Customizing gadgets is highly subjective. While some absolutely love it (including me), others are better off with what the manufacturer has to offer. I have been a big fan of Dbrand and was always curious as to what value addition does a Dbrand skin brings. For the unintended, Dbrand is a Canadian company and currently the global leader in smartphone customization popularly known for their smartphone skins. Being a Dbrand fanboy, I decided to order their new dragon skin for my OnePlus 3 and here is my comprehensive experience about ordering, applying and using Dbrand skins in India.
Ordering a Dbrand skin is quite simple and interactive. You first select the device for which you want to order the skin. Dbrand offer skins for the devices ranging from iPhone X to Asus Zenfone 2. There are also some laptops and gaming consoles on the list. Once you select that, you can then customize different parts (areas) of the device. For the OnePlus 3, you get to choose different textures for upper back, center and lower back. You can also opt for the Logo and Camera cutouts and choose the texture for that too. There is also an option to customize the front but I just don’t like fiddling with the front of the device so I skipped this one. Now customizing each component has a separate price so there is no fixed cost for any device. The customizable parts vary with the device, though.
Note, Dbrand only accepts internationally enabled Credit Cards and PayPal account for payments.
Shipping duration highly depends on the city you reside in. Also, I ordered my Dbrand skin during the ‘Cyber Monday Sale’ so my order was actually dispatched about a week after I placed the order on the website. If you opt for free shipping (minimum order $20), Dbrand will send it via Government authorized speed post. I didn’t receive any tracking number to track my order. My order was delivered 10 days after it was shipped (I live in New Delhi) and considering it had to travel about 11,500 kilometers, 10 days seem to be a decent delivery time. Here is how the package arrived.
Applying the Dbrand Skin
Dbrand has dedicated videos for each device explaining the application process on their YouTube channel so I would recommend you to watch the video if you are about to apply the skin on your device. It wasn’t my first time applying a Dbrand skin so I did a good job of not messing it up on the tricky sides. One thing I would like to mention here is that you will require a hair dryer for sure and a lot of vigorous rubbing on the sides for it to settle down. Once everything is there all sorted, it looks extremely clean. I have to admit, the precision with the camera and logo cut outs is highly commendable. Also, the quality of 3M paper used is top notch and it is relatively thick so you might have to give up on some of your tight fitted cases.
How does it make a difference?
It has been about 45 days of me using the Dbrand skin on my OnePlus 3 and so far it has been really good at what it is expected to offer. OnePlus 3, as we all know, comes with an extremely slippery back and wrapping it up with a dragon-themed Dbrand skin has done wonders for me. Ever since I have applied the skin on my device, I have not dropped my phone even once. Not that I have shaky hands, but I am utterly impressed with the quality of grip it brings in.
Another area where Dbrand stands out from its competitors is the precision with which the skin has been crafted for your device. If everything goes smooth and you have given your best applying the skin, it feels natural when you hold the device in your hand.
As a downside, no matter how thick it is, a skin is a skin. While a couple of minor drops won’t do any harm, don’t expect it to stand tough against major drops. Although I am yet to drop my OnePlus 3 with the skin on, I know people who have dropped their phone with the skin on with undesired outcomes.
If we talk about the durability, there are no real worries here. With almost couple of months in, I see no signs of any peeling off or texture fade. It still feels as fresh as it was when I first applied it. One thing I am yet to see is whether it leaves no residue when I get rid of it. Well, Dbrand claims it doesn’t but I will have to check on this once I decide to peel off the skin. Don’t expect it to be anytime soon though.
Are there any decent alternatives?
Dbrand is good, really good in fact, but are there any alternatives? Well, yes there are. Perhaps the closest competitor to Dbrand at the moment is ‘SlickWraps’. It offers a tonne of other options apart from just the textured skins and costs about the same as a Dbrand skin. However, you have to buy the full package as there is no option to order for specific areas.
If you are living in India, Gadgets Shield is the best bet you can get. Gadgets Shield is somewhat similar to Dbrand and also offers screen and body protectors. Any order above Rs 399 gets you free shipping and if we go through the customer reviews, it seems to be a decent alternative.
Another option which is worth considering is Skinit. Besides the textured skins, Skinit also provides the option to create your own skin.
So is Dbrand worth it?
Let me break this down into two parts. If you are looking for some kind of grip case and yet don’t want the bulk that comes with it, Dbrand is for you. If you love customizing your phone like me and are not prone to drops, you should definitely go for it. However, if you are wondering it can replace your dedicated protecting cases like Spigen’s Rugged Armor range, I am afraid, Dbrand will not save the day for you.