Saturday, May 24, 2008

In search of the perfect iPhone case

When I was able to acquire my iPhone last December 2007, my first concern was how to protect it from wear and tear. The device, though cool-looking, was definitely in need of cover, especially on its huge screen.

So of course the first thing I did was use a screen protector (widely available from phone shops). And next in line was the phone case.

Since at that time, the iPhone was very new (in fact, it still is not being marketed in the Philippines as I write this), there are only a few accessories for it. So I visited malls and phone shops, looking for the right protection for the iPhone.

My first purchase was a crystal case. This is hard, transparent plastic which covers the entire phone save for the screen and the ports. This was a fairly nice choice in that the iPhone design shows through while being protected at the same time. Or so I thought. Dust particles that managed to nudge itself into the casing got stuck there and over time, scratched the metal finish of the iPhone! I discovered that when I took the casing apart and tried to clean the phone of the dust.

And so the next step was to purchase a silicon casing. This one is basically made of elastic material that covers up the phone. While this hides the nice iPhone design, it protects the device against dust because the rubber material "adheres" to the phone. Plus, there are many colors to choose from. I chose black, which looks really nice. Another advantage of the rubbery material is that the phone does not slide off easily from your pocket.

But still... I thought about how I can get the protection I want not only from dust particles but from the occasional bumps as well.

That's when I saw the Speck label at a store in Park Square 1 in Makati. I took note of the website and saw their ToughSkin series. A photo showed the iphone being completely covered by the casing and looking ... well... extremely tough! I knew I had to get one of those. So I went back to the store and ordered for one.

That was December ... then came January, then February. Still no order.

It was really a chance encounter that I was able to buy my ToughSkin casing. We were at Robinson's Place at Boni looking for trekking gear. I saw some shops selling iPhone cases and entered one of the more promising stores. And there it was! I immediately shelled out 950 pesos for it and I have been a happy customer of Speck ever since.

It isn't a perfect design, though. The package comes with a belt clip which doubles as a stand. AS a stand, it's really cool. But as a belt clip, it's not so good. My bulging tummy forces the iPhone from the clip that on two occasions, the clip part actually separated from the base, sending my iPhone off to where I don't want it to be: on the floor. Good thing the casing is thick enough to absorb the impact! There were also a couple of instances where the belt clip got loose while I was seated in the car. When heaving myself up, out pops the belt clip, phone and all. Plus, the iPhone sticks out like a sore thumb on my belt.

But I still love the ToughSkin. I just leave the belt clip at home.
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