By Darren Rolfe:
Well, I’ve had my new, beautiful, shiny, black iPhone almost a month now and I’m thoroughly enjoying all the new features I now have available at my fingertips on plane, train or automobile! And that device is the reason that I’m writing this today. How do I keep my iPhone looking, new, beautiful, shiny and black?
Some people may turn their noses up at covering up such a beautiful device. But for me it’s a no brainer. Considering that I have a small child charging about the house and that it will be traveling with me, I felt it deserved that extra, little bit of protection.
In the preceding weeks before I picked up my iPhone I was determined to find exactly the right case. I’ve cracked in the past, opting instead for convenience and have usually regretted it. So this time I did hours and hours of research, paying particular attention to customer review ratings. I also did some market research in the office.
A colleague of mine has an iPhone and he is already on his second case. But now he’s considering a third, because he’s not completely happy with his current case. Ironically, his awful second case was a front runner in the research that I had done. Up to this point I was definitely leaning towards what I affectionately now refer to as a ‘lunch box’ style case. It’s the kind where your iPhone is completely encased in a thin, transparent plastic shell. His had only been installed a few short weeks but it was already looking decidedly worse for wear.
Being transparent it also showed all the crumbs, dust, hair and general crud collecting in the corners. And that just wasn’t good enough for me. So what did I get? Well, in the end I opted for the iSkin Revo2. iSkin are one of the big players in the iPod/iPhone accessory business and they have a wide range of cases for an even wider range of devices! In particular I like their incorporation of innovative design touches, but more about that later.
When you un-box the case you are presented with 3 parts. So let me tell you a little bit about each of them. The best way I can think to describe the outer material, is that it has the appearance of the Bat-suit! No, not the 1970s Adam West nylon number, I’m talking the Christian Bale Bat-suit.
The outer jacket is a matte black silicone, and it fits where it touches. Yes, you can still appreciate the beautiful curves of your iPhone. Initially, I did have concerns about the silicone material as I thought that it might get slightly tacky and pick up dust and dirt. So far this has not been the case. This may be due to the fact that the case has a special dust-proof protection built in and I must admit it works very well.
To help with grip most of the back and all of the outer edges are moulded with an intricate cross-hatch pattern. This helps a lot with handling your iPhone especially on cold, frosty British mornings.
Even though your iPhone is covered in this rubberized jacket you are still able to access the controls. The volume, power, and home button all are covered, but they are still responsive through the silicone layer. Meanwhile the headphone jack, and docking port connectors are covered with generous flaps of silicone that spring reassuringly back into position.
The camera lens and the mute rocker switch are not obscured and work perfectly whilst in the cover. And I’ve not noticed any problems with call/noise quality whilst using it in the case.
Finally, I want to tell you a bit about Microban®. Micro… what? A few years ago this germ-busting technology started appearing in cutting boards, lunch boxes and the such like. Well, now it’s in iPhone covers and iSkin were on the of the first to incorporate! What it gives you, is a degree of permanent antibacterial protection built into the silicone material.
OK, next up is the film screen protector. Firstly, I want to ask if anyone has ever managed to get one of these blasted things stuck down without a flaming air bubble! Well, I am truly in awe of your magnificent dexterity! I’ve grown to accept my own air bubble now and we get along fine.
Once you’ve adhered the screen protector it is almost invisible and I didn’t notice any negative effects on picture quality or color. It also has a very, very slight tactile texture when you touch the screen, which is not unpleasant. Finally, if you decide to part company with your screen protector, you will be pleased to know that no sticky residue will be left behind.
So, what else you could possibly need for your iPhone? Well, how about a visor which adds yet another layer of protection for your iPhone screen. This clips onto the front of the iPhone outer case and kinds of wraps around the side. The outer case is recessed so that when the visor is attached it sits completely flush.
Now I must point out that you will not be able to operate the touch screen of your iPhone with the visor attached. So, yes you will need to pop the visor off to access the screen. At first, this was a bit annoying. But I’ve kind of warmed to it, a bit like the air bubble. So what do you do with the visor once it’s popped? Well, of course, you stow it away on the back of the outer case. Remember how I mentioned iSkin’s innovative design earlier?
To be honest I have missed a few calls by fumbling around, trying to attach the visor to the back of the iPhone whilst answering a call. Personally, I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to stow it away all the time, but it is a nifty feature once you get the knack and into the habit of remembering to do it.
The iSkin Revo2 retails at US$39.99 and I purchased mine at the Apple Store for £29.99 and I think it was money well spent. I happened to choose Black, but they are also available in Red/Black, Blue/Black and Clear/Black.