred the full coverage skin, but it’s nice to get a little more bang for your buck.
Number of Devices Supported
Slickwraps wipes the floor with dbrand in this category.
In addition to offering skins for many more devices, Slick wraps also has tons more options for what type of skin you can get. There are 42 different skins for the iPhone 6 Plus vs 18 from dbrand. Not all devices support this many skins, but most major devices do.
I’m eyeing this Mac mini skin lustfully right now.
All things said I am quite happy with my Slickwraps skin. It feels good on my phone and looks great. I do think that I overpaid a little bit, and the bumps at the corners are mildly annoying, but I’ll survive.
My advice to new buyers is that you should decide which skin you want first and then buy it from dbrand if they have that version. I think you’ll be happy with your Slickwraps skin, but you’re paying more for something that I don’t think is quite as nice.